Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tour de Fleece 2008

With my work conference last week, I haven't really had much time to post about my progress. I had been spinning every day of the tour. The only day I missed was the first day 'cause I thought it started the next day. I didn't take the rest days to make up for it. So that is even an extra day.

First the goals:

  • Spin at least 15 minutes a day, but aiming for an hour or more on days when I have more time

Done. I did spin at least 15 minutes per day. Most days were an hour or more if I had the time.

  • Work on getting more consistent quality to my spinning (still a newbie, getting better but not there yet)

Getting there. I definitely am improving a great deal. I have been able to spin some superwash wool really thin and hoping to make 3 ply sock yarn with it. So I have gotten much better.

  • Spin some of the superwash wool, merino top & wool locks I have

Spun 2/3rds of the superwash wool. Nice and thin so it should be good for doing a three ply sock yarn if there is enough elasticity in it. *crosses fingers*

I got to the merino top on Sunday, the last day. And spun all 10 oz. of it! Super easy to spin. And very soft. I did it thicker as I want a chunky scarf out of it I think.

Wool locks were interesting. I have only spun up 3 oz of the 8 I have. It is definitely a novelty yarn. But it was interesting intentionally doing thicker & thinner bits. I also left the tips of the locks and spun them so they stick up from the yarn, like little tails. Not what I would usually want, but I like it. Though combing the locks takes a good deal of time. So I don't think I will be buying any more again anytime soon. I will complete the remaining 5 oz. but it may be after a while honestly given how long the 3 oz. took.

  • Try Navajo plying... *gulp*

I think I did it right. It looks right. And it is holding together. I really have to thank rexenne's You Tube video for this one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOVXCHzDRKM It helped me figure it out how to do it in a way that makes sense.

I really thought I put getting to a spinning meetup as one of my goals. I am glad I didn't as I wasn't able to get there. With conference last week, I have had to work late for the week before and the week of conference. So I wasn't able to make it. Yesterday I wasn't able to get there either. *sigh* Ah well.

I was trying to do a day by day report. But I can't given I don't recall what I was doing what days at this point. Ah well. But here are some highlights.

Day 15 & 16

I was visiting some friends who just moved back to the East coast. Hooray! I have missed them terribly. So it is great to have seen them.

I brought along my spindle and the silk hankies I have. I actually got a fair bit done with this (an hour and a half to two hours both days).

The silk is beautiful and the colors look amazing. I am happy that I have gotten a lot better with a spindle. This is much thinner than it was in the past.

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The silk hankie is from The Yarn Tree - http://www.theyarntree.com. It is dyed in beautiful colors. I really love it. And it is silk, so I adore it all the more of course.

I am thinking I will keep this as a single and use it as trim on something. There is only 1 oz.

This did teach me that I really need to buy some silk hankies undyed. It was $19 for the 1 oz hankie I got. Undyed is significantly less.

Day 18

I finished the second of the three singles I need to complete with the superwash wool. I want to create a three ply for socks.

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I divided the fiber up into roughly thirds. I am hoping that it will work out evenly. But I am betting it won't. *chuckle* I seem to excel at having a bunch left on a spool when I am trying to do a 2 ply. I don't suspect a 3 ply will be any easier. *grin*

Day 22

I started the Icelandic locks on Wednesday, the 23rd, day 19 of the Tour de Fleece. Working with locks is definitely interesting. These have been washed. Though there is veggie matter in them for certain. When combing them I was left with black flecks of dirt as well as some other bits of hay and such. It was definitely time consuming having to comb the locks, separate out the ends I wanted to work into the yarn and all.

It is also interesting working on *intentionally* doing thick & thin when I have been trying to get more consistent yarn. The texture in this fiber certainly makes that easier. But it is still odd making sure not to smooth out the lumps and bumps.

I finished the single on Saturday (Day 22). It turned out to be 3 oz total. It is about 140 yds. (I measure the skein length and then multiply by the # of strands. I really don't think a yardage counter would work on this stuff anyhow! *chuckle*)

I am leaving this one as a single. I am hoping it is strong enough. But I just don't think it would work well plied.

