TdF: Finish Line

So, I crossed the finish line of the Tour, with three yarns, one short and fluffy, one firm and silky, and a spindle spun yarn.

My Three TdF Yarns

As a reminder, here were my goals:

  • To spin every day, for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • To spin one yarn with a pattern in mind, which means being intentional about my spinning technique, yarn weight and trying to aim for specific lengths.
  • To spin some silk successfully
  • To spin at least one yarn:
    -Long Draw
    -From the Fold
    -Chain Plyed
  •  To spin with intention, and make sure that no matter what I enjoy the activity
So I succeeded at a few things, I enjoyed all my spinning during the Tour, and I spun some silk on a spindle. I also spun most days, and I have learned how calming I find spinning and how helpful it can be at dealing with stress.

My Golding Spindle and a Tussah Silk Sample

I have been much more successful in the week following the tour than I was during the whole tour. I spun some  semi-woolen/long-draw singles, which I haven’t chain-plyed yet, also I  have silk singles spun on my wheel, soon to be plyed.

Three Bobbins Full: Two Silk and one BFL

I have even started my first art yarn, a corespun using crochet cotton and my Golding Ring Spindle to manage the core (something that was keeping me away from corespun yarns).

My First Intentional Art Yarn: well at least one that I didn't dread making.

I look forward to next year’s Tour, but I have a hard time putting aside my knitting and crochet projects to spin, so I think I need to clear my calendar so I have a clear run at my spinning.

FO: Purple People Warmers

Two Purple Yarns, both 55g, which on is longer?

After getting so much spinning done when I first got my wheel, I haven’t been making much “yardage” so a couple of weeks ago I pulled out two fun, special, not-beginner top and batt and got spinning.

The yarn on the left, which I have been calling Purple People Seducer is a Merino/Silk Sliver from Fleece Artist out of Nova Scotia which I picked up at the Purple Sock in Coldwater back just before my birthday in October.

Nameless Fleece Artist Sliver

I went on to spin it as a firm single, using a short-forward (inchworm) draw.  I managed to get 130yds out of 55g or so.  It is a sport-ish yarn, but overall the single is really consistant and I am finding I am getting much better at spinning really consistnatly when using the short forward.

It was at this point, I knew it had to be a single

Up close and purple

The second skein is very different, it started out as a batt from Fiber Fancy called Orchid Surprise, when I bought the batts, I though it was Orchid Sunrise and unfortunately the surprise was a bit to surprising for me.

Orchid ...

... Surprise

Inside this beautiful purple batt, was mix of christmas red, green and gold.  Each one of these would compliment the purple, but for me the color was a bit overwhelming.  I dizzed the batt using my new Claydancer diz and orifice hook (which are both really beautiful and functional)

I love it when function and form make something really awesome

and spun, long-draw, some of the batt intact.

All the colors spun together, not to my taste

So I decided to peel apart the purple from the Christmas colors and I was left with about 55g of fiber which I dizzed and spun in to a quite lofty bulky weight 48yd skein.  The christmas yarn has been put to good use and you will be seeing it quite soon on the blog.

Orchid not so surprising

So two yarns, both 55g and purple, one a lofty, thinkthin, bulky, woolen spun, two-ply, the other a hard, silky, worsted spun, single.  They are both so beautiful in their differences.

On Travellers and Handspun

So as I have mentioned on the blog, I got a spinning wheel for Christmas.  The wheel, a Ashford Traveller Double Drive, which Lise at The Yarn Source managed to get to my house before Christmas.  Seriously, if you need Ashford products in Ontario, Lise is a rockstar and I would love to get to visit them, if I found my way to Prince Edward County.

So my Traveller, who is still unnamed (I am open to suggestions), has been running beautifully and has helped me spin down some of the immense fiber stash I developed over the fall.

She does have some of the oil from lubricating the treadle hinge, but I got her unfinished and I have just used a furniture beeswax polish to protect the wheel before I decide how I want to finish her in the long run.

And this is what she has helped me make (well there are about three spindle skeins tucked in there, but mostly wheel stuff)

The fiber was sourced from a few different places, including three Phat Fiber boxes (Sept. Farmers Market, Oct. Steampunk and Nov. Seasons of Light).  If you are on Rav, the Phatties (as they call themselves) have a wonderful, inclusive community you should check out, here.  I also have some combed merino top from the Gateway Fibreworks in Gravenhurst, ON, which I have mentioned before, as well as from a local farm, Pondering Rock Farm in Rosseau, Ontario.

Here are some of my favorites:

Yarn: Spring Break in February

Source: Sherbet Sunrise, 2.2oz batt (alpaca, superfine merino & bamboo rayon) by Fiber Fancy

Style/WPI: 180yd, woolen spun single, sportish weight

Name: Flower Market

Source: Fall Mums (Sept Phat Contribution) 2oz 64s Merino Top by CraftyQsPlace

Style/WPI: 120yd, 2-ply, Sportish

Name: Melted Neapolitan Ice Cream

Source: Sweet Pea, 5oz Falklands Top by CraftyQsPlace

Style: 214yds, 2-ply, fingering/sport weight

Two different Monster Yarns (term taken from the Ennea Collective) made from Phat Fiber Boxes (top from October and bottom from November).

And for those of you who are wondering how winter is going here in Parry Sound, we had a fantastic melt the last few days and then blowing snow last night. But the light is getting much more spring-like.