April ClubLest you think I’ve completely gone over to the dark side. There has been activities other than weaving around here.

Tactile Fiber Arts April Club

Fiber: 50/50 Angora/Merino
Weight: 2 oz
Singles: 60-68 wpi
2-Ply: 36 wpi, pre-fulled; 28 wpi, fulled
Yardage: 438 yards, pre-fulled; 426 yards, fulled.

Singles spun on Reeves Frame Wheel. Plied on Schacht Matchless.

I firmly plied this yarn so that the bunny fur will stay put instead of shedding on my clothes, once knitted.  Then I fulled it by shocking the yarn in alternate hot/cold soapy baths, and generally bashed the yarn around with a water bottle in the hot soapy bath. After pressing out the water in a towel, I thwacked it several times while rotating the skein to ensure that the entire skein has received “the treatment.”

“Thwacking.” Someone asked what this is in one of the Ravelry discussion groups.  You take the wet skein on one hand and swing it from the back of your head against a sharp edge (the edge of a table or your kitchen counter).  This does a couple of things.

  1. It loosens up any felting of strands that you may have done in the hot/cold, bashing around process.
  2. It fluffs up the short fibers and helps it bloom.  The yarn now has a lovely halo, which it didn’t have when it first came off of the spinning wheel.
  3. It helps even out your twist by shifting it a bit.

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.

October Batts

Abby has been battling with the US Postal Service, but I finally received my October batt club package today! Even though I saw my postal delivery person scan the package, the website still shows no activity since Abby shipped the package on November 1st. It only took over 3 months to work through the system. (Eyes rolling here.)

So, if you’ve been waiting for your package, but the delivery confirmation still shows no movement, don’t lose hope. They are finally on their way to their destinations!

I’m off to Seattle tomorrow for Madrona later this week. I can’t wait! But first, laundry and packing.

Prepping Batts

I dove into the batt from Abby’s September batt club offering. She provided a 2 oz. batt of luscious superfine merino/tussah/suri alpaca/mongolian cashmere blend in a beautiful orange that she called “Harvest Moon” and 2 oz. of tussah dyed to match Sorry, I have no before pictures of the batt. I just dove right in late last night and didn’t think about taking pictures until I finished 2 strips of the batt.

Today, I thought that I’d share with you on how I prepared the batt for spinning in a photo-tutorial. This is a picture laden post, so I’m putting it below the fold, so to speak. Proceed if you are interested.

Continue reading “Prepping Batts”

Finished Socks

AnkletsI showed off these anklets to Abby during SOAR. They were made with the Batt Club offering for July. I think she said that these were the first finished objects from the Batt Club. Please say it ain’t so! There has got to be others who have spun up and made something from those beautiful batts!

I received 3 or 4 batts (sorry, I was so anxious to spin them, I didn’t take notes). One definitely had more turquoise than the others. I toyed with the idea of separating that section out and spin it for the heels. I quickly tossed that aside to let chance happen. I used Abby’s recommendation for preparing the batts for spinning. Once I had all the little chucks of fiber, I tossed them (gently) into a box, and mixed them all up (again, gently). Then I dipped my hand into the box and pulled out each section at random. You can see the splotch of turquoise at the bottom of the toe of one of the socks. The resulting yarn was 2 ply light worsted weight.

The socks were made with my generic top-down sock recipe, using 48 sts on US #2 needles. Ribbing for 2″. Plain st st for 1″. Short rowed heels and toes. The toes were then grafted together at the top of the toe.

Super fast. Super easy. Super cushy. I love them. I have enough leftover for some wristlets.