Friday, February 24, 2012

Adventures in Autowrapping

Woke up to a Winter Wonderland here in Michigan this morning.  Thick, wet snow covering the trees and it's still snowing.  Thank goodness we have power and we don't have to go anywhere today.
Really can't complain it's been a very mild winter here......keeping my fingers crossed the power stays on!

Met with some of my spinning buddies at Your Local Yarn Shop last Saturday and for some strange reason I decided I would attempt auto wrapping.  After reviewing Jacey Boggs Spin Art book, I mistakenly thought I was up to trying this technique in public. 

Wrong!!!.....well at least wrong unless my goal was to make a spectacle of myself. 

So.....I thought I'd use the orange Border Leicester I picked up from Yarn Hollow for my single. 
Went looking through my stash of stuff for something to use for the auto wrap.  I found an awesome mohair in blue with a dusting of orange, a cone of something glimmery in a lighter, brighter blue and a cone of light orange cotton/linen.  Since I found three yarns I really liked, I decided I'd try the "Tornado" technique.

Just a few suggestions:

1.  Maybe try auto wrapping with only one yarn/thread first and not mohair
2.  Jacey suggested predrafting the base fiber first......make sure to draft out all the fiber you think you will need before you begin.
3. Have a plan in mind to keep your wrapping yarns/thread from tangling if you need to take a brake.

Of course I can suggest these things since I didn't do any of them before I started.  Most of the time I felt like I was blowing around inside that tornado!.........mohair kept sticking and the blue glimmery thread came off that spool at an amazing speed.  Thank heavens the cotton/linen behaved itself.

I eventually found a certain rhythm which made me feel like I'd found the "eye" of the storm.  Then it was time for lunch.  Hmmmmmm how fast can three yarns get twisted together?  In the blink of an eye.  Lord have mercy....what a mess I had on my hands.  Spent quite a bit of time trying to get the mess untangled..... had one strand between my teeth, one under my foot while untwisting the 3rd strand. 

Miss Wonder Why wanted to take a picture of me so bad during this process!  NOOOO....I said while holding that yarn between my teeth.  It's a testiment to our friendship that she was able to contain herself.

Finally got the mess untangled and got back to spinning.  Found the "eye" again and let her take some action photos.
Collage courtsey of Wonder Why Gal
Must admit, I was never so happy to get a bobbin filled in my life.  I managed to get 44 yards before I called it quits..........

Took a much needed brake (brownie time) and then started on the Coffee colored Polypay Lambswool shown in the first pictures also from Yarn Hollow.  After my Tornado experience, I just needed an easy spin.  Spun it all up using a long draw (another new technique) and then plied it back on itself. 

Love, love, love the color! 

Since I seem to be on a spinning and Yarn Hollow kick, I decided to spin the Panda Top in Dana colorway.  Its an 8.8 oz. batt with one half oranges and the other half teals. 
One of the girls at the Spinning Loft, where I purchased the fiber, asked if I had ever stripped two colors down and then laid them next to each other when spinning the single. I'd ever even considered this, so thought I'd give it a try.

It's looking delicious..... to fill another bobbin and then ply it back on itself.

That pretty much covers my week of spinning....having a great time trying new techniques (even the Tornado) and working with different fibers.

Hope you all have a great Fiber Arts safe if you have to be out in this storm!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday ~ Keeping Busy

Spinning projects:  

Quickly finished up this yarn so I could move on to the new stuff  I bought at the Spinning Loft a couple weeks ago.  The blue is a blend of Suri Alpaca, Merino, Silk that I dyed in various shades of blue and some silver Angelina for bling,  plied with a brushed mohair that was dyed in subtle shades of white, cream and tan.  Love how this turned out.....all soft and fuzzy.

 Then I decided to start with this combo from my road trip.......

Autumn, on left, is a BFL/Silk blend.  It was awesome to spin.....might be my new favorite fiber!  The Chartreuse is a 50/50 blend of Merino/Silk.  Did not enjoy spinning this as much as the BFL.....I think too much silk in the mixture for me.
Mmmmmmm, love how the Autumn spun up.  Plied the two together
Now I have 200 yds of this beautiful, vibrant, lustrous yarn.  I'm thinking about making a hat. 
Meeting with the girls tomorrow at Your Local Yarn Shop for another day of spinning fun.  Haven't made up my mind  which color/fiber combo I'll spin next.  I'm thinking I'll just take it all and ask for some ideas.

Knitting projects:

Completed my Arroway shawl.....yup another Stephen West design.  It was a pretty quick project since it's mostly done in garter.  Hit a snag when I got to the arrows at the bottom but after a chat with KellyJ even that moved along nicely.  Now to just get it blocked! 

I made this scarf as a store sample for the Spectra class I will be teaching at YLYS next Saturday.

It was super fun to make and hard to put down cause I wanted to see what the next color would look like.  It's made with Noro Kureyon sock and Heritage sock yarns.  It was such fun I thought I should have one for myself.  Started mine yesterday while visiting my Dad....
........can't wait to get to the teals and purples!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday ~ Road Trip

I found out the Spinning Loft was having a special event last weekend and would be open on Sunday.    Yarn Hollow and Bricolage both were there selling fiber goodies and a portion of all sales would be donated to Forgotten Harvest to fight hunger in Michigan.  What a win, win situation!  I called a friend and off we went.

I find myself drawn to a limited palette of colors and basically spin Suri alpaca or Suri/Merino/Silk blends.  So my goal was to either find different fibers and/or colors outside my comfort zone. 

I started off with Yarn Hollow and found these.....

Coffee/Polypay and Tangerine/Border Leicester
Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon

I spotted this beautiful yellow by Spunky Eclectic called Gold Digger.  Not only did I fall in love with the color but it's Polwarth.   Falls right into my plan of different colors, different fiber.  Actually I really like yellow but they seem hard to find.

Anyone who knows me, knows green is my favorite color.  Nothing new with this choice but at least one is new fiber for me......

Autumn/BFL & Silk, Chartreuse/Merino & Silk

 these are from Abstract Fiber

I got back on track when I found this Spinning Loft Colors dyed by Chelsea.  Fiber is Finn and the color name is You Love Me.  This fiber is super soft and with that name how could I resist? 

I think this is the most fiber I've ever bought at one time so I had to have a group pic.

I didn't take individual pics of the two balls of roving.  The one on the left is BFL and the right one is BFL/Silk.  Now.......what to spin first? 

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!