Monday, December 21, 2009

How time flies...

Over the weekend, I was told I hadn't posted anything recently. "Sure I have. I just posted something." No, my last post was over two weeks ago.

So, aside from working, errands, family time, chores, eating, and sleeping, here is some of what I've been doing.

Dyeing and/or carding:

Swapping fiber - here are some of the items I've received that I'll be spinning or have already spun:

Spinning - well, there's the problem, I've hardly taken any pictures of my recent yarn, I've been waiting for a big enough batch. So for the few that I do have pictures of, here are some how-it-becomes-yarn sequences:
1st row: dyed locks, combed top, a fine single, and finished yarn.
2nd row: dyed locks, flicked open locks, batts, and a mini-skein from the batts.
3rd row: original fleece, dyed and carded batts, singles on the bobbin, and the finished yarn.
4th row: original fleece, dyed and carded roving, a single on a bobbin, and the finished yarn.

So I'm keeping busy.

For the next 2 weeks, I'll be around my computer and spinning wheel even less - followed by a massive dose of spinning and, with any luck, more updates.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear Santa

Please bring me a drum carder for Christmas. Or at least help me to get one. Then I can do fun stuff with this:


I've been obsessed with sparkly stuff lately, so when I was at the Fiber Studio today for spinning group, I decided to buy some Firestar. There are three main types of sparkle-fiber or "glitz." The sparkliest and least soft is Angelina; the least sparkly but softest is Icicle; and somewhere in the middle of both is Firestar. Since Pam, who owns the Fiber Studio, didn't have any generic white/opalescent, I bought a little bit of pretty much every color she had. Shiny! (And speaking of shiny, here's one of my favorites from Etsy, and a quick shout-out to the artist, Mincing Mockingbird.)

So I'm saving up for a drum carder, but haven't actually decided which kind I want yet. Three have made my short list, but I've only used one. I'd like to test drive at least one of the others. In no particular order: Strauch Finest 405, Pat Green Deb's Deluxe (the one I've used), and Fancy Kitty.

I also bought some more alpaca silk dyed by Gale's Art - Deep Blue Sea colorway, and bluer than the picture makes it look. It's a combination of green, teal, blue, and purple.


And some Superwash BFL - the most intense blue I've ever seen - it practically glows. This was dyed by Happy Hands. The picture does not do it justice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shop Update and SALE

Hi all!

Major update at the shop, and a sale! Now through December 20, buy one item, get one at 50% off. The difference will be refunded via Paypal after purchase.




And now that I've finally gotten the shop updated, I'll get to spin some more!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I seem to be half a season behind.

Remember the beginning of October, when I couldn't bear the thought of fall colors and wanted bright summery colors?

Now that it's almost December, what do I want to spin? Earth tones.

I've carded a ton (and by "a ton," I mean roughly a pound) of autumnish colors, which are waiting to be spun.

All of these are Romney - the autumn tones are all from Flora's fleece, and the reddish one below also has about 15% alpaca in it.


I spun one batch, then realized I should be working on winter colors. So I started on that. This is from Pudge's fleece.
Well, maybe instead of thinking of it as half a season behind, I'll just think of it as 3 seasons ahead.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spinning and dyeing and carding, oh my!

I've been crazy busy at work for the past few weeks, so I haven't had much time for anything fibery. I take advantage of every spare minute, though.

The Weavers Guild of Minnesota is having one of its annual fundraisers this weekend - a Fiber Fair selling items made by its members. (The WGM gets a portion of the sales.) There's yarn, wearables, rugs, accessories (bags and such), beaded stuff, embroidery, just about anything with cloth or fiber you can think of. I'm one of the sellers, and I deactivated a dozen or so yarns from the Etsy shop to bring there, in addition to bringing some of my newer yarn.

It looks like some of them might have sold already without me getting a chance to show them off, so here are some pictures of yarn I've spun recently.