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I did wait and washed them the next day along with the Decadent Fibers plied stuff I had on the bobbin since day 11. Yah. I know. I wish I knew why skeined plied yarn & washing it was my sticking point! *laugh*

I also tried Navajo plying with some remaining Decadent Fibers. And I have to say, I think it looks pretty good! I wish the picture really showed it up close. But I didn't get close enough & this fiber is very dark in color. I am surprised. It looks pretty good. However, it was *definitely* overspun. It was very kinky when I washed it. I used a bottle to weigh it down when I let it dry. So it seems okay. But hey, for a first attempt, I am thrilled to death with it.

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And here it is with the rest of the yarn which is 2 ply.

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Day 23

Super productive day. I spun & plied 10 oz. of merino comb top! Admittedly, I was spinning it pretty bulky. But I wanted to try something more bulky. It goes faster and I am leaning towards a scarf for this stuff.

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I definitely want some more Merino combed top. It was easy to work with and drafted very nicely. It would have been easy to make it thinner as well. I just wanted something a bit faster to spin up after making very thin singles with the superwash & dealing with the locks. Sometimes you want to see some results more quickly!

I spun all 10 oz. of this and only ended up with 160 yards! *laugh* So that is definitely different than other things I have been spinning. *grin* The Decadent Fibers I spun was 6 oz. and came out to almost 290 yards. And that is with some of it being Navajo ply! *chuckle*

Overall, I am pretty happy with the final results of the Tour de Fleece. I think I did a good job with my spinning. I met my goals which is good. And my ability has definitely improved a great deal. I am really glad I did it.

Though I will confess, I haven't touched the wheel since Sunday! *laugh* I just wanted a break at this point. I didn't spin at all yesterday and didn't do any so far today. I suspect I will go back to it very soon. But I was kinda happy to not *have* to spin if I don't wanna. *grin*

I definitely have a great appreciation for handspun yarns. And I am learning a lot. Though I also have a feeling that I am not going to be doing a lot of lace & sock yarns. I don't know. I just have this feeling that you can get most of those commercially with much greater ease. Mind you, I might change my mind about that. But at the moment, I am no seeing it. Perhaps when I finish my last ply and actually create the yarn for socks, I may feel differently. I am not sure. (Honestly, I am really worried it won't be elastic enough for socks and that I will be frustrated. But I am trying to stay hopeful that it will work.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No, I Haven't Dropped Off the Face of the Earth

I really haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Nor have I stopped participating in the Tour de Fleece.

I have a work conference this week. That meant last week was prep for conference and this week is meetings pretty much all day. And then there is getting all the work done that I couldn't do because I was in meetings. *sigh*

I am frustrated as I won't meet one of my goals for the Tour de Fleece. That was to make it to a spinning meetup. Last week I had a doctor's appointment so I couldn't make it. I couldn't go yesterday either. I was actually supposed to see a friend (who needed to use my kitchen-long story). But instead I got stuck at the office anyhow. Ah well.

I have been getting some spinning done each day. I have done at least 15 minutes though more on some days. I even got some done this weekend while visiting friends. I took my drop spindle and silk hankies. I am actually getting better with the drop spindle as well! Woohoo!

I hope to take pics soon.

I am off to meetings all day. *sigh*

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Tour de Fleece Continues

Day 7 Continued - Friday

I pretty much decided that I was going to just ply the natural sliver with itself. But I did spend some time untangling pieces of the silk/merino blend. I may decide that that I will try plying that with itself in hopes that it will work well in combo with the natural sliver.

Here is the natural wool sliver I got at Adirondack Woolery plied:

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It is kinda rough. I think I am still overspinning the fiber some. Though I hope it will loosen up a bit after a soak it and let it dry. But I do think I am getting better at spinning which is good. *smile*

There is a very small ball of the natural wool sliver plied with the merino/silk blend. I really like that one and wish I hadn't messed up the bobbin.

