New Spinner

A Womack Butterfly Electric Spinner appeared on my door step last month.  Yeah, magically.  I don’t know how that happened. (If you believe that, I have some prime real estate in Florida for you…)  It really does spin wonderfully.  And it’s quiet!

The wood is spalted maple.  I bought it with the Woolee Winder option.  After all, why go fast when you have to keep stopping to move the yarn from hook to hook?  I requested the flyer on the left because I draft with my left hand.  More importantly, I’m right handed so the right hand is a bit more sensitive when adjusting the speed dial. This way, I don’t have to cross my body when I need to fine tune the speed.

My test spins?

Fiber: 4oz. Spunky Eclectic 100% BFL Green Bananas
Plies: 3
WPI: 11-12
Yardage: 220 yards

Singles spun on the Butterfly, plied on my Schacht Matchless.  I chose to ply on the Matchless because I make frequent stops when I ply to adjust this and that.  It’s easier to make quick stops with the wheel than on the Matchless.

Before I washed it, the yarn was very stiff.  I was disappointed that I may have overspun the singles.  But after a soak, the fiber softened right up.  The yarn isn’t particularly even, by my standards, but I’m quite happy with it,  Another pair of socks, coming up!

Fiber: Chameleon Colorworks BFL, 4 oz. each of Eggplant and Purple Rain colorways.
Plies: 2
Laceweight (didn’t measure the WPI on this)
Yardage: 1168 yards

Purple Rain is variegated, with blues, purples, and a small hint of green (bobbin on the left).  Eggplant (middle bobbin) is a nearly solid that is the same as the darkest purple in Purple Rain.  The resulting yarn (right bobbin) is, unsurprisingly, dominated by the purple.  It’ll be interesting to see how the colors pop out when knitted.  I’m thinking a lace something, either a square or a round shawl.

Again, the singles are spun on the Butterfly, and plied on the Matchless.

Bliss

Bison Bliss from Spunky Eclectic: 50% bamboo, 30% merino, 10% bison, 10% cashmere. 6 ounces, 1040 yards. Definitely lace weight, about 20 wpi, but I haven’t measured it.

I finished these a while ago, but never got around to taking a picture of it.  The color in the picture is pretty true so it means that it will be hitting the dye pot sometime soon. I plan on firing up a cochineal pot in the near future, so this will likely go into the exhaust pot.  I don’t want a super saturated red.  Since it will be dyed, I haven’t washed the skein to finish the yarn

October Batt Club

(Or, I’m a Loser.)

Since I don’t have anything worthwhile to show you for the Tour de Fleece, I’m going to show you something else that I finished instead…

October Batt Club Spun

Yarn Specs:

Source: Abby‘s Batt Club, October, 2007
Fiber: First Frost: 33% Extra Fine Merino/33% Baby Alpaca/33% Silk/1% Firestar Nylon
Plies: 2
Yardage: 22 wpi (after wet finishing)
Weight: 3.5 oz.

Tour de Fleece

Yes, as I said earlier. I’m a Loser, with a capital “L”. The combination of a busy life and fiber that I’m not all that thrilled about, makes for a lousy combination in terms of progress. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the fiber nor the prep from Spinderella. I just don’t enjoy spinning it because I’m not fond of spinning worsted weight yarn. And it has a little too much glitz for my taste.

Wait a minute, you say.  The October Batts have glitz too, but you love it, right?  Yeah. But it’s the amount of glitz.  And the glitz in the October Batts are much finer than the one used in Spinderella’s thrums, so the effect is more subtle.

Normally, what keeps me spinning a particular fiber are the daydreams of what I can make out of it. But the combination of the texture and the glitz, I knew that there isn’t anything that I want to make out of the resulting yarn. Since I’m not enthusiastic about the end game, the journey isn’t all that thrilling either.

What did I get done? So far, 2 bumps out of the 8 are spun onto 3 bobbins. I plied 2+ of the bobbins for a whopping 278 yards of worsted weight 2-ply yarn.

Instead of spinning for Tour de Fleece, I found the time to finish plying some leftover Chasing Rainbows merino/silk singles (58 yds, plied from center pulled ball), and the above lace weight yarn.

This is not to say that joining the Tour was a waste of time. It did get me moving again on this roving. 2 out of 8 batts completed. I will continue to work on these until they are done. But there may be other spinning in between.

New Lace Yarn!

Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks - Moody Blues

Yarn Specs

Fiber: 3.5 oz (100 gm) Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, Moody Blues colorway; 1 package of bombyx/merino, and 1 of tussah/cashmere, spun onto separate bobbins and then plied together (I still have some leftover singles on a bobbin)
Drafting method: semi-worsted
WPI: approximately 28 wpi (I was lazy and used the spinner’s tool instead of actually wrapping and measuring)
Yardage: 770 yds
Yarn Classification: 2 ply; this equates to 3,250 ypp, which is definitely in the lace weight category.

I had a plan for this yarn when I started, but unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was now. It was definitely lace. It was definitely for >500 yds, which was why I went stash diving for the second package of Moody Blues colorway, even though it has different fiber content. Sheen, drape, softness, and a slight halo. What more can a girl ask for?

Lace Objects

After spending a couple of hours diagramming the lace shawl from my dreams, I have a much better appreciation for the genius of lace designers. I’m still working on the increase rates of the shawl versus the natural increases in the lace motifs that I want to use. After examining published lace patterns, I have some better ideas of how to proceed. However, I have put that aside for the time being.

Instead, I will present you some finished lacy objects.

A cat walked across my scarf…

Scuppers Scarf 1 Scuppers Scarf 2
This is the last of the auction scarves. This is for Carol, who lives on her boat with her cat named Scuppers. The scarf is to represent the cat pawprints on a white topside in the morning dew…like the dirty skid prints you might find on your car windshield or across your deck on a frosty morning.

I have not been happy with the cat’s paw lace patterns I found in my references. They are really more like a daisy with 6 lace circles. I designed this so that it is more representative of a paw print, and aligned them such that it looks like the actual path of a cat.

If anyone is interested in the pattern, let me know. I’ll put the pattern in my sidebar.

Specs:
Yarn: Handspun Chasing Rainbows Cashmere/Silk in Purple Haze colorway; lace weight
Pattern: my own
Needle: US #3

Swallowtail Shawl
Swallowtail Shawl

Specs:
Fiber: Handpainted Alpaca/Silk, purchased at Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. I don’t remember the vendor’s name and can’t find the tag right now.
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, from Interweave Knits Fall 2006 issue.
Needle: I don’t remember, but I followed the directions in the pattern exactly, so probably the recommended needle size.

Landscape Scarf
Landscape Scarf
The shaping of this is ingenious. I love the long curved edges. Perfect for ties without pulling the scarf out of shape. I can imagine several scarves like this, but with different lace designs. (Yeah, right. See the 1st paragraph of this post.) All I can say is, Evelyn Clark is a genius.

Specs:
Fiber: Handspun Merino/Silk from Lisa Souza, colorway Shaved Ice; fingering weight
Pattern: Landscape Scarf by Evelyn Clark
Needle: Again, I followed the instructions blindly, using the recommended needle size for fingering weight yarn.