Since we are all sitting at home, and not going out to gatherings, I did a little spinning with some friends from my weavers and spinners guild on Zoom. A social distancing, social. For our first try, it went very well. We chatted about many things while most of us were spinning, just like we do when we meet in person.
This is part of the batt I used. You can see there are large parts that or very hard to draft along with wool. It is silk fibre, I think.
It was getting close to time to start zoom so I did a few rolags up with my hand carders. Naturally, I didn’t think to take pictures of them until later. Lying in bed I think that’s ok I had 1 or I thought 2 left I will do it tomorrow. But, they disappeared mysteriously. No one took them or moved them. Not even a bit of fluff from them has surfaced so I think perhaps some fairies came in the night and took them off to make soft beds or something.
I do have a picture of the little bit of spinning I did. I will have to make some more rolags and hide them. Although putting stuff in safe places often means I can’t find them either.
This is the P.S. to this part of the post. I made some more rolags after I finished setting the post up. Here they are:
This is some spinning I did earlier in the week form a different batt. This batt is a nice grey and pink. I think I showed it to you before but can’t find where.
I thought I had a picture of it as a single but it’s not on my phone. This is it plied into a 2 ply yarn and wound into a little center pull ball. It is quite pretty
I hope everyone is keeping well during this stressful time.
I have been working on a picture this week I made the “blank” a while ago just a general ground and sky for a starting point.
I wanted to make a rock wall so I added the grey and started adding rock outlines with some nice grey yarn. I nearly forgot to take a picture.
After the wall, I needed to add a gate so the sheep can get in and out but not escape.
I added a little definition to create some depth to the mid-ground. I thought the horizon was not very interesting so I added some tree place markers. they are not the finished trees.
I think at this point I will wet felt it again. I am hoping it will improve the wall by incorporating the rock outlines. I am ok with the way it looks, but think it will be better after wetting and felting. I will then add some green curls to make the trees more dimensional and then some seep too. I think I will use curls for the close sheep and stitching for the ones farther away. I want to put some sort of vegetation/flowers in front. Not sure what though. I will have to search my inspiration file to see what I want to do.
This last weekend one of the local guilds held their annual spin in, in Chesterville.
There were lots of spinners
And lots of Vendors
I buy a few things.
I got a nice ball of Peace Fleece roving. It is roving and not top and it was on destash, so I thought why not give it a try, purple of course. I just missed and interesting green that I would have got as well.
I also bought some foot butter. You never know what you will find at one of these events. but it looks like it will be easy to apply to my poor dry feet.
I bought a little sheep medalion/hangy thing from Isabell Rollin. It is an original design by Isabelle Rollin with copyright pending I just bought the smallest size she had to hang on my basket. . She had bigger medallions and some nametags she would add your name too and some magnetic scissor holders and other stuff. They were just so cute. There were other things like spindles and rug hooking frames too.
JAN’S BLOG POST; CAN GAMES Spontaneous Demoing 2018
For a number of years I have followed my husband to the local board gaming convention on the May long weekend (Can Games). In exchange for my support of his hobby, I get gardening help from him. I have been attending Can Games for quite a number of years always accompanied by my portable spinning wheel.
Friday spinning upstairs beside the Curling club kitchen. The Road bug spinning wheel fits in the trundle box for travel.
I have been there long enough that I am greeted by Gamers I recognized by face if not by name.
Glen plays various board games (many involving trains and vary complicated rules systems) and I sit with my wheel and spin, sometimes I use my hand carders. There are a lot of guys gaming, most of whom are interested in the way the wheel works. I hear lots of stories about wives and mothers who knit too. While the much younger kids just seem really interested in the turning wheel. I think it was last year that a very fussy baby noticed my wheel spinning and became mesmerized (and quiet).
The last couple years I have asked if they should add a live action RPG game of “Spin the golden fleece” or “Turn straw into gold” (well actually linen but it’s almost as good!). This weekend was the first time one of the volunteers who run the convention has mentioned that I should present a game description for play testing at next year’s convention.
He suggested I should have levels of difficulty to learn and earn experience (starting out with a skill and perfecting it). Then give them a greater challenge to learn and perfect. Maybe starting out with a regular fleece and moving up to a golden one? Maybe a silk and merino blend and then have a choice of alpaca or cotton for the really advanced spinners and to earn extra bonus points?
Character requirements would be high dexterity, excellent patience and a sense of humour.
I would suggest the chopstick Turkish spindles may be ideal for this purpose since you can increase the weight and rotational momentum by adding bulldog clips to the arms of the spindle and they are really cheap to make.
I could offer a second “Live action RPG game” for advanced level players who would turn straw into gold, which could cover bast fibres, if there was interest.
