Saturday, May 26, 2012


My mother sent some peony bulbs (or roots or whatever) home with me a couple of years ago. They have been thriving. I love the look and the scent of these. 

I am hoping for some white and a darker pink to add in the fall (also from Mom's garden).

I planted carnation plants also a few years ago and they seem very happy this year also.

I planted a ground cover in the front bed a while ago and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that there is also a flower on that in the spring. 

Project spinway is a spinning challenge. The Natchwoolie group on Ravelry runs this challenge and it's fun, sometimes stressful and a great impetus to learn new things. This most recent challenge involved choosing a technique new to you and spinning a yarn with it. The technique didn't have to be especially difficult, just something you hadn't done before. I chose a tornado wrap. I have been reading rave reviews about Jacey Boggs book on spinning art yarn and had asked for a copy for my birthday.

The tornado wrap was so cool to spin!

I needed a few more arms but it was fun. A tornado wrap involves spinning a core yarn while (at the same time) allowing 3 or more other singles or threads to free wrap around the core yarn. I had spindle spun dyed mohair locks

 into singles, allowing them to be a bit textured and I used a thread with sequins to be the third wrap. One of my mohair wraps had long color sections 

while the other had short runs of wild colors.

 I learned that it is best to have the wrap singles coming to the core fiber from several different directions so that they don't wrap around each other, then the core fiber.

I also learned that when one wrap gets in front of the wheel, it wraps around the orifice rather than the core yarn and that's not good. It was so much fun watching this develop!

 I can see potential for lots of color and fiber combinations and lots of fun spinning but I have no idea what to do with the yarn. If I could come up with some good ideas, I'd love to make more of this. It was overspun but after soaking and being thwacked it looks fine.

The second challenge was to choose another new technique and sample at least twice.

 I chose spinning with the support (bowl) spindle that I purchased at MDSW this year.

My practice skeins were pretty bad.

The final skein was much improved, though I still need practice. 
I surprised myself, liking the support spindle spinning much more than I thought. Once the drafting clicked, it was like magic!

I surprised myself, too, actually getting the challenge completed on time (due to the time spent in NY and other stressors).

I spent time Friday doing fiber work. I flicked and carded some black welsh mountain from the fleece I bought last year. I really wanted to comb it because I like smoother yarns. I spoke with Deb Robson at the walk about at MDSW and she reccomended carding, so I decided to do what the expert said and card. maybe I'll finally get over my aversion to woolen style yarns. I hope to get a vest or sweater for rugged outdoor wear from this fiber. It is NOT next to the skin fiber. I plan to card this while my spinning project is to spin more of the wool/silk blend. I think that alternating spinning and prep work should be a good thing. I'll finish the wool/silk blend, have that available for knitting and more on to spinning the BWM. I think my next prep project will be the BFL fleece I bought last year, and I'll work on that while spinning the BWM.  I need to have multiple phases of fiber work going at one time. I am sometimes in the mood for prepping and other times in the mood for spinning or knitting. having a plan and having ongoing work in each phase will allow me to make progress, prevent side trips and still have variety.

I scoured some of my Romeldale x fleece today ( it had been cold soaked a couple of weeks ago) and cold soaked another section. I really enjoy that whole process and that's a surprise to me, too. I also washed the Kerry hill x border Leicester locks that Melanie and I shared from  MDSW. It has a soft, wide crimp, nice long staple length and some nice luster. I hope to get more scouring done on Sunday. Tomorrow we plan to go out on the boat.

My brother has had a set back with his cancer treatment/nutrition situation and had to be admitted to the hospital again. He'll be out tomorrow I think and maybe this time he'll listen to his big sister when she tells him to take water in. He got seriously dehydrated. We also have additional transportation lined up for him since that has been a problem from the start. Halfway there!

1 comment:

EGunn said...

What fun yarns! Someday I need to involve myself in some of these spinning challenge groups to push me outside of my usual spinning. As with most art yarns, I really like the tornado wrap, but also don't know what I'd do with it. (For me, the answer would probably be weave...)

Sounds like you have some very interesting breeds coming up in your queue!

Hope your brother learns his lesson and has no more avoidable (or unavoidable) setbacks!