Archive for November, 2009

Wow. So…brown.

November 27th, 2009  |  Published in Babbling

Enchanted Knoll superwash merino

Enchanted Knoll superwash merino

I was just showing a friend what I’ve started here…and we both looked at each other and said, “Wow. That’s so…brown.” So I grabbed the nearest fiber, took a photo, and here’s proof that not all I spin is brown…just, well, you know, mostly brown.

The specs: Enchanted Knoll Farm’s superwash merino in the Big Sky colorway

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Spinning sock yarn

November 22nd, 2009  |  Published in Spindle Project

Three Sock Singles

Three Sock Singles

I’m mildly obsessed with sock yarn. Having it, using it, getting more of it, and, you know what’s coming, spinning it.

So it only makes sense that most of my spinning projects involve making sock-weight yarns. One of my current projects uses 3 spindles for the singles, and a 4th yet-to-be-named spindle for plying.

I’m shooting for a nice fingering weight because it just makes me crazy to finish knitting a pair of socks made with that slightly too thick yarn that requires a new pair of shoes. Bigger shoes. So even though I whine about the itty-bitty needles, and the itty-bitty yarn, I’m happier in the end (really).

Confession: I started spinning these singles something like, um, maybe 3 years ago? I know. Pretty sad. The good news is I think I’m finally almost ready to ply (ha! almost!)! Each spindle has 0.8 oz of fiber in the cop, and I only have 0.6 oz of roving left to spin. I should end up with a skein weighing almost 3 oz, which should make a pair of socks.

Sock Single Size

Sock Single Size

And if not, I guess I’ll just have to spin something matchy-matchy so my socks have toes. And the rest of their feet.

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Greensleeves’ Bare Bonesies

November 13th, 2009  |  Published in Spindle Review

This little spindle has become one of my favorites. Why? It’s tough, it’s not fussy, it’s a good little spinner, the shaft is just the right diameter, and while it’s one of the plainer spindles in my collection, it’s quietly beautiful.

Specs:
Greensleeves Bare Bonesie
Weight: ~1.0 ounces (~28.35 g)
Whorl diameter: 2″ (5.08 cm)
Whorl material: maple
Shaft length: 7.5″ (19.05 cm)
Shaft material: birch
Total Length: ~9″ (~22.86 cm)

Let’s talk about tough. I tend to stuff spindle projects in bags and toss them in the car where they ride around for days or weeks until I decide to bring them back into the house for a little shelf time. Or I’ll pack them for a trip…where ‘packing’ consists of squashing the spindles & fiber in between the socks (I’m a lazy packer–I don’t want to have to baby my spindles). The Bare Bonesie whorl is a nice thick round of maple, and the shaft is a fairly hefty length of birch. Both of which have stood up to the abuse I’ve heaped upon them.

I have some fussy spindles. They’re pretty adamant about the type of fiber they want to spin, or the size of singles they’ll produce. The Bare Bonesie has proven itself to be fairly flexible: silk and merino to mohair and corriedale; spider web to fingering (confession: I like to spin fine.)

Greensleeves' Bare Bonesie, top view

Greensleeves' Bare Bonesie, top view

The physical aspects of this spindle fit my hands nicely. The shaft diameter is small enough I can easily use my thumb & finger to get the spindle spinning, yet large enough I can feel the shaft. The finish is simple and doesn’t interfere: there’s still enough of the raw wood coming through for your fingers (or your thigh, if you roll the spindle up/down your thigh) to get a good grip.

Bare Bonesies are also easy on the wallet, costing less than $20…which may explain why I have 7 or 8 of them around the house and car. These are great spindles to share with new spinners (as is the slightly heftier 1.5 ounce Bare Bones).

Sometimes it’s the plain Jane spindle that wins your heart.

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