Saturday, April 26, 2008

On the bobbin

On the bobbin
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
This is what I had on the bobbin by the end of the first day. If you click on the picture, you'll be taken to the Flickr album and you can see the notes. I've indicated the worsted-spun yarn (nearest the top of the picture) and the woolen-spun just above the green yarn. I hope you can tell just how different they look.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spinning a True Woolen Yarn

Carding a rolag
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
In tonight's episode, Stephenie demonstrates the sheer magic of spinning a woolen yarn. Here, she's carding the rolag. Notice how light and fluffy the fibers are?

Rolling the Rollag
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here, she's lightly rolling the rolag (notice the clever way those words are related?) off the handcarders.

Drafting woolen yarn
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
This is where the magic starts. See the fluffy mass in her left hand? She pulls that mass back from the orifice all at once, leaving the lumps where they occur, but...

Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
She just drafts those clumps from both ends!

Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
It's just plain magic, I tell you. That big airy clump of wool just stretches out and becomes an airy yarn.

Plied woolen yarn
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's what the woolen yarn looks like when plied back on itself. look at how fuzzy and airy it is. You wouldn't believe how much sproing this yarn has!!

I hope this shows you how easy Steph makes this look. I think I may actually be able to do this correctly now!

In other fiber progress -- I've been steadily spinning up a couple of punis a day. When I get good at rolling the punis, then I'll start spinning on the SpinTech. My plan? I want to weave a garment to wear to SOAR.

I've also carded and dizzed enough for spinning a bobbin, maybe two. That's on the agenda for this weekend. As is more knitting on the RocketGanseyDottir.

Hold on to your horses...

LATE BREAKING NEWS: I just got word that the SOAR confirmation was saying they received my registration, not that I'm actually going. Not yet. I have to wait until June for that.

Watch- I'll have jinxed everything, just like what happened with Kyrgyzstan. (wry face and head shaking here)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to draft

How to draft
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here, Stephenie's demonstrating how to draft effortlessly. She's done a bit of preparation on the roving by stretching it slightly, both lengthwise and slightly on the diagonal.

The Drafting Zone
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
See the drafting zone? This form of spinning is practically effortless. It relies on a precise tension of the brake - enough to resist pulling yarn off the bobbin, but not enough to pull the drafting yarn out of your hand as you draw back.

Spinning worsted
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here, Stephenie's spinning in a more worsted manner. The technique is worsted, good old inchworm stuff, but the preparation hasn't been combed. Therefore, it's not a true worsted, but more of a semi-worsted.

News on the fiber front: I got in to SOAR!! omg omgomg ... So, now my mind is racing around and I want to come up with a good project. Cotton, but of course! (what's that you say? What about all those fleeces?? ummmm, I'll get back to you on that.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Steph's handwoven shirt

Steph's shirt
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
This is a shirt that Stephenie spun - it's all handspun cotton singles, woven in shadow weave. It is amazing.

The hooked stick
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Yeah, Steph's mugging for the camera. She's a goofball, just like I am. See the stick in her right hand? It's just a piece of wire, with a bent end. She's showing how to sample-spin fibers, so you know how they'll act before buying. It's the most ancient form of spinning. See the variations in the thickness of the spun yarn? That's because this roving is a blend of mohair and wool, and the variation in how it spins shows in the thickness of the yarn.

Ercil and her hooked stick
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Ercil devised this very simple and elegant storage solution for her hooked stick.

Any requests for more information on the hooked stick? It's pretty simple, especially if you already spin. You can rotate it in your hand, which is rather slow, or you can roll it down your leg.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Casa de Fruta

Friday, Cecilia and I drove up to Palo Alto for the Comprehensive Spinning workshop with Stephenie Gaustad. From the 5, the Garmin GPS had us cut across on the 152 to the 101. We were just outside of Gilroy when we really really (yes, you know how it goes) needed a rest stop. This is where we stopped...

Casa de Fruta
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I've seen the roadside Casa de Fruta (click for their website) for years but never stopped until now. Such kitschy fun!

Casa de Choo-Choo
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The Casa de Fruta is a casa of many casas. Even the Choo Choo has its own casa.

Casa de Sweets
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's the Casa de Sweets.

Hey, Cecilia, Turn Around!
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I caught this candid shot of Cecilia - no, we were going in to the Casa de Deli, not the Casa de Wine. We had just come out of the Casa de Fruta, and Cecilia is gobbling some dried corn.

Haunted Tunnel of Conflicting Signage
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The top sign says "DANGER- DO NOT ENTER TUNNEL" !!

But the middle sign says "You are entering the Casa de Fruta Tunnel. Please Keep Hands and Feet Inside of Train."

I love the contradiction - but it's easy to figure out that you shouldn't be in the tunnel if the train is coming!

Or, like the Roketman says, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but what's that train whistle mean?

This is where I usually post a bit of something about fiber progress. As in, I got this much knitted, or this much spun. How can I describe the fiber progress that happens when you take a phenomenal workshop like this weekend?? I'm going to post it in bits and pieces over the next few days. Hope I can be coherent -- I know that I won't be as brilliant as Stephenie is!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What a wonderful weekend!

I've got lots of pictures, and absolutely no energy to get them up tonight. Cecilia and I drove back down from Palo Alto via the 101... with a short detour to Solvang for Village Spinning and Weaving, of course! I added to the book stash, and the needle stash, but I was good in the fiber department.

We got stuck in rush hour traffic on the 210... arrgh. That's why I'm so exhausted. And brain dead.

The workshop with Stephenie was awesome-- and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. She's so good. I learned lots, even though I was one of the know-it-alls. I just hope I was the least obnoxious know-it-all...

More tomorrow!