A lot of time has been spent at the lakes. Finally the water has warmed up. 🙂
I have listed some new hand dyed Wensleydale rovings, locks, and carded batts to the farm shop on Etsy. Most of my dyeing inspiration has been the hot summer weather and lake views.. So the wools are pretty much a mix of brights and muted vegetation/greens.
My Churro Club yarns from Weaving Southwest arrived. The Churro Club is a monthly box of hand dyed, US grown and spun, Navajo Churro yarns from Weaving Southwest. These yarns are great for tapestry and pretty much anything else.
I hope your fiber artwork is going along good! Even with all the farmwork, I am managing to squeeze in time to work on my weaving and spinning projects.
I have added some washed locks, batts, and dyed fibers to the shop! The beautiful grey locks are from one of my favorite wethers. I have added some new fiber medleys and art batts too. Be sure to stop and shop.
I apologize to those who receive my blog posts via email. The photos in the last blog post email were huge!! I am sorry about that. After upgrading to the lastest Apple OS and the new Photos program, I had some issues with photos being sideways on my blog. “Easy enough,” I thought. I will just post the photos from my phone app.” Little did I know, the phone app does NOT resize photos. They were not sideways, but the photos were huge in the email. I have given up on using the newest Apple OS for now and will be posting from my laptop which has not been upgraded!
The Cormo top has arrived from the mill. It is a bit thicker diameter than regular top which results in a great top for dyeing. I have a limited quantity of this available. Once it is gone, there will be no more until next June. Find it here in my shop. I have it available in 4, 8, and 16 ounce quantities.
I have been busy spinning some super-soft Cormo batts. The fleece is washed (to remove all lanolin!), hand-dyed, and then carded. The batts are about 90% Cormo with 10% Wensleydale, other wools, silk, Angelina. I have listed some in my shop. These batts are next-to-skin soft!! I love them!
The photo above is my spinning progress so far. I have 2 batts (about 8 ounces) in this colorway. I plan on knitting a Venetian Blind shawl with the yarn. If you are a member of Ravelry here is a link to the pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/venetian-blind . I am not sure if the link will work for a non-member. Ravelry membership is free. It is a great resource for everything fiber (knit, crochet, spin, weave).
I am spinning on my Mach III wheel by Spinolution. The bobbin is the 8 ounce bobbin. They also have a 32 ounce bobbin and yes, they are huge! I love my Mach III. I have had it for several years. It is the perfect wheel for spinning Aran and heavier yarns.
The online farm shop on Etsy has been stocked with some new hand dyed locks. There is also farm fresh Wensleydale roving available in white and black. The roving is so soft and silky! It is so wonderful to spin. I will be adding some more washed Wensleydale locks (white, black, and silver) soon!
My new wheel arrived a few days ago. I was trying to decide between a Spinolution or a beautiful Schacht Saxony. Both wheels are entirely different (and are for different types of yarns!). It was a hard decision. I ended up choosing the Spinolution Mach III and couldn’t be happier!
I ordered the 8oz set up and the oversize bobbin set up for my wheel, along with the wheels and lazy kate. I think the only other thing I need to order is the tube orifice. I would have ordered it with the wheel, but I did not know anything about it until a day or so ago.
Here are a few photos of my first skein spun on my wheel. The fibers in the yarn are Cormo and Wensleydale from my sheep along with some silk and Angelina.
Ok, so there is a bit of play on words for the title of this post, but honestly I wonder sometimes. I love to spin singles. LOOK at all the yardage you get from singles. Other times, I think, “Well, the yarn may be more interesting if it is plied…” The majority of the time I try to decide what the end us of the yarn will be. If it is going to be for weaving and used as weft yarn, I will keep the singles. If I am going to be knitting it, I will ply it.
