Sunday, January 29, 2006


An Act of Public Benificence

In deference to the request of The Lady Rams (to whom we must suck up, as she apparently has access to stashweasels) I spent a goodly part of this evening spinning up some of that merino roving I bought in the colo(u)r named Mojave.

It would seem that this:

and this:

spin up right tidily into this:

And, when all is said and done (I think I spun maybe two ounces, perhaps three. Certainly not a lot) we end up with this:

This is one of the first times I've spun with anything "nice" and it was a delight. I would also like to point out that my wheel is a bitch, and my spinning sucks. Ben sat and watched me in amazement and amusement as I cussed my way through this task. At one point he politely enquired whether spinning was not, indeed, meant to be a relaxing and peaceful act of creation. I called him an assbadger and went back to the spinning. He was pathetically grateful that I hadn't thrown anything at him.

I love this stuff, but I seem to spin fairly thickly, and not at all evenly. I don't think I'll ply it. I also think that the only way anyone will get it from me is to pry it from my cold, dead fingers, but I could feel less strongly once I've recovered.

Today was also productive in the jewelry department, as I made a couple of pairs of earrings for a friend who watches my daughter a lot.

First is a simple (and sorta boring) pair of gold-coloured dolphins on gold hooks:

yes, i know this is a bad picture but she loved them and took them home with her so i can't take another. imagine dolphins. on hooks.

She also got herself some clear crystals, purple beads, and silver crescent moons with ittybitty stars on the bottom points. Again on the gold hooks, as we had a mishap with the silver shepherd hooks (don't ask).

another bad picture. it seems there is no end to the things at which i suck.

I think I feel all creative and stuff now. I'm going to go lie down until I get over it.

"Assbadger." Excellent. A new cuss word. Thanks!

Your handspun looks pretty cool! And I really like those crescent moon earrings... altho at first I thought they were mackeral earrings or something, to go with the oceanic theme...
The yarn looks beautiful lady. I'm having trouble with the treadle on my wheel popping out. I guess something needs tightening, eh?

Love the earrings too. You so creative!
Damn you. See when I see this I want to learn how to spin SO badly! NOw that I work in the shop I bet I can even borrow a wheel for free. Ughhhhhhh. I'm afraid to get hooked though!
ohhhhh, that yarn...oh, that is just gorgeous. wow. Beauteous.

I have a drop spindle and I am just learning how to do the drop spindle thing. I'm also learning there is a GREAT difference in rovings. Amazing difference. I hae some purple/royal blue that is so scratchy it almost feels like acrylic...and then I have some other stuff (not sure what, really, I called a farm and said I am a beginner, send me something beginnerish) that feels like the softest fluff stuff...I want a wheel. My husband says no does my pocketbook right now. LOL But that is just beautiful stuff you've got there. :-)
I used some Ashford Bay merino roving when I was first learning to spin, too. It's hard to spin 100% merino--the fibers are so short. Yours is turning out a lot more evenly than mine did! I finally gave up and plied mine because the thick-and-thin was pretty much unuseable, but now I have super-bulky merino knitting up into a nice jacket.

I've found that Copper Moose 80% merino 20% silk is much easier to spin and get a more even (an thinner) result--the long silk fibers help me deal with the short merino.

Yours is gorgeous!
I'm a big fan of the kind of yarn you've created there, so I don't think it sucks at all. Might just start working on that old borrowed wheel soon...

And I thank you for your great speed in delivering this offering to Our Lady of the Stashweasels. I'm sure we all have less to fear now. For the moment anyway.
assbadger -- that one will keep me giggleing all day.

I think the yarn looks very nice, by the way. One day, I aspire to learning to spin, but not now.
Your yarn looks gorgeous!

You know, part of your problem with spinning evenly/thinly could be your wheel. When you were off visiting somewhere at the guild meeting I walked over and tried a test-treadle on your wheel. Holy-Moley, that one's a bugger to treadle. You seem to have to lift your foot WAY up, much higher than with the few wheels I have tried. The up-down motion on the other wheels I have tried has been a very slight movement. Your leg must get awful tired.

Yup, blame your spinning difficulties on your wheel....I think (in my totally amateur opinion) that the wheel is the problem.
One of the tricks to getting thinner singles, not that you asked, is to "pre-draft" your roving. Tear off a section and then draft, without treadling, until you get an even, sometimes called "pencil" roving. Then you treadle and slowly feed your yarn onto the bobbin as you normally do.

Another trick, again, not that you asked, is to treadle slower. When I first started spinning, I had a tendency to treadle too fast and, without good hand control developed, ended up with some pretty darn thick singles. They are somewhere in the closet in a bag labeled "first spins."
Even if I tried to sic the weasles on you, it wouldn't work. They're sitting up, looking at that Mojave with their tiny paws in the air whispering "oh my. oh my..." Too bad, since I covet your yarn bigtime. Take a look at the My So-Called Scarf pattern as a possibility for it. -- rams
I like spinning that sort of roving from the fold. I can get a nice fine yarn that way.

My other tip is to make sure your wheel is well oiled. You may not have to fight it so much if the shaft inside the bobbin has been cleaned and lightly oiled, any bearings that the wheel has and don't forget the treadle hinges.

Yes, I do teach spinning. Feel free to ignore me if I'm risking being called an assbadger :-)
Very nice yarn. That Mojave roving spun up much prettier than I thought it would. Next time you warm to something in the shop, I'm ripping it out of your hands.
Assbadger...I love it! I wish I could think of it when I need it! I read you faithfully. I have some sort of wheel(Ashford I think) that anquaintance who used to spin dropped off to me about six months ago. I wish I could figure out what the hell to do with it! I don't even know how to thread the damn thing! Is that what you do...thread the damn thing? And then I found out, you just don't spin have to PLY it?? Egads! I'm not sure I have the PATIENCE for this! BUT your colors are beee-u-tiful...and should you really care if you don't spin evenly...wouldn't it just make what you knit all the cooler? i don't know...I'm a novice knitter (Susan Bates is still my friend) and I just stare at the wheel in my living room with something between awe and fright. Your stuff always looks great. Oh and the earrings Love the moons!
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