Fiber Friday – August 12, 2016

Fiber Friday – August 12, 2016

This installment of the Sheepspot Fiber Club is a lovely Shetland top and, I have been doing some sampling to see what it can do and it is interesting what I am learning, thus far.

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I spun my first samples on my Schacht Matchless using the largest whorl I have (10.5:1) and I slowed my treadling way down and I increased my take up. My single ended up with about 3 TPI (twists per inch), my twist angle is 65-degrees, but I think that might be a bit too much twist. I’d like it at about 2 TPI, but I don’t think I can do that on my wheel with the whorl I have. I just am not certain I can treadle any slower! (The bottom skeinlet is the singles yarn)

I then spun up a sample that I plied. I did not change the whorl or my treadling for the singles, although I spun them a bit finer and decreased my take up significantly. I plied the yarn with a 40-degree twist angle and 3 TPI. I like this yarn very much before finishing. (The top skeinlet is the plied yarn) It is very interesting how different the two samples are in color as well.

I then sampled using spindles.

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I spun the same amount of fiber on my Ann Grout Acorn Spindle – my goal was to create a low twist single. I got much better and more controlled results using a spindle – 1.5 TPI, a 25-degree twist angle, and it is a cohesive yarn. I have yet to wash and set the yarn, but I will full it a bit to help it stay together. (The skeinlet on the left is the singles yarn)

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I spun a much finer single on my Jenkins Kuchulu Turkish Spindle. I wound the singles off into a plying ball and plied them on the same spindle. My twist angle was 50 degrees in the plied yarn and I got 4.5 TPI before finishing.

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Now, here is the shocker – I like the yarns spun on the spindle much more than I like the yarns spun on my Matchless. I know. I am stunned!

My next step will be to finish the yarns and knit up swatches. I will be interested to see what my thoughts are once I have done that.

Stay tuned, swatches will be next Friday’s post!

Now for some linkage to usher in the weekend:

That’s all I have this week, Gentle Reader. May your weekend be much cooler than it is forecast to be here!

Finishing Well

Finishing Well

I have two fantastic finished objects that just might be the perfect things to help me when summer withdrawals start happening about mid-October!

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First up – Tales from the Isle of Purbeck. This was a MKAL that I was late to join, but join I did. I spent some time thinking about what would I like to knit this with and I settled upon a truly spectacular yarn; ElsaWool fingering weight, woolen spun Cormo. Now if you have not tried any of Elsa’s products – you need to. Really. The wool is from Elsa’s own sheep and it is expertly crafted into the softest, yummiest yarn. She sells both woolen spun and worsted spun yarns, as well as knit garments. And, the sheep pictures are lovely! Add to this the incredible service you get from Elsa herself, it is an experience not to be missed. If wool “makes you itch” you need to try some of ElsaWool, you won’t be disappointed – it is baby soft! I also love this brown with my Indigo Linen Dress No. 2! The pattern is really very simple and once I had the flow of it, it went very quickly. I did a partial repeat of chart 3 to increase the size. And, I really love the Icelandic bind off. If you wanted a light, but warm shawl for the fall, this might be just what you are looking for!

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The finishing did not stop there, I also finished up Nahant. It really did not take much time, thanks to the Lava Field on Netflix! I had been moving right along on this until it got too big to be good “travel knitting”. The yarn is some vintage Yarn Hollow BFL that I spun up some time ago. I had two bumps of fiber that were in similar colorways, as I recall. Anyways, I spun up each bump and then plied them together. There are times when the colorways match harmoniously, and times when they barber pole together. I really like how this turned out – and it is LONG. I can wrap it twice around my neck and still have scarf hanging down. Plus, the colors remind me of the changing leaves.

I am left looking at my basket of WIP’s wondering what will I pull out next. There is something so gratifying about getting something done quickly. And, crossing another item off the list is always a bonus. Pincha, I think this means you are up next! With the temperature in the 90’s and the humidity so high it feels like a sauna outdoors, staying in the air-conditioned house is not hard.

What are you finishing this week?

Sock Spinning

Sock Spinning

I learned quite a bit during the 20+ days of Tour de Fleece – and one of the things I really honed in on was how to produce a 3-ply fingering weight sock yarn.

Actual fingering weight – not heavy fingering weight. But, fingering weight that will knit to gauge on a 1.5mm needle!

So, I had this Perendale from Sheepspot hanging around. Only one bump, so I divided the fiber in half and split each half into 3 sections – one for each ply. I almost have ½ of it spun up – so it is going fairly quickly. I am not spinning more than an hour or so in the evenings.

 

My goal with spin a more “striped” sock yarn – keeping the colorways intact and hopefully very little barber pole effect. I am not sure how much yardage I will get – I might have to figure out toe up socks!

I am also cruising along on Tales from the Isle of Purbeck. I am into the third chart and should be done with this very soon.

Friday Links:

(FYI: there are only 77 days until Rhinebeck, sweater weather is coming…)

Now for a bit of political bragging…feel free to skip if you are so inclined. However, no matter your political leanings, the fact that we have a woman nominated for the highest office in the land is something that we should all be proud of. Bravo America!!

That is all I have for this week – have a fantastic weekend!

A High Fiber Diet

A High Fiber Diet

I am in the home stretch of TdF2016 and I have had a fantastic time. The spinning has been varied and educational. While I have not spun that many yards (3570 yds to date, i.e. 2.02 miles) I have spun a variety of yarns. From worsted to woolen, including about 2100 yards of fingering weigh sock yarn!

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I am finishing up a nice lofty Coopworth currently, which will be done sometime tomorrow. I have decided that this will complete my tour and I will move back to my regularly scheduled knitting, which I have been largely ignoring over the past couple of weeks!

I need to get myself back on track for my Summer Knit Along because we are about to enter the home stretch for that as well!

I still have the following items that I need to complete:

  • 2 Jen Lucas Mystery Shawls
  • Triticum
  • Nahant
  • Pincha
  • Tales from the Isle of Purbeck
  • Puskinia sock mates for 2 bachelorette socks.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of knitting left to do! Panic might be setting in, but apparently I am easily distracted. I saw this stunning beauty and all I wanted to do was to drop everything and cast on. FYI, I have looked at yarn and I am strongly considering ordering something. I keep telling myself this will be the perfect prize knitting to start when I have completed the above list…

Friday Links:

That’s it, Gentle Reader, another week in the books – have a fantastic weekend and see you back here on Monday!

When Rainy days are Mondays

When Rainy days are Mondays

Although we desperately need the rain, a gloomy Monday makes for a slow starting week.

So, let’s spend a moment reliving the weekend which was the antithesis of gloomy!

There was spinning, and knitting, and cocktails, and reading.

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  • I listened to Doc by Mary Doria Russell and I am about half-way through. I am enjoying it tremendously, and I really love the narrator’s voice. I started reading The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer.
  • I watched Spotlight and The Big Short.
  • I harvested the first tomatoes from the garden.
  • I almost finished spinning all the Montadale and I got the first bump plied up.
  • And, the epic bind off began…

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I hope yours was too.

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