Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber...My Head is Spinning!

As you may know, I was camping last week and along with the hiking, I got some knitting and spinning done. If you look at my last blog, you'll see photos of my camping experience. I have finished the spinning project that I was working on during the time in the mountains. This is my first multi-colored spinning project.

This is the fiber I started with. It's hand-dyed merino from Greenwood Fiber Works.

Here's what it looked like on the wheel. I had no control over what colors went into the yarn, other than picking out a colorway I liked, but I could make the sections of color longer or shorter by drafting.

I also could combine the colors while drafting or plying. I chose Navajo plying because it keeps the colors together, rather than combining them barber-pole fashion. Navajo plying is sort of like making a long crochet chain, except that you make the loops fairly long, and you're adding twist as you work. Because you're working with one strand of yarn, the colors tend to stay together, except where the singles change from one color to another. After plying, I wound my yarn onto the niddy noddy DH made for me out of pvc pipe.

I tied it with figure-eights in four places, washed it in Kookaburra Wool Wash and hung it in the shade to dry.
In other activities, we had our annual geology hike just above Salt Lake City on Labor Day. Here's what you could see:

DH is on the far right. He's a geologist (retired), and every year he leads a group of hikers from the Park City Mountain Sports Club to learn about regional geology. Yes, that is a wolf to his left. She belongs to a friend of ours who hikes with us, the tall man in the hat.

What's on my needles? Still my Landscape Shawl with my hand-spun Coopworth. The yarn is fairly lumpy. I could have made smoother yarn, but at this point in my spinning, I would have had to card it, and would have lost all the little bits of color, which are actually second cuts, little bits of fiber that result from the shearer going back over part of the sheep already shorn. I'm making progress on my shawl!

What's on my earbuds? I'm currently listening to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte on my iPod, downloaded from for free. (Thank you, librivox!) As always, I have KP podcasts on my little MP3 player and am anxiously awaiting new ones.

I'm looking forward to finishing my Landscape Shawl and a new spinning project. The area fiber fest, Great Basin Fiber Arts Festival, is coming up next weekend, as well as the open house at the Blue Moon Ranch alpaca farm (which belongs to one of the Lindas) the following weekend. I'm going to take my wheel and spin alpaca fiber. Life is good.

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