for a change: some spinning

Lapis progressI’ve been spinning a bit more again. I have a new friend to help me out with it. She still needs to tell me her true name, but mademoiselle abeille and I are becoming de bonnes amies. Don’t worry my good friend isn’t lonely, a friendly and slender miss victoria is enjoying tea with her on a daily basis.

I haven’t forgotten my spindles and need to wind off and decide how I want to finish what is currently filling them. Then I’ll start filling them again.

yarn Teabird delivered the wheel with a batt of bfl mixed with sari silk so that is what we got to know each other with. I can’t say I really enjoyed this mix, but I enjoyed every moment of spinning. I finished it in two different ways. One bobbin was chain plied to create a mock three ply and the other is a simple two ply. There isn’t very much true yarn and I’m going to stay mum on how it will be used. It knows I have plans for it.

Fun plans.

Since then, I’ve been slowly spinning up the fibre that’s pictured in the bobbin at the top of this post. Have you been to Dave’s shop Cabin Cove Mercantile? He dyes beautifully and ships super quickly. You can get the stunning Compass Collection, ombre dyes, or delightful spinning fibres.

p.s. please feel free to correct my french grammar, is it des bonnes amies or a unique de bonnes amies? My gut says de my brain wants des. My french books are not within hand-grab distance.


Teabird and Gidget

On Monday, Teabird shown here with her Gidget, a Spinolution Bee Travel Wheel, came to visit. Together we had the most pleasant Monday I have spent in a very long time.

Shadow and Melanie snuggled and head butted each other, I’m not sure who purred louder. He looked around the house for her after she left and cried. I’m amazed he didn’t try to jump into her bag and go home with her. He is smitten with his new friend.

Gidget and I also became fast friends straight away. Why? She let me treadle with just my (not so) big toes. It was effortless and pleasantly different from my normal treadling experience. It was wonderful. I had to stop suddenly because if I didn’t stop then, well, I’d still be in the library spinning away. I think I might be in love.

Squeaky has been given notice (and perhaps a new home where he can be better loved and appreciated) and que sera sera. Maybe not today, maybe not this weekend, but when the time is right, it will happen. He’s been good to me and understands.

My spindles are excited about my renewed interest in spinning and thrilled at the plans I’m making with them.

Thank you for a wonderful friendly Monday Teabird and Gidget. I hope we can get together for tea again soon.

Yes, I have abandoned the “schedule”. Posts probably will be on the days they’ve been. They might be long or short. I might skip a day or two. I’m trying to free it up so it feels less of a burden and more of an opportunity to write about something I enjoy. If I take an extended absence from posting here, I’ll post something. Don’t worry!

a gift, some help, and a CONTEST

The magnificent Miss Teabird sent me a Tiny Turkish Spindle. I forget the details as to why she spoiled me this time, but I’m thrilled. This is a spindle I can very easily put in my bag with some fibre. I’m very thankful I’m busy, but I do miss spinning. This will let me snag a few moments when I can.

The spindle is from Threads Thru Time and while it is quite pink, it is quite a bit of fun to spin on. The staff at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio oohed and aahed over it when I ran through on Tuesday to pick up more yarn for mom’s birthday gift. More on that when I finish it. ;)

Shadow loves this spindle too and since he sat somewhat still and was helpful in helping me spin, I thought he could have some photo fun even though it’s not Friday and I didn’t think I’d get any photos before October.

(click to make bigger)

tiny turkish spindle tiny turkish spindle tiny turkish spindle tiny turkish spindle tiny turkish spindle

Hey! You know what? CONTEST A silly one. You have until 11:59:59 NYC time on my birthday (31 October) to write up captions or a short little story of what’s going through Shadow’s head in this little photo story strip. It doesn’t need to be in English either if you would like practice with another language. Bonus if it’s a language I can read or have easy access to someone fluent enough to help me translate (off the top of my head I can do or have easy access to French, Hungarian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Dutch). Your kids can write stories too. Send them in — do not post them in the comments! and I’ll chose the best one and post it here and send the winner some handmade goodies, or if they are the mindset, the materials they like best to make some handmade goodies of their own. Family can enter! All are encouraged.

What thinks you?

. . .

If I have wronged you I beg forgiveness.
??? ????? ????

a good month

plied%20alpaca%2C%20closeup%20%28201002%29 - penny-and-eli.comI was very pleased and mildly surprised when I reviewed my spinning notebook and discovered that, yes, February had been a good month despite being sick for most of it.

Last month I spun for a just over 3.5 hours. It resulted in my finally finishing 2¾ ounces of alpaca I acquired at Maryland last year. Somewhere along the way I lost an ounce but gained 126.0 yards of a fingering weight yarn. Sir Shadow stole quite a bit, he makes my alpaca obsession look pale by comparison.

In any case, while I also spindled a good deal, my spinning time was mostly spent on notSqueaky.

I learned a lot last month. I’m hoping to sneak 5 minutes in (either at the wheel or spindle) today. It would be a first for the month and would make me really happy.

My spinning is still very much that of a beginner.

I no longer stress about which way the wheel or spindle should go. I’ve finally gotten it down to muscle memory. Please don’t ask me which way is left or right. I just do it. I’ve never been good with L/R things.

I did finally learn the need for different drafting techniques. Alpaca isn’t merino or BFL, two fibres I have the most experience spinning. My singles often felt like rope while I was going.

It softened up and came out pretty but I definitely need to work on drafting techniques. I think it is time for me to stop trying to figure it out on my own and acquire a copy of the amazing Abby‘s new DVD, Drafting: The Long And Short Of It. How do I draft now? Probably as most beginning spinners draft: whatever works. After reviewing a few articles in recent issues of Spin-Off, I think I drafted the alpaca with an American sliding, supported long draw (“Seven Drafting Techniques” by Jeannie Bakriges. Spin·Off, winter 2009).

I leave you with this screenshot out of iPhoto of what happened when I attempted to take photos. I have new scratches because he did not want to give up the alpaca. I don’t question his taste, I know he’s young, but he definitely needs to learn to share!

20100303%20shadow%20%26%20alpaca -

Schedule Shift Notice:
Until April 12th I will try a revised schedule to hopefully improve writing and free up a bit of time for my back-logged Work and for pesach preparation. Who knows, I might even get a chance to finally redesign and relaunch my website. The schedule is as follows:
The posts will be split over two weeks, with a kitten post every Friday.
Week one: Monday books, Wednesday fibre, Friday kitten.
Week two: Tuesday cooking, Thursday words (house, garden, travel, &c), Friday kitten.
repeat until April 12th at which point I’ll decide if I’m going to continue this revised schedule or return to daily posting.


365.333 ... 20100118MI wanted to write about several projects I’ve been working on but forgot to charge the camera battery and thus there are no photos. Project write ups aren’t fun without photos.

I’ve been spinning. So far this month I’m averaging about 5 minutes a day. I’ve missed a day or two, but I’ve figured out how to work it into my day and remind myself that it is leading toward a business goal so it is not something I should do and feel guilt about.

What have I been spinning?

Some alpaca. Since this photo I’ve spun up half of the 2.75oz I purchases at Maryland last year and am 15 minutes into the second bobbin.