1. English Garden, 2. Wine and Roses, 3. Twylight, 4. Consignment yarn, 5. Obnoxious Orange, 6. Mauve, 7. SuperPink!, 8. Blue Icicle, 9. Forest Floor, 10. Flora - Autumn, 11. Blue Ice, 12. English Garden

And here is some fiber that I'm getting ready to spin, that I've dyed and/or carded.


1. More chestnut, 2. Wine and Roses, 3. Another Kitchen Sink, 4. Orchid, 5. Kitchen Sink batt, 6. Orchid, then, 7. Amazon Parrot, 8. Some might call it black. Or at least blackish., 9. Venus

Bigger pictures, along with some info about the items, are available when you click on the link to get to my flickr account.

If you can make it to the Fiber Fair, please do! There's lots of great stuff there.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures

I counted. There are 17 skeins between 2 and 4 ounces, 4 mini skeins, 2 batches of dyed top, and 5 ounces of dyed fleece.


Our bathroom is just not that big. Check it out - left is the tub, middle is the radiator, and on the right is the door. I was standing against the back wall when I took these shots. I think it's 8'x5'.


Left to right: obnoxiously orange superwash merino (I love it!); light-rust romney spun from the (dyed) lock; tiny bits of pink skeins behind the romney that you can barely see; some corriedale for another person; some of my cvm/alpaca blend for my eventual sweater; light blue superwash merino behind (under); and some dark brown superwash top for a sweater for a friend.


Left to right, some are the same: Light blue superwash merino (I'm calling it Blue Ice, after a picture of a bit of a glacier someone took); the sweater yarn; top for my friend's sweater; you can see a hint of the alpaca/silk that was dyed orchid (same dyelot as the cormo fleece drying at the bottom); a mixed skein - one Blue Ice single, one mystery single from a gift batt - pretty sure it includes at least merino, alpaca, silk, and something sparkly, not sure what else; another small skein of Blue Ice; a purple yarn that I think is superwash wool but I couldn't swear to it; the green/gray yarn for the other person; mauve 3 ply, magenta merino (from fleece, not commercial top); light rust; obnoxious orange; and the green stuff I mentioned in my last post that some lucky person will get to use.

These will all get glamour shots after they dry, before they move on to their new life. So happy that these aren't guilt-tripping me anymore, since I finished spinning some of them more than a month ago (see, I was going to write that I finished them a month ago, but finished is the other step - had to clarify that I finished spinning).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finished finishing

I have about 4 pounds of fiber hanging from any available rod in the bathroom - shower curtain, towel rod, shelves, plus some cormo fleece laid out to dry. I dyed 3 batches of fiber this weekend, and I've been slacking on finishing the yarn I've spun in the past month. That's why there's been a dirth of pictures. Once it dries, I hope to take lots of pictures. I've got yarn in about 10 different colorways, several different fibers. Some of it's for me, some of it is for specific others, some is for the shop, and some is for giveaways and samples. I am yarnful.

There's some green BFL (I think) that I'm super-happy with. I can't think of anything to make with it, so it'll be off to another happy home somewhere. In addition to the Etsy shop, the Minnesota Weavers Guild has a Fiber Fair in November, and I'm signed up to sell there.

You'd think finishing yarn would be when the spinning is done, but it's not. The yarn has to be washed and "whacked." I prefer the harsh finishing method. I wash/rinse the yarn 4 times, alternating hot and cold water. This isn't recommended as a general rule for items made from wool, because most people don't want to turn their knitted or crocheted items into felt. But for finishing the yarn, a little bit of felting is helpful - it makes the yarn a little stronger, a little less splitty. Whacking the yarn (snapping it or twirling it) gets some of the water out of it and evens out the twist of the yarn.

So I finished yarn tonight for about 90 minutes - filling and refilling buckets of water for all the skeins of yarn, then whacking and hanging it to dry. Finishing is pretty tiring.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Is it just me?

