Seaglass Spinning

So, I have had a crazy busy couple of weeks since the fair! Changing schedules, lots of other personal stuff keeping me busy, sheesh! I’m excited that’s ALMOST fall, because I like fall just about as much as I like fall fairs (so um, a lot). All that personal busyness, combined with continuing to be very careful and mindful and minimal around crafting, to keep my wrists healthy, means not a ton of progress on all of my projects.

BUT! I have been doing a little bit of spinning. For some reason, the last few years, late summer and early fall seem to be the time of year that I remember how fun spinning is. Several years ago, I took a spindle spinning class at one of my local yarn stores, and then was gifted some extremely beautiful handmade spindles by my cabinetmaker brother-in-law. And THEN figured out that spinning fiber tends to be a bit cheaper than yarn even… so now I have LOTS of fiber, and LOTS of spindles, and occasionally I actually combine those with my HANDS and get to making yarn :)

So, here’s the fiber I pulled out of my stash (which is, thanks to a recent closet downsize, sadly in bags in a pile… sigh.): It’s 4 oz of 22 micron merino pencil roving from a (now out of business) local dyer, Everything Old. (The dyer now has a fabulous knit/spin/sew podcast – check it out: The Knitting Pretty Podcast!!) The colourway is what pulled me WAY in when I bought this at Fibrations 2012; it’s called “seaglass”.

Seaglass Pencil Roving

Holy gorgeous, right?

Seaglass Pencil Roving

Even smushed up in its bag it looks pretty great :)

It has been a delight to spin, so far!

spinning

spin-2

And how pretty is this spindle?

spindle

I’m planning to ply this, although I haven’t yet decided whether it will be 2-ply or 3-ply. Feeling pretty excited about how fine I’m able to spin it, though! And dreaming about what I’ll eventually knit with the yarn. I’m a VERY slow spinner (spindle + still park & draft + only spin once in a while), so it will be a long time until this is a knitting project, but it’s so so fun and at the end YOU GET YARN! If you’ve never tried spinning – do it :)

FIBRATIONS Recap!

On the weekend, I got to do one of my very favourite things – attend a local fiber festival! I’m lucky to live in a place that has a thriving, excellent local yarn and fiber culture. Our most awesome local event is called Fibrations, and it’s pretty delightful. Vendors, artisans, and community groups set up at St. Ann’s Academy, and there is tons to see and do and buy (and eat – there are even food trucks)! The whole thing is run by one of our best local yarn shops, Knotty by Nature.

Unfortunately, every year I end up getting sidetracked by all the yarn and fiber and taking too few and mostly terrible photos.

Terrible photo of vendor tents!

Raffle Ticket Tent!

See? You can’t really tell how awesome the event is from those. Oops. This one is a lot better:

Humming Bee Farm's incredible banner

Isn’t Humming Bee Farm‘s banner AMAZING?

Even though I did not take great photos, I had SO much fun :)

Excited Fibrations Face!

I DID take lots of photos of the yarn and fiber that came home with me. Here’s my haul!

Fibrations Haul woooooo!

Let’s break this down, shall we? My first stop was the RainCityKnits booth. I’m a pretty unabashed RainCity fangirl – I even knit a sample sock for them last year in their Local Sports Team colourway. Krista is the mastermind behind the company, and she is SO sweet! She was totally lovely to chat to :) I had planned to get something neon and solid coloured from them (I want to make the Neon Ski Bonnet for myself this winter, and obviously RainCity is the place to go for NEON!), but in the end I was seduced by THIS, which is on a merino/tussah silk base:

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

AAAAH NEON SPRINKLES!!!! I loved this skein SO MUCH that I kind of walked around the festival with it around my shoulders. Isn’t RainCity’s needle gauge cool, too? I love it! If you haven’t seen RainCity’s full neon awesome line, check it out right now! (Warning, everything is beautiful and vibrant and you are going to want all of it basically.)

My next must-see stop was JOMA yarn, new to me and sooooo full of gorgeousness. I picked up a skein of stunning one of a kind hand dyed sock yarn (the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL colourway is “Wild Child”, and the base is Glam Panda – merino, bamboo, and nylon) – it’s greeney and yellowey and has spashes of teal and bright happy red/pink and yeah I love it. I also got some mini skeins at the JOMA booth, because they were beautiful and super affordable and perfect for my Six’es blanket!

