I Got A New Wheel!

After a lot of research I ended up getting a Schacht Ladybug wheel. I went through at least 3 iterations of this is THE wheel and then changing my mind until I decided on this one.
I sold my old Baynes wheel to someone local. I will miss it but apartments don’t have much room for spinning wheels let alone two. 
I got the ladybug because I wanted options. I wanted tension options; the ladybug allows for scotch, Irish and double tension. I wanted options when it came to accessories along with assurance that the company that made my wheel would be around a year after I bought my wheel. The people who made my last wheel closed up shop about a year after I got it and its accessories are now hard to come by. Schatch is one of the main wheel manufacturers I need the world. Plus Akerworks has models for their bobbins! Although the accessories are pretty expensive. Last I got a double treadle but it definitely can work as a single treadle when I want it to be. I found out a couple of weeks after getting the wheel it comes with a second whorl too! (Each whorl comes with 2 diameters on it). 
I’ve already spun a couple pounds of wool on it! I can’t wait for Spinzilla this year! 

What I’ve spun on my new wheel so far! 

And this is one of my Akerworks bobbins! The other is the teal bobbin on my machine. 
I’m always inspired to spin more when I have a project in mind. Right now I’m aiming for another blanket (my guilty pleasure). I think next time I’ll try spinning some sock yarn!

A Mountain of Wool

I found some nice roving on knitpicks.com on sale. The wool was Wool of the Andes Roving and Full Circle Roving. I decided to buy 5 different colors for a special pattern that I bought from ravelry (fox paws). The wool was surprisingly good for the price and really easy to spin up.

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In process

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I had 200g of each color and 2 plied them. It took about a month to finish it all but that mostly was because I was away from my wheel for a while. At the end I could easily finish one of these skeins in 2 days and I think I did for the last two.

I will update you on what I plan on making with these beauties when there is something to show!

So My Friend Is Allergic To Wool…

One of my only yarn friends is allergic to wool. She is one of the few people who understand and have a similar sized stash of yarn in her apartment. The only difference is most of her stash is cotton or bamboo or acrylic or anything else that she can knit with that doesn’t make her break out in hives. Her choice to work at a yarn store where she has to stock angora, wool, and mohair seems a little silly when she texts me from the basement getting hives because someone was knitting with mohair and she was having trouble breathing from particles in the air. Like I said though, she really really likes yarn too.

As a fellow yarn lover she was pretty excited when I started spinning. We live in different cities so I would send her pictures of my fiber and my drop spindles and my newly spun yarn. A lot of people told me when I was starting spinning that wool is the easiest to spin. The longer the staple length and the courser the wool the easier it would be so I got mounds of wool to spin. And I would send pictures to Bronwen. Now being allergic to wool and animal fibers doesn’t make her immune to how pretty natural colored yarns are so when I showed her the back of my door hanging with an array of yarns in natural hues all she could think about was a nice sweater just for her.

IMG_20141015_141415Then she came and visited me! We had the best time eating out and drinking beers and hiking. I got to show her all of my yarn in person! Which she tried not to touch so much (and not because I didn’t wash it because I did!). I had her feel around my fiber drawers to see if any of the random fiber I had gotten might be Bronwen compatible. I had ordered a bunch of random fiber ends which was a pretty good deal for the amount of fiber but meant I had weird amounts and no idea but guesses what the fiber was made out of. She picked a nice blue from that that didn’t seem to make her break out. I spun it right in front of her. It was only a few ounces so didn’t take long at all. I felt like I was at a crafts fair showing off my artistry in front of my customers (well customer). I felt like my spinning wheel and I should go on the road. I sent her packing with probably 50 yards of some light blue fingering weight handspun yarn that she wasn’t allergic too!

I still felt like a bit of a tease so I went back to the part of the internet where they sell fiber and looked at different super wash (I am not yet brave enough to attempt cotton). Here is some of it.

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This was also a chance to try some chain ply on my wheel. I won’t say it went great but my motto at the moment is practice, practice, practice! Looks like my friend is going to ooing and awing over my new yarn 😉

Plying My Homespun

You might have seen my previous post on spinning with my drop spindle. Since getting my spindle and my first fiber that came with it I got another package of fiber. In my package I got a variety pack along with 8 oz of lime green, gold, and indigo. I decided to start with the variety pack to get the hang of it. Here is what came of them.

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You can’t really tell from the pictures but these are pretty small balls of yarn so I decided I wanted to try plying with them. My first combination was the top two, the dark blue and turquoise.

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Since I am still new at spinning I wasn’t able to make the two the same thickness. With different thicknesses and also not exactly the same amounts of fiber for the two colors I ended up with extra dark blue. I think the blend worked out well but see for yourself.

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Since I still had some extra of the other yarn I decided I would ply that with the purple yarn I spun.

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To finish up a newly spun yarn you have to wash it. I had gotten some wool wash with my spindle and first fiber. I washed the newly plied yarn with the wool wash and used my pasta drier to dry it on.

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The plying and the washing both made the yarn softer. I think they turned out really well.

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I have about 300 yd of the turquoise and blue and about 150 yd of the  purple and blue. I am really excited to see how it knits up!