I was at a spinning group last week. I carded some fall colors - browns and dark reds - and everyone was admiring the colors, and saying how perfect they were for the season.

I then started spinning orange. Not fall colors orange. Bright, obnoxious, you-might-need-sunglasses orange. Fire Engine Orange, if fire engines were painted orange.



As the days get shorter and darker, I need color and brightness that much more.

I ended up giving the autumn-color batts away to another spinner, who was planning to spin it for autumn leaves in a tapestry she was weaving. The batts needed to go to a home where they'd be loved.

I'm a little worried, though. If I need this much brightness in October, by the time February hits, I'm afraid my fiber will have to provide its own light source. Maybe be radioactive.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Interests vs. Time

The thing about varied interests are, sometimes they get in the way of each other.

  • I love to spin yarn. That's why I've got this blog and the shop and the wheel and related items.
  • Spending so much time spinning has taken away from my exercise time, and I definitely notice the difference. Clothes aren't fitting as well and I'm more tired and lazy than before.
  • Computery stuff necessary for the shop: Updating the shop takes a surprising amount of time - mostly because I'm not very good at photography. I'm supposed to be participating more in some of the spinning communities I've joined, but I'm definitely not managing that.
  • I like to spend time with friends and family. I like to read and see movies. I like to relax and do nothing.
    • And then there's my newish job (less than 2 months). I like it and I finally feel like I know what I'm doing - which means I can do things and am busy, as opposed to when I didn't know what I was doing and couldn't do anything.
    • And sleep. Now that I've gotten most of my sleep disorders dealt with, an earlier bedtime actually makes a difference in how I feel the next day.
    • Migraines, not so much an interest as a thing I'm forced to deal with, interfere with all of the above.

      So I'm trying to figure out how to organize my life.

      It's not that I'm not getting things done - I've been preparing yarn for the Phat Fiber box, had dinner with friends last night, served as an election judge Tuesday.

      It's just hard for me to remember what I should do next to make sure that I move forward relatively evenly with all the different things I like to do and/or should do - so that I don't focus only on, say, photography, or only on 1-2 websites and ignore the other communities, or on anything-but-exercise.

      I tried making a list of all the things I should check, do, or update daily. It's a long and still incomplete list. And it's sad, because except for the migraines, I like doing all the things I listed above. I'm not complaining about any of them. I just want time to do them all. (Note: cooking and cleaning - especially cleaning - are not on my list of interests, but I really need to spend time on them too. Just like migraines.)

      Where do people find the time?

      Tuesday, September 1, 2009

      Sale Extension and First Week of the Month

      I'm extending the sale in the shop through the end of the State Fair (Labor Day): 20% off anything in stock.

      The first week of the month is always full of spinning. I go to spinning groups the first Tuesday and first Sunday of the month, plus whatever I can fit in other days. Then I don't see many spinners at all for the next three weeks.

      This week is particularly fiberful - in addition to the two spinning groups, I'll be spinning for demonstration at the State Fair on Saturday (5-9pm, Creative Activities building - come visit!) and this past Sunday I spent 7.5 hours carding fiber - lots and lots of fiber. And yet not enough. Round 2 will be another day... possibly another month. Most of the batts I made will be for personal use - I plan to make a sweater out of my handspun. But some will be for sale. There's some pink merino I'm quite fond of that I hope to put up soon.

      Off to the spinning group!


      Friday, August 28, 2009

      I'm a Winner - Again!

      And this time I am talking about the State Fair!

      Remember this single of Cotswold curls that I spun, but wasn't quite sure what to do with? I ended up plying it with a single of pink BFL, and plying this strand kind of loosely so it was almost a coil yarn. Then I entered it in the State Fair, along with a couple of other skeins and some items I'd crocheted. I entered this skein after my planned yarn for the category fell through.

      Well, the other skeins of yarn, I don't know how they fared, other than not being in the top 4 in their categories. But this one took first place! First place in the Novelty Yarn category (novelty yarn in this case meaning something other than standard spinning/plying technique).

