spinning

A Little Love Affair with Grey

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I know I'm known for loving all of the colors in the world, but lately I've been staring longingly at naturals, most particularly greys, especially the warm, warm greys, the ones that are almost brown.

I think everyone has a natural that's their favorite. For me I know it will never be white, though I can see the variations. There is something about white that makes me jumpy.

I used to be all in for brown, dirt. I still love it, but now I'm shifting a step toward the greys. Concrete grey, dove grey, that spectacular grey with lavender that is the underside of clouds, ash in the smoker, even angry sky grey. I'm seeing and appreciating it everywhere.

Grey has my heart lately in fiber, there are so many variations within that one color, cool,  toward blue or green or warm toward red, there are even some that I swear have a brusie-y purple cast.

The color that's Oatmeal BFL may be number one for me. I used to think it was just brown, but the more I've looked at it and spun it the more I see that it's grey, a warm, warm grey. 

I can spin these warm greys and not get sick of them and should probably plan a something using several. Using them to mix and blend with other colors at the wheel really does me in, they mellow and enrich other colors like other naturals can't.

All the stones, elephants, sweatshirts, the perfect grey cat. my grey hairs, and so many sheep.

What natural is your favorite?

Tour de Fleece Intuitive Spinning

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I'm spinning sock yarn for my Tour de Fleece goal. I'm spinning Homestead Hobbyist top, drafted woolen into a 2-ply with extra ply twist. I've been asked how I know what my overplied yarn will look like, and how to check my singles consistency when I want extra ply in the ply twist.

Mostly I don't stress it. For me the most important thing is to not get a yarn that feels wirey for socks. I spin my singles fine and woolen and use a plyback sample to guide me. I do a little measuring and a lot of touching, a more intuitive approach to spining.

I know I want my plied yarn to be about 14 WPI. I spin a single that I think is close but, under that WPI then check the WPI * of a plyback sample. I check it plied back on itself, then I tighten the ply twist with my hands, to get an approximation of the overtwist I want.

I feel and check the WPI of my manually overtwisted 2-ply. If it's not right, I do it again. If it's close to what I want, I note my numbers and spin a bit to make sure I can match it. Then I wrap some of my singles on a tag to compare as I spin and attach my plyback smaple to the same tag. I can quickly check WPI against the single on the card and twist with my ply back sample.

My plyback WPI is 12 and over twisted it's 14, which is right where I want to be.

Yes, I should do a bigger sample that is plied, finished and knit. But I just want to spin and get to the making. I'm always happy with an ish yarn. We'll see if this type of intuitive spinning rocks or bite me in the butt.

Embroidery with a Sore Shoulder

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I will be the first to admit that I don't take care of my body like a should. I haven't been stretching or doing yoga as regularly as I used to before and after spinning and knitting. The result is a sore shoulder and neck. I am now back to yoga and stretching, reading Carson Demers wonderful book Knitting Comfortably, and resting my shoulder.

Since I just can't just sit, I hunted for a fiber craft that uses different motions and muscles than spinning and knitting, and hit on embroidery. I used to stitch quite a bit and have all of the supplies (and then some).

I had several patterns and samplers on hand from Dropcloth (the patterns on the bottom, to the left and the one in progress) but felt the need to freshen my pattern stash. I bought three patterns from Cozy Blue (top right) and a nautical knitting themed kit from Hook, Line, and Tinker (top). I don't need any more patterns to stitch, but let me know if there is someone whose work you really like.

What are you spinning for the Tour de Fleece? My goal is four ounces of Homestead Hobbyist fiber to knit into socks for the Homestead HobbyIst Sock Along, a multi month spin and knit.