Been awhile since I posted here, life being as it is. Working full time +, death in the family and generally being gardening and happily taking a vacation this summer, and dabbling in my hobbies has kept me rather busy and off here!
Yesterday came the first rains, a welcome sight after many dry months. Here in Northern California it rains plenty part of the year, but most of the year is dry, dry, dry! I planted part of my winter garden recently so it is sooo GOOD to have Mother Nature help along.
Fiber stuff news is I acquired a few nice Alpaca fleeces this summer and also finally got back a set of 3 nice ( Cooriedale x Lincoln) fleeces back from the mill I use. Although the wait to get them seemed to be forever - wow! -Yummy! Spins itself almost! Just floats off my hands. Of course I am not that great a spinner yet, mostly inch wormy still, but hey- all this is my fun, not my work so no worries!
Spinning: I did get a wooly winder for my Ashford Traditional this year too and I can say it is a great convenience, no stopping to adjust yarn on hooks/wind on etc, so has helped me concentrate on producing even, consistent yarn. I now see how each roving really speaks to me as to how it wants to be spun. I can still spin thick and thin (aka as Designer yarn) on spindles ;-).
Milled: White and “black”, these will be spun up this winter. Oh yes, the white was blended with some yearling mohair. Last year I did the same blend and it really makes the yarn bright and shiny. My experiments with dying carded roving resulted in some really tight (as in felted) so prolly I will experiment a bit more but lean towards dyeing after spinning (and plying) this time around.
My time spent on scouring, carding and spinning up samples of the fleeces was well spent but I really advise letting a mill do it ( except the spinning!) if you ever want to have enough yarn to do a major project with! YMMV. For me- So many hobbies, so little time.
Here’s a good tutorial video: (joins my collection of 80+ Fiber-related You Tube videos)...
Last weekend the Editor/Publisher Linda Cortright of Wild Fibers Magazine visited our Spinning Guild ( gratefully is nearby).Wow! We were treated to a slide show about cashmere in Ladakhi, where they nomads opened up their own mill, and various aspects of 2009 having been declared The Year of the Natural Fiber by the UN.
I did win a few prizes for my 4 hats at the county fair - knitted, fulled and traditional feltingtechniques (dread lock hats were a hit! One was from commercial merino another from white handspun). $50 dollars more in the fiber coffers!
Yesterday was a day of bring yer machine and have fun at my machine knitting guild- it was really fun! I started a picot baby bonnet. Off to go and finish it now!
- Marin County, California, United States
- I work for 2 non-profits in Marin County CA (near SF) that serve the Developmentally Delayed. I was introduced to weaving and knitting at a very young age. Over the years I have always had knitting on hand. There was a time where I was severely chastised for being so old fashioned, so it is great to see the upsurge in the home arts now going on! I have expanded into machine knitting; fortunately there is a great Guild nearby that has really been great. Spinning Fibers is a new thrust as well, and felting has creeped in too. If only I had more time...