      Since I was in such a rush to get it finished before the deadline for entries, I didn't actually take a picture of it before sending it off on its merry way. I did, however, decide to spin up the other half of the Cotswold curls and ply them the same way. So here are two pictures of the winner's sibling skein. (It's not photographed well, but they're better than nothing.)



      We're going to the Fair tomorrow to see it all! And when I get the yarn back, mid-September, it'll definitely have a fancy schmancy photo shoot. Yarn glamour shots. This one would look nice with backlighting. Not soft focus, though - it's fuzzy enough.

      I also one first place for my sweater, and 5th place (this category goes to 6 places) for a blanket. The blanket also won a separate prize, for best combination of yarn and stitch pattern.



      Also, this experience totally ruins the moral of the story about the other skein of yarn that didn't work out. Oh well - I guess I'm ok with it! The other skein is a story for another day.

      Oh! And SALE! To celebrate the still-unnamed yarn which is not yet available on Etsy, I'm having a sale through the end of the weekend - 20% off everything that's in stock!

      Sunday, August 23, 2009

      Treasured

      I'm happy to be featured once again in an Etsy Treasury. Treasuries are temporary galleries of (at least usually) 12 items, which a user picks based on a theme. My bubblegum pink yarn was featured in a pink gallery a few weeks ago, and today I got notified that my Galaxy yarn is being featured in a Space-themed Treasury in honor of the Discovery shuttle. Treasuries only last 2-3 days, so go see it now!

      Galaxy

      The curator of this treasury, tastykaeru, makes beautiful felted jewelry. Thanks, tastykaeru, for including my yarn!

      Saturday, August 22, 2009

      I'm a winner!

      Not of the State Fair, unfortunately. Not that I'm not a winner there. I don't think they've done the judging yet (though I don't expect to be a winner there).

      No, I'm a winner in a Phat Fiber giveaway. I won a spindle, which I assume will be lovely, though I have no idea what it looks like. There was a post on the blog saying that there were lots of unclaimed prizes, and we should go back and see if we were among those bestowed. I knew I hadn't won... had actually just told my friends the day before that I love the whole idea of the Phat Fiber box/blog/giveaway, and that I intend to donate to it soon, but that I hadn't won any giveaways yet. But I checked previous winner posts, and there I was. In June. I had won a spindle from Zebisis Designs. Somehow I'd missed the announcement and my spindle was languishing for 7 weeks, feeling abandoned. Now it will get the love it deserves.

      Hooray!

      Time to get my own samples ready. I know which fiber I'm planning to use. Probably. Ok, I've at least got it narrowed down.

      No pictures. Sad. I like having pictures. Ok, how about this? Me at the beach last week, on my way to a sunburn.
      Have a good weekend!

      Monday, August 17, 2009

      State Fair

      Unfortunately, I can't think of any songs from the musical - all I can think of are other musicals from the same time period: Carousel, Oklahoma...

      I am officially an entrant in the State Fair. I've never done that before, although my cousin is a blue ribbon winner for her sour cream chocolate chip cake (I think I've got that right). I entered a couple of sweaters, a blanket, and (so far) two skeins of yarn - a skein of the Tropical Island (blue-green BFL pictured in my July 31 post) and a skein of alpaca/angora I'm calling New York Swirl until I find a better name for it:Any suggestions?

      Wednesday, August 12, 2009

      Wish I Were There...

      I'm in the middle of an out of town training for my job, which is making posting new yarn on Etsy a problem - I forgot to take its vital stats before leaving home. The training has a lot of listening time, and the instructor is understanding of needing to keep hands busy, so I not only finished the strap (and pocket) for a felted messenger bag I've been working on for a loooonnngg time (all that's left is seams and felting, yay!), I also bought yarn and started to make the Aerial Pig (Rav link). That was a long sentence. I have a spindle along as well, and spun on the plane, but it's a little too distracting in a classroom setting.

