Archive for February, 2008

The Z bobbin of romney is done and I’m well along on the second S one. There are some pictures I haven’t gotten off the camera yet, but I can tell you exactly what it looks like: a skein of 400-ish meters of off-white singles. Rather a lot like this, actually, although a bit finer and nowhere near as even. I’d guess it’s around 25 wraps per inch, for those who pay attention to such things (I usually don’t.)

I left it on the skein winder and sprayed it with water rather than wash, I don’t want it to fluff up at all and drying under tension would be a good thing. The skein winder is wood, but I long ago finished the pegs in clear nail polish so it could handle a little water. It’s still not a proper yarn blocker, but it will do for now. I started to count the finished skein to get an accurate length measurement, but I tried it the day I was home sick and managed to lose track before I could write it down.

I spent a couple hours yesterday spinning and my wheel is being kinda cranky. When I was spinning daily I never had a problem with this, and even a couple times a month it would be fussy for a few minutes and then settle down. But now that I haven’t been regularly spinning for a year it’s annoying. The takeup tension comes and goes.

I’ve already cleaned the various flyer parts and gone at it with the graphite powder (which I use instead of oil.) I did have the original rubber band on the scotch tension brake, so I’ve replaced it with a hair elastic. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been suspecting it’s the change in environment, as previously we were in a basement where it was pretty much the same all the time. Now it’s winter and cold even with the heaters on, and despite all the rain it’s dry inside. This is the second winter in this apartment and since last year I’ve done even more weatherstripping and insulating, including plastic film on the windows. I’m going through hand lotion like nobody’s business, it must be having an effect on the wood equipment. But you would think with all the plastic and metal parts on the Lendrum it would be less sensitive.

More in the saga of the carder swap. With the other one off to its new home, I have the Fricke Petite. I wanted to give it a go before I committed to buying, on the off chance there was something about this particular model that totally irritated me. Well, as expected, now one of my chores for this weekend is figure out where I put the checkbook.

This model is intended for occasional use, which is fine with me. Since it takes so long to spin fine yarn, fiber prep only happens occasionally anyway and I’m certainly not getting rid of the combs. The key feature (and why I almost never used the other carder) is the ability to card fine wool. I will likely one day still get the DDD but this is quite serviceable for what I expect to do over the next couple years. It’s also smaller and less expensive. As much as I love Pat Green equipment, it doesn’t fit into my city life all that well.

There are a few posts to catch up on so I’m going to try to get some of them out of the way while it’s still too early to be up and making noise around here. And, yes, there will be pictures now that the camera situation has gotten straightened out.

A mysterious package arrived at the mailbox this week and it contained holiday gifts. (I’m not going to comment on schedule because several of ours are still sitting here waiting to be packed up.) It was from The Boyfriend’s brother and his wife, whose wedding we attended last summer. And there were Textiles! Which is totally cool. Really, really nice ones. They went to Scotland for their honeymoon and clearly did some shopping. These are commercially spun and woven but I’m going to post them anyway.

Here’s the first, a large Shetland wool throw. It’s pale green heather single both warp and weft in plain weave, with warp fringe. It’s nicely finished with the felted fringe that won’t get all skanky after a few washings.

Shetland wool throw

The second item is a cashmere scarf, which I couldn’t resist showing with the new tweed jacket. There was a comment made how somebody felt like he should be off rambling the moor.

Scottish scarf

Cashmere is seriously warm, so this is actually a very practical travel item for those Italy trips.

I did some spinning the other day and thought I’d post something. I am working with some long staple, about 20 cm, Romney fleece that’s been sitting around for some years now. It’s not the nicest stuff so I haven’t been terribly interested in using it for a project. But right now I’m working on yarn for a weaving sample so random wool from the fiber closet is fine.

For singles warp I need to spin from combed fiber, but the big scary English combs that would work best with this fiber are still packed away back east. The Viking combs, or any hand-held comb, are difficult to manage with this stuff. So I’m using a dog brush to comb it out and spinning directly from the staple.

To keep the fiber under control I’m basically holding it against my leg with my left hand like this:

drafting long staple wool

It sorta functions like a distaff, holding the fiber in place so I can draft it a little bit at a time. I do have to stop and prepare more fiber frequently, but the wool itself is long enough that it’s a reasonable amount of fiber to hold at one time. If I were spinning thicker yarn that would be a problem.

Actually this yarn is fairly thick for me, and very inconsistent. I’m not really paying attention because for what I’m working on I’d rather get it over with than really work on getting good yarn. It’s more than stable enough for warp and will show the effect I’m after in the finished project. After I finish this bobbin I’m doing another twisted in the opposite direction so I can experiment with combining them together in woven fabric.

Creative Commons License

© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
spinnyspinny at feorlen dot org