q8~Our spinning class has the most wonderful group of women you’d ever hope to find: loving, caring, generous, etc. You’ve “met” Sara before on two of our posts Energize That Yarn!and Energized Yarn Update, she was the spinner. Here in living color is Sara modeling the wonderful Gimme-a-T vest which she did a fabulous job of knitting. The Gimme-a-T is from Knitters magazine #84, Fall 2006. Mega thanks to Sara for being such a wonderful model and allowing me to take her pic! This vest is so amazing! She said that she added extra stitches at the side seams since she thought the pattern looked to0 tight and wished she hadn’t because it’s a tad too loose.

Gimme-a-T front, pattern by Ginger Luters

Gimme-a-T front, pattern by Ginger Luters

Gimme-a-T vest back - pattern by Ginger Luters

Gimme-a-T vest back – pattern by Ginger Luters

See the woman standing in the back in the top picture? That’s Marianne (sp?), I call her the “Sock Wizard” since she makes the most fabulous socks. She always seems to be wearing a new pair. I’ll feature her in another blog.

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.

Lovely Lincoln Locks

~What an exciting time in spinning class. This semester we are going to focus on different types of wools as well as learning different spinning techniques and some dyeing.

Yesterday we looked at Lovely Lincoln Locks. What a very curly crimpy wool and so very soft. Lincoln sheep originated in Lincolnshire, England where they are called Lincoln Longwool. World-wide this is turning into a rare breed and are considered “at-risk” in Britain. The sheep are quite large and sturdy with very thick, long fleeces.

This is the information about Lincoln fiber: 9 inch (23 cm) staple length, pointed tip, 3 crimps per inch (2.5 cm), thick size fiber, the colors are whites and browns. The luster is high. Can be used for knitting into outer garments. We were each given a handful of fiber to spin so we could try out the day’s lesson.

Margaret Tyler, our teacher, demonstrated how to spin “fuzzy” yarn. To spin a fuzzy yarn use a short, forward draw with an open hand. You can see how the right hand is blurred as it is opened and closed while drafting.

Look how wonderfully fuzzy this yarn is! Magic! She stressed that she does not ever want to hear us refer to any yarn as stiff. She said it’s all in the spinning and variety, using Romney as the example. Anne Field’s book Spinning Wool Beyond The Basics says that Lincoln should be used for outer wear and woven into rugs. Well, after today’s demonstration and seeing how soft this wool is, I’m a believer in not judging wool.

 Another student purchased and “fuzzy” spun some Lincoln fiber and shared what she made. All of us fell in love with him and had to give plenty of hugs! This is the SOFTEST yarn. She double plied the yarn. The stripes come from the natural colors in the yarn.

If you have some crimpy fiber give it a try, spin fuzzy!

Good Things

~A day of excitement. First, my new Keurig Brewer arrived late yesterday. I have a special “in” at theDealyo. I had asked two of my daughters to please let me know when there was another fantastic, can’t-miss, deal on Keurig Brewers. Darcey, owner of theDealyo, and Em, who helps out, let me know about a great deal – cheapest on the Internet. I snapped it up at Kohl’s online. It arrived and came with some samples. I’m drinking the French Vanilla with breakfast! Not the best pic, sorry. Too dark, but I don’t have time to wait for the sun.

Then, hurray, today is the first day of Spinning Class conducted by Margaret Can’t-Remember-Her-Last-Name. What wonders will I learn? What fabulous fibers will I finger? Can’t wait. This is short but sweet today since it’s almost time to leave for class. Can’t wait! Will keep you posted.