Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Variations on a theme

I mentioned in an earlier post that I obtained some wool from Acacia Acres farms.  A dark grey romney named Ashley and a white romney named Ebony.

Over the weekend I did some blending.  I made a 50% - 50% blend of dark grey and white.  It makes a lovely light grey that I featured in that earlier post.  This time I spun a couple of full bobbins of the blended grey.  Next I spun a bobbin full of dark grey/Ashley and plied that with the lighter blended grey. Blended greys are on top and the dark grey/Ashley is in the lower bobbin.

The plied yarn from these singles, are the skein on the left.  The skein on the right is a two-ply of blended greys and white Ebony.

And the same photo with the flash on, you can see the barber polling a bit better in this photo.

I am really happy with this yarn -- both skeins are going to be knit up into half-mitts.  Haven't decided if I will do any dyeing with these yet.  But that's a whole other variation on the theme.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An exploration of yarn structure

Two weekends ago I taught a 6-hour spinning workshop called From Mundane to Amazing: An exploration of yarn structure.  It was hosted by the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild. There were eight participants and all were game to have fun and really open to learning new things.  It was a great day.

Here was the plan for the day.

From Mundane to Amazing: an exploration of yarn structure

1. Spinning warm-up: playing with twist.  We started with a bit of a warm-up, just to get folks spinning in a relaxed way. While we were doing this, we talked about the decisions we made when we sat down to spin.  For the most part, people didn't make a lot of decisions, they just sat down and spun the same way they have always spun. That's why many of us feel like we are making the same yarn over and over and over again.  
After the warm up we got down to spinning a bunch of samples using a variety of techniques with varying amounts of twist in the singles yarn and in the plying process.

2. Making 2-ply yarn

·         High twist singles > high twist ply
·         High twist singles > low twist ply
·         Low twist singles > high twist ply
·         Low twist singles > low twist ply

3. Making 3-ply yarn
·         3 ply chain – Navajo plying

4. Making singles yarn
·         Deconstructing commercially spun singles yarn
·         Spinning and un-spinning for soft singles

5. Replying yarn – cabled and crepe structures
·         2-ply X 2-ply cables -- called a 4-ply cabled yarn
·         3-ply (chained) X 2-ply cables
·         2-ply X singles (crepe)
 6. Bonus yarn
·         Working with fibre in the bag, make some yarn using any technique learned today.

It was a great day and we didn't get all the samples done.  But at the next guild meeting I gave out bags that contained the fibre for the last "mystery yarn" exercise.  Here's a photo of one of the participants samples from a good part of the day.  Lovely spinning.

Thanks everyone for being such good sports.  It was a marathon of spinning and everyone played along.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Flax to Linen Slide Show for the LWSG

On Tuesday, November  20th, I am doing the educational program for the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild.  I am doing a slide show of the process of growing, drying, rippling, scutching, combing and spinning flax to linen.  It was easiest to have all the photos together here on my blog and then click on them one after another.