rainbow of shetland

I’ve been sitting on this yarn for at least two years. No wait, I got the fiber on our first visit to Rhinebeck in 2008. Good heavens!

It was all spun using my drop spindle. Initially I thought it would be perfect for a shawl. However, at the time I had never made one and perhaps felt intimidated or that I wouldn’t wear it? Now I’ve made two, so I think I can handle it (and I know I like triangle over half-circle). There should be around 6 ounces all together, though I’m not sure on the yardage. I went through my Ravelry queue to see what patterns I had saved the last time I got shawl fever. I came across the Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief. It has three sections, so I thought that would work well. Now I just need to get it on the ball winder! And then cast on, of course. It’s time to do some stash busting!

Three shades of #Shetland. #handspun #wool #yarn

keepin’ it simple, stupid

It’s official. I will never make a living creating art yarns. It just isn’t in me. I thought after spinning for seven years, maybe I could do more than standard 2-plies and singles, but no. Yesterday I sat at my wheel, instructions on my lap, and fiber surrounding me. All that resulted was an ugly, useless mess. Nothing would stay together and it certainly wasn’t going as the book said it should. So I gave up, wandered off, and eventually came back to my wheel with something else in mind.

There is one art yarn-ish thing I know I can do. It’s fun, it’s easy, and I rarely do it. Take handfuls of lightly picked locks and spin them. Yeah, it’s that simple.

noveltiesCurly yarns spun from the lock. Summer 2008.

So that is what I did yesterday. I already had a bag full of locks ready to go. Before new locks are packaged and weighed, I sort through them, pulling out second cuts, hay, and the unruly parts. All the clean stuff gets crammed into a bag for later — maybe batts or in this case, spun as is. Since the locks have just been pulled apart by hand, there are still many little curls, which add character to the yarn. It’s not corespinning, it’s just plain old spinning with fun fiber that has lots of texture and personality.

catarina

The yarn spun up so fast and effortlessly, it helped me feel somewhat competent again. Although I couldn’t get a decent picture of it, naturally. It really looks like quite a mess here, but it is more striking in person.

catarina

 

shop update!

I used to be good at getting photos of my yarn taken before they’d disappear from the house. Now, not so much. Also, I haven’t actually added yarn to the Etsy shop in months. I realized I could kill two birds with one stone if I just start photographing my yarn again. And now I have handspun yarn in the shop again!

waves of grain
"Waves of Grain", Blue-faced Leicester
regenerate
"Regenerate", Alpaca/Cormo/Tunis blend

 

reskeining.

One of the Ravelry groups I am a member of is all about vending at fiber festivals. It’s been interesting discussing various issues with other dyers/spinners who 1) produce large quantities of product and 2)  drag it around to events trying to convince people to buy it. One of the best threads dealt with bad experiences. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person who has had rude people saying stupid things in my booth. There has also been discussions about displays (that’s how I heard about Woodland Marketing and those new shelves), payment methods, logos/branding, transportation/storage, and other things. One person asked about reskeining, and I found out I am in the minority when it comes to said task. I reskein all of my yarn after washing. Sometimes the strands stick together or they get tangled and disheveled. My mental state is just more calm if I reskein. However, I do not dye massive quantities of yarn for resale (or any at all), so I am working with just a few skeins at a time. I suppose if I was dealing with oodles of yarn, I might change my tune.

Just for kicks I took photos of my latest yarns to see if there was a noticeable difference before and after reskeining. I’m guessing that no one will be able to tell anything happened, and I suppose that’s ok with me. I know that the BFL singles yarn was massively stuck to itself before I sent it around the niddy noddy for a second time. Or that the Shropshire had shrunk a significant amount.

It’ll be my little secret. And my personal satisfaction.

just washed
before reskeining...
reskeined
after reskeining.

one step closer!

We’re currently on the relatively calm side of crazy over here.  As long as there aren’t anymore unforeseen mishaps, we should be closing on our little house tomorrow. Initially it seemed that we’d get this wrapped up quickly, however one thing after another has gotten snagged and it’s taken considerably longer.  But June is a much less hectic month than May, so we will have more free time to work on the house.

Despite the impending “doom” of CLEANING and PAINTING and PACKING all summer, I’m entering the Great Lakes Fiber Show skein competition anyway.  Last year I thought a long time, studied my skeins, considered which ones to enter.  I believe I brought five, the most I’d entered yet.  But this time around I haven’t spent a lot of time pondering.  I have two singles that I am planning to enter and a 3-ply that I actually just finished last night (and washed today).  Otherwise, I don’t think I’ll have any others.  The issue I have with my singles is that they’ll probably end up in the same category and compete against each other, which I’d rather not have happen.  Even though one looks more medium than bulky to me, it’s likely the judge and I won’t agree.  So I could put it in the spinner’s choice group or let her make the final decision.

gem
BFL singles, heavy-worsted weight

outdoorsman
Romney singles, bulky weight