A Mystery Unfolds

Twistedhummingbirdtop

The story begins when an attractive braid of hand-painted top arrives. The blend of colors captures the imagination and the desire to see its beauty unfold takes over. The spinner heads for her wheel as she fondles and pets the soft fluff.

Twobobbinsoftwistedhummingbird

Over time the bobbins fill one by one with colorful singles, the colors sequences mixed but similar. The spinner thinks a three ply sock yarn is the right way to go and spins to a fine and even grist. The colors twist and slip through her fingers leaving her to wonder how the colors will blend with the plying. Each step unfolds another layer of the mystery.

Threebobbinsreadytoply

At last three bobbins are filled with singles of equal length and weight…the time has come to entwine the strands together in their final incarnation…a durable and, hopefully, beautiful yarn.

Skeinoftwistedhummingbird

Slowly, carefully the spinner watches as the strands wrap around an invisible core, creating a round and strong yarn, a vibrant blend of the many colors. After hours of work, hours of watching the blur of singles slide through her hands, she has one bobbin full of yarn. Winding onto the niddy noddy confirms her guesstimate of 400 yds...a perfect amount for a pair of socks. The yarn is soft, yet strong, a beautiful blend of warm colors, the colors of early spring and Project Spectrum East. The mystery is revealed, the spinner is pleased.

Showingoffhercolors

This yarn was spun as a prize for Claudia's MS Ride. You know you want it...go give and then give a little more. Every dollar counts.


It All Adds Up

Spindlefromgreensleeves

Long, long ago, (about 3 years ago) in a land far, far away (CT), a spinner fair talked an unsuspecting friend (that would be me) into picking up a spindle.  After a month of constant practice (oft in complete frustration) the friend became addicted to the process of spinning.  It was then the spinner fair (that would be Marcia) made an offer to the friend (that would be me) she could not pass up.  Emmylou, a spinning wheel so fine, came to the land of Zeneedle, brought frustration (at first), joy (after a time), and a new sense of accomplishment (finally).

Spendingtimewithemmylou

Nearly every morning I take a few minutes (while my hair dries) to sit with Emmylou and spin for a bit.  After work I'll find a few minutes to unwind with her again, and then, just before bed, I slip into the chair once again and relax enough to bring on a good nights sleep.  In three weeks time (it felt like forever!), three bobbins are (finally) ready to ply. Spinning isn't a quick hobby as I don't sit for long periods of time, but hopefully this week the bobbins will come together into a vibrant 3 ply sock yarn. How nice the shades of yellow make it perfect for Project Spectrum East.

Bobbinsfullandreadytoply

When Marcia showed off her new lazy kate I immediately had covetous feelings (as I do over her new spindle). Smith said he could attach wedges to the underside of the kate and it would sit at the same angle.  When I told Marcia about our plan she suggested he use doorstops.  The kate not only sits at the right angle it doesn't move (slip, slide away) when in use and plying skills have improved much to my delight. After 2 1/2 years I'm finally getting that hang of this spinning thing.


Me and My Emmylou

After a large project is finished I go through a "let down" period. It doesn't matter if the project was a success or not, although the "let down" period is longer after a good outcome.  After Liesl I just couldn't find footing to move on even though the next sweater (and the next) was ready to go. The feeling made me question if it was right "next sweater" (however, that's another story).  In any case, during project "let down", I turned to spinning and sock knitting. The hands can't be idle.

Whether knitting or not, spinning has been a nice compliment to sweater addiction and I've spent much of my spare time with Emmylou, my Lendrum DT spinning wheel.

Prettywithpansiessockyarn
Neither picture is quite right, but they should give you an idea of how pretty the blue, green coloway is.
Mybluebflsockyarn
The fiber was Spirit Trail's superwash BFL from Jennifer's Fiber Club.  It was such a wonderful fiber to spin and didn't feel in the least like superwash.  It wasn't slippery or squeaky and it was a joy to spin.  I could have used a little more as I ended up with only 222 yds of 3-ply sock weight. Perhaps the shortage is due to the yarn being more tightly spun, both in singles and plying, than I normally do. It is nicely balanced and will wear very well, however.  I'll be looking for another color to spin as a compliment. 

