Friday, July 8, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday ~ Tour de Fleece week 1

Whew... what a week its been so far.  I started the tour with a small batt of white & beige suri blended with teal and blue merino.

I haven't decided what to do with this, so for now its just going to hibernate on the bobbin until something comes to mind.

Next I carded up some white and beige suri with blue merino top.

 and on days 3 & 4 spun it up......

I really liked how this turned out but again I only had about 4 oz.  So I spun up some merino/silk top into lace weight

and by the end of day 5, I was set to start plying. 

Wednesday afternoon, while I was spinning the lace weight merino/silk, I decided it would be fun to put in beads and sequins.  So before I went to knit night at Your Local Yarn Shop, I stopped by JoAnne's Fabric to see what I could find.

Woo hoo, I found sequins and a bamboo crochet thread (Aunt Lydia's 100% bamboo) that I thought would work to string the beads and sequins on.  So after spinning at knit night, I spent the evening with my beading needle stringing 1 bead 1 sequin.

I used size 8 seed beads and a small size sequin and they threaded very nicely and quickly onto the bamboo.  So..... in my mind plying these 3 yarns together was going to be a breeze.  Oh my goodness how wrong I was.

I put my two spun bobbins on my tensioned lazy kate and put the spool of bamboo on the lazy kate on my spinning wheel and started plying.  I was plying along moving a bead and sequin up periodically and the remainder of the beads were sliding right down the bamboo thread as I imaged they would. 

I thought all was going nicely until, all of a sudden, I could not get the beads to slide down the bamboo any longer.  I looked down to see what the problem was and what a mess I had.   Between the spool and the beads, the yarn was twisting the whole time I was plying and sliding the beads down.  I had a tangled mess!  Of course, my camera wasn't anywhere in sight so sadly I have no picture of my mess to share.

As you can image, it took me quite a while to untangle the mess and then I just sat for a few minutes staring at my hands trying to figure out how to continue.  I finally realized I would need to put some tension on the spool of bamboo.  How was I going to manage this?

Jim was outside working, I had just untangle the mess and didn't want to put it down for fear of it getting messed up again.  So....not having enough hands I stuck the bamboo yarn between my toes and said to myself, what do I have to lose?

Image my surprise when it actually worked!  As long as I kept tension on the yarn between my foot and my hand  I could slide the beads down quite easily.  It wasn't a fast process but it worked.  This time I wished someone was video taping me.  It had to be quite a sight!  Maybe we should start a series titled "How not to Spin".

As luck would have it, I grossly missed judged how many beads and sequins I would need to complete this project.  So I had to cut the yarns and today I will be stringing more beads and sequins in the hope of getting the rest plied this evening.

Here's a peek.....

I really like the feel of this combo of yarns together but who wouldn't?  Suri alpaca, merino, and bamboo....what could be better?   Oh, maybe

Now it's back to stringing beads and sequins for me..... hope every one has a wonderful Fiber Arts Friday!!


  1. Melissa, it turned out Beautiful! What a great post, you invented a new type of spinning, Monkey Style! LOL

  2. Oh my heavens...I can just picture you and your 'magic toesies'!!! I've been using a drop spindle to spin lately, and I never seem to have enough hands while plying...and that's with only two strands and no beads! You amaze me!!! XXO-

  3. You are very brave. I would have chucked the entire thing upon having the first sign of trouble. But it is very pretty.

  4. ooooooh, it's so beautiful! tehehe, I can just imagine how you looked (should have had Jim take a photo)

  5. Great color and I am envious of the beading. A technique that I haven't tried yet. Happy FAF!

  6. Wishfulthinking51July 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    It all sounds so funny -- I can just picture you spinning. But the beaded yarn turned out to be beautiful!!

  7. Hey what are toes for anyhow?? Clever way to fix a problem. And your yarn turned out really pretty. I like the sequins and beads together. Gives pizzaz.

  8. Wow, challenging! Brave spinner!

  9. Hey Melissa, maybe we could have a class in toe control spinning!!!

  10. That's quite a saga. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Who knows, maybe you'll become the widely sought out expert in Monkey Spinning. Teehee.

    All of your yarns have turned out lovely.