I feel as if I am recreating my own Tour De Fleece as I have been very busy this holiday weekend spinning yarn. At this point I have finished spinning 3 sets of singles, one black Shetland, one white Rambouillet and one off white Romney. Each weighs 2 oz and will become 2 ply yarns. The Shetland comes from Pinon Wood ranch in Norwood, Colorado and is from one of the rovings I purchased during the road trip. I had to put one of them on the wheel – all that new fiber was crying out to be spun. The Romney comes from my purchase at Estes Park and is part of the stash used in the Tour de Fleece. My Rambouillet came from a shop on Etsy called Katrinas Wool World. I have spun the remaining Yak cloud on my drop spindle into yarn and now need to go through the raw fiber I was given to see if I can add any length to what’s on the spindle. My drop spindle spun cotton has been placed on a bobbin as a holder and to free up the spindle. I still have several bolls of cotton to spin up but noticed that as the spindle became fuller it was harder to add more fiber too it. The joins of the cotton will be tricky as it broke in a couple places while transferring it but I think it will make a nice 2 ply yarn. Can’t forget to boil the finished yarn to set the twist – that should be fun.
This was the listing of the wool on the site: “Washed wool fleece with a 3 inch staple. I think this will spin up to a lofty yarn. This wool does have some chaff and discolored ends, It has been priced accordingly. Would also be good for felting. I would consider it a medium wool.” I had no idea what chaff was until I posed the question on Ravelry – love this site. Basically the fiber contains no lanolin but a lot (a lot) of vegetable matter but that is what “chaff” means. So I took my ficker brush to remove most of the vm and then created rolags with my hand carder. There seems to be a bit of second cuts within the fiber too. The yarn was spun woolen to give it some air and allow for it to be stretchy. It does remind me if the stretchiness of Romney and my first thought was to ply them together. I realized that my Romney is spun worsted though so perhaps the second batch can be plied together.
The Shetland roving from Panda is quite soft and it too is spun woolen to allow air into the yarn. I did spin it rather thinly as to try to remove most of the vm from the fiber supply. It will make a nice 2 ply yarn and for my second batch of roving I am going to Navajo ply it. The remaining clean Romney has been separated into 2 oz batches that will also be Navajo plied into yarn. I have been practicing my Navajo plying on the light brown alpaca cloud fiber and it is turning out rather well. It is still difficult to get the plying started and I need to review videos on the process for the next batch but overall all I am not over spinning the fiber at this point. I created a 3 ply alpaca yarn from the same fiber and was very careful in not over twisting the fibers. It is now cleaned and dry and feels so much softer than the original singles. I used 3 bobbins of fiber to create this yarn which had a lot of guesswork involved to get similar yardage on each spool.
On the knitting end I unraveled (yet again) the cardigan but not completely. Somehow I had dropped a stitch which created a large strand of loose yarn and dropped a stitch on the side leaving another noticeable gap. As I intend to sell the finished item I couldn’t live with the errors so I frogged it to the last mistake and have begun to follow the pattern design again in a smoother fashion. I also decided that I needed a little shorter project than the cardigan so I picked up the lace yarn from the Fancy Tiger shop and am turning it into a scarf. It is Merino wool yarn and single ply which I find to be quite fascinating but have to be careful to not tear or pierce the fiber with my size 1 needles. So far the yarn is holding together very well and it is a rich dark green color perfect for autumn.
I will find out this week about my final sales total from the Renaissance Festival – yeah and this coming weekend I am picking up all of the alpaca rovings. I am looking forward to spinning the milk and bamboo blends as I didn’t have enough left from the first batch to create yarn from. Not sure if my LYS will carry any of the new blends as they are not died and will be close in color to the bamboo blend she has in stock but we shall see. Still haven’t had any sales on the Etsy site but I have been visiting the treasuries and boards so getting some recognition from others. My goals for the fall are to stock up for the holidays and I am even thinking of running a sale perhaps free shipping. For now it is just a thought as I still want to increase my inventory levels of fiber and yarn. I am really trying to create listings in the seasonal color scheme too. That red roving is calling out to me to be spun into yarn and perhaps some projects perhaps by the end of September. I still have so much fiber to play with too.
Alas no pictures with this post, I just haven’t been motivated to take them, transfer to online storage and post. If there is one thing I truly hope to outsource (next year) it is the creation of photos and their electronic images. Until next time – hears hoping your fiber adventures are as enjoyable as mine!