Tuesday, May 29, 2007

For the Spring Dye-a-long

I spun up two skeins of white sheep shed roving the night before last. I am getting SO much better at spinning. It really amazes me how much I improve with every skein I make. After I spun the two skeins I dyed them using wilton's icing dyes. I am really happy with the results. I think I am going to make a garden scarf out of it.



I dyed some roving that night too.


I am in the middle of spinning my hand dyed roving and I can't believe how awesome it looks. Its so thin and even. I think I am going to ply it with some white singles and then dye/overdye it with some yellow. Anyhow here's the progress on the bobbin.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I <3 Wheeley

I haven't been online too much lately. Since I got the wheel up and running I have been spinning ALOT. I have taken to calling the traveller "Wheeley". I love spinning on the wheel. It's so much easier than spindle spinning and the results looks way better. I am going to have so much fun experimenting with colors and new techniques.

These pictures are of my first skein spun on a wheel. It doesn't look too great!



Below are photo's of my second wheel spun. This is the first time I tried plying. It is just plain old sheep shed wool singles plied together.



The pictures below are of a skein I just finished this morning and I am madly in love with it. It's my third completed skein on old Wheeley. I tried plying with thread this time and I LOVE the way it turned out.





My mom called me last night with the most exciting news. My school is offering non-credit fiber arts classes this summer. I am really excited!!!! I am going to take two of them!

Introduction to Dyeing Fleece and Yarn
Learn to create beautifully colored fleece and yarn fibers using environmentally gentle acid dyes, including Kool-Aid and Wilton cake dyes with vinegar mordants, and one shot dyes--all in the relaxing environment of a growing Suri Alpaca farm. Participate in hand application and heat setting techniques on fleece, sliver, top, and Suri and Huacaya Alpaca yarn; you will leave the workshop with a completed project. The techniques learned will be easy and safe enough to do in your own kitchen. You will also have the chance to meet and learn more about the Suri Alpaca herd at the farm! Bring a packed lunch and water/beverages.

Introduction to Spinning Fleece-
Pursue the fine art of spinning as you learn the fundamentals of this fiber art in the relaxing environment of a growing Suri Alpaca farm. We will cover the basics of choosing, skirting and sorting fleece, an overview of wool and luxury fibers, lock structure, carding/combing, spindle and wheel spinning. You will also have the opportunity to meet and learn more about the Suri Alpaca herd at the farm! Bring a packed lunch and water/beverages.

This weekend I am going to a fiber festival about 3 hours away. I can't wait to get some awesome fiber to spin up.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Impatiently Waiting...

Today was so cool! My mom and I drove to the spinning shop. It's called Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. It was a little over an hour away. We got to the shop and the owner got the wheel out for us. This shop is the largest or second largest fiber processing business in the country. People from all over send them their raw fleece and they turn in into yarn. He showed us how they do it. It was really cool. First we looked at the carding machines. They had two- one was used to make roving for handspinners and the other was to make pencil roving for the yarn they produce. These machines are giant. One of them ran along the whole end of the building. He even gave us a demonstration. He picked up some fleece lying around and put it into the machine. It was really cool to watch and it produced really fluffly lovely wool. After that we walked around their farm. We looked at the sheep in the field, they weren't all sheared even though the temperature is hot because next week the TV show _Dirty Jobs_ is coming to film at his farm! He had to wait to shear the sheep for the show. After seeing the sheep we visited the angora goats! They were so cute. We petted them and fed them bagels. Then we went to pet the llama. He was adorable! We went into his field and my mom held onto him and we petted him. He was very mellow and enjoyed the attention. The owner scratched him in a certain place on his back and his mouth did this weird thing. It was like if you find the right spot on a dog their leg shakes- except with a llama and his mouth instead of his leg. I really want some llamas after today. I could hang out with a llama all day! The owner told us they just graze on grass and are very inexpensive to keep. My parent's had a horse farm, but they sold the horses so now they just have tons of green pastures! I told my mom she is going to come home one day and find a couple of llamas living in her backyard :)
I am waiting now for the finish to dry on my wheel. It has 4 hours before we can see if it needs a second coat. We still have to put it together. Sadly, I don't think I will be doing any spinning tonight :( I love my wheel though and I got SUCH a great deal on it! I bought-
-1 lb Merino/Silk blend in pretty shades of purple/pink/teal/white
-1 lb White Alpaca
- Niddy Noddy
- Dyers Companion book
-Ashford Traveller Double Treadle Wheel
= and payed 350 dollars. That's insane! Ohio Valley Natural Fibers is the place to go if you are in the area! They are well priced and SUPER nice and friendly!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Excitement

It's 12:18 am and I cannot get to sleep. I am so excited for tomorrow morning! I am getting my first spinning wheel tomorrow. It's an Ashford Traveller- complete with double treadles and built in lazy kate! She is so beautiful.

I can't wait to start experimenting with it! I enjoy spinning on a drop spindle but I feel like I will be able to be much more creative with the wheel. I am also going to buy some acid dyes from the fiber shop and dye up some of the massive pile of roving in my craft room. I got a book today called _Color In Spinning_ and it is amazing. I am going to learn so much from it. I also got a book called _Fitted Knits_ by Stefanie of Glampyre Knits. It is really cool. I want to make several things in it. I will review both of the books I mentioned when I have more time. Tonight I really need to try to get some sleep. I have a long day of assembling and spinning ahead of me.

Some singles spun on my top whorl drop spindle <3