Monday, June 02, 2014

6.2.2014 Recording the stash

I spent this weekend recording the handspun stash.  I'm not done by a long shot, but my arm said it was tired of running the ball winder so I quit and went back to spinning again.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

5.7.2014 Muting down the garish

Some years ago, I bought some tussah silk for the red bump it appeared to be and was mildly appalled to find bright turquoise bits inside.  (There were also bright pink bits inside that I didn't expect but that will be another day's story.)  Ordinarily I don't mind turquoise; in fact, I quite like it, but not when I think I'm buying a deep red shading to browns.

I spun some of the silk into a single and plied it with Malabrigo lace which I liked, but I did the three skeins of Malabrigo I had that way and I still had more than half the original silk bump left.  I almost dumped it all into the guild fundraiser, but then I had another thought.

I split the silk into three categories:  red shading to browns (what I originally thought I bought, for those keeping track), the Pink sections, and the turquoise bits.  The turquoise sections turn out to be just longer than the staple length of the silk, so for the most part, each end is tipped in red.  The turquoise is only more or less centered in the section depending on how accurate I was in the separation process (which is to say, not very).

I'm then dividing each bit into approximately five by pinching off a section at a time.  If you've worked with silk top before, you will recognize that it can easily be divided longitudinally.  The two bits on the left are working amounts of top; the five bits on the right are the full amount before dividing.

Each working bit is then folded in half and joined to the single in progress:

The drafting triangle pulls from both halves and merges the blue with the red to give me mostly purple in a much more muted shade.  Short draw, obviously.  Keeping the fibers parallel to each other until they are drafted out means that it can actually be drafted - silk doesn't like sliding if there's any twist at all.
The single still shows the red and blue but the final version is something I might wear.

You know: Eventually.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

5.1.2014 Bosworths and silk

I got to thinking about my Bosworth spindles which haven't all been in one place in quite a while.  I hadn't noticed that they had all acquired silk.  Birdseye maple midi with natural tussah silk dyed by me in a bound resist on the left.  On the right we have a moosie with natural bombyx silk, a tulipwood mini with natural bombyx hankies and a walnut featherweight with commercially dyed tussah that was almost certainly bleached not natural.

That was probably the last bleached tussah I'll ever buy - I just don't like the chalky feel it gives the silk.

I'm off to MS&W and I've got to decide what size I want next...  The midi is as large as I plan to go, I like the moosie but don't need a second - I think it will come down to what choices are available in the featherweight and mini sizes.  I already have a second mini somewhere in the world, but the bag it was in went missing three or four years ago and I'm slowly losing hope in finding it again.  Maybe if I replace it, I'll find it?

One missing knitting (wegman's reusable grocery) bag with one mini Bosworth, the fiber on and with it (who knows now what it was) and the last ball of yarn needed to finish a stole.  Obviously if I'd had any sense I would have given up ages ago and replaced the replaceable things.  If I'd done that I'd know where my bag was by now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

4.11.2014 More pink silk, but slowly

The best thing about having two wheels is the ability to easily switch between two different projects.  I like spinning silk, but it has gotten harder on my hands.  I've noticed that when I have a silk project on the Lendrum, I go longer and longer between times of sitting down to spin.  It doesn't actually feel bad; it just isn't something I find I have the impulse to do very often.  I really like the finished product though, so I still do it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

4.8.2014 Latest lace blob

This is one of the shawl's on my bucket list: Pacific Northwest by Evelyn Clark.  I intended to take the purple merino with me on vacation (off to not-very-sunny-at-the-time Charleston, SC).  The pattern I wanted wouldn't print at all reasonably, so I grabbed the alpaca lace I had sitting about and the one copy of the two of Pacific Northwest that I had sitting about and a random needle I had sitting about (a size smaller than called for I think but didn't ever bother checking).

I think it's coming out well for being a grab-and-go project.