The Weekend of Spindling

Despite the fact that annual Busy Time at work is technically officially over, life hasn’t really slowed down for me yet. Such is the nature of being in politics, I suppose, but my extra curriculars are getting in the way of my fiber time lately, so this past weekend I decided it was time for a break.

I literally did nothing. No plans at all. Just a weekend at home with my fluffball, doing chores, catching up on projects and Netflix, running errands, visiting the local park and getting in some serious spindle time. And much spinning was accomplished, I’m happy to report.

First, this fiber…

An ounce of dreamy softness

…became this skein!

Perfectly balanced, great drape and shine and just a touch of a halo. Love it!

This is my Yarn Tree Mongolian cashmere/mulberry silk 50/50 blend, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I spun the light singles on my Two Tails purpleheart and Navajo plied them onto Little Joe. I wound up with 141 yards of absolutely beautiful light fingering weight yarn.

I think my only regret was not buying two ounces of this lovely blend, but I still got enough yardage to make something fabulous. I’m thinking this might get paired with another semi-solid silk blend for either a redux of Selbu Modern (Rav link), since my first one was a total hit, or for another patterned colorwork tam.

Next, I finished up a longstanding art yarn that had been capitalizing the Monster spindle since October.

“Like the Miami Sound Machine exploded all over you.” (A cookie to whoever can name that quote without a search engine!)

I’m calling it “Sari Madness,” because really, it’s kind of ridiculous how crazy this yarn is. This started out as 8 ounces of sari silk thrums from Little Barn that the girls picked out for me at Rhinebeck last year. I spun the thrums together, which was an exercise in patience and careful scissor work as they were knotted and tangled and a big ‘ole mess in the bags.

Not the easiest spin, but possibly the craziest to date!

After spinning all the thrums a little at a time over the course of six months, I let the spun thrums hang out on the spindle to settle into the twist for a while and ordered a four-ounce bag of jet-black superwash merino on the cheap from Dyeing for Colour. This past weekend, I spun a piece of superwash into a semi-fine single on the Spinner’s Lair spindle, grabbed Little Joe and commenced with the plying.

The effect is similar to a thread-plied yarn, without the hassle of actually thread-plying. Bonus!

I don’t even know how many different colors are in this skein…too many to keep track…

In the end, I got 90 yards out of those two bags of thrummed silk. I have no clue what I’m ever going to do with this. It goes from super bulky to sport-weight, as I just kind of let the thrums do what they wanted to—and honestly, I don’t think I could have made them do anything else anyways. But, to me, just finishing this skein was really an accomplishment.

Oh, alright…you can have one more pic…

Finally, I dug out this beautiful surprise sample box of merino I picked up in November from Greenwood Fiberworks.

Adorable little wooly Pig Tails

I’d wanted one of these boxes for a while, so when she offered them again in merino, I jumped on it, then quickly relegated them to the stash. Where they’ve been since November. Until this weekend, when I decided it was time to make these little half-ounce braids into pretty yarns.

So, here’s my first mini-skein, using the “Enchanted” colorway braid:

Voila! Mini-skein!

It’s 93 yards of what I’m calling light fingering weight, even though Allison insists it’s laceweight. I haven’t washed it or set the twist yet (And WPI? Bahh to that…) though, so I think the jury’s still out on the weight  😀

Love the color transitioning

The whole skein—from spinning to plying to skeining on the niddy noddy—only took a few hours. I split the top lengthwise as evenly as I could, then spun the first half on the then-empty Two Tails purpleheart and the second half on the Two Tails prototype. Then I pulled out the then-empty Monster and made a two-ply right off the spindles. I managed to split and spin pretty evenly, too, because I only had five yards or so to Andean ply off the prototype to finish the whole skein.

A sweet little skein

This is my first time working with Greenwood Fiberworks wool, though the Neverending Cobwebby Bombyx of Doom (Rav link) is her handiwork as well. I have to say, I’m impressed with her fibers. This merino was so easy to spin, and the colors are wonderfully saturated and intense.

So, it’s my hope at the end of this little project to retake my sample box photo, except to replace the eight little braids with eight little skeins in the same colorways. The idea of the before-and-after makes me almost giddy, and I really love all the dusting off that my photography skills are getting lately.

This coming weekend won’t afford much time for spinning, but I did start a new and completely mindless project to get me through the weekend. More on that later.

Also, I’m approaching a major milestone: My 100th blog post! And I’m planning a contest, too! I know someone out there’s reading this silly thing—you can’t hide from WordPress stats!—so get your commenting fingers ready, because I have some great prize ideas in store!