Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

11. July 2015 09:10
by Jobo
1 Comments

Tour De Fleece - Week One!

11. July 2015 09:10 by Jobo | 1 Comments

The Tour de Fleece is ONNNNN! 

For those of you who aren't familiar - The Tour de France is a famous bicycle race that runs over the better part of a month, takes place in France... and the Tour de FLEECE is a spinning event that coincides!  On the days the Tour rides - the spinners spin, and encourage each other, and tease each other, and compete on Ravelry for Prizes if they accomplish their goals! 

My own Tour goal is a very simple one - to just pick up my spinning every day.  My life is so full of mommy/work/wifey responsibilities that planning to spin a specific weight of wool, or a specific number of yards, or anything concrete was probably a bad idea.  I was afraid that if I put words to it, that I'd end up jinxing it.

So here we are - The Tour began on July 4/15 and I have managed to at least touch my spinning every day this week!  Here is what I'm working on:

Inglenook Batts!  The color is "Purple Heartwood" and it's a mix of wool, alpaca, silk, sparkle, and bamboo (I think... my tag is at home)

 

My first impression of Inglenook Fibers is just Wow.  So soft and sparkly and shiny.  And it's purple.  So Win win win.  And then when I tore into the batt to strip it into spinnable chunks... well Look at all of those colors!  So fun and cheery! 

I decided on stripping the batt into 4 x 1 oz chunks, and then further subdividing each ounce into 8 pieces.  The plan is to spin it all on supported spindles, likely putting one ounce on each spindle and then pairing them up to make 2 skeins of two ply. 

 

Here is my Bristlecone Ladybug "Gaston"... doing it's thing!

I usually like to work with laceweight or finer, but I didn't really fuss too much about the grist and diameter of the thread.  I just went with whatever the fiber wanted.  There are some thin bits and some chunky bits.  Some of the single is pretty uniform in color, some sections are mostly one color or another, and other sections still are all barberpoled and stripey.  I'm thinking the finished yarn will be both visually and texturally unique.  I'm not sure what kind of pattern I can find that will work... but no doubt something will turn up.  I'm thinking even something with a central garter stitch panel (either crescent or half-square or something) to show off the variety and texture without obscuring the stitch pattern.

And finally... here is the first two ounces basically finished.  I'm hoping to finish the last poof of fiber on my break today (since I'm working all weekend) and then make a plying ball!  The dark spindle is a Spanish Peacock Russian Set in Macassar Ebony... smooth and fast! 

9. July 2009 22:33
by Jobo
2 Comments

Angel Blend - Heavenly Fibers!

9. July 2009 22:33 by Jobo | 2 Comments

After the slightly embarassing Mohair mishap...  I decided to go ahead with my original plan #2 for Tour de Fleece and do some Blending and Drum Carding!

I have been collecting fibery things for over a year now, and one thing that always seems to get me all excited is trying new fibers.  I have a small stash of many different types of fibers:  silk hankies, soy silk, tussah silk, angora rabbit (in various shades), Merino top, Polwarth top, Dark Chocolate Merino, Chocolate Raw Alpaca, Nylon for Sock Yarn, Mohair (uggggg), Chiengora (from the family pets)....

So I figured that a blending experiment might be fun?  Since I already had lots of goodies kicking around?  (Does it ever feel like your stash is calling your name?)

The Raw Ingredients:



I didn't really weigh or measure anything... I just started tearing and picking until I had a decent sized handful.  The goal here was to get more comfy with Blending things on my Strauch Petite... not to card enough wool to spin a sweater.  For a lot of other people the TdF is a chance to try new things and learn, so I figure I should take advantage of that too!

I know that in a lot of commercial yarns that the angora content is not super high... usually somewhere around 10 - 25 % so I tried to use a fairly small proportion of that.  The Bamboo was so shiny and smooth, I used a little more of that than angora.  I had purchased the Soy Silk originally to try making laceweight on a drop spindle... thinking that it was long and strong fibers like actual silk.  When I realized that this particular Soy Silk only had a staple length of 2 inches max, and was slippery as heck, I decided against the original plan and put it away for a rainy day... ta - daa Rainy day.  The Merino?  think of it as super soft "glue" that holds the other fibers together.

Most of the references I've read suggest to use fibers of similar staple length when you blend fibers together.  In this case, the angora, merino and bamboo were all similar in staple length, and the soy silk was short... but I threw her in anyways!  I thought it might add some gold sparkle / shine to the mix so I just went with it.

I layered all the fibers onto the drum (instead of feeding it in) in an alternating pattern with Merino first, last, and in between the layers of the luxury fibers.  Aka merino, angora, merino, soy silk, merino, bamboo, merino...

To blend a little further (without allowing the separate "ribbons" of fiber disappear into each other)  I ran it through the carder one more time... and then rolled and admired.  



I really wish the camera could show you all of the subtle little ribbons of bamboo and soy silk... they gleam in the light.  Unfortunately it was dark already here... these pics were taken under my Ott Light.  The angora lent it's baby bunny softness too :)  It's quite obvious touching the batt that there is angora in there!



I finally figured out how to fold batts into those beautiful "snail shell" configurations you see on all the pro fiber sites.  The shape is actually kind of fitting in this case... the bamboo shine and softness of the merino looks a bit like the inside of a shell coated with mother of pearl.



All Spun!  I tried to spin this with very little twist with hopes of lofty and soft yarn.  I think I would like to ply this with something thread like, but I don't want to use standard sewing thread.  I am thinking maybe a skinny bamboo single?  the shine would contrast the blended single I think.  Will sleep on it for now, since I won't be able to spin untill tomorrow after work anyways.  I also have silk hankies, so they would also be a possibility for the second ply....

7. July 2009 21:20
by Jobo
0 Comments

Mystery: the hair of a hundred Mo's...

7. July 2009 21:20 by Jobo | 0 Comments

When I bought my Drum Carder (from a lady in Nova Scotia over Kijiji!)  It came with a bag of mystery fiber... which she thinks is Mohair



This stuff has been sitting in my stash for months now in a plastic bag... and I haven't touched it really.  What better challenge for the Tour de Fleece!?  than to challenge myself to use this up.

Honestly, I didn't think I liked Mohair.  Most of the yarn I've touched that was made of mohair was too scratchy for me.  This stuff feels like HAIR.  (might be softer than my own hair after being frizzed around in a strong wind?)



And true to its feel - when you tear off a chunk of this roving and fluff it out and separate it out the darn stuff really does look and feel like locks of hair!  I think this roving must have been sitting squished flat for a while (aka in a bag at the bottom of a stash somewhere before it made it to mine?) because it has been really compacted.  I was very surprised to see how "big" it feels once you open it up and fluff it some.  I thought that the pile was pretty small, but once I get it all ready to spin again I think it will look like a much bigger mound than originally expected.

The colours are variegated here from Pumpkin Orange, to Auburn Red like my sister's hair, to Olive Greens, and some Gold and Coppery shades in between.  I think I will aim for a lace/light fingering 2 ply... with the long stretches of colour that I seem to be in love with these days.

I started the spinning... and didn't realize until after the daylight had dwindled that my photo really sucked.  So I'll post the pic because it shows the colours... but ignore the fact that it's blurry OK?  great!  tks!


See?  coppery gold orangey colours! :)

I was also really surprised at how fine the wool is... and how long the staple is!  I think if I was able to go back in time and see the locks that went into this roving they would be really Lustrous long strong shiny fine locks.  **closes eyes and wipes drool off chin**

 

Well thats it for now folks...I'll leave you with a picture of the drafted shiny soft fiber!

more tomorrow as the TdF continues

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