Get to Work!

Great stuff, having room to move without cats attacking the fiber in my hand, basket, box, bag, or on the carder or the wheel. Great stuff. Here’s the bottom of a batt that will be making up a second ply for some avocado dyed *GCN. This batt is GCN Sammas, yellow silk/Merino blend, red Border Leicester, and pitch black alpaca.

*GCN = Gulf Coast Native Sheep

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First Batt out of the “new” Studio, with Lailie

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TDF ~ Day 6

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Quinn

A rose tweed Gulf Coast Native 2-ply named after my granny.

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Day 6 TDF

Day 6: The day I learned that my cats really are the bosses around here. Daisy, literally, hangs on the wheel when it isn’t spinning. Maggie lays on my foot on the treadle when I am or am not spinning. Millie has a thing for the lazy kate. Daisy is going crosseyed (ok, she IS part Siamese) watching the wheel turn – for hours on end – head nodding as she is fixed on one spot. Ahhh, boy oh boy.

The good news, is that I am out of acid dyed fiber. Now…I have only locks I’ve dyed with flowers. And I like that SO MUCH MORE! I appreciate all you lovely spinners who are fascinated with color…and I leave all of those dyes to you. I’ve done so much dyeing in the past that my skin is very sensitive to dyes. Carding and spinning take me up close and personal…to the point of swollen fingers which I do not need. So, it’s off to the coreopsis, marigold, fennel, and avocado bins! See ya later, bye! *wave wave*

TDF Day #5 – More Corespinning

Cocoons

Tailspinning

Last night, I stayed up late. There was to be a webcast from CERN at 3AM, announcing success in the search for the Higgs boson. I’m working my way through jacey boggs’ swell book on textured spinning, spin art, and I welcomed the alone time in the wee hours – I could spin uninterrupted.

So, I picked up where I’d left off: Corespinning – Cocoons.

I collected a few bits of colored fiber (I’m not big on dyed fiber) and some of my lambs’ 2012 fiber (which I’d carded into batts) and watched the Corespinning section on the dvd again. Then, I read the bit on Cocoons. Clear enough.

First off, I pulled out a naked undyed batt of Curly Lumpkin, some yellow silk fiber, and some indigo dyed fiber from Curly’s Aunt Holly.  First attempt was not embarrassing, and actually, quite a lot of fun. Once again, I had a little trouble controlling the tendency for the yarn to be overspun.

My second attempt was spun from a batt of Mary’s fleece and her Mama Holly’s blue fiber for cocoons. This yarn came together well, was not overspun, but, I realized I was spinning a perfect thick-and-thin.

These little samples were a lot of fun to spin, and I know that I will be revisiting this technique soon. I can see these yarns knitted up, in my mind’s eye, and I like what I see.

Today, the 4th of July, is traditionally, a day for bbq and relaxation. So, I made a gigunda potato salad and a dry rub for a boneless pork roast, and picked some peppers and tomatoes and cukes and made a heck of a salad. We enjoyed a silent neighborhood. Not a firecracker. Not one. Not a car up or down the road. Not a kid yowling, hollering, or crying. We enjoyed the scene. We enjoyed strolling through the pasture. We enjoyed the day. I did not spin until the critters were all tucked in.

Next up was Tailspinning.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know that it takes clean curly locks to make a tailspun yarn. I had a handful. Literally, a handful. The locks I had came from a Border Leicester sheep, one of the funniest looking sheep, in my opinion, but one that grows some of the most amazing fleece around. I had dyed these locks with coreopsis way back when. Really, when, two or three years ago? So, that’s what I had. I used a superwash merino sockyarn as the core.

This was a very easy yarn to spin. Not a very easy yarn for my wheel to take up. The locks got caught on the spring clip that the yarn threads through on its way to the bobbin. Made me CRAAAAZY.  But, not much harm done to my psyche. That handful of locks was just enough to cover the few feet of unwindable core. Ta da. This won’t be a big favorite in my studio, until I add to my collection of, ahem, 1 spinning wheel.

TDF Day #4 Corespinning?

First Go at Corespinning ~ “Little Mud”

I get it! I get it! I didn’t understand before, but now, I DO!

