Spinning again: Fiber report
I hauled out le wheel tonight. It’s been a while, since before Baby C was born (I think). I’ve done a smattering of spindle spinning since his birth, but no wheel spinning. I was just thinking tonight while washing dishes what fiber art I love most, and that would be spinning. And what wheel do I love most? Why, the one I have! Me and the little woman are a pair, let me tell you. I wouldn’t turn up my nose at a big ole production wheel, you know. Or a great wheel, heaven help me. Or, uh, a charkha. But a smooth little castle wheel is exactly the right fit for a first, main, and only wheel.
So. If anyone is wondering, I’m spinning some light brown-grey Blue-Faced Leicester top leftover from a scarf I made for Brad a couple of years ago. I am also spinning some fleshy pink roving that’s a camel/merino blend. I plan to combine them in a 3-ply, two plies brown and one ply pink. My hope is that the lustre of the BFL will look good against the dull, subtle pink. We shall see. Later. Maybe it will look awful and I’ll only ply a tiny bit and then cast around for another solution.
The blend is from Tactile Fibers. One of the owners was visiting The Place Where I Live a few weeks ago and generously gave me and the other spinners who happened to be at knitting group that day a twist of her fiber. Mine is the colorway “Carnation” and I sort of love it. I’d planned to get more from her at the Black Sheep Gathering while in Oregon, but I ended up spending all my allotted money on other things. As I spin it now, I am really liking it. I don’t normally spring for exotic fibers (despite the list below. Shush.), but I will buy from her at some point in the future. You should too, if you spin. She’s nice and her product is excellent. OK, here’s what I spent all my allotment on:
(1) John Day brand Hand cards from Pacific Wool and Fiber. Yay! happy sigh. I can finally prep fiber properly. It is possible that I have an alpaca fleece squirreled away in my bedroom that I’ll be using these on. And/or bits of a raw Corriedale fleece.
(2) A small bag of brown cashmere
(3) A small bag of raw angora — not sure what to do with that yet
(4) A smallish bag of black Shetland.
(5) A little bowl for support spinning from The Bellwether. Oh-so-shallow. I love that. Hard to find, for some reason. If I want deeper, I’ll hunt up an egg cup.
(6) A pair of Russian lace spindles from Skaska Designs. I got to meet Galina Khmeleva. I’ve read her book a really ridiculous number of times now. Ridiculous, I tell you.
And now I love her in person as well as in writing (why do I always love the Eastern Europeans?). Her work is good, really good and really prolific. There was a new shawl in her booth for which a pattern will be published soon. Unfortunately, I’ve clean forgot what mag she said it would be in — I may write her and ask. I think I’d make it square instead of triangular, but at any rate I’d like to make it. It’s all floral and stuff, not my cup of tea, normally. (she didn’t allow any pictures, sorry). The spindles are made of poplar. I like them for their simplicity and their extreme lightness and their lack of finishing and their inexpensiveness and their all-around fussiness. I’ve got a bit of Shetland on one now, that I carded for practice and spun for practice.
I’ve got to figure out the start. I have the same problem with my Navajo spindle — please don’t tell me to spit on the wool. I’ve done that and it just doesn’t stick. Is everyone else’s spit stickier than mine or something? I’ve had to use leaders, but it really makes me feel like throwing a tantrum because I want to do it the *real* way. Should I eat candy and then spit on it? I cannot imagine that’s what the Russians or the Navajos are doing. What is the secret to starting a new single on a hookless support spindle?