      Unfortunately, it seems that pigs are shaped roughly like hats, which is to say nearly impossible for me to make. Luckily, I've got lots of time in this class, which runs 9.5 hours a day (including an hour for lunch). I've frogged a couple of times (also got a bad skein of yarn, several breaks in the plies). Mine is not looking at all like the Rav pictures, though.

      Well, I'm not sure why it turned sideways. It looked normal when I selected it. Oh well. I think I'll see if I can make the snout more prominent. In terms of length, theoretically I'm about halfway through and will be decreasing soon. We'll see. Mine is much more spherical (and ruffly - my typical hat problem) than the original.

      Time to get ready for training!

      Sunday, August 9, 2009

      I've been without internet for two days and it's driving me batty. I still can't get it on my computer - I'm writing this on Mr. Daisy's computer. And now I'm going away for a week - training for my job in LA.

      Assuming I can get internet there, I'm hoping to list some items on Etsy in the next couple of days.


      Galaxy

      Meadow
      (This one is before finishing, so it's got a little more twist in the photo than it does in real life.)

      Meadow 2
      (Same colorway, but this one's a two-ply.)

      And I've got some others drying now, without photos yet. Those will have to wait till next week.

      Sunday, August 2, 2009

      I'm impressed with myself

      Not only has my spinning gotten noticably faster in the past few weeks, but it's gotten more even. It used to be that if I split my roving unevenly, I would always spin the largest piece first, because by the second or third I'd be spinning finer and be able to get the same yardage out of a smaller amount.

      At spinning group I plied up the next skein of red BFL - I had already spun up the other two pieces of red BFL before going to the group. Then I decided to work on the Galaxy roving. I split it in two lengthwise, without checking to see if they had the same weight. When I split it in half again in the middle of the length, I noticed all of the turquoise was on one end, so I made sure to spin them in opposite directions - that way turquoise would be on each half.

      But the point is, I spun about 3 ounces of it at the group, then spun the last ounce and plied it at home. And when I got to the end of the 175ish plied yards, I had only about 6 inches left on one bobbin.

      See that fuzzyish piece toward the lower left, lying on the bottom end of the bobbin? (It looks kind of like a shadow, but it's fuzz.) That's the end of one single. The vertical line is the remainder of the second single - it ends before the top of the bobbin.

      Plus, I didn't get sunburnt (except for a small piece, less than a square inch, that I somehow missed) - last month I put sunscreen on my arms but not my neck, and I painfully regretted it for weeks.

      We Have Liftoff

      I've made my first sale - the first half of the ultra-soft blue-green BFL has been claimed.

      Yesterday I spun and plied a green mix of fibers I'm calling Meadow, and I spun another single of the reddish BFL I was gushing about a couple of weeks ago. I want all 8 ounces to be spun before I put it up for sale, so I'm working my way up there.

      I also spun some curly Cotswold locks which did not lie down smoothly, so they're very fuzzy. I think I'm going to ply them with plain thread so it keeps the halo and the curls but is a little stronger.

      This afternoon I've got a spinning group - first time I've seen these folks since all the craziness started. We meet at The Fiber Studio, a local fiber shop, and on nice days we spin outside and talk to passersby. I always bring about 5 options for what I'll spin at the group, because I can never decide ahead of time. Here are my choices for today:

      From top left: 4 ounces from FatCatKnits (on Etsy) that I call Back in the Saddle - 2/3 brown and 1/3 blue/white/brown; 4 ounces superwash merino - my first handdyed fiber, I call it Sunfire - way more vibrant in real life; 4 ounces of something, merino or falkland is my guess, source unknown, I call it Galaxy because it reminds me of photos of the Milky Way; 1.3 ounces of BFL, the stuff I mentioned earlier, that I call Campfire; and a 5 ounce batt of undyed 50% alpaca/50% silk (yummy).

      And I have more than 2 hours to spin before going to the spinning group, if I get off the computer. Ok, time to spin more!

