Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reward time

My spinning has hit a new high! It's payback time. Reward time. In the last couple of weeks photos of my hand spun yarn, turned into objects have appeared. No longer are my spinning attempts orphans, sitting in the back room waiting for someone to bring them to life. They have. At least two objects of beauty have been created. First, on materfamilias's blog is a picture of her beautiful daughter wearing a cowl made from my hand-spun yarn! The yarn, the cowl, the daughter -- all gorgeous. I am lucky to have such a becoming young woman model the cowl.
On the right was the yarn before being knit. This was a special yarn, designed to reflect a poem to respond to P.K. Page's poem, but that's an old post over here.

I also received a photo by another friend whose daughter spun the yarn into booties for a friend's baby. They are sooo cute.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's on the wheel

I love my new wheel (Ashford Joy WITH a Woolee Winder -- I am sure there will be a post on that later). I especially appreciated it's smoothness when I got stuck in TwistsPerInch (TPI - for those non-technical and hence, sane readers). The problem was too much information, not enough understanding and conflicting formulas in my mind. The homework assignment was to spin ten yards of a plied yarn at 15 TPI. Sounds easy but it ain't! To make a long story short, in my frustration at not succeeding in this seemingly simple assignment, I said 'bugger it, I just want to spin and picked up a beautiful roving from Hummingbird Fibre Arts, consisting of Romney wool, mohair and silk and spun my frustration away'.
But now I am stuck on a totally different problem. How best to ply this wonderful roving (on the bobbin on the right)? In order to keep the varigated colours vibrant, I don't want to ply it with itself as the colours will mute each other. I could navajo ply it but that would result in a beautiful 3 ply and I am aiming for a 2ply. So I had my mother pick up some pink tone soft and silky merino/silk roving from the Loom at Whippletree (on the bobbin and wound into a ball on the left). It too is beautiful but do I want to mix them together (the pink/blue sample in the foreground) ? Decisions, decisions. I think I will spin up a few bobbins before I decide. Perhaps by then I will have figured out how to spin a 15TPI plies yarn.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Distaff Day 2012

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the spinners pick up the distaffs (stick to hold the flax as it is being spun) and return to spinning. To celebrate the return to spinning, the Tzuhalem Spinners and Weavers Guild host an annual Distaff Day. Five of us went down to Duncan for the day and spun and chatted the day away. When I was younger, I would never have thought I would enjoy spending a day spinning with 50 other women.
[PhotoKool-aid coloured hats]
[PhotoA clever use of various
left-over yarns]
Here's some photos of some of the show and tell items.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, new wheel

[PhotoThe twin Miss 2011's]
I ended the year with dye day and started the New Year with a new wheel. I think that bodes well. A bit symbolic.  
Dye day was exciting. Heather and I dyed while Nora, the knitwear designer and my mother (hi Mom) kept us company. We had three pots with mordants, each mordant (copper, iron, and alum) created a different shade or colour from the dye. We used Brazilwood for the dye and after dying, we used four different modifiers (acidic acid, alkaline, iron and copper) to get even more variety in colour and shades.
The two in the picture above are not Nora or my Mom, they are two Miss 2011 twin effigies. This is my tradition, to create an effigy every New Years. She attends the parties (3 this year) on New Years eve and people write down on a small piece of paper what they do not want to take with them into the New Year. The paper is stuffed down the front of Miss 2011 and at the stroke of midnight the effigy is burned taking with it the papers which holds the unwanted secrets of the participants.
Miss 2011 was in demand and needed to be at two parties at the same time, hence the twins. They are no more.
And to start the New year off is my new Ashford Joy. I wanted something shorter than my Lendrum but sturdier than my Louet Victoria and I think this is it. Let's see what she spins in 2012.