February 5, 2007

Super What?



Why does plying take so much longer than you think it will? I finished spinning this green wool/mohair roving, that I bought from Dawn's Custom Carding at Black Sheep, on Saturday. Then spent hours and hours plying. It's only 275 yards of very tightly spun 2-ply yarn. It's a heavy fingering weight destined to become socks.

When I finished this up I pulled out my new wool combs and tried them out on a bit of Cotswold lamb and some of my Targhee from Oregon Flock and Fiber. I ended up with a lot of waste on the Cotswold. I did better with the Targhee. I even spun up a tiny sample of super-fine lace-weight. The fleece is still a bit greasy. I washed it twice and thought I had it pretty nicely clean. Guess I was mistaken.

So no football or parties for me yesterday. Just wool and spinning.

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February 4, 2007

More on Madrona



This sheet of paper shows what we did in the morning session of Jill Laski's fiber blending class. We focused on color. As you may or may not be able to see in the photo there is a sample of a four-color monochromatic, analogous, complimentary and split complimentary blend as well as a multi blend (one color from all twelve spokes of the color wheel). Each sample was run through the carder once then twice, keeping a sample of each. I also spun up a tiny sample of each one. This was a great explanation of basic color theory for me. I pushed myself to pick colors I don't like to see if I could find ways to use them in blends that were appealing. So far no luck with that.



These are the samples from Color Progression in Plying. We were instructed to pick a three colors of combed merino top. Judith encouraged us to use at least one color we were a little scared of. I started with the taupe-sage, then added chocolate brown and finally picked the scary bright green. We spun it all as singles. Then we did a color progression in a 3-ply yarn. Three plies of the first color, then two of the first color with one of the second, etc. In this case the color I liked the most as a single, the taupe-sage, was horrid in the blends. The other colors just made it look dead. Judith suggested I go back and pick new colors to go with it until I find the ones that make it "sing." I selected colors but didn't have enough time in class to spin and ply it all. This class also reaffirmed my belief that 3-ply yarn rule. They look so round and relatively perfect compared to a 2-ply. Mental note: Make more 3-ply yarns.



My last class was Three Wild Downs. We learned lots about buffalo, yak and cashmere. We got many samples. The card shows (counterclockwise from the top right) 30/70 cashmere/merino blend, buffalo, black yak, grey yak, depigmented yak, a second depigmented yak, cashmere, baby Mongolian camel, a second cashmere and a third cashmere from China which was the highest quality of them all. Now can someone explain to me why I've been too scared to spin this, this or this but when Judith just hands me $30 of fiber I spun it up and didn't worry about the results?

All of my friends have been warned at this point that all of my sentences will start with the phrase, "Judith says..." for at least a few more weeks.

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