Spinzilla Week 2016

wheelandpillow

Something most spinners look forward to each year is a thing called Spinzilla. All my friends are probably sick of hearing me talk about it and also probably glad it has finished for this year. I am sad it is over. I spun on a team from Texas http://www.ravelry.com/groups/happy-ewe

Team Happy Ewe Fab Funky Fibers

Goal of Spinzilla is to spin as much as you possibly can in a one week period. My goal this year was 1.5 miles. Last year I was able to go 2.7 but health and time available was reduced this year. I did not fully reach my goal and only hit 1.1 miles. Seriously I am happy I got that far just disappointed that I was not able to finish all I had planned. Some people have spun well over 6 miles! Crazy right??

Some of the process.. This is 19 micron wool that I have had in my stash for a long time. I felt unworthy to spin it and finally just bit the bullet and did it. It was so soft I don’t know why I was so hesitant. I still have some more to spin and I am going to really enjoy it!

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I had won a braid of 15.5 micron Merino wool so you guys can imagine my fear of getting into it if I was scared of the 19 micron! No way would I have bought this fine wool for myself and I sure appreciated the ladies of my knitting has cat hair in it on Ravelry. Yes that is a group and a really good one too!! http://www.ravelry.com/groups/my-knitting-has-cat-hair-in-it

I already know what I am going to make with this yarn!!!

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15-5skeen

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I was also working with a very soft 80% Merino/20% silk. Could not get it to spin the way I wanted it to on my wheel. The pull was too strong for the thinness I wanted. I had to get creative and make something to handle this fiber and treat it the way it needed to be handled. I have a super secret plan for this yarn that nobody will get out of me no matter how much torture they subject me to! Although cheesecake can go a long way!!

homemadesupportI got this wool from Fancy Fibers Farm and it was a splurge for me. I got it during the DFW yarn crawl. Isn’t it beautiful!! I will go into my support spindle and how I made it at a later time!

thinspinNow that is some thin Yarn!!!

59thinspinI wanted it stronger than a single ply so I plied it with a multicolored metallic thread. Now I have what is called my first 2 ply fingerling weight. I am super excited about it and remember shhhhhh no telling about my plans!!

 

So here is a pic of all the finished product! spinzilla2016

Tour De Fleece-Day 1

I remember my first yarn not quite 2 years ago. first yarn 2 years ago

Boy I have come a long way. I think anyway my yarn is not as perfect as commercial yarn but it is mine and I love it. I am getting better all the time. My second yarn was much better and was also made on my homemade spindle. I turned this into a cowl. second yarn on spindle

Now on to my second Tour de Fleece. I am hoping to work on an 8 oz braid that I have already spun about 4oz. Plan on doing a triple ply for the first time so it will be a challenge for me. I am limited on this TdF because of a car wreck a little over a week ago. I am mending but my right hip and knee are not good for the long haul yet and I will be taking a lot of breaks. I will also be working full time. 🙁

What I will be working on this tour. I also made a few batts of yarn material made out of Marino,
Rambouillet, alpaca and a little silk. All the good things in spinning!

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The start line with a newly oiled up spinning wheel and my cheering squad!

Tour de fleece Day 1

So excuses on the side I am up for the ride! Today I have made only about 1/2 oz of yarn single spun today. Kinda figured that is where I would be. Now to get a few hours of shut eye and go save some lives tonight!

Winter Fiber Fun Retreat!

I was able to go to my first Winter Fiber Fun Retreat! I was there from February 12-14. I am appreciative of the work that was put into getting this retreat set up. Being my first one I was not really sure what to expect! I knew in the description there would be vendors and I knew I had signed up for 2 classes. I decided to give my wheel a small face lift!

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My spinning has come a long way since I was bit by the spinning bug. I started out on a 2 dollar home made spindle and loved it! The hardest thing I found was finding a good quality fiber to learn to spin with. Enter Fancy Fibers Farm and Mary. It was funny how I found her. I was at my sisters house and she was helping me to try to find a source for fiber. We looked it up and Fancy Fiber Farms was somewhere around an hour from her house (Can not remember exact time because I plugged in the wrong address in my GPS) . I tried her own Suriland blend on my spindle and wow!!! I did not know how to knit so I muddled through some crochet and made myself a cowl. It was bulky and I loved that cowl.

I went to DFW Fiber Festival last year and drooled over all the things they had. I ended up getting a couple of batts from Buterfly girl in colorway Cardinal. I really wanted to buy something from Spinning straw into gold but just did not have the money. I was just overwhelmed at all the sites and things to spin!

This year I had the chance to go on my retreat set up by Fancy Fibers Farm(Mary) and Knitting fairy. I knew that decision would not let me got to DFW Fiberfest but I was okay with that, thinking about just getting my 2 classes. Wow was I in for a shock. All the vendors I was really drawn to were there! I do not feel I missed out at all as far as getting supplies! I was even able to make a deal involving my soap and eventually ending up with bag of Alpaca Fleece!