      Friday, July 31, 2009

      We Are Go For Launch

      I've loaded my first yarns up into Etsy, and am ready to sell!

      I'm still adding items, but I've got 9 items up there already, with another 4 to be added by the end of the day. I've shown you sneak peeks of some of them - here are a few more:



      That blue-green one is so soft! Good ol' BFL never fails me.

      To celebrate, this weekend I am having a grand opening sale. Place your order by 11:59PM CST on Sunday, August 2, and you'll receive 20% off the price of your yarn (shipping not included). Enter "WOOHOO!" in the notes to the seller section and I'll refund the difference via Paypal.

      Thanks for reading my blog. Now please buy my yarn! And tell everyone you know to buy my yarn as well! :-)

      Tuesday, July 28, 2009

      Check me out!

      I'm a yarnie on Ravelry!

      I've grouped my yarns into 5 basic categories:
      • Soft and Squishy (merino or similar)
      • Soft and Strong (BFL, Corriedale or similar)
      • Soft and Silky (merino/alpaca and silk/silk-like fiber)
      • Fuzzy Wuzzy (Romney and the like)
      • Hotdish (random assortments of fiber)
      My Etsy shop will (for now) just have the five categories, but on Ravelry 3 of the categories are divided by weight, which gives me 13 yarn names listed on Ravelry. Hotdish and (so far) Soft and Silky are each one category, but Soft and Silky will probably end up being separated out by weight once I get more made.

      And (finally) I should have stuff for sale on Etsy by the weekend, including most of the skeins you've seen sneak peeks of!


      Sunday, July 19, 2009

      I heart this yarn

      Remember how I kept talking about the luscious and shiny alpaca silk? Well, ok, only a couple of times - but that's because I didn't leave it around for long enough to really pine for it - I was too eager to spin it. And I did, and it became a beautiful 2-ply laceweight. 200 yards of 20 wpi jewel tones. I keep bringing it out to gaze adoringly at it.

      Proud Peacock
      Proud Peacock closeup

      So for the Tour de Fleece, I have spun up:
      • 2 ounces of turquoise probably-merino (I forget the details, and it's hiding from me)
      • 2.5 ounces pinkish superwash merino (75 yards bulky - or was it superbulky?)
      • 4 ounces of red merino cross - half in worsted (67 yards), half in bulky (60 yards)
      • 8ish ounces of Alpaca/Sari silk and merino into a little more than 250 yards of bulkyish weight (I really need to check the wpi soon)
      • 2 ounces of alpaca silk (see my drool in the first paragraph)
      A respectable amount - a little over a pound in 15 days. I had originally predicted about half a pound. I'm still working on the BFL and hope to finish half of it this week. This week is a bit busy - an evening with my parents, a new job, and a trip to Chicago. Since we'll be taking the bus, I'm not bringing Daisy with me, so I have to finish up the TdF by Friday morning.

      So I'd better get going!

      Saturday, July 18, 2009

      I'm a Hacker!

      Ok, I'm not a very good hacker. Copy and paste is a wonderful thing. Thanks to the clear instructions of phydeaux3, I was able to create a label cloud, one of those widgets I've always liked but that blogspot doesn't offer directly. Check it out! It's on the right, and you'll have to scroll down a little from the top.

      Baby steps... soon my HTML knowledge will help me conquer the world!

      Friday, July 17, 2009

      Why "The Spinning Daisy"?

      Short answer: My spinning wheel is named Daisy.

      Here's a not so great picture of her a couple of days after I got her:
      Daisy in working condition
      A couple of her parts were broken, so I had MacGyvered it together into working condition while I waited for the real parts to arrive. She's a Lendrum single treadle, and she makes me happy. Really. Friends and family say my face changes when I start spinning, and I just look happier and calmer.