Not to be daunted by low yarndage, I jumped right into spinning another fiber club offering from Funky Carolina. (Must meet the challenge for more yarndage.)  This is also a superwash in the Twisted Hummingbird colorway. Dont' you love that name?!  The colors  are wonderful to watch as they run between my fingers and the fiber spins nicely (and quite finely, too). I enjoy clubs because they challenge my color sense.
Funkycarolinasockyarnfluff
The club fibers are also fun to spin as a break from longer term projects.  Anne had a beautiful batch of alpaca/charred bamboo a few months back that was too beautiful to pass up.  I'm slowly filling a bobbin with fine singles in the hopes I can make a big beautiful shawl or stole.  Pattern to be determined when yarndage is known.  In the mean time, spinning this is pure heaven.  I love the color (shades of gray), the fiber and the beautiful single. Six oz. will be divided between two bobbins to make a fingering weight 2 ply yarn...a gray tweed with a bit of sparkle, fingering weight.

Lovethisalpacabamboo

Cayenne, a local spinner, recently blogged about spindle spinning and I realized I had been carrying around the same style of spindle, a Maureen's Mjolinar , but had rarely put it into action. Her post reminded me how much I enjoyed the process of spindling and how much I'd like to get back to it. The day before, in another post, she shared the beautiful professional pictures she'd had taken while spinning in her yard. The pictures have a vintage feel and I thought you'd enjoy seeing them.

Spinning Desire

YAY! How happy am I that the feed issues are fixed!  I missed you all yesterday. 

Saturday was spent organizing, sorting and assessing the fiber stash. As a new spinner one tends to buy a little of everything in the hopes of trying different wools, understanding fiber, and becoming a better spinner. After a time, one finds favorite fibers, and thus, many of the less enjoyable bunches and braids make their way to the back of the closet or bottom of the bin. A few bumps, colors and wools that will never be spun, made up a small discard pile, and that made room for more favorites to come into view again. The rest of the weekend I spent as much time as I could with Emmylou and we created beautiful yarn together.

Rovingtornandreadytospin

Jennifer's Spirit Trail Fibers are some of my most favorite. Her colors and exotic blends are always a joy to spin. The latest offering, the first of this years club, was a Superwash BFL in a luscious colorway. This beauty didn't come with a name so I've dubbed it Sea Blue. The shades of blue and green vary, change and meld together in subtle ways. I'm not a big fan of superwash fiber, but this BFL spins more like "real" wool. One bobbin was finished before I knew it and I had a great desire to spin another. The plan is for a 3-ply sock yarn and we're one third of the way there, with more fun spinning to come.

Firstbobbinandroving

To keep things interesting, Emmylou and I started another long term spinning project.  We'll fill a bobbin of the BFL and then one of this luscious alpaca/bamboo from Anne. This is so beautifully prepared it just flows so smoothly through the fingers and creates a gorgeous single.  This will be come a shawl and we, Emmylou and I, have two in mind.  The choice will depend on yarndage.  We expect there will be oodles as we have a full 6 oz and will spin it in a light fingering weight.

Sparklyalpacabambooandbobbin 

The fiber is slightly darker than the photo, but you can see bits of sparkle and the shades of gray pretty well.  It's pure heaven to spin. By spinning as much as I can I hope to make a dent in the fiber collection. Spinning has become such an enjoyable part of my day.


Weekend Mixed Bag

Saturday spring returned with blue skies and warmer temperatures.  Sunday winter took over again with a vengeance.  Wind, heavy snow, and cold erased any trace of Saturday's warmth.  My favorite pansy had recovered from the last snowstorm only to be left wearing a hat of new snow.