As you may remember, I did quite a bit of needle felting last year. I purchased a good quantity of super wash merino wool (mill ends from Black Lamb). The colours were amazing and enticed me into the purchase. Although I did successfully needle felt with it, I did find it was a lot more work than non-super wash wool. So I need to find a use for all this fabulously pretty fibre. Hum, I bet Mom would like a scarf for next winter. I bet I could make some very interesting slightly slubby yarn that would weave up nicely. I have a couple of table looms to choose from and could use that as a demo project for the next demo at the beginning of June. It will be nice to weave with my own handwoven again.
Part of the super wash Merino acquisition.
I selected the blue and one of the greens tones in a slightly variegated top. I split the top into thinner strips and then intermittently spun one or the other colours then both together. It was fun to spin and I enjoyed the blending of colours.
I used the road bug travel wheel again. When I had the bobbin full I wound it off onto the blacksmith made plying tool. Glenn made it so I would stop using his paperback books to wind onto. It has 2 parallel arms that have a slight slope so I can slide the singles onto my wrist and then ply from the double ended ball that is now wrapped around my wrist. This tool also works for drop spindles and means I can put it down and go do something else (very handy).
Put the end of the singles yarn through one of the end rings and put your thumb over the tail as you start to wind on. (Alternating sections of diagonals similar to a Nostipine work well)
Working at a distance helps to even out the tension consistency.
Wind off the bobbin onto the plying tool. You can put it down and go look at something then finish winding. When you get to the end, remove the beginning and the end from the rings and tie them together.
I use my Left hand to slide through the double ended ball, gripping the beginning and end with the fingers,
Now slide the ball off the implement and onto your wrist.
After the bobbin of plied yarn was full (ok I played yarn chicken to get it all to fit back on the plying bobbin and won) l I used the cheap easy to make niddy noddy to wind into skeins. (PVC Pipe from Home Depot)
Even with all the spinning I did while at Can Games I still had time to play a couple games (Chariots and A playtesting new game which hopefully will be available in August on Kick starter), some shopping a few board games, a couple for one of my friends, and a game of stacking miniature chairs) and watching some of the games that were running.
The Chariot Race
Lego mecs, Dice and Helms deep
Pirates, chair game, sheep participate in Scottish fort battle.
I was not the only fiber arts person there this year. There was a lady knitting beside a miniature games with pirates being attacked by small green monsters.
The gaming convention is now over for another year and I hope next year I will be joined by more spinners, weaver’s, felters or knitters who would like to have fun on part of the long weekend. Maybe you will join me in an RPG to spin the Golden Fleece? We will make Turkish spindles out of chopsticks and elastics!
Things are still very busy here with the bottle lambs. So there is not much time for felting.
I have managed to do some spinning. It all still needs plying.
This one I think will have to be plied with somthing else. I think that if I try to pull the yarn out of the middle as well as the outside it will get hopelessly tangled with all the curls.
Sunday I am picked up a new to me ( and Jan of the polar bear and bull frog). This is an upright tapestry loom. The loom has come all the way from Sudbury. It was transported down by a lady down to visit her daughter saving Jan or I from having to do the long drive up there. As you can see it is all in pieces in my van. I have to clear space for it. that will hopefully happen over the next moth or so as my husband builds his new space and I get to take over his old space. My plan is to make some fleece rugs. I think Jan is planning a Viking cloak.
Saturday I spent the day at a spin in not to far form home. There were lots of people there. More people arrived after I took these pictures, mostly wheels but ther were a few of us on spindles.
There were things to buy of course
There were door prizes.
And show and tell, this amazing blanket Rams and Ewes I think it is called. it is a double knit so it is double thick and the back is different then the front. The wool is all natural coloured Shetland I believe. Click onthe picture to get a batter look. here is a link to the pattern if you are interested. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rams-and-yowes
I got a close up of this dog collar and leash,
Here are some other . I didn’t get picture of the table after it filled up, sorry. I was to busy chatting.
And lastly some tiny little handwoven pillows. So if you thought you don’t have the room to weave , you do.
This is my loot, a bag of Massum, a bag of silk cocoons, and a new sketch book.
That was my Saturday well wasted. Nothing better than sharing a fun day with old and new friends doing something you all love.
I’m ahead of myself this year, usually I start by planning to be more organised, but I bought some new tubs a few weeks ago and cleared up a few piles off my desk! And yesterday I sorted through a large box of fabric from the well being centre and put it more tidily into different bags and labelled them. One of the bags is lots of ready cut strips for making experimental nuno samplers. There are lots of unusual fabrics in there for beginners to try before they pick up any ideas of which fabrics ‘work’ and which ‘don’t’.
