My, my, my…Well what do we have here?
Looks like a bowl full of fun to me. :) Especially on a gray day.
Well, maybe a table full of fun. As you can see, I got a few new toys to play with simply because…Well, I wanted to, lol. Ever since I had to leave my second job, I’ve had to kind of play it low key on ordering so much stuff. It’s caused lots of episodes of withdrawal. But, recently, I remembered that you can still spin on a budget, if you want.
Spindle projects can take a while. If your prone to distractions (ahem) they can take a long while.
Specimen one was begun back in October. While playing around with a drum carder and some locks, I came up with a very textural batt that I wanted to spindle spin just to see how it came out.
Isn’t that beautiful?! Well, it’s not very consistent, so I suppose it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I would not normally spin a yarn this way myself because my default yarn tends to be pretty plain-looking. The default yarn (the one you most often spin when left to your own devices), tends to look the same yarn-after-yarn after awhile if you don’t throw a monkey wrench in there every so often. I don’t think it’s a big deal to spin my default most of the time because they’re usually the workhorses behind whatever I choose to knit. But, there are times when I just want to see something different on my wheel or spindle. So, I do things like this sometimes just to, you know, wile out a little bit. You know, it ‘s like what they say: The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We don’t want to go completely crazy do we? Heavens no. Trying a batt that has no chance of coming out consistent is one way of ensuring you will get something different in the end.
That said, I haven’t taken it off the spindle yet. Making an erratic-looking handspun can sometimes not be the most readily useable yarn to me. In the grand scheme of things, because sometimes I really just want to spin and see them in the end, that doesn’t matter. But, what comes off there could be a monster of a thing! Still a new spinner over here. So, we’ll see if I like that. It looks like an amount I’d be able to put in a plying bracelet and finish. Maybe by next post.
Specimen two, on the other hand, will more than likely be finished on the wheel.
It’s also pretty textural. One hundred percent alpaca. It’s so soft, I can’t get over it! I’m thinking maybe a chain ply? We’ll see.
And for some more texture…
I ordered some mohair from an etsy shop recently. Again, remembering we’re on a budget here…This was a mere two bucks from The Yarn Marm! How could I not try that? I wonder what kind of halo this will add to…well, something, lol! Hey, I didn’t say I knew what I was going to do with all this stuff.
Next up, is a very new toy for me.
Another attempt at doing something a little different. Variety is the spice of life, y’all.
This is a 9 inch tahkli spindle and I spun on it a little last night. Spinning with a tahkli is another version of supported spinning. It’s pretty fun albeit a little challenging if you’ve spun short fibers before. Supported spinning with a tahkli is really suitable for spinning shorter fibers like cotton, which is what you see here. Cotton needs a lot of twist to hold it together…and a tahkli gives it just what it needs. That thing spins on a dime! Actually, this tahkli is made with a coin (alloy) for the whorl and some piano wire by spinnerdude. There is no hook at the top as he seems to think they’re annoying. I wouldn’t know since this is my first one. But, having had a couple support spindles that have never had hooks at the top, I didn’t miss it. The tip is also very sharp to get that fast, long spin. Only $12. Nice right? I got the bowl from a thrift shop, so we’re still crafting on the cheap here.
Now, spinning cotton on a tahkli is usually done with cotton punis. But, I couldn’t find any that were a better deal than this cotton batt, again from The Yarn Marm at $4. C’mon! If you’re not spinning yet…with prices like that, how can you resist? Really?
I haven’t tried supported spinning since that last post…But since I was just learning then too, this is more of the same. It’s not for the faint of heart (or the easily frustrated). Again, spinning cotton is a little more challenging than many of the other fibers I’ve spun. In the beginning, attaching it to the leader was a chore because it kept drifting apart (not enough twist). Then, as I started inserting more twist, it snapped apart a few times (a little too much twist). I started getting a rhythm after a while though to the point where I could twirl and draft at the same time. We’ll see how far I get tonight.
When I budget on some of my toys and fiber, I get to save the big bucks for things like this!
Okay. Truth be told, I want this on my kindle too, which means at some point, I will be paying double for this treasure. And it’s supposed to be coming out soon. Very rarely do I ever get a bound book anymore. I have some very good reasons for that:
- I just can’t get these past the hubby anymore. My section of the library is bursting at the seams. I’m beginning to take over his section…It’s not looking good y’all.
- I am a pack rat by nature. I want my WHOLE library with me. At all times.
- Ebooks are generally cheaper than their bound counterparts. And you know what that means. More money left over to put toward another one.
I know, holding your device is not the same as holding a book in your hand. I get it. And it’s a very good point. But, in the end, I just want to hold MORE of them. Cloak and dagger is definitely the way to go here.
But, there are those times when I know I’m going to have to have both, the digital edition and its physical manifestation. This, my friends, is one of those times.
Doesn’t that look yummy?! And this is an author after my own heart. Sarah Anderson writes that she spins a lot of workhorse yarns too. But, she just wants to spin other things from time to time and she’s a better spinner for it. I love that!
The book is set up like an encyclopedia without the snore factor. Most of the examples of the yarn designs are shown in white so that the structure of the yarn is emphasized. They’re all so luscious that even in all white, they’re all glorious! That said, there are still some pops of color here and there and plenty of little sidebars to keep me entertained. It’s a beautiful book throughout with tons of information. Not only does it show how to create 80 different types of yarns while covering the basics like hand carding, preparing fleece, measuring balance, etc., but it also includes tips on everything in between from troubleshooting a runaway center-pull ball (you spinners know you need that) to evaluating and solving problems with your handspun. Even tips on successful color blends. And the photos just keep coming! You know I love that.
It even comes with some handy cards to take along for reference.
Of course, when I get this on my iPad, I won’t need these so much. But, for those of you who have hubby’s that don’t want their shelves in the library, this is definitely for you, lol.
Sigh. I’m in love…with a book!
You know, the trouble with toys is they do break some times.
Take this needle for instance. It’s for the hat for my co-workers husband. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t maybe only the fourth time I’ve used this set…I’m resisting the urge to go get a whole new interchangeable set to replace this one with the broken needle…But I ask you: What good is it being a pack rat if you can’t be ready for anything and everything? It’s like oxymoronic in nature. Still, I have some restraint, though I’ve wanted the Addi Lace interchangeables for practically forever. Plus, I’ve already spent the money I could’ve used on it*, lol…Meh. It’s one project. I’ll use the next size up needle for that side, locate some superglue and some sandpaper, and see what we get from that.
Well, if all that wasn’t enough, I confess that I’m still considering a couple more toys…Hey, I’ve been a good girl. I need this.
No, not the gorgeous yarn gauge. I’m just using that to figure out which size heddle I might want to add to my loom. Lol! I said “might” like there’s really a chance I won’t get it! Craftspeople. Hah! We’re not delusional at all!
The Cricket Loom that I have comes with an 8 dent heddle. It seems fine for most of the yarns that I have purchased. But, according to my yarn gauge, for my handspun, I may want a 10 dent heddle. It’s figured out by measuring wraps per inch and then dividing by 2. I have about 21-22 wraps here. So, I’m thinking a 10 dent heddle would work for my default.
But…there’s one more thing I’m thinking about getting. It’s a BIG one. LOL! Okay, okay. I already ordered it. (hides face in shame)
Just one question:
How do you get a spinning wheel* past your hubby? Anybody?
*Yeah. Here’s where I spent that, lol.