Natural Colored Wool Sliver Roving Plied with Merino/Silk Blend- Tour de Fleece Day 7

I did spend some time Friday night trying to sort of the merino/silk with some hopes of saving it. I was able to do one decent piece. But the rest are pretty short. I may still try plying it together and seeing what happens. Figure it is better than just wasting it completely.

Day 8 - Saturday

Saturday was a light spinning day as I was out of the house from 10 in the morning til at least 10 at night. I just spun some more of the Decadent Fibers Jelly Roll in the morning.

On the plus side, because I was going to be in the car for a long while, I finally got around to casting on the socks I have been meaning to start since I got my friend's feet measurements.

I wish I knew why I *always* seem to have trouble with casting on 2 socks on 2 circs! Every time I miss it up in some way. But I got it moved into the correct position on the needles. I got the cuffs done which is good. I didn't have a row counter with me so I had to wait til Sunday to start the pattern in the leg.

Day 9 - Sunday

I continued working on the Decadent Fibers roving. I have a lot of this still. So I will keep plugging away at it. I filled the second bobbin. So now I need to ply them which I may do tonight.

Here are the two full bobbins together:

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I decided to try a new fiber. So I picked up the superwash wool I bought from Etsy. The shop is The Ranches Angoras. It is commercial dyed fiber that is blended by the seller. I really like it. Here is a current listing the seller has for sale.

Ember Superwash Wool Single - Tour de Feece Days 9 & 10

I am surprised. It wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. I am able to draft it out much thinner than other fibers I have done in the past. That may be about my skill level increasing. But it may be because it is much more slippery. So it slides very easily. I have more trouble making sure not to do it too thin that it will break before I can get enough twist into it.

My only concern is the twist might be too tight. Thus, it would take out a lot of the elasticity that is needed for socks. But I figure at worst I will just not be able to use this for socks and make yet another scarf. *laugh*

Start of Day 10 - Today

I did some checking and I think it makes the most sense to do a 3-ply with the superwash wool if I want to try to use it for socks. I am still not sure I am leaving enough elasticity in it given the amount of twist in it. But I am hoping it will work. *crosses fingers*

I divided up the fiber into three equal parts in hopes of creating the 3-ply. It may not work perfectly, but I am hoping the yardage will be roughly equal.

I should get some more spinning in tonight. But I also want to skein off all the wool I plied over the weekend. So I think I need to do that before I start any other spinning tonight. It needs to be soaked.

I am thinking that it makes the most sense to ply the Decadent fibers stuff. I need to get that off my bobbins as well. So it would make sense to do it. But I will see how I feel when I get home. I am on summer hours which means I have to work until 5:45 at the very least. And I have a lot of work I should tackle today that isn't done. *sigh* So it will depends on that too as to what time I get home.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tour de Fleece Progress - Days 1-7

Here is my progress report on the Tour de Fleece as it nears the end of week 1.

Day 1:

The big oops. Thought day 2 was day one. Ah well. I will work on a rest day or both to make up for it.

Day 2:

Natural Colored Mixed Wool Sliver Spun into Single - Day 2 Tour de Fleece 2008

This is 4 oz. of natural colored wool sliver roving. This is the stuff I picked up at the Adirondack Woolery.


I spun it all 4 oz. in one day. Which as a novice is a major achievement.

It really spins amazingly well. It is so easy and just really is beautiful to spin. I want to get more!

It is mostly grey, but there is some brown in there too. My husband loves it. So I suspect it will become something for him.

I am going to see about buying some more from them. I love sliver roving!

Days 3-6:

Tour de Fleece 2008 - Progress for Days 3-6

I got this roving from Decadent Fibers. It is the Jelly Roll. I should have order Spun Sugar as it is already in strips. Whoops! But it is teaching me a lot about the fiber to doing the pre-drafting. So I was probably good.

I have a hard time getting the colors of this. They are terrific. I used the flash to take this one which isn't ideal, but it is better than no flash!

