My left hand is still in a brace and will be for the next 3 weeks or so. My Dr. diagnosed my issue as tendinitis but I also have arthritis in my thumb … the double whammy! But he did clear me to craft — for max 30 mins per day — providing I continue to wear the brace (except when sleeping) and take all of the high dosage anti-inflammatory pills he prescribed. I’ll have to see about that. With his okay, I got some crafty action; I started this spin during Labor Day weekend while my entire neighborhood was #turnedup for all the weekend celebrations.
Polwarth apparently needs high twist and I’ve been playing around with treadling and changing the wheel speed to see what works best. Right now, I’m kinda annoyed that I changed the pulley ratio to the smaller one and am now getting 50 million corkscrews. But I’m pressing on. Will work on it some more today. But in the meantime, I’m just enjoying the ability to spin at my leisure. Feels great to be crafting again. 😀
Welp … Tour de Fleece 2015 has come to an end (on Sunday). Although I signed up for one team — October House — I mostly spun along with my friends in the KnitPicks (and more) Stashdown Ravelry group. It was an informal spinning team and we had a blast. At least I did. 😀
The tour was great in so many ways and I learned so much in my short 6 week journey as a new spinner. Even with my dislocated thumb, I enjoyed spinning so much, I think I’ve found my sweet spot in yarn crafts. Don’t get me wrong, knitting and crochet are not going anywhere, but there’s just this feeling I get when I put the spinning techniques together (even as a learner) and see a continuous thread unfold from a cloud of fiber. Just like some people only want to knit lace (oye!) or socks, or blankets, or sweaters, or hats … I just want to spin! Not to make anything, but just to see the thread emerge. I think I’m that spinner who’s F.O.s are the skeins themselves and not the item made from those skeins.
For the tour, I:
- learned to use bootleg hand combs and hackles aka dog combs and rakes to prepare fibers. They work, but the tines on my combs are loose after two uses. I should have known it might have been a bust since two of the tines were already shaking when I opened the packet. Plus while they do a decent job opening the fiber, the ones I have pull, rather than separate so I lost 2 ozs of fiber my first go around on a dyed braid. It could have been my technique or it could have been the brand of dog combs I used. Since I can’t afford to lose so much again, real fiber hand combs are on their way to me right now.
- learned how to use hand cards
- spun 600 yds of fiber
- salvaged a matted braid of fiber and made bird’s nests
- dyed four braids of fiber. I got success with all these … none of them ended up matted or felted. Every skein fluffed back up after drying and is usable. I was very excited about this since I’d only dyed yarn before … never fiber. I’ll show you those in my next Dyepot Stories post.
This pic represents most of my efforts during this year’s TdF, and I’m immensely proud. The Wensleydale I dyed during the tour has been shipped to my friend already, but I’ll find a pic somewhere and post it later. My wheel spinning start took a while to actually take off but now that it has, it’s like Super Grover — “up, up and awwwwwway” 😀
For my TdF2015 efforts, I’ve been “rewarded” by my friend Elisa with 1lb of sheep. Yes, I said sheep. And notice the quotes around the word rewarded. LOLOLOL!!! Her gift is making me start from one step up from scratch. I can’t raise the sheep in my apt, but she’s sent me 1lb of amazing bfl locks that I’ll have to scour, process, spin then knit. That’ll give me a head-start and some practice before I start my sheep to sweater project in 2016. Since that’s it’s own adventure, I’ll update you on that once I get it. 😀
Hope you are all well, with lots of crafty, happy things keeping you occupied this summer. Talk to me in the comments and let me know how you’ve been. ❤