It’s Sweater (Spinning & Knitting) Weather

A couple weeks ago I shared this image of all the grey yarn I’d prepped for Spinzilla…

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It’s 28oz in total of a Merino + Tussah Silk blend from Three Waters Farm  sitting there. For those non-spinners, usually you purchase fiber in 4oz lots and generally when I’m sharing a single skein, that’s one 4oz lot. To put together a sweater spin, of course, takes more fiber. As this is hopefully going to wind up as a Tecumseh sweater (that’s the current working plan — a final swatch is still necessary!), I needed more than a single skein. I opted to spin 28oz, deciding that I’d much rather err on the side of way too much than not enough. Whether I’d opted to spin just enough or more than enough, it is not a small undertaking either way!

I had 2 different dyelots of grey, so I broke everything up as randomly as I could into 1-5oz nests. The non-uniform size of nests was on purpose to try to avoid pooling as much as I could with random color repeats. Control card in hand to help keep my aim on that DK weight yarn I’m looking for, I spun my heart out during Spinzilla, finishing up 20 of my 28oz.

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Like the yellow I think I’ll be using with it, it may be a bit on the heavy side. I think for future projects, I will likely aim one rung lower on the WPI on my control card just because I tend to fluctuate a little toward the heavier side. Oh, the lessons learned along the way!

In any case, uniformity across the skeins is pretty good…

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In both size and color…

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And I’m quite happy with the results post-finishing. I just need to skein them up so I can knit up another swatch and then get started!

Having started my last 2oz of Grey on my Schacht Reeves last night, I felt like spinning a bit in the kitchen today and I had the option of another round of plying  some Grey on my Jensen Tina 2 or to start on the blue color I intend to use, Iron Blue from Three Waters Farm

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I went with the Iron Blue and I have no regrets. This is my absolute favorite blue to spin! It’s the second project I’ll be using it for and I still have some Superfine Merino in my stash. It’s just that good. So taking a short break from the Grey in this late stage of its spinning just feels like a wonderful treat.

This sweater is my participation in the TWF Handspun Sweater-along which started August 1st. I dragged my feet all the way to October 1st and the start of Spinzilla before getting started. I waited for a number of reasons, but really if I’m honest, a big part of the delay was that I was intimidated by that 28oz of Grey. That’s a lot of Grey and that kind of tonal project can make even the best spinners get a little squirrel-y.  Surprisingly though, the spinning did not really phase me like I thought it would. I think the combination of using a base I’m really infatuated with (80/20 Merino + Tussah) and the unrelenting drive of Spinzilla meant I really didn’t have time to think much about spinning one color for days on end. And it just…. it flew by!

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment wasn’t the Spinzilla push, but the fact that not only did I wash & finish those first 5 skeins the day after plying them, I also kept spinning the remaining 8oz of Grey when I’d finished. Sure, I thought about taking a little jaunt in a totally unrelated spinning direction, but instead I kept on with the Grey. Determined to finish, I didn’t attack with the same vigor and sense of urgency as I did during Spinzilla, but I kept at it. By the time I go to sleep tonight, I might be finished!

On that note, I think it’s time to get back at it! Happy spinning & knitting, my friends!

 

Tour de Fleece 2018 – Week 1 Recap

This year my Tour de Fleece experience did not have the most auspicious beginning. After aiming to wake early, I actually woke up late after a fitful night of sleep. When I finally pried myself from the clutches of slumber, I found Mr. Knitting Sarah had set coffee out next to my wheel. Things were starting to look up! I started spinning and after a few minutes my drive band broke.

As I find is most helpful at times like this, rather than get upset over something as easy to fix as a broken drive band, I got up and walked away. I stretched a bit and had some breakfast and another cup of coffee. Then I tracked down my drive band belting and got to fixing it. Within 15minutes or so I was up and running again. Since then, despite some travel days for mini-vacations visiting family and all the stuff of playing cards and outdoors with my family, I’ve managed to spin a bit each morning and then again in the evening. Some days I make more time than others, but I thought since week 1 had come to a close I’d share my progress thus far. I’m a co-captain on Team Three Waters Farm, so fair warning all my spins for the TDF will be of the Three Waters Farm variety.

First, I began by finishing up the singles for my June Top of the Month Club, Flying Home.

 

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This I spun on my Jensen Tina 2 using my new hi-speed bobbin. It may be my favorite wheel set-up yet. Eventually I will circle back and chain ply this bobbin, but as it’s the Tour de Fleece, I hopped right on to my next round of singles…

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This is Mighty Incentive on a 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk base.

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I’m working toward a bigger project with most of these spins, so I am splitting them more or less the same. I’m dividing each braid into it’s 3 color repeats. Then each repeat I divide in half lengthwise. Of these 6 pieces, 3 I leave and spin as they are and the other 3 I divide further into 6 or so pieces. It should make for a nice, random barberpoling. I’m aiming for a worsted weight and am using my control cards religiously to do so, but overall the skeins may wind up a bit on the light side. On a whole, I’m just aiming to stay consistent across the board so as long as all the skeins for this project are roughly the same I should be in good shape.

Next in this project, I have Living Color on a 60/40 Polwarth/Silk base…

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Again, this is the same as Mighty Incentive…

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You can see both of these spins are held on metal rods. It’s because I’m letting them ride on-board my Tina 2 as I spin…

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This is a favorite feature of mine. They look pretty, allow me to reference these spins while I keep going and also it keeps my spinning area very nice and tidy instead of strewn with bobbins.

Upon finishing up Living Color, I turned to Summer Heat on that beloved 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk base…

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I am so into this one.

On my downstairs wheel, the Schacht Reeves, I’ve been working primarily on singles. I started with the Three Waters Farm Tour de Fleece 2018 inspired tonal coordinate, Race Splash

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And then went straight on to Racing through Puddles

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Both of these spins are on a 100% Falkland base which is dreamy. I’ve never really been that into Falkland, but this base has changed my tune! I’m still learning how to work within the bobbin constraints of my Schacht Reeves. When working worsted and bigger singles, I find it pretty impossible to fit a full 4oz braid on the bobbin. On Race Splash I filled up bobbin one has full as I could and then put the remaining on a second bobbin. On Racing through Puddles, I switched bobbins roughly at the halfway mark and I think it’s going to make for a more consistent yarn. We’ll see how that theory plays out when I wind off and finish these skeins!

Anyways…. after finishing up these two singles, I hemmed and hawed about what to spin next. I wanted something different than Summer Heat, but since I was in the worsted weight groove, I wanted something to fit in with my bigger scale project. I picked Cave at Hug Point or is it Hug at Cave Point? I confused this all the time in my mind, but I promise it is the former and this 75/25 BFL/Silk blend is beautiful.

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I love the muted colors — they feel brine-y, like an ocean lagoon to me and I am all in with it. I got through almost the entire first 2oz in just an hour or so last night and with any luck I will finish it up tonight.

My spindle spin is Still Water again on that 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk blend and it’s coming along, slowly, but surely…

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As spindle spins do in my world. After finishing my last spindle spin, I am totally into the long term commitment approach to a good spindle spin. If it takes a year, I’m A-OK with that, i’m just going to enjoy my stolen moments with it in my everyday life.

And that, my friends is it! Week 1 of Tour de Fleece 2018 is in the books! Time to get back to my Summer Heat spin before the day gets busy!