Poorpansiewearinghatofsnow
Much of my weekend entertainment happened while spinning with Emmylou.  We had a blast with Funky Carolina Falklands Wool and made a simple 2-ply out of "A Simple Song". Two other long term spinning projects were started...more on that later.

Twoplyfunkycarlinasimplesong
Late in the the sun played across the mountains and above was a patch of blue sky.  The week ahead will take March out, and bring April in, like a lion.
Atouchofblueskyandsunlight
That's what springtime is like in Utah.

Springy Spinning

Poorlittlepansiesinthesnow

As predicted, it did end up snowing for much of the day yesterday and it may do the same tomorrow. However, I say let it snow, it won't last long (and we need the water!)...while it may be cold and snowy outside, inside I've been spinning gorgeous spring colors.  Friday afternoon I finished plying the Wooly Wonka Kelp merino/bamboo.  This Ravelry link will show you all the incarnations from roving to finished yarn.  I did a happy dance when it proved to be just over 500 yards, as that is enough to make a nice sized shawl....a shawl that may or may not be for me.  Not sure that lovely spring color would be good close to my face, but it matters not, as the yarn is so pretty, shiny and screams spring.  The true color is closer to the first picture.

Greenkelpskeinyummy
Whether I wear this color or not, you can color me pleased.
Kelpcloseupoftwist
So pleased, in fact, that I started spinning another roving immediately.   This is Funky Carolina's February club fiber, Falklands wool in the color "A Simple Song".
Spinningfunkycarolina
I may have too much roving on hand, may have joined too many fiber clubs, but I'm enjoying spinning for the pure enjoyment of it and hope to make good progress by spinning daily. Emmylou (my wheel) and I are enjoying spring together.

Before I forget (again)...Lisa is having a very cool contest. Run over to her blog and make a stab at the date the HUGE pile of snow completely melts away. You could be the winner of a very cool bagg.

Are You Ready for Another Contest?

While the weekend was full of good times, the "must do" weekend stuff was compressed or eliminated. This makes the first of the week hard to face. Monday's work day turned out to be fine, but the brain just didn't want to get into work mode. The brain also wanted to knit, something it didn't get enough of over the weekend. The brain wanted to do more spinning, but very little of that happened, either. This weeks after work hours this will be cram packed with "must do" stuff and time at home will (hopefully) be full of knitting (and laundry and grocery shopping). The third sweater of MoDo must be finished this week and that's still doable (I think). Plus, I need to find buttons for said sweater and that's just one more after work errand to add into the multiple after work errands. I'm tired already.

Five days from now, March 1st, will be my 5th Blogiversary. The last five years has comprised of over 1400 posts, over 46,000 comments and nearly 200 finished projects! About half way through the 5 years I learned to spin, but only recently has spinning become something I need to do and something I want to continue doing, learning and pursuing.

The biggest bonus, the best gift, from the last five years as been the friends I've made face to face and across the miles. Some friends remain "imaginary" and others are very real, but both are dear to me. Every known and unknown one of you has become an integral part of my life. If I blogged only for myself I would have written a personal, private journal, but I do this for the interaction, the camaraderie and community. I'm honored and humbled that you come here 5 days a week to read and participate in my knitting life.

Bobbinforblogiversarycontest

The packages from the last contest are almost ready to go out (I am behind) but that isn't going to stop me from offering even more prizes for the Blogiversary. This time you must make a guess as to the yardage on my newly spun bobbin of singles. The wpi (wraps per inch) is 17 (that's around fingering weight), the bobbin is a Lemdrum (and it's packed FULL), the fiber is a wool/mohair blend. It will likely be knit into a shawl or stole. That info may or may not help you make a computation, but in any case, just stick your neck out and guess! What have you got to lose? I'll wind it off onto a niddy noddy this week and report to you on Friday who the winner is and what the yarndage is. I'm dying to know, too!

You have until Thursday, Feb. 26th at 5:00pm MST to leave your guess on this post.  Friday I'll annouce the winner.  Good luck!


