The Tour, it continues!

Day 5. My goal was to spin 4 ounces of that dyed merino that came with the Louet. The only problem was, it drafts like ass. I spun for about 2 minutes with it and then was like, “Screw it.” I’m doing the Tour to have fun and get some yarn spun up – I had just spun up some weird, funky, slubby yarn the day before and didn’t feel like doing it two days in a row. So the merino went back into a bin. I’ll probably wind up trying to comb it out on the hackle at some point after the Tour. What sucks is that even though the fiber felt wretched, the color looked great. I hope I can salvage it – maybe if I combined some of it with other fibers it won’t be so bad.

So, I switched gears and got out the soy silk I had dyed last week.

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After I started spinning it, I was thinking about leaving it as a single, but then I got scared and wound up plying it. The finished yarn is nice, but I think I would have liked it better as a single. Oh well. We learn.

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Later on this evening, I decided to try combing out some more Sheep Shed roving with a bit of red and black sparkle fiber that I had dyed with the leftover dyes from the Undertaker’s Daughter yarn (it’s the gift that keeps on giving, Sarah Lou! 🙂

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I really kind of hated to comb out the Sheep Shed roving, since it was really nice and drafted easily on its own. But, I wanted the sparkle in it, and I also wanted to blend it more gray than it already was.

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I started spinning a little of it tonight, and I hope to finish spinning the two plies and ply them together tomorrow.

There are some things I need to force myself to try during the Tour. I’d like to try spinning a big, fluffy, messy yarn with weird shit in it. I’d like to do some plying with thread. I’d like to do something with beads. And I’d like to do one of my popcorn boucle yarns, because It hink those are awesome, and I hardly ever make them. So I may dye some more roving this weekend and really try to stretch myself a little but more next week.

I worked a little bit more on the shawl I’m weaving:

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It’s going considerably more slow than the scarf I just did. The warp was 26″ across – it’s drawing in considerably as I weave, though. I’m beating the weft down more than I was with the scarf as well, since I want the chenille yarn to be predominant in the finished shawl rather than have an even weave. I think it will still drape okay and not be stiff. I think I’m around 10 rows per inch or something like that for the weft, and the warp is 7 1/2 strands per inch.

Lady Bird Johnson died today, which is sad. I’ve always had a soft spot for Lady Bird, what with the whole Highway Beautification and all that.

I’ve got some work stuff to do the next few days, but I’m hoping I can get the majority of it done tomorrow so I have a few days to play. Actually, what I need to do is organize all of my fiber crap. I’ve got a bin of things like toilet paper roll bobbins from when I was using a drop spindle that all have about 5 yards of yarn left on them. Do I need to keep these? No. Am I keeping them anyway? Yes. Things need to change.

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5 thoughts on “The Tour, it continues!”

  1. yay for gifts that keep on giving. i can’t wait ’til it’s at my house and i can make some special gifts out of it! but i love the black and red sparkle fiber, too… and i’m a grey fiend, so i can’t wait to see how that stuff comes out! 🙂

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  2. Heck if I know. 🙂 I’ve spun up two-ply silk before, and wove a shawl using it as the weft, and that turned out pretty cool. And the first time I tried spinning silk, it came out horribly, but I did manage to knit a little pouch out of it (I use it to hold the battery pack for my Christmas lights on the Babe wheel). I’m not sure how much the soy silk will differ from the regular silk, but it spun up pretty much the same.

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  3. The yarn is sooo shiny. All the spinning pics you’ve been posting look so good and tempting. Travis is getting really good at spinning too. He is making me think I can learn to spin that fast too. I’ve been looking at the Babe wheels (they are less expensive). Is there a good one to get for spinning fingering/sock/DK weight yarn? I have no idea what to even look for. I think I want a double treadle based on some stuff I read.

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  4. I’m pretty pro-Babe. Mine spun really well (and it still doesn’t do that bad of a job) until the second time I coated it with the chrome. I think we messed up something doing that. The bling doesn’t seem to have made an affect at all, though! 🙂

    Anyway, the Babe is great for spinning worsted and thinner yarns. If you get much bulkier than worsted it has a few issues, but if you’re interested in spinning thinner yarns anyway, then no worries. I have a Babe Production, which is slightly bigger than the regular Babe model, and I know it comes in double treadle. I know Travis has said he finds the double treadle on the Louet slightly easier to treadle than the single treadle Babe (it doesn’t really make a difference for me).

    There are two really great things about the Babe – 1, it’s cheap, so if you want to try out crazy stuff (either with the yarn or with bling 🙂 ), you can, without worrying too much if something is going to go wrong. The second awesome thing about the Babe is that their bobbins are insanely inexpensive. Bobbins to other spinning wheels cost over $20 each, and for that price you can get 3 or 4 Babe bobbins.

    Anyway, spinning rocks! I highly encourage you giving it a go. It’s just one more creative step you can take with yarn and knitting and all that. It’s pretty cool to be able to design your own yarn, and handspun sock yarns rock. 🙂

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