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The 2 classes I took were to improving my plying when spinning. First one was the plying study. I learned how to do a 4 ply that involves plyng 2 different 2 plys together. I also learned how to N ply which I am super excited about. The other class I took was Crepe Yarn. I is somewhat complicated but my wonderful teacher gave picture diagram so I will never forget how as long as I have the cheat sheet. In the crepe Yarn Class I got a bag of multicolor BFL 8 oz to work with. SCORE!!! Int he middle of the fun the owner of Butterfly Girl came and said she could work in a few more people and I was able to make a wonderful colorful art batt to work with for 12 dollars. Score Again!!! She also was gracious enough to share her inhaler as I was in the process of bronchial spasms. Can not let a little thing like not breathing to spoil my fun! She turned out to be a wonderful person! I later bought a silk hankie from her. She helped me faster and less expensive than a than an ER trip.

I met some really cool people. I expected a lot of arty types and grandmothers. I was right! the blue haired grandmothers actually had blue, red, striped, green, pink hair mixed in with natural colors. Lots of younger women than I expected. All looked to be having a great time!

If anyone has a chance to do a retreat in the art form you love I would suggest just find a way and to it! I met some really awesome people and learned a lot. I also learned I might need a degree in engineering if I ever plan to bring more home in the future.

 

Good Bad and Ugly

The Bad

Sorry everyone for the long hiatus. Life has a huge way of interrupting fun. I will try to be so much better now.

The good.

I am starting to really get the hang of knitting! Took online class in October and since that time have been going hat crazy. I have tried my hand at Fair Isle, Lace, and now even cables! The cable hat is mine all mine LOL.

fair isle hat dragon hatblue cablelace baret

So I the good I have updated the blog. The bad I was away way too long!! The Ugly?? Had to figure out personal taxes and taxes for 2 companies. Yuck!!

Spinzilla- first 4 days

OK my first goal is to actually get to post this blog and have my internet stay up long enough to do it!!

Spinzilla!! I have been wanting to do this since I found out about it last year. I started on a drop spindle for a while and then got my little Kiwi 2. I painted her pink and black and named her Rogue. They do have a rogue team on Spinzilla but I am on Team Fancy Fibers.

The goal is to spin as much yardage as you can to help my team and to set a goal. My goal is to spin over a mile. I will post total yardage on Sunday night after I am completely finished. I do not want to jinx myself.

Day 1

The spinning started at 1 am. I wanted to start at 12:01 but I had a yarn I had to finish before I could start anything else since it would not count toward my totals and I was really annoyed with the yarn. Beautiful but the substance did not spin well or hold up to plying well. It kept breaking and if I was prone to bad language I would have been cussing up a storm. Instead I just muttered under my breath and ended up cutting the last bit off the bobbin because once again the end got all mixed in with the rest of the bobbin and no matter how hard I tried I could not find it.

So as you guys can imagine I started very frustrated. Scissors in hand and hacked up beautiful but useless yarn bits on the counter. Also on the counter was all kinds of fluff from the wool that I was trying to process. I have never washed, dyed or carded any wool before. My friend Mary set me up to get this done for Spinzilla then the carder goes back and I can dream of a future with one in it for me.

I took a picture of all my stash to start with. My goal is to use as much of this stash as I can!! My plan is to not spin the kitty in the background of the pic

 

IMG_7756Day one I spun this!

 

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I wanted to start with fun and funky and fast. IMG_7784

I had to go to work that first night so that was what I was able to accomplish. Too bad all the sleep I was able to accomplish was 3 hrs. Worked about 13 hrs that night. Brought my little support spindle but think I was able to get a total of about 2 feet done.

Day 2.

Tuesday 10/6/2015

Got off work about 8 and rushed home. Well even though I only got 3 hrs sleep the day before I still could not sleep. So I went on to spinning. Day 2 started working on my Suriland purple special blend that I got from Mary at Fancy Fibers. I over spun this wool but once I wash and whack the hank I will be much happier with it. IMG_7787

I then went to work on this yarn. I had made the batts myself. I had washed, hand dyed and carded some Rambouillet wool. Then for these 2 particular batts I blended with silk and Surisilk.

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Wednesday day 3

I did not get as much done as I wanted. I had gotten some more fiber in the mail. It was a Romney and Black face blend. It was cheap (really cheap) so I was not sure how it would work. I should not have been afraid. It spun up great. got it off ebay from a person called Shep’s wool.

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I did not get both bobbins done that day like I wanted. I ended up doing 1.5 of them.

Thursday Day 4.

I am sore all over. my neck and back as well as the outter parts of my legs and boy does my bootie burn. I am having to sit on a heating pad to keep going but I am not a quitter. I will hit the Monster mile or better yet more than that! Finished spinning the second bobbin of my ebay fiber and plied it. (Will revist this after the competition to finish off enough to make something for me out of it)

I then went to work on my Day 4 fiber…now I am running behind a bunch. IMG_7818

I managed to get one bobbin spun with is half the fiber. Hopefully finish second bobbin and ply then start on my red Rambouillet blended with silk. Soooo soft and fluffy. It should be a quick spin.

Also it should be noted that my new kitten Caramel has been doing her best to “help” me in all this.IMG_7777

I guess she thought she needed the heating pad more than I did. Well off to bed for a few hrs and then back at it again!!