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Monday, November 30, 2009

Spinning Cotton on a supported spindle

I am cotton-phobic - don't like the feel of it in my hands, can't imagine wanting to spin it. Still, when I watched this video I had a hankering. Who knows?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the first time we've had both kids home for Thanksgiving since 2001. I am SOOOOO happy to have them around, even if only for a couple of days.

I love getting older. I'm finally figuring out what really matters most :-)

God's blessings to all of you!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wild Flyer for Wild Spinners

I didn't think I'd ever need a Wild Flyer. Then I decided to make uber-chunky fat yarn with globs of fiber stuff. I couldn't use my Majacrafts because the yarn hooks weren't big enough so I used the Hippie Wheel, the giant Louet. That worked fine, but I missed the double treadle! So I ordered the Wild Flyer.

I had no idea it had a rainbow orifice!

This is a VERY cool tool. First of all, I can get just about any fiber thing I want through the giant and super-slick orifice/yarn hooks. I have heard that there are spinners who add strings of sequins and buttons and silk flowers to their yarn. Any of that would pass through these openings with ease.

The jumbo bobbin is a plus - I can really pack on the fiber. I think it will be great for plying as well - longer yarn = fewer joins while knitting. I like that.

I'm glad I picked this up. I'm definitely a fan!

Friday, November 20, 2009

If Life Gives you Lemons, Make Felt

I bought a fleece sight unseen...something I tell other people not to do. I paid for processing....the wool turned out less than so-so. I know the mill owner and she has done beautiful work for me, so the fault was the fleece, and me, for buying a pig in a poke.

So, what to do with neppy, merino fleece? MAKE FELT! I whipped up some super-fat 2-ply, dyed it Kermit Green, knitted two giant mittens and felted them. Then I showed the yarn and mittens to my spinning students and gave them a steal of a deal for Felting Merino. Actually, I sold it for less than it cost me. Several of them do a lot of felting. Everyone was happy.

There is ALWAYS a use for wool. Sometimes that use is compost or mulch. Other times it is felt. I've got bright green mittens to remind me not to buy a fleece w/o getting my hands on it first (unless I personally know the farmer). Happy Ending. Lesson Learned (again).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

News From Majacraft

I just got a notice from Majacraft that all orders shipping to the USA have to be in by November 30th. They will be out of the office after Christmas until mid-January, so if you need something - accessories, bobbins, or a wheel, PLEASE contact me ASAP!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deb's Deluxe for Sale!

I've had surgery on both elbows, one wrist, and both hands. I think I need to start thinking like the middle-aged person that I am!

Sooo...I have decided to buy an electric drum carder. BIG SPLURGE! My elbow is worth it.

I'm selling my Deb's Delicate Deluxe and both drums (Fur Drum and Production Drum), plus all the tools that came with it, the original shipping boxes, the instruction booklet, and a partridge in a pear tree, for $650, plus actual shipping. Everything is less than 2 years old, and I take VERY good care of my fiber tools.

Know anyone who wants a Deb? Pass it along! E-mail if you want more photos.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pluck a Bunny, Spin the Fur!

Nice, short video on how an angora rabbit's fur is harvested during the molting period and then spun into delicious, soft yarn. No boring chit chat. Just what I needed on a busy Friday!

Happy Spinning!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Old Hippie Spins in the Grease

I bought a beautiful Romney fleece from Peeper Hollow Farm. I've bought a lot of fleeces from Peeper Hollow, all clean, all exactly as described, well-skirted, from coated sheep. This one is downright spectacular.

Not a speck of visible VM. No second cuts. Gorgeous crimp and luster. In fact, this was the Grand Champion at the Iowa State Fair! I decided that it was time for me to play Old Hippie and spin in the grease. It wasn't going to get any cleaner than this.

I watched an old episode of Miss Marple and flick-carded a big pile of locks. My hands got sticky. My carder got sticky. The locks were fluffy, and sticky.

The next day I sat down at the old Louet I just refinished. I wanted to use a period wheel for hippie spinning, and the Louet fit the bill. I also did NOT want to get my Majacrafts all...sticky.

I spun up 300 yds of bulky 2-ply. Wow. Sticky. What do people use this greasy yarn for? Waterproof mittens? You can see what this wool looks like scoured from the white (not sticky) sample in the photo. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT STICKY YARN? PLEASE TELL ME.

It took a while to clean the orifice of the Louet, the hooks, the flyer, the bobbins, AND MY HANDS. No more hippie wool. No thanks.

I hope there is an old hippie out there who will buy this lovely, lanolin-rich, natural, yarn. I'm going to list it and cross my (sticky) fingers.