Corespinning is a way to really show off a most excellent pile of gawjus fiber. Spin a killer beauty of a batt, and not one single fiber will be hidden as the “center” of the yarn. It’s ALL on the outside.

That said…the batt really should be a killer beauty.

My fiber was killer beautiful…Gulf Coast Native dyed with coreopsis, with marigold, with indigo, and with some purple acid dye, rabbit, and mohair too. But…I sorta overcarded this pile of beautiful stuff…and turned it into mud. Boo on me.

Still…I’m delighted to have spun a successful, soft, balanced 22 yards of corespun naturally dyed (for the most part) fiber. I used superwash merino for the core. Blecch, that stuff is so bizarre. But, it makes a fabulous core!

Alrighty, then. Time to move along to the next technique in jacey boggs’ lovely book, spin art.

First Knit of the Year

A big fat pair of mitts. Note the color scheme. Now, note the color of my glasses. Yeah, how about that. I was halfway through before I realized I was knitting to match my eyewear.

This yarn is a worsted weight singles, corriedale, spindle spun. Twisted rib. Pretty much a plain vanilla 32 stitch fingerless glove. Wanted something long enough to cover my wrists.

Oh, the tan yarn was dyed with black tea. The brown, I can’t even remember. Some bark or other. Multi accent fluff is marigold dyed border leicester/coreopsis dyed GC/grey GCNI.

NaKniMitMo and 112 in 2012. Rah.

Spinning Winter Yarns

Gulf Coast Native Thick & Thin with Natural Dyes

This is a skein of extra special EXtra soft GC Native yarn. An ounce and a half and 46 yards. Outrageous.

Purple Ruffles Basil meets Mohair Blend

We had an outstanding year in the basil garden. I grew both Genovese for the farmers markets and for our own pesto cravings, and Purple Ruffles Basil for dyeing. I sold some of the purple basil plants, and kicked myself after I found out what a great dye it makes.

This is a 2 1/2 oz, 74 yd skein of Mohair/Wool blend handspun. The locks were dyed with Purple Ruffles in an acid bath. This is a heavy lustrous yummy yarn. This skein screams “HAT.”

I found, quite by accident, that a pH shift makes for interesting changes to the color. This steely gray shifts right over to a dark celery green with an alkaline rinse.

A Funky Hat Yarn

Kinda gorgeous, n’est-ce pas? This is 4 1/2 oz and somewhat over 200 yd of Gulf Coast Native/Mohair blend. This was spun from a handpainted handpulled roving, plied with natural brown and cream GC fleece. This cbp is destined for at least one more hat…tho this ball of yarn is definitely big enough for 2 hats.

I’m out of hat kits, and figure that after knitting one more hat (O the Holiday Season!), the 2nd half will go into a funky hat kit. I have a new pattern that is pretty exciting…a spin-off of Ray’s Hat. This yarn would be stellar. Then again…a 1 x 1 ribbed elfish hat would be outrageous, too.

Gulf Coast meets Marigold

Here is a 3 1/2 oz/174 yd skein of natural brown GCNI and cream GC singles, flecked with marigold. A big soft hearty skein. I find myself not putting it in my etsy store, not taking it to the farmers market. I love this skein of wool.

Fleece Study – Navajo Churro

This began as 3 1/2 – 4 oz of raw Navajo Churro that I received as part of a fleece study. I spun this yarn in the grease. What a lot of grease. This would be the perfect fleece with which to start an FSM (fermented suint) project.

The final clean yarn weighs in at a bit over 1 1/2 oz and 200 yd. This is a soft yet hairy fingering weight yarn. Ooo La Laaaaaa!

Florida Buttercup Meets GC Ewe

This dye job was a complete surprise. About a month ago, the fields were just full of masses of a tall weed with teeny yellow blossoms. The golden fields were too pretty to cut. At the end of their blooming, I decided to throw some in a dye pot to see what would happen. This intense cinnabar green is what happened. A dusky yellow verging on green. Oh Yum!

Here’s the start of something good…I’m thinking a fine 2-ply would be just the ticket. And what’s left will get spun into some bulky wacky hat yarn!