After Six Days

Today is the seventh day of the Tour de Fleece, and after six days, here’s what I have accomplished, as told in pictures. With captions. And links to my Ravelry project pages. 🙂

These singles were spun from Spunky Eclectic Romney in the colorway Little Bluebird. They have been resting and are awaiting plying. Romney is a very nice fiber to spin.

More Spunky Eclectic fiber, this time Wendsleydale, which is a long wool and requires careful handling. Too much twist and you end up with twine. Just the right amount of twist and you end up with a lustrous and drapy yarn that works well for lace shawls. This colorway is called Island Dreams.

This is what Island Dreams looks like after the two singles in the picture above were plied together. This is a laceweight 2-ply yarn and it is even lovelier in person than in the picture.

These singles are spun from Icelandic wool from Spunky Eclectic in the colorway Squirrel. I had to take special care spinning up this fiber because it had a long staple and was kind of slippy. Too much twist and it turned to twine; too little twist and it drifted apart. I really needed to hit the Goldilocks Zone with this fiber.

And this is Squirrel after plying. It is really quite lovely, with lots of rich shades of brown and a nice sheen and halo. This is a somewhat rustic yarn, not the softest, but not harsh, either. It will probably soften up a bit when I soak it to set the twist, but it is definitely destined for outerwear.

This is lovely English Shetland wool from Into The Whirled in the colorway Studio West. I spun this as a fractal, which means that the color repeats on one bobbin are long, and on the other bobbin the color repeats are shorter, so when the two singles are plied together, there will be a subtle striping effect.

And here is Studio West after plying. Shetland wool is one of my favorites to spin and to knit with.

Last but not least, I have been working on a bump of Targhee wool in the colorway Talisman from Into The Whirled. I stripped the bump into eight strips to shorten the color repeats, and I’m spinning the strips end to end. I plan to chain-ply the singles to make a self-striping yarn, which is going to take forever because the singles are very thin. The plied yarn will probably be a heavy lace weight to light fingering weight, but I think it will be worth the time and effort because the colors are brilliant. I think this is the nicest Targhee I have ever spun. The prep is outstanding–very few nepps. It practically drafts itself.

More Handspun

I’m not much of a joiner, unless it’s a fiber club. I signed up for the into the whirled fiber club, and, of course, I went whole hog and doubled it. That means that every month, I get 8 ounces of gorgeous handdyed spinning fiber delivered right to my door. Correction. Every month I get 24 ounces of gorgeous handdyed spinning fiber delivered right to my door, but only 8 ounces is from into the whirled. The rest comes from two other fiber clubs.

Hello, I’m Pinko Knitter, and I am a fiberholic.

Let’s start with some lovely English Shetland wool.

Then take one of the bumps and split it in half lengthwise.

Next, we’ll spin each length end to end onto a separate bobbin, using our beautiful Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel in double drive. (I love using the royal “we.” It makes me feel so aristocratic.)

Each bobbin of singles is then chain plied in Scotch tension (flyer lead) to make a beautiful, self-striping 3-ply yarn.

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When the yarn came off the niddy noddy, it looked to be way overplied. Yikes!

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But not to worry. A nice long soak in hot water and a little Eucalan will help the yarn relax.

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See? This is what that overplied skein looked like when it came out of its bath.

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And here’s what that same skein looks like after it dried.

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And here are the finished skeins. They are destined to become fingerless mitts.

Stash Attack

A spinner simply cannot have too much fiber. It’s impossible. I just added two new braids to my fiber stash. They are from Spunky Eclectic, and are part of the Club Remix, which celebrates the tenth year of the Spunky Fiber Club.

One braid has gorgeous coppery browns, dark browns, and hints of gold.

This color way is called Kitsune, but I think it should be called Calico Kitty.  🙂

The fiber is mixed BFL (Bluefaced Leicester–pronounced “lester”). Mixed BFL, aka Swirl BFL, is a (usually 75/25) mixture of natural white (actually cream) BFL with natural black (actually brown) BFL, which adds a lot of depth to the dyed colors when the fiber is spun. BFL (say “biffle”) is a gorgeous fiber, a fine longwool that combines softness and luster. It’s fun to spin, and it makes a yarn that is wonderful to knit with and that produces next-to-the-skin soft garments.

The other braid is Shetland wool, which is one of my favorite fibers to spin.

State Park is the name of this color way.

It gives me a lot of peace of mind to know that I’m not in danger of running out of spinning fiber. 🙂