For this master spinner level one exercise we were asked to prepare our fiber in four different ways and then spin them to compare the differences. The preps are spinning "in the grease", spinning from dip washed locks, spinning from washed wool and from scoured. Last night I finished my "in the grease" skein. I have never spun "in the grease" so I didn't know what to expect. For the exercise I used a North Country Cheviot fleece. The North Country Cheviot were originally from Northern Scotland. Although they are mostly breed for meat today their wool is quite nice. It averages about 27-33 microns and is 3 1/2 to 6" in length. I found the wool to be quite bouncy and have great crimp. I did find some kemp (wiry, stiff hair like wool) which I picked out with my hands. For spinning prep I took a small amount and hand teased it open. I then picked out as much straw and vegetable matter as I could. Starting from the butt of the fiber working to the tip I spun it worsted, using a short forward draw. This allowed me to control my fiber better and I didn't want to prep it using my combs or carders because it was really sticky. I found it a little more difficult to draft because all the lanolin was still on the fiber. I think if I would spin in the grease again it would have to be more of a clean fleece with a very uniform staple length. Below are the pictures of my process. I was very surprised on how clean the final yarn got. I scoured the yarn after I finished spinning to try and remove as much lanolin and dirt as possible. There is still some hay and vegetable matter stuck in the yarn but I believe that comes with the whole spinning in the grease process.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Here it is... Drum Roll Please......
New pattern released today and for sale right now! I am so proud and excited about this cowl. It uses Knits All Done exclusive Zen Yarn Garden"Keep Calm Keith" yarn. You can purchase the pattern at my Ravelry store or the whole kit with the yarn at
Keep calm and knit on!
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
My level two Master Spinner experience was fantastic! Not only was it with a group of fabulous women but I also had a great teacher, Michelle Boyd. Our class size was smaller which was wonderful because we were all able to get one-on-one attention and help. Even though I think I'm crazy for doing two years of work in one year, I benefited from the knowledge I received for my level two week and I can apply it to my level one homework. I learned so much in this one week and I think I became a much more controlled spinner because of it!
After day one I was beat but in the best way!
I was lucky enough to stay at my parents home on the north shore of Long Island and get some mommy time! After the first day of using my wool combs we were not friends. I feel with a little more practice we will become friends. They are a great tool for fiber prep and making a true worsted yarn.
Here are some of my yarn samples from the week.
Level two is focused on blending and using different fiber characteristics to be able to get the perfect yarn for your end use.
We will have to create a color wheel out of the primary colors using blending techniques.
Sheep Love! This is Hercules. He is from my friend Lisa's farm. It is one of her Finn sheep. To learn more about Lisa and her fiber farm visit her website. Her fiber is amazing! http://www.bayhavenshorttails.com/
Their fiber is so yummy and she coats them so it stays clean and so soft!
I love my sheepy kisses! I can do this all day !
I had lots of studying to do for my test and Tess, my parents Golden Retriever puppy, was a study buddy. It worked. I got a 24 out of 25 on my test! Thanks Tess for letting me read all the technical spinning information to you!
One of the hair sheep at the Smithtown Historical Society grounds where we took our class.
One of my new toys! My Zoom Loom, great to create swatches for my homework.
Some rolags made from South Down wool for woolen spinning prep made on my hand carders.
This is going to be one of my main go to tools. It can measure my angle of twist, wraps per inch and its a bottle opener!
Lastly this a birds nest I found on the ground in my parents front yard. I put out suite containers with llama fiber and the birds did all the work. I just love it!!