Day 7 - Today:

So, I need a larger ratio bobbin free before I can spin any new fibers. I only have four of the large ones.

One is filled as you can see by the day 3-6 pic. I have a second with some more of the Decadent Fibers on it. I want to try something else as all the fiber came out of the freezer yesterday. So of course I want to play with it.

So here are the other two bobbins I have.

Merino/Silk Blend & Natural Colored Mixed Wool Sliver Singles


Merino/Silk Blend (fairly certain it is Ashland Bay in the Pewter colorway)

Purchased at the Yarn Tree in Brooklyn



Mixed Wool Sliver Spun on Day 2 Tour de Fleece 2008

4 oz. of natural colored wool sliver roving. Purchased at the Adirondack Woolery.


I was looking at these two and trying to figure out what to do. Looking and debating. It dawns on me that they are both grey blends. They can be plied together. Thus, freeing up two bobbins at the same time. Good news! And I think it will look good together.

So I set up to ply. But I study the merino/silk blend again and again. I can't find the end! I pull out tape, trying to find the missing end. No luck. *sigh*

I decided to break off an stand and start working. I did it with the first batch of the Decadent Fibers singles. It will work this time, right?

So I am working along for a while. It is going well. Then I find the stand is buried in the yarn and I can't pull it out without tightening the whole thing. Okay. So I try to get it out. Nope. That isn't working. It is pulling the strands tighter around stuff that it shouldn't.

I will just start another strand. It worked before, right? I try. Break. Nope. That didn't work. Try again. Nope, that is deeper in the yarn than I thought. This is bad. The more I am pulling on strands, the more it is tightening around the base and making things worse. So it is getting worse, not better to get strands off. So I am trying to take off pieces. Hoping to get them through. And I don't know how, but the end of the bobbin popped off again. Whoops. (The bobbins I got with the used Babe had ends that popped off. I have crazy glued them and they seemed fine.)

So I decide to slide it off onto a knitting needle. This way the parts that were pulled tight won't be as bad. That is the theory. So I move the single off the bobbin (and re-glued it).

I tried to work some more pieces off the mess I have made. I am able to do it, but not without a lot of effort and attention, trying to thread it through the mess. *sigh*

So I am left with a couple options:

1) Take the bit of yarn I have plied and make it into a ball. Save it for edging or something. Take half the natural wool sliver single and move it to another bobbin or ball. Ply the natural wool together.

2) Continue to try to sort out the ends of the merino/silk single and keep plying it with the natural wool single. It does look good. I like it, but it is a lot of effort.

If I go with option one, that leaves me to decide what to do with the merino/silk single. Do I take it as a loss and just toss it. Or do I keep working at the ends to get some pieces out of it. I really do not know about that one.

It is commercial roving so it was only $5.30 for 2 oz. Though ummm. I just realized I messed up anyhow! I thought I had 4 oz. of the merino/silk. That would have been about the same as the natural wool. But it isn't at all close!

It looked the same one the bobbin. But it isn't the same amount at all. So the yardage is probably very short. I think that may make my decision much easier.

I think that has decided it for now. I will put it into a bag for now. I might try sorting it out later. I may just decide it was a learning experience.

I am definitely putting something on the ends of my singles in future. I really do know *how* I lost the end. That is the first time that has ever happened.

I do feel like I am making progress on the Tour de Fleece. Though this is quite a start to day 7.

I think I am pulling a Scarlett O'Hara. "I'll think about that tomorrow." *grin*

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tour de Fleece Goals & Fiber Pics

I realize that I hadn't stated goals any goals for the Tour de Fleece. I kept thinking about this in a vague way as a reason to spin. But I want to nail down some fixed goals.

  • Spin at least 15 minutes a day, but aiming for an hour or more on days when I have more time
  • Work on getting more consistent quality to my spinning (still a newbie, getting better but not there yet)
  • Spin some of the superwash wool, merino top & wool locks I have
  • Try Navajo plying... *gulp*

I would also like to dye some roving if/when I buy some more. But I bought a lot of fiber recently. So I am not putting this as a goal as it is probably smarter *not* to add more fiber to the pile! *grin*

This is my first batch of the Decadent Fibers Jelly Roll plied together. I plied this last Friday, so it was before the start of the Tour de Fleece.

