Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One Step at a Time

No pictures today. Instead, check this out: fibertwist.etsy.com

It's my new shop! My own little, fiber-holic, garage sale--and all from the keyboard of my own computer!

My current listings are all fibers that I have been playing with--Cotswold and Romney rovings from my parent's flock of sheep, commercial and natural dyes.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blue Lace Socks

This is the detail from the socks I finished knitting over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a lace knit/rib over six stitches from Homespun Handknit. It looks nice--even better when it's stretched out to show the lace--and I even had enough yarn spun to knit both socks!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

While this doesn't look like fiber, it is related to my fiber interests! I have been introducing two friends to spinning. One has her own wheel, a nice Ashford; the other has none, and no extra funds to get one. Spinning with a wheel is too amazing to let a simple thing like money get in the way! So, I've been planning and concocting, and my husband has listened to iteration after iteration of this, until I finally hit on something that had the potential to work.

The hardware (wood, bolt, washers) cost me less than eight dollars. The work involved required a hacksaw and a drill. The flyer is an extra that I don't use very often. Viola! A second, inexpensive spinning wheel.

But don't call the press yet. I haven't found a drive band that I like yet. And it's tough to treddle. And I wouldn't let my friend take it home with her today. Having to fight a wheel would take the fun out of spinning.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


This "pink candy" yarn what came of plying the bright pink and the striped singles from the last post. It's a pretty intense pink--perhaps not my favorite color, but fascinating to see what happens when the solid and stripes were plied together!

Here are some deeper shades. This roving looked very fall-ish with deep oranges and reds, but the overall effect now that it's spun and plied (I wound a center-pull ball and plied it on itself) is almost "autumn at dusk" because it's so dark.

And here are the colors awaiting their turn at the wheel. The multicolored roving will definately get spun as is, but the debate is on to see if I will spin the other four solid colors or if I will use them for blending on the drum carder.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More than meets the eye

It's easy to take pictures of the pretty stuff! I did a dyeing day last week and have been spinning up the 1 ounce strips of roving. Some are solid colors (like the pink), some are stripped (like the bobbin on the flyer), and one was more motley than anything else. The colors were mostly chosen as an experiment with my new dyes. I needed to see what colors could be produced...And the answer is lots! :)

The non-photo documented work is the sewing, cutting, and washing of my long weaving sample. I cut it into sections based on weft fiber, keeping wool sections together, and rayons together, etc. Half of the sections have been washed and ironed. Half are awaiting the wash!

As an interesting aside, I listened to weavecast this week and they were discussing the use of a group of three threads as if it were a single one for a warp. It supposedly produces a softer fabric than using a single, larger warp thread. In cleaning up some of the stash I inherited, I came across a ball of yarn made up of three threads! I guess I'll be using that as warp sometime soon!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Off the loom

The latest sampler is complete and off the loom! The selvages weave in and out with each yarn change. The warp is roughly 5/2 cotton. My finest weft is thinner than 10/2 cotton, and my bulkiest is a handspun wool 2 ply that is at least a worsted weight yarn.

What is missing in the photograph is the touch and feel swatches. Each of the different wefts produced a unique feel for the fabric. The temperature here has dropped to the thirties, and all the rayon sections felt cold, and all the wools were warm and snuggly. Some of the thin wefts produced a drapey fabric. Some of them, like the grey boucle in the middle are scratchy and unpleasant.

Now it's time to do the finishing...I have to decide if I want to separate the different sections before or after washing!