Oh, It’s Spinning Time Again

~Conspicuous in our absence? Since August 11 I’ve been “run ragged”! Vacation, new grand baby, out-of-town daughters home again, and wonderful grandkids here to visit. To quote the opening line of Charles Dicken’s  A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The excitement of a vacation, a new grandchild, and seeing my girls and grandkids was exhilarating. At the same time, I’m totally exhausted and just need to sit quietly for awhile. The Introverted Knitter said it best in today’s blog, “I sometimes joke that I have an introvert battery and after prolonged exposure to people it gets drained. It seems to be a fairly accurate description, and also helps others understand what I mean when I say I need alone time.”

Because of the all of the “excitement” in my life, I missed the first two spinning classes. Got all caught up on Wednesday. LOVE those women. It was so nice to see everyone again, forget about spinning let’s get caught up about who did what over the summer. Our teacher, Margaret, rings a bell when she needs to have us quiet down so the newbies in the circle around her can hear. That bell went off a heck of a lot during yesterday’s class.

This session we have a recommended text book – first time ever – The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson

The Spinner's Book of Yarn Design

The Spinner’s Book Of Yarn Designs

Included are 64 help cards. From the titles of some of the cards you can see the topics covered. I have not torn the cards apart yet.

For those of us who do a lot of Andean Plying, Margaret pointed out an errata on page 79. If you do Andean Plying you’ll see the problem right away. As shown, the ply around the middle finger will bend the finger backwards which will hurt. The yarn needs to be looped around the front towards the palm. That way the tension on the finger will slightly bend it in the direction your finger normally bends, towards the palm.

Our lesson for the week is Hawser Plying, p. 92 which is used to make elastic yarn perfect for cuffs or hat brims. Method: 1. Ply two Z-spun singles together with a Z-twist. (This method uses groups of two). Be forewarned that this makes an extremely twisty yarn. 2. Ply two of the Step 1 Z-plyed together using a S-ply. This will nicely balance out the super twist giving a wonderfully elastic yarn.

Caroline (sp. I can’t remember the correct, but odd, spelling of her name, sorry) had just knit cuffs onto her sweater which were all stretched out. She spun and plyed more of the yarn using the Hawser Plying method, tore out and reknitted the cuffs. Showed us in class how wonderful the new cuffs are, nice and bounce-back stretchy. I don’t make sweaters, but I do make hats. Besides making a sample, I’ll have to spin and Haswer Ply my next hat brim.

Newest Yarn Toy

q~Thank you, thank you Opal at Celebrate Life! She blogged about her new Boyle automatic yarn-winder purchased at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon. Well, just so happens that I had a 50% off coupon in my hot hand. Went right to Michael’s and purchased the last one in stock. Yipee! Now what to try it out on? Hum, I didn’t have any yarn to wind at the moment. Eureka! Barb’s fingerling cone of yarn she purchased and asked if I’d ply it since she had knitted a vest with it and had held two strands together! Hours later, plying done. Check! Waiting until she came down so we could try the machine together was taxing for this “instant gratification” personality I have. (I’m working on it this year.) The results? I LOVE this machine. Look, I can have it wind straight from the bobbin on the Lazy Kate. Super cool! Thanks Opal!

Winding straight from the bobbin.

Winding straight from the bobbin.

Warts, Slubs, and All

~Here it is in all it’s glory, Adirondack has been spun and plied! I hadn’t spun in 3 months so I probably should have warmed up on something else first. Oh well…. I use American Long Draw to spin and then double plied. There were 4 ounces and I never realized how tiring plying is. Yikes!

I’ve ended up with about 90 yards of two-ply woolen yarn so the question becomes, what shall I knit? Curls recommended a keyhole type scarf. I’ve looked at some of the patterns and wonder if I have enough yarn. Some of you knitters out there, what charming items have you knitted with about 90 yards of woolen yarn?


Off to spinning class today. There is so much to blog about this week! Enjoy your day and make sure to share your wonderful crafty ideas with us!

Fabulous Fractal Fiber

 Mariah was yelling at me this morning – spin, spin, spin.  Ok, time to do my spinning “homework”.  Spinning class starts again tomorrow.  It’s through Grossmont Adult School and the teacher is Margaret.  One homework assignment last term was to make a fractal yarn.  At the time I didn’t have a wheel and to be honest I never mastered the drop spindle.  So today is the day!!! Knitty has a great article on “Fractal Spinning“.  This is the yarn sample I’m going to work with.

Take the sample and divide in half.  Noting which color you start with, spin 1/2 of the yarn.

This is the first half which is spun onto the bobbin.

Next divide the second half into four equal pieces.

Start spinning with the same color as you used for the first half.  Keep adding the other pieces with the colors in the same order.  Below is my final project after plying, winding on the nitty noddy, and twisting.  Please don’t judge too harshly.  Remember, I’m a new spinner and this is only the second time I’ve tried plying!  The yarn is beautiful!  All the ends are the extra unplied yarn I used to tie the skein together.

Spinning class tomorrow, so it will be a late post.  for the rest of the day, I have to sew a carrier for Mariah.  Sewing time!