Spinning, Uncategorized

Wait but There’s More

I did get a little housekeeping done. The Tour De Fleece skeins are finally washed. There was so much to wash that I just filled up my kiddie pool, added a little Dr. Bronners Castle Soap and gave them a swirl to set the twist.


I bought some stuff. I bought a lot of stuff (hangs head). A new to me wheel. It’s a Lendrum with a bunch of extras thrown in, including Spunky Eclectic Aspen BFL roving which I immediately spun up. I did try to vote my Ashford Traveller wheel off the island via Ravelry but no takers so I guess I’m a crazed lady with 5 spinning wheels. But, but I spin though.



Oh yes, and then theirs a few spindles. I bought 2 bottom whirls one has a pewter whirl and the other is one of the illusive Ann Grout pottery spindles. It was a steal at $25 on a Ravelry destash. Then there’s the cute little Greensleeves teacup spindle and… let me just stop. But, but I spin though.


My favorite is the cute little owl spindle I got from Woodland Woodworks. I saw them in the Inglenooks forum during Tour De Fleece then this happened…


I did start a new knitting project. This is the starts of a hoodie that I found on Knitty called Undercurrent.


I did swatch…just in case this thing turns out to be a disaster. I tried to plan really. The yarn is crazy as all get out. The art batts were from Gargoylelover in the Starry Night colorway. I am adding in some white silk yarn that I’ve had in my stash forever in hopes of having enough yarn to finish.


Meanwhile I have some socks  lingering on the needles along my crochet Virus shawl which is slowly growing.


Spinning, Uncategorized

Spinning Under the Influence: Artsy Yarn

Every since I joined a few Ravelry spinning groups last month I’ve been under a bit of a trance with my spinning. No, stranger to color it was only natural that I would see Inglenook fibers and need to spin some. They have the most imaginative colorways. I decided to follow the technique of the Ravelry folks for spinning my Hawaiian Shirt braid.

I would spin a two ply yarn that keeps the color blocks together by separating the fiber then spinning each color separately. This skein was completely spindle spun.


I liked it so I did the same with a Fierce Fibers braid I purchased and the Oregon Sheep and Wool Fest

It did stop their there though. Texture! I have been spinning all the art batts I can get my hands on and pretty much any fiber prep with some irregular bumpiness to it.


As a primarily fingering/lace weight spinner it’s really bizarre that I’m spinning inconsistent yarns now.

At Michigan fiber fest I got to card my own batt at the Uniquely Yours booth. I used blue BFL with green merino and added in shredded money. I couldn’t wait to see what it would do. I spun it like a wild woman and made a very thick and thin single then plied it with copper sewing thread, What?!  yes, I’m calling this skein dollars and Cents ya’ll.

I kept the craziness going with an art batt from Beyond the Fleece which I also spun willy nilly.

I spindle spun another batt I bought from her earlier this year at Ann Arbor Fiber fest in my usually lace weight. It’s a nice skein with some texture here and there but otherwise safe.

I should be done right? nope. I bought some roving from another vender (can’t think of the name at the moment) that is minty green with black silk noil. Texure! They called it Leopard Frog, I call it Mint Chocolate Chip.  Seeing as how mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream I had to go ahead and start spinning that too. I am swirling in some grey Shetland to make it a sweater quantity.

I’ve had a drum carder for at least 7 years and had only used it for processing until now. The fiber fest adventure has reprogrammed my mind so now I’ve taken it out to turn a bag of colorful odds and ends that I bought a long time ago into a spinnable batt. I will add the trinkets back in during the plying phase

This little treasure trove is now awaiting its turn on the wheel.  This has got to be a phase.

Sewing, Uncategorized

I Still Sew: Cappuccino Dress

I’ve been meaning to sew for a while now, really. I haven’t forgot. Lately my spinning mojo has been in control. There was this one pattern though that was able to snap me out of my spinning trance for a brief moment, the cappuccino dress by Oliver & Co.