Joma, huge new crush.

The mini skeins are (top to bottom) are Circus Clown, I Fought the Law, and She Wore a Raspberry Beret. So darling!

I also got some spinning fiber. First, from Humming Bee Farm, 2 ounces of green, hand dyed Corriedale wool! This may be a surprise but I am into green ;)

Corriedale from Humming Bee Farm

From Ba-a-ad Ass Textiles, I also got 4 ounces of super pretty Romney wool!

Fiber scores!

The colour makes me think of winter ocean at Dallas Road :)

Even though I’m still only knitting and spinning a tiny tiny bit because of my sensitive, sore wrists, I’m really excited about my new yarns and fibers. Ahhhhh, fiber festivals :) I’m already looking forward to next year!

Decisions, decisions…

So, you may remember, I posted a little while ago that this year, I’m entering some items in my local fall agricultural fair. I LOVE fall fairs, and I’m so so excited about being even a small part of this one!

I still plan to post about (and take some new photos of!) the knitted things I’m going to enter, but I’m also going to enter into one of the spinning categories (ooooh scary)!

I’m a fairly inexperienced spinner. I took a class at one of my local yarn stores about two years ago (I think) to learn how to spin on a drop spindle, and then my amazing woodworker brother-in-law subsequently turned me a ton of different spindles to use and play with. (I know, I really married into a family of awesome skills, eh?) I’ve spun lots of singles, and have tried both regular plying (just plying 2 singles together to get a 2-ply yarn), and chain plying, which yields a 3-ply yarn.

Still, I only spin on spindles, not a wheel; and I’ve only finished a very small number of yarns.

I do not expect to win anything in the spinning category I’m entering in the fair, but last year when we visited the fair, one of the women staffing the craft entry room chatted with me a bit as I admired the spinning entries. I admitted that I spin a little bit, and she encouraged me to enter even if I thought my yarn wasn’t great yet. She said many categories have only a few entries, and it helps them to maintain interest in the fair if they have many entries. I totally get that! So, I’m going to enter some yarn this year just for fun.

Since I’m not particularly pleased with the singles I’ve turned out, I’m going to put in one entry into the “plied yarn” category. And that’s all the catalogue says: “Handspun yarn, plied, not less than 25 yards”.

I’m debating between these two finished yarns:

fair spins 1

The top yarn is made from Fleece Artist merino sliver that I picked up on sale, on a whim, just to practice with. I learned how to chain ply with it! Even though it’s still certainly “advanced beginner” yarn, I am very proud of it, on a personal level. It’s proof that I learned a new skill, and to me, it really has that round, bouncy, “real yarn” look.

The bottom yarn is from an anonymous Corriedale braid that I picked up when I took my spindle class. It’s my best go at 2-ply, but it still has rather a lot of inconsistencies and uneven bits.

fair spins 2

There are things I really love about both yarns, and I feel good about them for different reasons. But, there also weaknesses in both: the gray 2-ply is a little bit crunchy, and the pink 3-ply is probably a bit overspun (I’ve been thinking of it in positive terms as “bouncy”).

I’m still deciding which of these I’ll enter (I can only enter one!)… and getting really excited about the fair!

A little bit of spinning!

Hi friends!

I’ve been trying to craft diversely lately, because although not as acute as it was, my persistent wrist soreness/numbness/weirdness is persisting. I’m hoping that keeping my fiber hobbies a bit more spread out and varied will help!

I’m only a novice spinner, but that’s okay with me. I have lots of gorgeous spindles, all made for me by my extremely talented brother-in-law. He’s a skilled cabinetmaker, but he’s also made me spindles, knitting needles, and some insanely gorgeous custom wooden PENS with my name engraved on them! I married into a family with some amazing skills :)

Anyway, back to the spinning! This fiber was a gift from my mom – it’s from Farmable Fibers, and it’s a mix of 80% merino and 20% bamboo.

spin

I’m trying to spin it with the intention of using it as fingering/heavy fingering weight singles. Because I don’t plan to ply it, I’m trying to add just enough twist but not too much.

Do you spin? Tell me about it! :)