Monday, May 21, 2007

Lilacs, and fiber, and stuff!

I love the smell of Lilacs and also how they look. They are just starting to bloom. I'm glad we have them in our garden.

You know what's coming don't you! ;o) I did me some spinning over the weekend, actually, I try do spin every day. I've got 14 samples, dyed by Amy/Spunky Eclectic, so don't blame me for the colors! I've introduced the neon green already. Here it is all spun up. All the samples are just about 1 oz. I've decided to ply the samples with the same yarn, so they have something in common, other than being spun poorly. At least the ones I'll use for the hat.

It's spun more evenly, but still so thick. Sigh.

Here it's plied with the merino yarn. I took off the coopworth from the Forrester spindle, so I could ply the yarn. I actually was working with hands and feet, well I held the "Little Si" with my toes. This time there was way less tangled mess to deal with, but several phone calls didn't get answered, and the dogs, ringing the door bell to get outside for THEIR important business, went unanswered as well! My first reaction was to throw everything on the table and run, but I came to my senses real fast. So be it. It didn't take that long anyway. A little wrestling with the Niddy-Noddy and - voila! Spun and plied yarn, ready to take a bath.

Actually, I just found out that I did the setting of the yarn wrong, what else is new? Priscilloa A. Gibson-Roberts told me so. That's what good books are for. Shall I tell you where, other than pumping you experienced spinners for information, I get my info? By the way, how DO you set the twist in YOUR yarn?

Here are my all new and shiny books listed, which will be my bed time lecture for a while:

1. "Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert" by Connie Delaney

2."Spinning the old Way" by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts

3."Hands On Spinning" by Lee Raven

4. "Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning" by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

Neat - no?

They all come highly recommended and even though it's the same subject, I find interesting tips and tricks in all of them. Since I don't know anybody who could show me how to spin, these books will be my teachers.

All right then, here's my 3rd skein (sorry couldn't help myself). It's 37 yds! It's more than last time. Does this mean I'm spinning a little thinner yarn here?

And a shot with evening sun ...

I couldn't just do nothing with the little I've spun with the coopworth on the Forrester spindle. I plied it as well, 7 yds. Everything counts towards my hat (will look real funny, I'm sure).

click on pic to see this fuzzy little baby skein

And since nothing goes to waste here, I plied my first and second spun together. At least, the rest of the tangled mess of the second yarn. It looks nice, but oh so bulky. Just something nice to look at, if nothing else. And boy, do these yarns "bloom" after their bath or what?!

Sunday morning found me doing this: taking apart roving sample # 4 - red - woolen blend. I like this color sample, it's kind of raspberrish.

Naturally there's some knitting going on as well. Shawls do take longer, and I almost fall asleep every time I knit - that boring! But what keeps me going is the fun I'll have while painting it (or so I think). Second try knitting it. It's looking good, even after tinking back a row and a half because of a major mistake. Oh well! Maybe I could/should have used larger needles still, but addi lace don't come larger than 4mm, it's a pity! The yarn is Knit Picks Merino/Silk fingering weight. I've used up one skein already.

Several of you asked about the spinning wheel. I'll be posting about it, of course, as soon as I'll get it, hopefully this coming week. It's an Ashford! (Little kid in me couldn't keep her mouth shut, jumping up and down with thrilled anticipation.)

Midday sun, very hot. Biko is laughing at me as usual, and Sam, poor creature is resting. He's doing fine, when you think he had so many surgeries (7) in his life (he'll be 5 years on May 30th), but it just came to me, that running outside, all excited as he always is, is enough for him. After that he's looking for his big red ball, and for a place to ly down. While Biko is running after the tennis ball, and swimming, he's just watching most of the time. Sometimes he runs around as well, but never for long. But I'm glad he can do that. He's enjoying every minute of his life. Yesterday, we went outside, and he couldn't find his ball. We both forgot, that he brought it inside with him, the evening before. Frenzied searching, all over the backyard. Suddenly you could see a light bulb coming on over my head. I told him where the ball probably is, and we went inside. He was running around inside, yapping, not finding anything. The thing is, he's always "hiding" his toys. Well, we found it, ran outside again, and that's when I took this picture. Happy Sammy!


Sue J. said...

Beautiful spinning! I love the colors. And your babies are so sweet. I can't believe Sam has had 7 surgeries in 5 years. Give them both a big hug and smooch for me. They are so dear, and I love to see their pictures.

Margaret said...

I'm a new spinner too, and isn't it fun to actually make yarn! The best advice I've gotten so far is to wait and see how your handspun knits up. You may be pleasantly surprised at how good it looks!

To spin thinner, try drafting a little less fiber and let it twist just a little more. Thin yarn needs more twist than thick to hold together.

Anonymous said...

your spinning is looking great! Its definatley a process and will take time to perfect it but you're doing well.
Thats not a ball same has thats one massive KONG!!! I love it heheh

Anonymous said...

So that's what lilacs look like.

Hah - if that's a Kong it would take an entire can of sutff'N to fill it up. I like that it has a handle, so convenient.

Tracy Purtscher said...

Sniffle....lilacs....sniffle....a late froze had burned the leaves and buds so severely that I lost nearly everything. When the bushed finally recovered and bloomed total the number of blooms from about 60 linear feet of bushes was equal to what you have in your photographed!!!....sniffle, sniffle, sob.

BTW the spinning/plying looks good! :-)

DAWN said...

Happy Sam and Happy Biko. They are both so cute. Timber will be 8 in November so he gets a bit winded faster than our other two. I makes me a little sad to see him getting older. He's my bud.

Anonymous said...

I love lilacs. There smell is just heavenly and reminds you summer is coming closer.

I can't wait to see this hat you knit up, it's going to be fantastic.

hakucho said...

Everything looks just great...I'm not surprised ;)

I can only imagine how excited you are for your new spinning wheel to arrive.

happy spinning & knitting :)

Strickfimmel said...

Alles sieht wirklich toll aus. Was wird erst sein, wenn Dein Spinnrad da ist? Ich glaube, dann bist nicht mehr zu halten. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass spinnen Spaß macht. Schon die Begeisterung, mit der Du die Beiträge schreibst, ist ansteckend. Sam und Biko sehen richtig glücklich aus. Gib den beiden einen Ohrenkrabbler von mir.

Anonymous said...

You've certainly been spinning up a storm, haven't you? And oh, you're already very skilled with it as I see it - it's beautiful! The colour choices are so perfect too!
Your furry babies are just the cutest - give them a big hug from me, will you?

Violiknit said...

I love all those new-spun yarns; I think the color combos will make a really cool hat! Sam is so cute with his big red ball.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful shawl!! Great job on the spinning, I wonder if I should try that :D (hmmm buying fiber instead of yarn=still spending money!)

Frieda said...

Boy you're going full steam ahead with the spinning . Great to see your progress ,amazing ! Very nice shawl as well . Do you sleep ? You've gotten so much done in such a short time .

T-Mom said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures of the dogs! I love Sam's big smile.

Poor Sam--what kind of surgery has he needed?

Devonshire said...

I too love lilacs! That spinning looks lovely. I don't have any experience with it, but it looks like you are having a lot of fun with it. How neat is it that you are spinning your own yarn....

Life's a Stitch said...

Every year I say I'm going to plant a lilac.

Wonderful pictures on this post!

meg said...

that lilac looks so nice.

can't wait to see the shawl, it's looking great so far.

adore the picture of sam.