Bits and Pieces for Kitty Pi

Kitty Pi

Kitty Pi

During a long, circuitous search for half-Pi shawls, I happened upon this free Kitty Pi  pattern at Wendy Knits. Images of all of my spinning bits and pieces popped into my head. Remember the “fiber sandwich” from spinning class? The first yarn into the Pi. All the horrid first spinning tries, slubs, over-twists, super thin spots – into the Pi. Almost every yucky bit of stuff I spun when first learning is now in the Pi. The final size is 14″ inches diameter by 4″ inches in height. The only non-hand spun yarn is the bit at the top, I used a bit of left-over fancy stuff there. As it was in the washer felting, I thought, “Geeze, I could have made some yarn bowls with it too.”

Trio of Felted Pentafold Moebius Bowls by Liat Gat

Trio of Felted Pentafold Moebius Bowls by Liat Gat

The Trio of Felted Pentafold Moebius Bowls has been in my Ravelry Library for over a year. I still have some yuck yarn left. It’s all white tones so I will have to dye it. Keep posted.

What other projects have you spinners made with your Ugly Duckling bits of pieces from your first spinning experiences?

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WIP Wednesday: Spinning the Sandwich

q8~Spinning the sandwich! Last Friday I moved Mariah, my spinning wheel, out to the patio. Beautiful day, birds singing, butterflies flitting around, flowers a riot of color, I could not ask for a better spot. Fun times, some of the fibers are a joy to spin others are as if I’m trying to pull teeth. I’ve only spun about 1/4 of the fiber sandwich.

Spun fiber sandwich

Spun fiber sandwich

What I could have done was engage brain. Ok Margaret (my spinning teacher) why didn’t you start yelling at me about ergonomics BEFORE I started spinning? Any of you new spinners and old alike have to remember ergonomics when spinning so you don’t end up with a Cumulative Stress Disorder. Every new school session Margaret takes us through “Spinning Safety”:

Spinning Ergonomics:

  1. Make sure the chair is a comfortable fit for you to push the pedals; not too high and not too low. The seat should not be slanted. You should be able to comfortably lean backwards so you can relax while spinning. The chair should not have arms so that your drafting arm can be held in the correct position.
  2. Do not clench the yarn in your drafting hand, the yarn needs to “flow freely”. Clenching isn’t good for the yarn or your elbow area, could lead to tendonitis.
  3. About the drafting arm: 1. Keep it relaxed. 2. Do not bend it over 90 degrees 3. When doing the short draw, keep it as close to your side as possible. 4. When doing the long draw, do not raise your shoulder, just pull the arm forward and back keeping the shoulder down. Problems could arise with your shoulder and tendonitis in the elbow area if you don’t do this.
  4. Keep both your wrists relaxed. DO NOT CLENCH. Wrists should be kept straight.
  5. Stop and stretch your hands,wrists arms and feet frequently. Get up and get the blood flowing.

With that being said, pop quiz: Which chair should I have been sitting in? Which chair did I sit in?

Which is the best chair for ergonomic spinning?

Which is the best chair for ergonomic spinning?

Of course I sat in the wrong chair, the chair on the left. See the arms, I held my left shoulder up and left arm at an awkward angle which spinning. On top of that the seat is slanted backwards. Really, moving my spinning chair outside was just too much to ask of my lazy self. Results? HORRID pain in my shoulder (the one which has been frozen a couple of times) AND tendonitis by my left elbow. Sigh…… Now I can’t spin for awhile. Too painful. So, please let me guide by example; do as I say, not as I do, save yourself from some pain. Luckily we’re on hiatus from class so I don’t have to explain my stupidity to Margaret and the others.

My spinning chair on the right is so perfect. Friend and fellow spinner Diane suggested to me last year when I first started spinning, that the 15 dollar chair from IKEA makes a perfect spinning chair. Went out and bought one, added my gel pad and it’s perfect. I’m going to sew a padded cover for the back just to “pretty” it up.

It’s WIP Wednesday so time to check Tami’s Amis and Ginny’s Yarn Along for other great works in progress.

Fiber Sandwich

q8~Yesterday was the last spinning class for the term. A tradition for the last day of class is to make a fiber sandwich. Super yum. Everyone who wants to participate brings in fiber from their stash that they are willing to contribute to the sandwich.What a delight to watch the sandwich grow as each member added a new contribution. What was interesting is the bottom layer was neutrals, then people came in and added colors, then back to neutrals, then colors, quite interesting. A wide variety of fibers were represented: dyed Lincoln locks, corriedale, merino, alpaca, shetland, blended tops, silk, etc. So very much fun.

Finished Sandwich

Finished Sandwich

Fiber Closeup

Fiber Closeup

This is my share. The stack was divided into 17 equal parts, so you get an idea of how much fiber was in the sandwich!

My Fiber

My Fiber

To spin this, I’ll just keep picking up samples and spin, blending would just change the total flavor of this fiber. I plan on Navajo plying the finished spun single so that the integrity of each fiber type stays together. Don’t worry, I’ll share the finished result. Queen Anne Lace Scarf pattern was used by Jane, one of the other students, to make a fabulous scarf from the fiber sandwich from last term. Absolutely beautiful, I forgot to take a picture of it. Although it is crochet, I’m thinking of using the pattern for my spun sandwich. Don’t get me wrong crocheters, I like crochet, but it really hurts my arthritic right hand.