This is made from roving from Decadent Fibers. It is the Jelly Roll. I should have order Spun Sugar as it is already in strips perfect for spinning. The Jelly Roll is as the name implies, a big huge roll of fiber. Whoops! I just have to rip off strips and predraft them. So it is working well.

I have a hard time getting the colors of this. They are terrific. I took one with and one without the flash.

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Larger ball:

around 93 yds = 1 7/8 oz

Smaller ball:

around 57 yds = 1 1/4 oz


150 yds = 3 1/4 oz

It seems to be around 15-16 wraps per inch for 2". So 7 1/2 to 8 wpi. It really doesn't seem like super bulky! I swear this is much thinner than the last batches of handspun yarn by a good deal! I know some areas are thicker which could be part of the issue.

I suspect I need to try counting some more wraps per inch in other areas of the yarn. Perhaps the ends are more bulky than the middle. Or maybe I just think super bulky is super thick and I am wrong. Bizarre.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yummy Fiber Pic!

As promised, picture! It would be pics, but I seem to have the hardest time capturing this fiber on camera.

Here is my day 3 & 4 of the Tour de Fleece progress:

Tour de Fleece 2008 - End of Day 4

It is from a custom dyed Decadent Fibers Jelly Roll. I should have gotten the Spun Sugar as it is already in strips. But this way just requires more predrafting of the fibers. And that has been great for my learning.

It is only a single. I will have to spin another single after this one and ply them together. But my hope is to complete this for the Tour de Fleece.

BTW, I am curious. If anyone knows why there are two different Tour de Fleeces, let me know. I am just curious though my guess is like everything online. someone got mad at someone and took their toys to play in another sandbox. *chuckle*

The Yarn Harlot joined the other one. I wasn't going to join at all because that one requires you spin from your stash (and there were only about 4-5 people signed up when I checked). Then I found the one I joined. This is the one with the Ravelry group.

It is just curious... *shrugs*

Okay. So I Can't Tell Dates... *sigh*

I am so frustrated. I was so proud that I started the Tour de Fleece on time despite being on vacation. I was so happy.

Then yesterday I checked in the Ravelry group. Started posting to the daily threads and realized - I CAN'T TELL DAYS! *shakes head*

The Tour de Fleece started SATURDAY. Not Sunday as I got stuck in my brain. *sigh*

That bites.

I missed the first day all because I can't manage to get dates right.

I think I will just make sure I spin on at least one of the two rest days and consider it a wash. It was an honest mistake.

I hope to have some pics of my spinning efforts. But I forgot to send them to myself. Hoping my DH will soon. *crosses fingers*

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day One, Two and Start of Three of the Tour de Fleece

I am very excited to be participating in the Tour de Fleece http://keeponknittinginthefreeworld.blogspot.com/ or Ravelry group http://www.ravelry.com/groups/tour-de-fleece

I was on vacation in the Adirondacks and just got home late yesterday. I really suspected I wouldn't get to spin on Day 1 Sunday or Day 2 yesterday. I was prepared to just bring my spindle and the silk hankies so at least I could get in a bit of spinning.

I kiddingly said I could sneak my wheel into the car to my hubby. He said why not! So I brought my lovely Babe wheel along. It is very light and with it being PVC it seems to travel well. The woman I bought it from used it as a training wheel and would take it to classes. So I figured it would be fine and it was.

Saturday, I stopped by a place Newcomb, NY called Adirondack Woolery. http://www.adirondackwoolery.com/

They had some wonderful fibers. There is some natural colored sliver from their own sheep. I bought 4 oz. of it. And guess what I did on Sunday? Spun the whole 4 oz.! Woohoo! I think that is a good start to the Tour.

I need to post pics. But see previous post!

