Tragic!

A spindling tragedy occured at la Casa de Weasel:
Oh the humanity!
Oh the humanity!

Oh horror of horrors, it’s not supposed to do that! My beautiful Butterfly Girl spindle dropped, and the whorl completely detached!

The worst part was that I had a nice little cop built up on the spindle shaft at the time, and it slid right off into a little wad of singles.

Luckily, I was able to save them…

Whew...theyre safe
Whew…they’re safe

…and didn’t lose even an inch!

Now, I just have to get the spindle back up and running. My first repair attempt was a total failure. Second attempt coming soon in hopes that I can avoid sending my beauty across the country for professional help.

Wish me luck!

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My First Tweed

How can you not love a good tweed?

Shetland and Silk
Shetland and Silk

This was so much fun to spin.

It’s definitly not the softest of yarns. While it’s squishy and lofty, I wouldn’t want it directly on my skin. But, I think it’s really pretty, and I love the natural colors, which are so different from anything else I’ve spun so far.

Im a little bit British
I’m a little bit British

I did end up going with the Navajo ply, and I’m glad I did. It looks fantastic. This attempt at Navajo plying was far more successful than my first attempt, much more even and less noticable chaining bumps. I spun the singles on Joe and decided to ply on Monster, which was a really good choice. I can definitly tell the difference between plying on a lighter spindle and plying on a heavier spindle now. I also took my time with the chaining, and didn’t try to chain while the spindle was spinning. 

The final result is a solid worsted weight, 129 yards of tweedy goodness. Like almost all of my handspun, I don’t know what this will become. I just really enjoyed the spin.

Ummmm....silky tweed....
Ummmm….silky tweed….

There was some VM in this top, but not so much as to make it troublesome. Overall, I can’t say enough good things about Shunklies…and I have to admit I’ve been admiring some of her other British breed tops. Herdwick, massam and manx loughton…ummmm…..

It’ll have to wait, though. I’ve engaged in a little stash enhancement lately (Damn those Etsy sales…but they were such good deals!!), so a sampling of British wools will just have to wait for now.

Up next: Some stash flashing!

Now for something a little happier…

I give you yarn!

Precious
“Precious”

I know. Big surprise, right?

But it’s squishy and stripey and bright and happy, perfect to chase the blues of another gray, rainy, damp week.

Look! Three Plies! Thats new!
Look! Three Plies! That’s new!

This is the BFL top from DragonFibers, spun on Su and Navajo plied on Joe.  I wound up with 162 yards of fairly even 3-ply and decided, since it was the “Gems” colorway, to call it “Precious,” since rubies, sapphires and emeralds are all precious gems, get it?

One colorful skein
One colorful skein

 While it pales in comparison to Pleione, I love it for its own merits. I did achieve a light worsted weight, which is fantastic because I don’t want to just be a laceweight spinner. I want to be able to spin at different weights, and this spin gave me confidence that I could achieve it. It was also a great single to work my first Navajo ply on and to see how it really eats up yardage while doing some very cool things, like creating beautiful color transitions and preserving the striping in the painted top. Yes, it’s a little wonky, not the smoothest ply in the world. But still very cool and the yarn is balanced.

And it’s got me considering Navajo plying for my next skein, which I’m working up very quickly on Joe, though I must admit, the thought of this as a 2-ply really rocks my socks.

Natural black Shetland with stripes of white tussah
Natural black Shetland with stripes of white tussah

Where I was only ‘eh’ about BFL, I’m loving Shetland. I actually finished the singles only a few hours after I shot these photos. And I didn’t even take a photo of the top before starting it, I was so excited to try it out. It literally only took me a few days to spin all four ounces…and I’m not really a fast spindle spinner, I just couldn’t put it down!

Digging the contrast
Obligatory single shot

Some of the silk was a little slubby, but it works perfectly with the Shetland, which is undyed and still very sheepy…my hands have a distinctive sheep smell after working with this. The top is direct from the UK, from Shunklies, who is a fantastic fiber-loving seller that I cannot reccomend enough. There was a little VM in it, but overall it was great to work with and I’m loving the tweediness of the silk in with the natural black wool.

So pretty
So pretty

My houseguests are gone, which means life has returned to the regular grind…at least until one of them comes back up for a couple days this weekend. Madori will be happy. She’s been a little mopey without her twin so far this week, though I’m sure the weather isn’t helping.

Such a sweet little girl
Such a sweet little girl

Who doesn’t feel blah when it’s so icky outside?

 

And then there were three…

Not all of the Big Changes at Casa de Weasel have been good changes. Some have been scary, some have been stressful. And some have been sad.

And then there were three...
And then there were three…

It wasn’t all completely unexpected. They have huge spirits, but their little bodies…they just have a hard time keeping up.

Whyatt couldn’t overcome ADV, which is a truly horrible disease. Otto and Buddha couldn’t overcome adrenal disease; their age and the severity of their disease made it inoperable.

And Lea…she truly broke my heart. Not one symptom. Nothing I could see. Just days after Whyatt, I lost her too.

So now, my little crew is down to three: Leroy, Spazz and Miranda. It’s almost surreal. Spazz seems sad. Miranda is her sweet silly little self. And Leroy is doing ok, despite the fact that he’s starting to show adrenal symptoms again; at four years post-op, I’m actually a little surprised how well he’s done. He’s been healthy for a long time, but he’s eight years old now.

It’s all just a matter of time.

I’ll have more yarny posts this week, but I needed to give my babies their moment. And I needed to show off this photo of my three little loves and their very sweet, very sleepy group hug.