Fiestaspun 

Today I spent my entire lunch break standing in my office, with my bobbin in a bottom desk drawer, fussing with this niddy noddy. I promise you, every time I use this thing I have to watch a video. I’ve watched quite a few videos to try to figure this thing out, but this video by Camaj Handspun Yarn is my absolute favorite.

I think the fussing was worth it though, don’t you? I am loving this yarn. I’ve named this colorwork”Fiestaspun” because the colors are a crazy party.  The ply is definitely imperfect. I tend to not get the hang of plying until I’m one-third of the way through the skein. The end is definitely a tighter and more uniform ply. This time around, I started to think about the plying process a bit more and want to try out different techniques. I love the yarn, but I think I liked it better as a single strand. When two-plying, I got even more variation in color which blended them together so much that some lost their vibrancy. I would like to learn to plan my spinning and plying a bit better for next time….but it makes my brain hurt.

It is crazy to think that it was a mere speck of beautiful, pure wool until I put my crazy colors on it and then spun it into a huge, imperfectly pretty and bold skein of yarn. I was in hate with this ball of fluff, then ended up being in love with it. You never know.
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Tour de Fleece – Week One

As a new spinner, I And participating for the first time in the tour de fleece. So far it’s a lot of fun. The gist of this is to spin every day, you can join a few teams on ravelry so that you can share photos and keep track of your progress throughout the Tour.

I am into groups, the first for WC Mercantile my LYS here in Texas. This is where I purchased my wheel so it’s really fun to celebrate my first Tour in this group. The second group I am in is a fiber company I recently discovered called Into the Whirled, super cute name right? I purchased my first fiber from them which arrived in the mail on Thursday so I’m going to start spinning that up next week.

The Tour de Fleece started during Fourth of July weekend and I didn’t have my Into the Whirled fiber yet (because I’m irresponsible and complete forgot about the Tour). So I started off my tour by spinning with my hand dyed fiber from yarn school. Again I’m super happy with how this has turned out. I thought that it was super ugly when I died it but the colors came out bright and beautiful and spent together or just a lot of fun.

I also reached a new benchmark in my fiber obsession. Last weekend I decided to bring my spinning wheel with me to the coffeeshop for knitting group and took a picture of the wheel of my car. I’ve now become that crazy fiber lady… and I’m okay with that.

Here’s some photos from my frat week of the Tour de Fleece. I’m hoping to ply tonight so stay tuned!

  

Lessons Learned

I’m on to my next handspun. This is another dye experiment from Yarn School. We were encouraged to being an inspiration collage, mine was jewel-toned and covered in flowers of course. My favorite was this gorgeous poppy covered, gold lined shoe, you can see in on the right side of the collage. These are the kind of shoes I would love to own but probably couldn’t walk in anyway. 

   

From my collage I created this color work which was utterly a disaster while I was painting it. It looked like vomit. Seriously. So I felt dejected and I decided that I was just terrible at colorwork. I absolutely hated it and refused to take a picture of it. Now I wish I did! 

 When it “cooked” in the microwave the brilliant colors came out and it actually wasn’t so bad at all. In actuality, it was the yarn I got the most compliments on.

Now that I am spinning it up, it is even more gorgeous. I love how the colors meld together if I take the time to try to spin two colors together. Pictures to come!

Lesson learned: Have a little faith in yourself.

Spinnin’ & Grinnin’

Finished my second skein of handspun!

{Spinning has officially become a problem….I am abandoning all other projects….send help}

I am extra proud of this one as it is my very own handspun AND hand-dyed creation. This was the crockpot dye from Yarn School back in October. Funny enough, in my mind it was going to all different shades of red, using deep russet colors and bright scarlet. Instead, it turned out to mostly be all shades of pink with a smattering of red and purple. I still love it and couldn’t wait to see how it “spun up”.

Well here it is it all of it’s pinky loveliness.

image_medium2This spin wasn’t as smooth-going as my first and I think that is because I was trying very hard to spin thinner threads. The plying was extra difficult because my threads kept snapping, so this skein has lots of knots tied throughout it. I also didn’t really get into the groove until about midway through, which resulted in some inconsistencies.

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But you know what? That means it is homemade so take that! Truly, I am very pleased with how it came out. Now I just need to figure out what to knit!

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Just Call Me Spinderella

vroom vroom!

I have fantastic news. I finally bought my very own spinning wheel.

Watch out world!

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Treating my Knitty Noddy and wheel parts with Danish Oil, in dark walnut.

I’ve been saving since Yarn School last October so I could buy a wheel. Though I was horrible at it, I was completely hooked and wanted my very own wheel. Also, wheels are super pretty. With the help of some Christmas gift money from my folks and lots of saving, I finally had my funds to purchase an Ashford Kiwi 2 from my favorite local yarn shop WC Mercantile, during spring break.

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Spray painting my wheel a super gorgeous glossy red!

I bought it in March, spent lots of time treating it with oil and painting it. This past week was finally the first week where I could actually take it on a spin (pun completely intended…har, har)

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Almost done putting my Kiwi together!

It was very, very slow going.

I think I had to restart twelve times. Plus the flyer I had was a little different than those I had practiced on, so I had to Google it. Then there was lots of YouTube viewing, both when putting together my wheel and when trying to use it. Seriously though knitters, what did we do without YouTube? I think I made lots of shit up.

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Second attempt at spinning!

So now I’m on my second bobbin and things are looking alot better. I am slowly getting the hang of drafting, the importance of pre-drafting and my spinning is almost actually even! Who would have thought? My work was so crazy the first time around. I feel like I am doing better this time than at Yarn School, but I am pretty sure it is because of the awesome fiber. I am practicing on some fiber I won at Yarn School and it is pretty easy to draft and already came in some nice roving strips. I feel lucky.

I have alot to learn, so I’m reaching out to my knitters and spinners. Are there any resources or videos that you absolutely love?

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Colorful Rainbows of Fiber

IMG_6761I have set the Madeira aside for a while to focus on one of my other yearly crafting goal projects, the Striped Chevron Scarf. As I mentioned before, I’ve made this gorgeous scarf before but not the stripey version so I am very excited about this. I’m knitting it with two beautiful yarns that I absolutely adore.

The darker color is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Farmhouse, which I purchased from L&B Yarn Co in Norman, Oklahoma while on our road trip to Yarn School. The lighter color is Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Primavera, purchased from WC Mercantile, our lovely LYS in Navasota Texas, during the super rad Hill Country Yarn Crawl.10979656_385718538276901_781409162_n

I am typically a solids type of girl and overwhelming choose texture over colorwork. But I am trying. So during a Ravelry search, I was inspired by the colors I found other Ravelers using on this pattern -namely Socks that Rock combining my Farmhouse with the spunky Watermelon. The mixture is gorgeous, but I couldn’t see myself wearing those bright stripes, so I chose a more muted pattern using Malabrigo’s Primavera – which by the way is utterly gorgeous. The subtle honey and sage hues throughout Primavera get a bit lost in this pattern. I very much want to buy another skein to use on a cable or lace shawl.

‘Tis a gorgeous and a fun pattern that becomes very easy to remember. It’s a fun knit but I cannot wait to be done with it so so I can brighten up these drab winter days with some rainbows for my neck!

However, if it gets sunny again before I am done knitting….well, I think I can handle it.

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