I caught on to the Portfolio Dress bandwagon late and Simplicity left us all hanging after the initial pattern run was sold out. When Oliver & Co finally released a follow-up pattern, the Cappaccino Dress, I wanted it although I liked the original better. At $14.99 it is on the pricey end for me but after stalking for a year I figured I wanted it bad enough for the splurge.

The dress sewed up pretty easily and is very comfy. I definitely want to do more. I am surprised at how well the kimono sleeves fit even without a gusset. Cheers to the Cappaccino dress!…now back to my spinning.


I also want to throw in this picture of me feeling saucy for my cousin’s wedding wearing my MCCalls 6770skirt. I made it last year to wear to a murder mystery dinner. It was I think, the last garment I had sewn before this dress. Still loving it.

McCall’s 6770 skirt


Meanwhile a whole basket of sewing projects I cut out years ago await their turns on the needle. 101_2301




Me Too: Joining the 2017 Tour De Fleece Spin-a-long

I had only heard of this event a few months ago perhaps in someone’s podcast. I have a vague idea of what the event inspiration Tour De France is. The thought of setting some personal spinning goals and spending most of July treadling my wheels intrigued me.

I decided to participate in two Ravelry forums: Sweets Off the Wheel and Sew Perfect Purls which was a lot of fun. I found it really inspiring looking at all of the fibers and finished skeins people were posting. It was also nice to chat with all people who are just as enthusiastic about fiberarts as me. I made some nice connections sharing and learning with the others in the group.

My goals were to spin 2 sweater quantities of wool (found malabrigo fiber for $12 per 4oz braid on fabulousyarn.com and lost my mind) and 4oz of flax strick. I pretty much did that and also experimented with dyeing raw cotton with fiber reactive dyes.


The plan was to put all of my wheels to use.

Jensen TinaII- spin a strick of flax
Kromski Symphony- spin 12oz of Malabrigo Nube in a fingering/sport chain-plied yarn
Kromski Sonata-combo spin 2 4oz neon braids (1 merino, 1 ramboullet) with a high twist
Ashford Traveler w/ lace flyer- dye some cotton punis (never dyed before) and spin them up.

ready to skein TDF2017

I ended up spinning 4 oz white Targhee, 8 oz Fierce fibers 1ply bruised fairy in ramboulett and 1ply bright rainbow merino, 12 oz Malabrigo Nube merino in Arco Iris, mixed skeins of pink/purple cotton/bamboo, 4oz flax strick)

The cotton dyeing was quite the experiment. I learned why it’s essential to scour the cotton with soda ash on high heat. The natural oil cause the cotton to float on the water like marshmallow. The water did not penetrate the mass of fiber until the oil was boiled away.

The dyeing part was pretty simple. I mixed up some magenta, raspberry, purple in squeeze bottles and got the job done. I even dyed my handspun cotton shawl I crocheted last year.

After that I was worried that I had ruined my punis along with the bamboo fiber I through in. The punis shriveled into little dreadlocks.  It became so compacted and matted. With the help of some wooden sticks and a pillow I was able to fluff them up enough to spin.

I ran the bamboo through the carder to fluff it up then hand carded it into a cloud. The cotton and bamboo singles were plied together for a slubby but still had a nice drape and sheen.


I stopped measuring yardage a few years ago after discovering I usually spin a fingering weight yarn by default and 4 oz of wool just about always ends up being about 450yards after washing. The Targhee may end up shrinking more because of the crimp.
Today I counted my flax thinking surely it would be different because well it’s different than wool. Nope. The 4oz skein ended up being 450.7 yards. The last time I measured cotton it had like 9% shrinkage after washing.
With all that said I spun
6-4oz wool skeins =2,700 yards
1- 4oz flax skein=450 yards
The cotton and cotton/bamboo skeins(completely different weight/yardage ration)- 2oz gives about 500 yards unwashed. I’m just gonna say 700yardsthinking_face
Total approximate yardage=3,850yards

handspun cotton and bamboo skeins


TDF 2017 skeins
2017 Tour De Fleece Results
TDF2017 skeins in a basket
basket of skeins awaiting their final soak