No Time Like the Present


Closeupofskienofseashells

Alas and alack, my beautiful skein of handspun didn't end up with quite enough yardage for Flutter. The vision of Flutter knit with this yarn as been with me for so long that the disappointment was deep. But, this skein is so soft (cormo/angora), so luxurious that it would make up beautifully into any scarf or shawl. Flexibility is key to the spinning/knitting process. 

Handspunseashellsskien

This fiber spun effortlessly and every minute at the wheel was enthralling.  It takes several weeks of hit and miss spinning to fill a couple of bobbins, and then to ply the yarn, but the hours spent are enjoyable and entertaining.

It didn't take long to decide which pattern to use as I'd fallen in love with Old Shale as soon as I saw Marcia's.  Her beautifully spun fiber knit into an exquisite shawlette, and it felt right for this yarn, too. The soft colors work well in the pattern and we're off to a fine start. 

Startofoldshaleshawl

The siren song of spinning has been loudly filling the house. Walking past the room where Emmylou (my wheel) resides is difficult to do, as she sits inside calling and drawing me in. The fiber dangles attractively, the chair looks inviting and Emmylou promises enjoyment and fulfillment...a moment in the present.  It's a tough combination to ignore and, admittedly, I often find myself giving into their will and taking a few minutes to watch as the fiber slides through my fingers, slips through the hooks and onto the bobbin. 

Wheelofmohairwoolfromdulie

Bobbinofsingles As soon as one project is finished another is begun and I've quite enjoyed spinning this wheel of wool/mohair from Julie's Etsy Shop. The fiber told me it would make a nice single, and that sounded like a perfect way to go.  I'd enjoyed knitting the Icelandic singles in the Shetland Triangle, plus singles are a good way to extend the end yardage.  

Alpacabamboowoollywonkaym Before I'd started the singles I took a few minutes to spin up a sample skein of the gorgeous alpaca/charred bamboo blend I'd purchased from Anne. This might be the most delicious fiber I've ever spun and it practically spins itself.  I'd love to think enough yarndage could be gained to knit Girasole. It's a long shot, but I will spin with this large round shawl in mind, and if there isn't enough (who would want to run short!?), I'll find another lace stole.  The yarn sample is soft, fluffy, elegant with the bits of silver peeking through the shades of gray.  No matter what it becomes it will be heavenly and I will do my best to do it justice. 

Sampleofalpacabamboo

Spinning, and lace, are a perfect compliment and contrast to MoDo.  They keep me sane in the face of (self induced) pressure.


Spinning My Wheel

Thehappylightinmyfiberstudio  

You can bet I am not twiddling my thumbs or sitting around and spinning my wheels.  I am spinning ONE wheel, Emmylou, my sweet spinning wheel.  Smith knows how hard it is for me to get along with January and so, he bought me "Happy Lights".  One is set up near my knitting chair and the other beside my spinning chair.  It puts a smile on my face to have that bright light shinning on me.  Let's hope it helps all through January.

 Lovethissandysbeachyarn


Softsilky3plyyarn The Sanguine Gryphon merino silk spun up beautifully and might be one of my best yarns yet.  The complementary colors changed considerably in the plying and now show a deep, rich blend of hues.  The yarn is soft and nicely round (as a 3 ply should be), but has a sheen and "crunch" of silk.  It makes me very happy that another 4 oz. (in another colorway) is in my stash and should spin up into some heavenly sock yarn. 

Spinningcormoangoraforflutterz

One of the SnB grrls, Katherine (blog free but on Ravlery) has been knitting Flutter with some of her Wooly Wonka handspun.  (You should check out her best FO of the year!) She's been working on Flutter durning Sunday SnB and that has put the idea in my head to spin for my own. In my (considerable) fiber stash is a cormo/angora blend, color Seashell.  Spinning a fine weight is taking extra effort and time, but I do think it's going to be lovely and it will certainly keep my hands entertained until January 1st.