Category Archives: New to me

A venture into the unknown.

Sweet!

I have worked with the alpaca and come out on top. I have conquered, and I’m loving it.

A Bobbin of Joy

A Bobbin of Joy


It’s really weird how different it is from regular wool. I can’t think of how to describe it expect that it’s “buttery-er” than wool. It kind of slides along. I’ve been spinning it on the Walking Wheel.

The original idea was to try for a sport weight yarn, but I don’t know if that’s what this will turn out as. I spun a gazillion little samples to see what the best amount of twist would be. (And promptly forgot which sample went with which amount of twist.) But, the alpaca seems to be behaving, and I’m getting pretty good at separating out the coarser, slippery hairs. Wait, that sounds funny—how can something be slippery and coarse? . . . but that’s really the only way I can describe it.

Ingenuity At Work

I finally finished plying the Flamenco yarn. (Isn’t it gorgeous?) Due to some shedding of reddish powder I decided to try steam setting the twist, in the hope that it would set any excess dye that was laying around. And since I wanted to steam set the twist in the silk yarn, why not do them together?

Two For The Road

Two For The Road

As Yet Unknown

I have almost given up on finding a name for this yarn.

Smooshie Yarn

Smooshie Yarn


It’s spun from the three colors of fleece, and it’s a very lumpy, funky, bumpy yarn. (My first stab at one ply thick and one ply thin.) I thought about calling it “Mariposa,” but I’ve never seen a butterfly in those colors. The normal thing to do would be some sort of “Under the Sea,” or “Wave Fantasy,” but I was hoping to come up with something a little more original. As it is, it’s taking a lot longer to spin this yarn than I thought.

Alpaca

Look at this most beautiful bag full of the softest, cinnamon-iest alpaca fleece!

Alpaca Fleece

Alpaca Fleece

There are almost eight ounces! (Thanks, Mama Mentor!) I am so excited and eager to start playing with it.

Purple Queen

I seem to recall hearing silk referred to as the queen of fibers. If that’s the case, I heartily agree. I’m getting more and more in love with silk. The way it drafts, the way it shines, the way it swirls into a colorful rush of beauty . . . and that sounds like some really weird love song. But, I have proof that it swirls into a colorful rush of beauty! See?

Silk Swirl

Silk Swirl

Thin as a Thread

I finally figured out what I wanted to do with that blue Merino/Bamboo blend that I got from Whorling Tides. Because of the way the Great Wheel works I can spin stuff really, really fine. It’s like a giant support spindle! (I’m planning to try cotton on it sometime in the near future.) I’ve spun about half of the braid. Here it is reeled off onto a cardboard tube.

Half of the Needed Singles

Half of the Needed Singles

A Really, Truly Great Wheel

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’ve been holding out on you. A week ago I got to play with a new toy, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

The Walking Wheel

The Walking Wheel


This is our Walking Wheel. (Also called a “Great Wheel.”) And it really is a great wheel. Not to mention big. The top of the wheel comes up to my chin, which puts it at almost five feet high, and the whole contraption is somewhere around five feet long.

I Am Now Convinced

Felt has a mind of its own. That’s the only explanation.

Felted Circle

Felted Circle

When you felt something it’s supposed to shrink, right? Well, how do you explain this crocheted woolen circle starting out at twelve and a half inches in diameter, and winding up at fifteen inches in diameter? It’s crazy! My first time felting and the thing got bigger. I dunked it in hot water, rubbed, cold water, rubbed, and repeated several times. I mangled it to within an inch of its wooly life! It must have felted (or fulled) somewhat because it’s stiffer and fuzzier than it was . . . Am I doing something wrong, or does the word “felt” mean that the wool can do whatever it feels like doing?

A Kelp Forest

(Spinning project update!)

Here is the carded version of the wool I dyed recently.

The Hand-Carded Fiber

The Hand-Carded Fiber

I’m so glad it carded up well; for a little while there I thought it would turn out to be sort of an electrified skunk color. Although I’m at a loss as to what to call it. It’s too turquoise to be brown, but it’s too brown to be turquoise. I finally came up with “Kelp Forest,” because it’s got the blue of the water and the browny green of the kelp—but does that strike you as a pretty name? It makes me think of long slimy things wrapping around my ankles.

Strauch Carders and Dyes by the Ounce

SAFF purchase details: Post #6

My dad and I stopped to talk to a gentlemen who was demonstrating the Strauch Drum Carders. He was a very nice man, and he explained the drum carding process very clearly. I came away from that knowing that if I ever get a drum carder, I’m getting a Strauch. The biggest reason is the “licker in” part. His is designed so the fiber won’t get caught in it. Now I just need an excuse to get it. Hmm.

Anyway, then we went to the Earth Guild place, and I bought some natural dye stuffs! A couple ounces of Cochineals, Indigo, and Cutch. (And, of course, a mordant and some stuff to make the indigo do its thing.) I can hardly wait to use them.