Yesterday I spun for about an hour and a half. I used the lovely Decadent Fibers roving I have been spinning. I am getting to the point where I can spin it thinner than before which seems to indicate I am getting better at spinning.

I also made skeins of the yarn I plied before leaving. I like how they came out. Not super chunky like most of my previous attempts. I think they look pretty good.

I soak them. The water got pretty dark with color which is a bit worrisome. I did it in warm water, but not super hot as I didn't want it to felt. The color still looks good so I am hoping it is just excess dye washing out of the yarn. *crosses fingers*

I also did about a half hour of spinning with the Decadent Fibers roving this morning. So that is good too. I will do some more when I get home.

So not bad for my first days on the Tour de Fleece.

Yarn Stores In the Adirondacks

I was up in the Adirondacks for the July 4th weekend. I wanted to hit some fiber stores of course. I was really interested in some roving for spinning. So I asked on Ravelry and some wonderful folks gave me some suggestions.

I am going to do these in order I hit them as it is the easiest way.

The Yarn Angel

485 Glen Street

Glens Falls, NY

518 761-2031

Stopped here on the way up to Camp on Thursday afternoon.

The Yarn Angel is a nice LYS. They carry a lot of Berroco yarns. But I was interested in something local that I couldn't get at home. I found some Eastside Weavers superwash sock yarn (Ravelry link). It is lighter purples than I would normally purchase, but I like it. They also had some other yarns by that company and some others. They have the Morehouse alligator pattern as a kit paired with some Berroco Ultra alpaca. It looked great. If I liked alligators at all or knew anyone who was a fan, I would have picked one up. I think the yarn really made it look & feel better. The woman at the store was very sweet and super helpful.

Adirondack Woolery

48 Pine Tree Road

Newcomb, NY

518 582-3663


12-5 Saturdays & Sundays or by appointment

Stopped by Saturday a bit before noon.

I loved this place! I would have stayed even longer by my husband and I weren't on our way over to Vermont! So I only spent an hour there. *laugh* They have some lovely roving. My favorite is some natural colored sliver from their own sheep. The woman at the store, Pam, wasn't exaggerating when she said it practically spins itself. *sigh* It is so yummy. It is grey with some brown in it. It spins 'like butter' to quote Pam. I spun up all 4 oz. on Sunday to start the Tour de Fleece or Ravelry group. I really love it an need more.

I also bought several other kinds of roving and some sheep locks. Pam was kind enough to show me how to spin them. They are this lovely grey with black. I am not sure I am ready to spin them yet. But I am going to give it a shot. Those are from a sheep she met elsewhere (I think the name was Pansy). I will pick up a brush before I try those to open up the locks. But I definitely like it.

I also got some other lovely rovings. Can't wait to spin them up!

I shouldn't leave off the yarn at all! They had a lot more yarn than roving. Some of it was beautiful handspun done by Pam and Judy. They also had some knit scarves and other items as terrific prices. It is a wonderful place and I will definitely stop by the next time I am up there.

Pam was even so sweet as to give my husband coffee to go! He asked if there was a Stewarts in the area. She said there wasn't and offered him coffee in a cup. She said just to drop the cup back after he was done with it. That was so kind of her. She is great.

Gore Mountain Farm

2642 State Route 28

North Creek, NY

518 251-3040


Store & farm tour from 10 am to 6 pm daily

Stopped by Monday a bit before noon.

Barry, one of the owners, took me around to meet all the alpacas. They have 21 or 22 of them. They were so beautiful. Though Paul thought they were sorta funny looking. *chuckle*

They were in 3 different pens. It seems the males can get aggressive so they are kept away from the females & babies. I really loved getting to meet them all.

Then we went to check out the store. It is a room in their home. It has a lot of their awards hanging up. It seems they have made out pretty well. And it had got me curious about the show where they won so many awards. It seems that it will be in November. I might need to go back up!

