Mostly Some Spinning!

It’s been a busy week on the work front even though I am only doing 6 hours a day.  I clearly do not have an appropriate chair in my office as it hasn’t done my back any favors.  I have never had to sit in my office for any real length of time before, so if I have to work from home again, I will need to get a new chair.  In the meantime I manage, and will be glad when this project comes to an end (I can see the end of the tunnel).  I haven’t had a lot of time for crafting as I have needed to do other things, but I have done some spinning.

I got inspired by my guild friend Anna after watching her spin the boucle yarn with commercial yarn at our last guild meeting and dug out the really thin yarn I purchased that was on offer at my local store.  It is Manos del Uruguay Marina in shades of purple (no longer in stock).  I didn’t realise that it was a superwash merino yarn when I purchased it, although I have used it in felting projects.  As long as the yarn is trapped between wool and other hairy feltable yarns, it will work.  I decided to re-spin the yarn and make a cabled yarn from it.  The yarn was already in a cake, so I center pull ball plied it, but to the left for S-ply (the way I do for normal plying) for an extra twist as the yarn was already plied and I didn’t want to take any of the twist out of it.  I then put it on the ball winder to make another cake.  I plied it in the opposite direction to the right (the way I spin my singles for a Z-twist).  The yarn just pretty much plied itself.  I now have a chunky cabled yarn that I can use either for warp or weft.  I like how all the colors are mixed together.  I set the yarn as I normally do and now its ready for a future project.  It is still really soft.

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I also spun up the rolags that the ladies at the guild and I made on the blending board.

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I got a really lovely skein that will be added to my next big project.

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The colors are really lovely and more vibrant than shown here.  There is quite a lot of shine and a bit of sparkle.

I didn’t have anymore batts or rolags to spin, so I rummaged around my stash to find something.  I found some core wool I’ve had from my needle felting days. I thought I might as well use it as I haven’t really needle felted anything since I started wet felting.  Some of the wool was quite soft and some was coarse, but I decided to spin it all in one go.  The wool was in a 5 inch wide batt that was rolled up and starting to felt on itself to the point that I couldn’t draft the fiber out.  I split the batts into strips and pulled some fibers out from the end and it all seemed to spin ok.  There were a lot of nepps in the fiber that I just spun which gave the single a lot of texture.  I also managed to spin my single quite fine, which I find happens when I spin a crimpy fiber.  I just decided to go with it.  While I was spinning I was thinking what I would do with the yarn as it will all depend on how soft the yarn is and whether I use it for a scarf or for placemats or something similar.  The more I spun, it became apparent that the yarn is not going to be suitable for a wearable.  I was thinking I might use it to make a table runner, placemats and coasters in natural colors.  Maybe even some bookmarks if I have leftovers.  I will post a photo of the finished yarn next time, but here is my fuzzy single.

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I thought I would try spinning the English 56s that I had dyed and used in felting a wall hanging (below).

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I had plenty left over and wondered what I was going to do with it as this fiber is a really slow felter.  I know that this is a scratchy fiber and if I spun it, it would have to either be used for a wall hanging or some placemats or table runner.  I also had some hemp fiber that I really didn’t know what to do with as it is really not suitable for felting.  Although you can felt with it for texture, such as a vessel, hemp is not a soft fiber and is not suitable for wearables.  I decided to card some hemp with the English 56s in similar colors. I dyed the hemp with acid dyes and only vinegar as a mordant.  I realise that the colors will not last, but as I don’t wash my felt, it wasn’t an issue.

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I used the green English 56s and carded it on the drum carder with the same color green hemp and a lime green hemp.  When I tried to card it with a second pass, things started to go a bit wrong as the hemp was getting caught up in the licker in brush.  So I went through my stash and found some mint Corriedale that came in a mixed bag and added it to my batt to bind everything together.  I find Corriedale a bit too scratchy for wearables, but it spins well.  I pulled off a couple of batts and afterwards decided to ditch the hemp (yes, I threw it away!) and cut my losses and just spin the other colors from the roving.  My time is too short and precious at the moment.

IMG_1557The batts are much better with the Corriedale added to it, but it was a faff.  I will spin these later when I have a spare moment.  Here is the single of the English 56s on its own below.  I spun one color after another on my jumbo bobbin.

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I will take the singles off onto the ball winder and separate the colors as I get to them and then use the center pull ball ply method for plying them.  It will be interesting to see how these turn out.

I went to a little Christmas craft fair last weekend that I just happened to come across on Facebook.  It was at a hall near me and I didn’t know anything about it until the last minute.  The entry was free.  The room was not huge and of the vendors there, there were very few that made hand made items.  There were no crafts such as felting or weaving or knitting or sewing.  A lovely lady was selling her honey and skin care products, another selling hand made chocolate and another selling cakes.  Everything else, although Christmas related, was commercially made, such as cards and other gifts.  Apparently a table was £15 for the day, but they may increase that in the spring.  I need to see if it would be worth my while for next year.  If I did do it, I would probably be one of a few actually selling hand made items.  That could be a good or a bad thing. I suppose one has to try at least once.  We will see.

That’s it until next time.  Happy crafting!

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