Spinning Tuesdays

Spinning Tuesdays: A Winner, Kid Mohair and Churro

Our winner of the spectacular spinning gift basket is : Rachael from Rochester. Congratulations Rachael, happy spinning and learning about different fibers. A big Thank You to Storey Publishing, Interweave and The Spinning Loft for supplying our prizes.   On to our spinning! First this week I spun Kid Mohair Wow this was fun to work with! Silky and sexy – it’s most of what makes up Rowan’s famous Kid Silk Haze after all. I didn’t both to wash the fiber, it had a little vm, but no real dirt and it wasn’t sticky. I combed the fiber and made two samples, one thin and one thick spinning ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Southdown, a Break for Color and a Giveaway

Today’s Must Spin is a double. Southdown is on both Deb Robson’s list of animal fibers to spin and on her rare and endangered wools list. Southdown was another springy down fiber. This fleece was dirty, but I learned my lesson from my last down type fiber and didn’t over wash. I was in a hurry to spin this one [soft! springy! must spin!] and I learned a different lesson this week. When prepping elastic fibers, they don’t like to be rushed. I carded the fiber on my drumcarder and I did it quickly. The result was a whole lot of nepps in my batt. I wish I had flicked instead of carding, or had ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Mohair and Tunis

This week I’ve spun adult Mohair and American Tunis from Deb Robson’s list of Must Spins. Mohair: Mohair is everywhere, blended into lots of commercial yarns for a little shine and a little fuzzy halo. I’ve never worked with adult mohair by itself before. The locks took 3 washings with Power Scour before they were clean and shiny. I combed the locks and boy are they tough! I never really understood how a spinner could bend or break combs before and now I do. I overloaded my combs on my first go round and ended up taking almost half off, rather than tug and fight with it. Once I used a smaller ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Merino and Clun Forest

This week’s entries in my spin along with Deb Robson’s lists are Merino and Clun Forest. I know that Merino isn’t next on the spinning list, but I’m waiting for some Southdown (yay!) so I skipped ahead. Merino has a reputation among spinners. They either  love it or don’t. I will admit to loving it, and also admit that Merino is the Diva of fibers, touchy and can be difficult to work with, but it completely worth it. My merino was gooey and sticky, with little to no VM. It took 3 good soaks with Power Scour to get it spinnably clean. Even in it’s prewashed state it was soft and ...

Spinning Tuesdays: Cotswold and Black Welsh Mountain

I’ve decided how to spin Deb Robson’s Must Spin Lists. I’m tackling it in order – one fiber from the Animal Fiber list and one breed from the Rare and Endangered list. Neat and tidy, no? First up Cotswold: I tend to shy away from longwools because they’re long fibers which means the dreaded (for me) worsted spinning. I barely washed the fiber in Power Scour and was pleased at how easily it cleaned, and how happy those locks were after a bath, bouncy and shiny. I combed the fiber and yes, spun it worsted. I spun it a little thick-ish (14 WPI). It was fairly easy to spin worsted, though I ...

Spinning Tuesday: Wow, that’s a lot of fiber to spin

I gathered together most of the fibers I want to spin for my Deb Robson Top Fibers project and well that’s a lot of fiber. I was feeling a bit panicky as I lay it all on the floor to shoot a picture, but as a started really touching the fibers, and yes smelling them, I got excited all over again. That’s a big pile of learning. I got the raw fibers on both lists (just one selection where there were multiples) from The Spinning Loft and the prepped fibers from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I feel it’s important to spin some of both, fiber that I prep myself always spins just a little smoother for me than ...

Spinning Tuesday: Inspired by Deborah Robson

I have been inspired by Deborah Robson. First, I took a Rare Breeds class from her at The Spinning Loft. Then, I watched her DVD set Handspinning Rare Wools.   Then, I read an advance of her soon to be published book with Carol Ekarius, The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn. With every encounter, in person or virtually, I was uplifted and nearly overwhelmed by her expertise and passion for her subject, particularly rare and endangered sheep. I became inspired, obsessed really, with the idea of spinning a wider variety of fiber. Exposing my spinning and brain to breeds ...

Spinning Tuesday: More Marled Swatches

Last week I got my spin on with multi colored fibers plied with naturals, creating a variety of marled yarns. This week I knit them. Come take a peek: First up Spunky Eclectic colorway Diesel. Here are the yarns: And the swatches: I love all four of these – each natural brings out something different in the original fiber. I would be happy spinning and knitting a whole sweater out of any one of them. Yum. Now Fiberstory. The yarns: The swatches: I feel exactly the opposite about these swatches. None of them do it for me, the yarns didn’t either. I think the brown is ok, but the rest seem to take away from ...

Spinning Tuesday: More marling with color and naturals

I couldn’t keep my mind and hands off of the marling this week. I doubled the number of naturals tried, I couldn’t help myself. That means this week we have yarn to look at; swatches will come next week. I spun the other three fibers with four different naturals, instead of just the two I used for Briar Rose. Let’s see what they look like First up Abstract Fibers. Here it is nestled in the circle of fiber. That green is fantastic but will it contrast too much? As plies I used (from left) oatmeal, light/dark brown stripe, middle brown and dark brown. I really love how it looks with the dark brown and ...

Spinning Tuesday: Making your fiber go farther by marling on purpose

I’m still thinking about marling, but now I’m marling for a purpose. More often than not I buy my fiber in 4oz increments, especially when I don’t know what I’ll make with it. Then comes the time when I pull it out to spin a 2-ply with it, and I want more yardage than 4 oz can get me. What’s a spinner to do? This spinner stretches fiber by marling on purpose. When I have fiber that has  colors I love, I marl with a natural color, it makes a variation on the colorway. When I have I fiber whose color combo no longer makes me sing, I marl with a second color or colorway to create a new ...