Friday, July 30, 2010

The Point

When people see me spin fiber they ask what I'm going to make with the yarn I spin. I reply that the making I am doing is being done; I am making the yarn.

As I spin the yarn, what goes through my mind are so many possibilities for the yarn that there is no way I can definitively determine how the yarn will ultimately be used.

So for me, what happens with the yarn is not decided at this time. I focus on making the yarn.

Data and a trailer

I gather data, and I make lists.
So I weighed the little skeins I made during Tour de Fleece these past few weeks and I measured how much yardage I generated. Without listing all the detailed info I actually gleaned with my scale, tape measure, and calculator, here's the bottom line:

I plied 524yds from fluff. If I include the brown stuff I plied off the spindle at the beginning of TdF, that's 581yds total. And the skeins were 7g minimum, there were a few 8g and 9g in there - about 77g total from fluff.

Some perspective for me: 524y/77g is equivalent to 340y/50g (I think in terms of skein weights I see in the marketplace). Sock yarn is about 200y/50g, so I'm spinning finer than sock weight.

And here's the trailer, a pic of 7g of "Silver Lake" (Lisa Souza) fiber still in progress. It feels as lush as it looks. What a pleasure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spinning Question

Knitters say "let me finish this row".
What do spinners say?


End of Tour de Fleece today, and here's what I have.

But Wait! Last weekend I had to go to A Verb for Keeping Warm to engage in commerce. AVFKW is my local resource for spinning - they have wonderful fiber, yarn, spindles, wheels, combs, books and classes, as well as people who are very personal, engaging and warm themselves! Go check them out.

So I acquired and plunged into Pigeonroof Studios "Forest" - 50/50 SWmerino/silk, and spun & plied 7g.

And this is the lineup today, from L to R, each skein is 7g plied:
_dk brn plied
_"Sedona"x2(Lisa Souza),
_"Flame"x2 (Fiberfiend) really shows the varying colors in the fiber,
_"Ocean Rudeness"x1 (Out of Step Dyeworks),
_"At the Tank"x2 (Knitflix),
_"Silver Lake"x1 (Lisa Souza) plus 7g fiber,
_"Forest"x1 (PigeonRoof Studios),
_plus "Ocean Rudeness" in the tank.

What fun to move from one fiber to another, one color / element to another. This rookie lantern rouge is continuing to learn! Thanks very much to Knitflix, who got me going on this and also tries to help me with my blog posts.

Love the spindle and the "spontaneous generation" of strong cord from ethereal fluff.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Progress & Observations

Keeping up with my daily spinning goal. Increments of 7grams are small enough for variety (and a sense of accomplishment) and large enough to make a respectable hank of fine gage plied yarn. The ritual of sitting and posting simple blog posts has not yet set in (despite the deliberate thought and intention to post, but I pick up the spindle instead - hey what can I say - I just go with the spinning), so here is the erratic entry.

_Lighter than air - Lisa Souza fiber - "Zen Top", "Silver Lake", 50/25/25 - merino/tussah silk/bamboo.

This is incredible fiber that spins to a fine thread.

I became one with the arachnids.

_Aquatics - a surprise gift (lucky me, thank you!) from knitflix, who dyed this! - "At the Tank" (a very local inspiration based on the San Jose Sharks) , SW-BFL

_"At the Tank": 7grams fiber plus an Andean ply bracelet of 7grams

_"At the Tank": 7grams plied on the spindle atop the "mothership" bundle of fiber

_another 7grams of "Flame" from fiberfiend plus a second 7grams round of "At the Tank" from knitflix.

_"At the Tank" is in the tank, setting twist.

_I am learning that fiber color becomes very intense when spun. This observation is logical in hindsight but not fully realized by me until these bundles were completed. So I'm beginning to see color in fiber differently, i.e. in spun form instead of fiber form.

_Additionally, I am delighted to get to know these various fiber types - SW corriedale (wonderful) , any mix with bamboo or silk (WOW what a sensation, and how thin can I make this anyway?!), SW-BFL (incredible staple length).

_I love the smell of drying wool. Reminds me of childhood.

_Although I am still spinning very fine gage, I am beginning to control the amount of twist, which in my case means that I'm trying not to overspin the singles. My spindle drops more (gak) but I suppose I'm also learning how to splice more effectively too.

_In addition to the surprise gift (thank you again!) of fiber from knitflix, I also rec'd a few simple blogging tips, but I haven't used too many of them and I'm still wading through html, so apologies to all y'all.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Long Blue Run

Blue sky and other blues sat with me as I continued spinning. Two segments of fleece are spun and plied, and the wool that was pulled off the spindle during prep was finally plied.
1. "Sedona", SW merino from Lisa Souza: 7g fiber and 7g plied.
Fire or earth?

2. "Flame", SW corriedale from Fiberfiend.
Label says fire.

2a. 14g "Flame" fiber

2b. "Flame" 7g fiber plus 7g plied.
Fire? looks more like earth.
3. The brown single, pulled off the spindle before TdF, finally got plied.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Progress on 7/7: 7g fiber, drop spindle, and 7g double-plied.
Beautiful color, "Ocean Rudeness," from Out of Step Dyeworks.

80/20 merino/bamboo flows through the fingers like pearls.

Tour de Fleece goals

I have some simple goals, which I posted on on July 3:

1. spin every day,
2. spin local
_drop spindle purchased from,
_fiber dyed by Amy Klimt aka Out of Step Dyeworks, and
_fiber dyed by Lisa Souza and maybe another if I have time,
3. spin fibers with the “elements” theme (water/air and fire/earth), and
4. learn how to do some simple blog posts.

Weighed out some fluff tonight. Looking fwd to this with no pressure because I am the self-proclaimed lantern rouge aka caboose! :)

Here's a reminder of the Tour de Fleece guidelines:

Tour de Fleece: The annual Tour de Fleece spin-along during the Tour de France. The concept is simple, They spin, we spin. A real spinning themed spin-along. This year the Tour de Fleece starts Saturday July 3rd and runs until Sunday July 25th, 2010.

Guidelines (NOT RULES):
Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 3rd through Sunday July 25th. Days of rest: Monday July 12th, Wednesday July 21st. (Just like the actual tour)
Spin something challenging Thursday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage from Pau up the legendary Col du Tourmalet)
Wear yellow on Sunday July 25th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)
Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)
Teams: Join one, or many, or none.
Rookies (first years)
Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage like lace)
Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)
Breakaway (Art yarns)
Peloton (The main group. Everyone is in the peloton at some point)
Lantern rouge (You will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there. Cheerleaders welcome.)
Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)
The teams are inspired by the actual Tour de France.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tour de Fleece prep

This is my first blog post, which are some notes about Tour de Fleece.
_drop spindle that has fiber to be plied off before spinning
_fire/earth and
_water/air fibers.

More detail about Tour de Fleece goals in another post.