I Need This

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My, my, my…Well what do we have here?

Looks like a bowl full of fun to me.  :)  Especially on a gray day.

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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. ;)

I didn’t forget I had some other projects to get out the way first though.  Very crucial step in adding yet something else to a bulging fiber habit.  Remember these (specimen one and specimen two)?

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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!

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The Spinners Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Comments

  1. B. Morgan Joy says:

    Whoops, I taught my husband to spin so I can wear him down on a new wheel more easily.
    I actually JUST bought The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs last week–it showed up on Monday and I’ve already read the whole thing. So, funny you should mention. Got The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook at the same time and I’m a quarter of the way through that. I keep pestering my roommate to look at all the goofy sheepies, which takes time.
    I’ve got some cotton…looks like top, I guess? that I wanted to try on my supported spindle. After a bit of trying and trying I decided that perhaps my supported spinning efforts would be better spent on little wool samples until I figure out how to make it go, at which point it got a bit buried under a mountain of fiber club shipments. Your tahkli looks like it has quite an impressive pile of cotton on it already, I sort of feel guilty about mine now!

    • What?! I can’t teach him to spin! Then he wouldn’t get his work done. And I wouldn’t get to spin as much. (See? Completely selfless, lol.)

      I love this book! I have the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook too. Haven’t read it all the way through yet either. I tend to jump around anymore. I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book the whole way through. I sound so illiterate at this moment…

      No need to feel guilty. Supported spinning is a bit of a challenge, I think…I thought I had spun quite a bit, but every time I look at the accumulation, it seems so minimal compared to what I would have spun on a drop spindle in the same amount of time. But, I’m doing much better with this than my first attempts at supported spindling. So that’s a positive. Sometimes it takes my hands a minute to catch up with my brains. :)

      • I just got that book, too! It came in on Tuesday and I spent the night reading it. I want to spin ALL the yarns. Actually, that sounds like something interesting to start off my latest blog, lol. I also bought the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook with it but only read up on Est à laine Mérinos since my fiancé is bringing me about, um, 500 lbs of the stuff from his uncle’s ranch and BFL and Shetland since those are/will be on my wheel.

      • B. Morgan Joy says:

        I know it’s meant to be a reference, but I still want to read straight through once. I stopped in the English Longwools section to make some time for a pile of border leicester fleece that needs scouring. Thought it’d be better to have the reading fresh in my head for the task.
        There’s some baby camel down waiting for me in my stash now that I should probably spin supported, maybe that will be a good motivator to practice with the Russian spindle. I thought it might find its way onto the wheel but now that I think about it, I have enough trouble spinning merino, camel down will be a huge exercise in frustration. It’s MUCH too soft for me to be getting frustrated with it.

  2. I love your spinning. It’s so incredibly beautiful … Oh, btw, would you be so kind as to answer me a question? The supported spindle you have there … Doesn’t it make some screeching sound when it goes around and around through the bowl (that’s a ceramic bowl, right)? I was wondering about that, because although I am not THAT sensitive, I really don’t like that noise very much. ;)

    Oh, and one more thing – have you got a Bosworth spindle, too? Or an Ashford one (maybe your Turkish spindles)? Because I am thinking of buying my second spindle and wanted to ask first, because I drop some cash. :D

    • Oh it doesn’t make mich of a sound at all-or, at least mine doesn’t. I am sensitive to tjat myself so I wouldn’t be able to use it if it did. :)

      Spindle shopping? Exciting! You know they rarely ever exist alone for very long. :) Yes, I do have a Bosworth. They are one of the best spindle makers. The red spin is a Bosworth Midi. I hope to have one of their moosies some day too. I don’t have an Ashford spindle, though I do have an Ashford wheel. Hope that helps.

      Which spindle do you have now?

      • One made of birch wood. :mrgreen: It isn’t from any particular artist, to be honest. When my guy and me went to that Renaissance Fair, there was one booth selling handspun yarn and fibre. As I ask the owner whether they happened to sell spindles, too, she took the one out that had been in a basket and told me I could have that for about … I think 12€ or so. It is quite big, but as you could see, you can spin fine threads on it as well … And it is pretty fast, too! Also sturdy (I don’t know how many times I accidently dropped it), so very nice. :)

        I had a look at several spindles during the last two weeks and I do love the Bosworth ones. But there is a German website selling Ashford spindles for about 15€ – or a Kromski spindle for 8€. Since I’m on a budget that wouldn’t be too bad … ;) They also have a Turkish spindle from Ashford for 24€ – but the Ashford ones are all made from birchwood or something like that, too. They don’t look as nice as yours. ;)

  3. I love that you and your husband still try to maintain your own “sections” of the bookcase. We have 2 bookcases in our apartment but have long since accepted that both are Hubby’s, as are the nightstands and the dvd rack full of books and the pile by the couch and the pile in the dining room… It’s not that I don’t read (a TON), it’s just that I don’t tend to reread. The library is the greatest thing ever for me.

  4. how to get spinning wheel past your husband – bring it in with the groceries, and keep it in the laundry room. He will never see it.

  5. The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs has been on my list to buy ever since I saw that it was coming out ~ after seeing your photos, I do need to buy it! I love your spinning, so gorgeous :)

  6. The Alpaca looks soooo soft! I think I might be buying that book, I’m trying to learn more about spinning so that I can start to make some progress. The yarn book I have stole all your snore factor I think. The spinning wheel… I agree with salpal1

  7. marlene toerien says:

    You better get a spinning wheel before your husband retire, he will even sort laundry just to keep busy. You are so lucky to be able to spin on a spindle, tried to, and it didn’t work for me, may I’ll try it again.

    Marlene T.

  8. This is giving me one hell of an itchy trigger finger on my etsy favorites list :P I shall refrain though, I’m on a yarn diet!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] like usual, we had show and tell.  I passed around the spinning book I showed you all last time.  And, I showed a few folks this notebook [...]

  2. [...] started on him until I had some other little ditties finished first. I seem to recall some cotton on a tahkli…some handspun that my get ran back through the wheel…a hat that shall ne'er be [...]

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