      Longer answer: For many years I lived in neutral colors. Almost all my clothes were black, brown, beige, khaki, or gray. This was during my first career and a period of unemployment and underemployment, and I didn't really notice the lack of color. I had a few bright colors, but mostly just tried to blend in to the background, I think.

      During my unemployed time, two things happened - I needed some way to pass the time, and I got married. Planning a wedding and the temp and part time jobs took up some of the time, but not enough.

      My then-fiance suggested I learn to crochet from his mom, so I did. Around the same time, I started thinking, maybe I could make some of the things for the wedding and save money that way. I designed and made (with my now-husband's help) the invitations, programs, pew bows, table cards, centerpieces, bridesmaids' jewelry, my jewelry, and probably a few other things I can't remember. I also crocheted bags for my bridesmaids and made some scented bath products for them.

      So, in the space of less than a year, I picked up crochet, cardmaking and papercraft, beadwork and jewelrymaking, and whatever you call making bathstuff. Some of that may eventually show up in the shop, but not yet.

      Our wedding colors, by the way, were ivory and navy blue, the closest to a neutral color I could bring myself to include in a wedding.

      Then I got a job. A coworker who started at the same time always had color in her outfits, and I rarely did, and my lack of color started to bug me. So little by little, I started adding color into my wardrobe. Some of that was done with crochet, as I got more skilled. I've now got several handmade sweaters in different colors.

      And then, suddenly, I had an urgent need to learn to spin - not for a need to pass the time or to save money, just to know how to spin. It turns out I absolutely love it, far more than I expected to.

      My spinning history will be another post, but Daisy, my shop name, and the bright colors in my logo represent not just the joy I find in spinning, but my attempts to bring color into my life.


      Ignore this



      3

      Thursday, July 16, 2009

      Another package!

      Today I got a biggish box in the mail - wool I had ordered from Sheep Shed Studio.
      Box

      This started out as a 3 pound order of undyed superwash wool top, because my best friend had requested yarn to make a sweater. Then I thought, hey, I could do that too - so I decided on 5 pounds, enough for a sweater for myself as well as for her.

      Then I saw all the colors that they sell, and noticed postage didn't change all that much after the first few pounds, so I ordered a few different colors...
      Opening the box

      ...and a bag of "dye soppers" (pieces of wool in random colors, basically leftovers of both wool and dye).
      Dye Soppers

      And then I decided I should just make my order an even 10 pounds, so I added another pound of undyed superwash.
      Undyed superwash top

      Oops.

      Here it is, in all its glory!
      SSS Order July 2009

      (And the alpaca silk I started yesterday is beautiful. And wonderful to spin. I should finish it this weekend.)


      Wednesday, July 15, 2009

      BFL and other fibers

      How much do I love the Bluefaced Leicester (sounds like Lester - those wacky British spellings) I'm spinning up right now?

      BFL - Moulin Rouge

      BFL, which I pronounce as "Biffle," is one of my favorite standard wools (widely available for spinners). It's almost as soft as merino, in my opinion, but is a little sturdier. This BFL was dyed by Frabjous Fibers. I'm planning a 3-ply, roughly worsted weight.

      Yes, I've added this to my Tour de Fleece goals. Maybe not all 8 ounces - but we'll see. I've finished the alpaca and sari silk (4 50-yard skeins and 2 38-yard skeins). Before moving on to my other alpaca/silk, I felt like working on some wool.

      I also received my "fleece study by mail." I got samples, about 2 oz each, of raw wool from 15 different breeds, along with some other odds and ends. Of the 15 breeds, I'd only previously worked with two of the types raw, and only a couple of others in processed form, so I'm hoping to learn a lot as I work on these samples - washing, prepping, spinning, possibly dyeing. Here are some of my samples:

      Fleece Study by Mail

      I didn't get pictures of all of them, because 4 were already being washed by the time I remembered to get my camera out.

      And now, on to the yummy alpaca/silk blend! I'm planning to make a striping, 2-ply laceweight (although of course my plans may change as I actually work with it).