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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Let it spin baby, let it spin

Update! I know, I didn't do a good job keeping up with blown this week. But, I kept my hands busy.

To busy to type. Or even really knit of that matter. This was some Alpaca/Merino/Silk from October House that I've been sitting on for months.

It spun up into a rather limp 200+ yard 4 ply. It's supposed to be higher content of wool than it is, but it behaves like it's alpaca and silk content is higher than advertised. It has pretty luster but at this time I don't know what it will become down the road. You can see in the second photo, all those alpaca guard hairs standing up out of it.

Then there was my Bird of paradise 2 ply fractal lace weight. I ended up with almost 700 yards after I gave it a good beating to help toughen it up. There was a certain little furry beast that wouldn't leave me alone while I plyed this and there was a couple mishaps that a bit of felting in the finish work will help solve.

Why did I call it Bird of Paradise? This was one of those projects that just goes to show that I'm not a dyer and don't have that eye for color. Do you see those singles? I would never have put those colors together on my own, but the dyer did. And so did nature. Look at that bottom bobbin.

And look at this Bird of Paradise Blossom. Do you see it? Well, other than a fuzzy picture because my phone focused on the price tags on the flowering stalks in the background instead of the bloom I was framing.

And then there's the one I wrapped up last night. Another one I would have never thought to put these colors together, but they work, and it ended up much darker than I was expecting. It's a 3 ply fractal spun yarn that I'm liking though it's busier than I would usually knit for myself.

So, all the non spinners are thinking, what is this "fractal" thing he keeps talking about? Its a method of breaking up your color. In this photo of my three bobbins you can see it a bit better. See the solid wide stripes on the first bobbin up top? I broke up my roving into three equal parts. The first one I drafted out whole and let the colors run into the single as I came to them which gave me these wide color changes.  The 2nd bobbin in the lower left hand corner is the second 3rd of fiber that I split lengthwise into 4 parts to maintain the color changes, but by breaking it into four narrower pieces, as it drafted it into the second ply of yarn, the color changes were shortened. The third bobbin and last 3rd of my fiber on the bottom right was broken lengthwise down into 16 pieces. Breaking it into such narrow pieces of fiber made the resulting drafted ply's color changes come very quickly indeed so that when they were all plyed together I ended up with the yarn you see in the picture before this one. Why do all this work? Because it's so much fun... Actually, it's a method to try to make sure that your yarn doesn't color pool, or group all the colors together into huge came spots when it's knitted up. This yarn having such contrasting colors in it, I decided I needed to use this technique to make sure it would work for most projects. And because I seem to have a thing for fractal spinning lately. I;ll get over it I'm sure.

Since I'm teaching a drop spindle class at the Clever Ewe this week, I'm sure I'll get over it VERY fast indeed and return to knitting and snapping many a picture of the animals.

Speaking of which. Yep, she's a cat. Already cued in on sunny patches and what great places they are to lounge and nap. I think she's nucking futs as it was hot enough that day to not want to pant in a square of sunshine. You do that shit in January.

Today we're actually getting a break from sun as it's been cloudy most of the day and only in the mid to high 70's but that means the humidity is high just for kicks. We actually have had some rain off and on today too, which is needed. the picture above is some of the wildflowers we're trying to let encroach into the part of the lawn we don't want to keep messing with. However, we've been yanking out the thistle. Thistle and big slobbery silly dogs that want to run through the tall weeds don't mix so well all the time.

And even the word thistle makes me think of "The Thistle & Shamrock" on NPR which made me think of this song in particular. Enjoy..


  1. I love the Bird of Paradise colors together...makes me think I'm in a Bollywood flick.

  2. I love the Bird of Paradise colors together...makes me think I'm in a Bollywood flick.

  3. Loved the music! When are you coming back to chase the Wyoming wind? LY. Hugs to Bob!