This week I took the plunge and began to ply my spindle spun buffalo yarn. As you know I am plying the single of buffalo fiber with a commercial wool crepe yarn, these fibers have been combined onto a Russian plying spindle. Yes it did take me about 2 hours to combine the 2 yarns together but mostly because my plying spindle is so heavy I had to give my wrist a break from holding it. A lighter weight plying spindle has been ordered so I can move through this process quicker. Once I had the fibers combined the next step was to create the plying disc. I finally found some cardboard which suited my needs and made a somewhat round circle and began the process of plying the fibers.
My current spindle does work well as a supported spindle and is aiding in the plying process rather well. Somehow I seem to have more yak yarn than wool and keep getting gaps in the drafting area as the 2 yarns are not in sync. Since this is my first time with this process I’m trying not to be to critical and treating things as a learning experience. After all I have another 1/2 ounce of buffalo fiber plus cashmere, yak and paco-vicuna fibers to work with.
This weekend a met another lace knitter who happens to be a cashmere fanatic. She has asked that I attempt to make a 2 ply cobweb weight yarn from paco-vicuna for her use in her knitting business. My only hiccup at the moment is that I don’t know where I put my paco-vicuna fiber so that I can start on this process. The last time I spun PV fiber was a few years back and on my Louet wheel and it turned out a Sports weight single. Now that I can spin a fine yarn on the Russian spindles I am hoping to each cobweb status – time will tell.
Very excited to be coming to the end of the process of making my newest buffalo yarn. The first half ounce of buffalo fiber was spun into a single on the Russian spindle. I then found a dark purple wool crepe yarn from Habu to ply with the buffalo a few weeks ago. I spent part of my Sunday combining the two yarns onto a plying spindle and just need to make a plying disc this week to ply the two yarns together. Buffalo Fiber Habu wool yarn
I have learned from this process that my “plying” spindle is very heavy and I might want to get something a bit smaller. My hand/wrist ached a bit from combining the threads onto the spindle. I found myself taking lots of breaks from the project just to give my wrist a break. Not sure of the yardage as of yet but there is quite a bit of yarn on the plying spindle. It is nice to see the pieces of the project coming together and know that I am creating something special.
Last week I made a commitment to be more productive with my hand spinning of yarns and knitting of items which was based on my small supply of material to sell. I am happy to say that my production schedule is working and I completed 2 skeins of yarn and 1 hat within a week’s time frame. These 2 lovely skeins were spun into 2 ply yarns that still need to be measured but I’m thinking they are DK to Worsted weight yarns. The cabled lace hat also has been finished and was a challenge because I don’t particularly like cable needles.
I love the shine factor in both of these yarns and am having fun going through my stash of dyed rovings. There was a time towards the end of 2013 that I found myself short on dyed fibers but somehow that has been remedied (shopping sprees). This week I am on target for 4 skeins of yarn as I plied 2 yarns on Sunday and they are drying this week. The dyed Louet Fiber yarns are on the menu for this week. These rovings will have to be Navajo plied to keep the colors from being muddy which requires spinning a fine single so I may just do one of them. I’m really trying to boost the number of worsted and DK weight yarns in the inventory so I plan on spinning more of my other rovings than the Louet group.
On the needles is a new hat being made from the yarn I won at the Salida Fiber Festival last year. I won 3 skeins of a linen/cotton based yarn in pretty spring colors (green, yellow and peach). The yarns are being turned into hats with a broken rib stitch pattern but using a 2×2 ribbing. I had started to make a cowl using some kettle dyed yarn I received as a gift but am not liking the look of it with the color changes. This yarn has short color changes and knitting it in the round is creating a very muddled mess of colors. Thinking this yarn will make a better scarf than cowl and as it is a cotton/cashmere blend it deserves to be in a special project. My inventory only has 3 cowls in it and most are very warm so the search is on for the right lightweight yarn in a good color scheme to make cowls for the summer.
The Holiday Artisan Boutique is officially over. I caught a cold on Friday so this weekend was physically tough on me but I made it through. Sold a few pieces on both days and handed out my business cards to several pieces. I made some wonderful connections not only with the fellow artisans but with a few customers too. The great thing about craft fairs is the connections one makes as they can turn into great customers down the road.
Although I’m exhausted at least I know that all of my scarves are blocked and ready for sale now. I received lots of compliments on my knitted lace items and people were intrigued by the Navajo Spindle I used this weekend to make yarn. The wool top from Atlanta has been spun and I just need to ply this week. I also managed to spin up the rolags from the sheep breed and spun an ounce of the Shetland top fibers this weekend.
The great thing about spindles are they are so transportable and don’t take up much room while allowing one to demonstrate the art of spinning yarn. I met a lady that makes tatted earrings and bracelets with a needle versus the shuttle. I was so impressed with her work and inspired to pick up my tatting yarn over the holidays.
Thus far my holiday projects are to weave a couple of scarves, bake lots of bread in my bread machine and relearn how to do tatting! We shall see how many of these things I accomplish during my week off. I’m off to take cold meds and rest so have a great week until next time we chat!
I have taken the plunge to start blogging again but this time in WordPress format. Welcome to the business adventures of Herie7 Natural Fiber Treasures. Together we will journey through the ups and downs of running a craft based small business in sunny Colorado. Last month I launched my own domain and website located at www.herie7.com but you can still find me on Etsy at www.herie7.etsy.com.
After a very stressful week I so enjoyed hanging out with the alpacas at Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch today. I took lots of pics of the animals and even some product shots of yarn – yes I was quite productive today. My love of my Navajo Spindle continues and I am now beginning to spin up the Navajo Churro fleece onto the spindle. The locks of the fleece have been teased open so that I can spin it in the raw as I was shown during the Taos Wool Festival this month. It is a little weird to work with raw fleece as most of this year I have been working with processed roving. Yarn for weavers is my goal and this project will be the first test of my success in the venture.
My goal is to write once a week (no pressure) and to post pictures of my progress to share with the community. I am so blessed to have spinning yarn as an outlet for my creativity and have met so many nice ranchers along my fiber journey. Until next week here are some of my pics of the day!