They have a lot of items made with alpaca. They also carry alpaca yarn & what I was after, roving! I got 7 oz. of black alpaca fiber. Yummy! I can't wait to spin it. I have some off white I got from Granny Alpaca's etsy store. I might do a single of each and then ply them together. It could be a great way to go with it. Loads of yummy alpaca fiber. *sighs happily*

Turns out that while looking up the event in November, I came across a video from one of the people at the farm. It is pretty cool as it is some of the alpacas I met. *grin*

I do want to check out Moonlit Alpacas on the Vermont side on one of my visits. I tried to stop by Saturday after the Otter Creek brewery tour. But they close at 4 and it was 4:02! *sigh* Ah well. Gives me something to look forward to next visit, right?

I will definitely have pics to share of my goodies. But it will have to wait until things come out of the freezer. It was probably nothing, but I did see a moth in the house in the Adirondacks. So I figured it was better safe than sorry to freeze it all just in case. I didn't see anything in the yarn or roving, but I would rather be too cautious than end up with a house full of moths. *shudders*

All in all, this was a great fiber trip! Probably spent too much. But on the flip side, it was a lot more reasonable than it would have been down here. So I am thrilled with it.

*happy wiggle*

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Decadent Fibers Custom Dyed Jelly Roll

As promised, pics of the lovely roving from Decadent Fibers.

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Why only two pics you might ask?! Well, I took about 15. Yet only these two actually came out well enough to share them! *shakes head* It is hard to get the camera to focus on the roving for some reason. The majority of them seemed to be coming out blurry.

I ordered the Jelly Roll as I thought this was their roving that was custom dyed colors. As it happens, the Jelly Roll is one large piece. The Spun Sugar is the stuff that it already in strips. Whoops!

The sweet folks Decadent Fibers explained I can just take off strips to spin them. I can blend the colors or keep solid areas. So I just have to create strips to spin them. I have been going with solid areas. Though when it is plied, it will be interesting how things blend together.

It almost seemed a shame to tear into it as it was so pretty as one piece. *grin* But it is getting ripped up none the less!

It is interesting to spin with it. As I am getting more practice, I am able to spin more finely than I was when I started. Though sometimes it will break on me while I am trying to spin it. That can be a bit of challenge. I think I am sometimes not putting enough twist into some areas (while still overtwisting others). I am learning a lot though. And there is a lot of fiber to do it with.

Also, the photos look more like brown than black. But it is black in areas. The reds & purples seem to make the color look a bit brown in the pics.

I love the colors in this. It is really beautiful. I suspect I will be ordering more from Decadent Fibers for certain.

So Called Scarf in Handspun Romney

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Cast On:

June 25 2008


June 29 2008


My So Called Scarf by Allison Isaacs



Shepherd's Mill Farm Romney Roving Handspun by Me

Colorway Purple with some Grey

8 oz. about 90.0 yards (not including the fringe that is some extra that is overtwisted & very lumpy from spinning it on spindle)

Purchased at Delaware Highland Games


Knitpicks Options US 13 / 9.0 mm

I cast on 18 sts which is a lot less than the pattern calls for (30). On the other hand, the yarn I spun is thicker than the one they used. And if I cast on too many stitches, it would have been another short, wide neckwarmer! I already have done two of those with handspun. I would really rather not do a third.

When I started, I wasn't sure if I would continue or frog this. I was worried the yarn wasn't the right texture to show the pattern well. The Romney does have a lot of fibers sticking up. But I think it is working. It isn't as clear as others, but it still gives an interesting pattern to it.

It is very dense. There isn't a lot of movement to it. I debated ripping it out. Then again, I avoid frogging like the plague, so that didn't happen. *laugh*

I used the yarn I created with the spindle as fringe. It was really too thick and different in gauge to knit with. It added some length which is nice.

It measures around 4” wide, 35” long without the fringe. The fringe adds another 5” to each side, so 45” total.

The yarn is definitely overspun. It is pretty rough and I can still feel the lanolin in the wool. I won't put this next to my skin. But I am learning more with each fiber I spin and even more when I knit it into something. So I am enjoying the process.