One of the first things I need to do this year is write a constitution for our group. We have our own light hearted rules, such as ‘You’re not allowed to be disappointed, we don’t make failures, we make unintentional discoveries’! but maybe we’ll keep that as our motto 🙂
Looking back at the things I made last year, I saw a lot of things I started to learn, but never really progressed with. One ‘unintentional discovery’ I made was that I quite like freestyle crochet:
I would like to learn how to do it properly though, so I can maybe make something, or at least freestyle a lot better! Another thing I didn’t really progress with is spinning. I did spend a few days practising and made some yarn I liked:
But I think trying to spin some Superwash, which spins about as well as it felts, put me off a bit:
I want to learn to spin on a wheel so I can knit some really cool jumpers, or at least a funky hat, but not being able to do a good job of sewing up is quite limiting:
And only really being able to knit with chunky pencil roving on fat needles is too:
So, I’d like to learn to knit better, or more, or just differently! And I’m really looking forward to the Surface Design challenges this year, I’ve already started thinking about mine for the 4th Quarter. If you missed Ruth’s post the other day, have a look here. Have you made any plans for the year ahead?
In the spring I borrowed a blending board from my friend Carlene. I made rollags at guild social meetings and at demos.
And spinning here and there.
I finally got around to plying them all.
Then I needed to be washed to reset after being tight up in skeins for ages. this is before washing. I spent an evening tying the skeins up so they wouldn’t be a mess after washing.
This is some of them soaking.
And after all the skeins where soaked this it what the water looked like. I couln’t believe how dirty it was.
then I had to hang them all up to dry. excuse my shower backdrop. we don’t have the new tub surround in yet so it is just orange construction plastic so we can shower.
And the finished yarn. I am making the skeins into center pull balls on my nostepinne. I am mostly done. I am getting better at them. I didn’t realise how often I do thick and thin yarn until I started winding the balls. It is fun to do.
So thats one thing finished up from 2017 and only 2 days late. All ready for embellishing some felt. I hope you all have a fibery new year.
This last weekend my guild did a Demo at the Carp Fair I went on the Sunday. I took a blending board to make some more rollags. I had some hand cards with me and I had a spindle I was spinning a rollag on so I could explain it all. It was very popular with the visitors to the fair. .
Bernadette was spinning Rambouillet on her wheel. In this picture she is Chain plying it.
Jan was working On the Edo Challenge. And Yes that is an octopus. I am hoping to get her to do a post about her progress. Here she is explaining it to some visitors.
Her fish was there on display and tried to eat a passing child.
Julie was weaving. She is doing shibori on the loom. She weaves the draw strings right into the scarf ready to be tightened up and then dyed. She has a finished sample onto of her loom.
And lastly 2 of the display tables.
I didn’t get any of the third table except Jan’s Fish. We had a great time chatting with people about spinning, weaving and felting. Have you been doing your crafts in public lately?
I haven’t done much other than make meat pies for the farmers market the last week. It seems with cooler weather people want comfort food. So many Steak and Mushroom pies and Tourtiere pies have been made.
I did finish my Guild poker challenge I told you about here: spinning-for-the-guild-challenge/ The beads really were not inserted very well and that showed up more in the plying but here it is finished.
You can see how the locks aren’t in well enough so they are very loose in the ply.
I learned a lot and I think next time I will ply with a thread with beads on it instead or maybe do some sort of core spun yarn with a beaded thread.
I have also been spinning on my spindle. I can do that anywhere. They are both thick and thin yarns. It will show more after they are plied. I finished this, it’s reds with gold super bright trilobal nylon I dyed. I don’t remember what colour I used to get it, maybe aztec gold. The first picture shows the colour best. The second picture is over exposed, so hopefully you can see how much sparkle is in it.
My current spinning project is also red but it has pink mixed in and white silk and undyed supper bright trylobal nylon.
After this spindle is full I will decide if I want to play them together or keep them separate. Later they will make their way into some felting. What have made to use later in your felting?
IN June at the last meeting of the guild before summer a guild challenge was arraigned. It is called Fiber Poker. the Ide is to get you out of your comfort zone and get you to try something different. In my case I am playing spinning poker. There are several stacks of cards and you have to pick one from each to get your challenge the stacks represent different aspects of yarn: colour, fiber, type of yarn, general design. I picked colour: two colours; fibre: goat; type of yarn: 3-ply; general design: include beads. the roles say you can return one card and repick but that it but just one. The first step was to get some Mohair. I got some combed top and some locks.
I decided that the easiest thing to do was thread beads onto the locks and them spin them in as I go.
I used this handy tool that is for helping to floss your teeth when you have braces.
The top was sticky so not easy to spin. I did manage to add some beads but it was a struggle. I took it off on to an empty weaving yarn cone.
I have the second single done.
I have one more to go. Originally I thought I would do a navaho or chain ply to get my 3 ply but I think the beads being large would end up making very frustrating. I think it may be very frustrating anyway. We will see. You will notice that there isn’t much yarn with beads. It will be a very small skein of yarn but there was no min length so this will do. I am not enjoying the spinning but that’s ok . Now I have tried it I never have to again. 😀 I have to have it done by September 11. I think I will make it.