Monday, June 16, 2008

You sure do make it like a sunny day.

A bit of a photo-essay, since clearly it's the writing of the blog that's holding me back, and not my utter laziness when it comes to blogging.

I bought some Lincoln Merino at the LYS (a pound for $13!) so that I'd have something to play with, something not too precious that I'd be worrying about messing up (although I still was).

Round one:

And two:

And then -- then I was ready for something pretty. My wonderful LYS, Fiber Nooks and Crannys (sic) (why is it not Crannies? I clearly have some problems since I cannot get past this), stocks Dicentra Designs fiber on consignment, and I fell in love with the Dune colorway.

5 ounces of blue-faced Leicester top in saturated, rich blues and orangey-gold. Here's my overspun single:

And here it is plied and skeined:

I've named it Helianthus, after the sunflower genus -- it reminds me of driving through Kansas. I think it'll be just the thing for a sunny winter scarf to lighten the northwest winter mood. It ended up being around 375 feet and 3 7/8 ounces.

A new member of the family.

She doesn't have a name yet, but she's definitely a she. She was a super-score on Craigslist a few months ago -- a nearly unused Ashford Traditional single drive. All that was missing were two bobbins, and the instruction manual.

It started, well, this past summer. I'd been smitten with spinning for awhile, and finally felt free enough to take it up once grad school was over. I visited The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn while I was home -- a lovely shop, and I got to meet Linda LaBelle, the owner and author of The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing. She was very sweet and very helpful. Along with some sale Koigu, I picked up 2 oz. of butter-soft, pure white Targhee top, and my Schacht spindle.

Get it? Clouds? Targhee? Do I really need to push this comparison? A few months later (that move got in the way), I had this:

Once I settled in Corvallis, I signed up for a two-day spinning class at the Oregon State Craft Center, one of my favorite things I've discovered in my new town. While the class was... not perfect, I did get to get some time on a wheel, and I learned to prepare a fleece.

Here's my first handspun on a wheel:

This is not cloud-like. It is dense, scratchy stuff. It was difficult to spin, lots of stops and starts as I learned what the wheel and the wool needed. But the last 10 yards just flew, and I was hooked. That 2 ounces (I think) took me hours. This ounce, bought from Steam Valley Fibers at the Tioga County Fair, took me about 15 minutes:

And I was hooked.

More to come, hopefully in less than a month, on how my wheel and I have been getting along...