I knit a lot of winter accessories. I like to use bulky yarn to knit quickly. Bulky yarn also makes a thick wooly winter item. I am outside 365 days a year in all weather tending to the animals and I don’t like to be cold! Thank God for Charhart Coveralls. They are my winter weather favorite. Ok, enough talk about winter. It is in the 80’s and super nice outside! 🙂
I spun up one of my textured farm wool batts. The fiber in the batt was Cormo, Shetalnd lamb, Wensleydale locks, mulberry silk, and a smidge of Angelina. Here is a photo of my textured singles.
The singles looked great, but I decided they would knit up as a nice foofy hat. The singles were Navajo plied. This yarn will knit into a quick winter hat! Oh, and I guess this ply is exempt from the title of the post. Navajo ply is a 3 ply!
My long awaited Schacht Sidekick I ordered from Spin to Yarn has arrived! I didn’t waste any time putting her together. Assembly didn’t amount to much. The wheel arrived fully assembled. I just had to figure out how to unfold it! After she was unfolded, I read through the instruction manual one last time to be sure I had everything correct. The manual specified oiling points, so I gave her a good drink of oil.
When I sat down to take her for a spin, I noticed she was a bit stiff. I had read on the Schacht Ravelry forum to oil the treadle joints, so I added a few drips of oil there. I didn’t see any improvement in treadling. I figured the driveband was a bit tight and maybe it would break in after some spinning.
After a day or so of spinning the wheel didn’t loosen up too much. I looked the wheel over wondering if I had missed something. There is a rear maiden bearing and a front maiden bearing.
I had oiled both bearings (or so I thought), but decided to oil again. After looking at the rear bearing closely, I realized I had oiled the inner white part of the bearing, but not the actual bearing line where the two black pieces of the bearing connect. My dealer had explained to oil the bearing, but it was not until I looked at it very closely that I realized I had not been oiling the correct part of the bearing.
The bearing is made up of two black rings. The dividing line between the two black rings is where the oil needs to be placed. I ran the tip of my oil bottle around the line and added a good dose of oil. As I started to spin, the difference was tremendous! I spun for a bit and added some more oil. It loosened up even more!!
It is amazing that just a little oil in the correct spot can make an immense difference in how a wheel spins! I am always sure to oil all of my wheels after a couple of hours of spinning to keep them spinning well. And remember even a new wheel needs a good oiling!
I heard rumors. Yeah, there were quite a few stirring around about a year ago. Rumors that Schacht was coming out with a portable wheel. The rumors are true and Schacht is now in the final stages of production for the new Sidekick portable wheel.
I pre-ordered a Sidekick from Spin to Yarn. I was contacted recently and told my wheel is scheduled to ship at the end of June. I am so excited! Schacht posted some videos of the Sidekick in action on their website. It just looks like and awesome travel wheel.
Here are some details from the Schacht website:
The Sidekick is Schacht’s newest spinning wheel. She’s designed to fold easily, yet be a solid spinner. Here are some of the Sidekick’s features:
Folds to 21 1/2″ h x 8 1/4″ w x 15″ d.
Integrated storage of bobbins, flyer, and whorls for transport.
Lightweight at 13 pounds.
13 3/4″ drive wheel allows for ratios from 4.25 to 15.25.
Long, comfortable treadles.
Uses the same bobbins, whorls, and flyer as the Schacht Matchless and Ladybug wheels.
The Sidekick can be purchased without the bobbin-flyer assembly.
25″ orifice height for comfortable spinning.
Employs Scotch tension with precise control knob.
The drive wheel spins on ball bearings. The flyer turns on self-aligning bearings.
Drive band tension adjuster allows for all whorls to be used with one drive band.
The Sidekick comes with 3 travel bobbins, fast and medium whorls, threading hook, and adjustable carrying strap.
Also available: The Sidekick Bulky Plyer Flyer Package can be added at any time.
So really, what else could a spinner ask for in a travel wheel? Looks like they have covered just about everything! I will be posting a review after I receive my wheel!!