Do you ever have one of those days where you are just moody and tired and no particular fiber or project appeals to you new or old?

That’s my day today. I don’t want to knit, I don’t want to spin what I’ve started, I am exhausted and not quite sure what to do with myself.

I did bike last night though. Unfortunately, a clear radar turned into a nice big storm, soaking me through and causing a much shorter ride than anticipated. Biking would probably be about the only thing that could kick me into a better mood tonight too, but that is unlikely to happen I think.

So, instead, I figure I can get a blog post in. Once I finished up the chameleon colorworks merino, I had trouble choosing my next braid. The conversation with myself, as I was digging through my fiber stash was rather comedic. “This? Nah, How about this? Nope, do not want. And this one? This one is pretty. Nope, not feelin’ it. And this? So not the kind of spinning I want to do right now.” Comedic and a bit irritating, as my stash is certainly large enough to handle any whim. Well, I found my Cloudlover braid, colorway Printemps. I purchased this in a fiber stash acquisition melding of the minds with KnittingSarah. (You can see the fiber she purchased from Dyeabolical all spun up here, all gorgeous and bouncy and spun up!) So I decided it was time to break out of the rut that is my fiber stash and see how the Cloudlover spun. This one headed to my support spindles, and since I’ve been seeing a ton of fractal spins lately, I decided I’d be more organized than usual and do a fractal 2 ply as well.

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And we have the very beginnings of a project. Which I have no intention of working on this evening.



Every once in awhile I spin a skein of yarn and end up with the above reaction. That is exactly how I am reacting to my latest spin. After this many years of spinning, I often feel pride or accomplishment, but rarely wonder. This skein, this simple skein of merino 3 ply, brought on a very nice case of wonder. I made this, and not only did I make it, I made it on my trindle SST. Who would have known I could do such a thing, when less than a year ago I’d never spun on a spindle?


275 yards of gorgeous merino 3 ply, and I couldn’t be happier.

Running out of time…

Last evening I ran out of time. I’d intended to have an extra skein to show off today, but last evening just didn’t have enough hours in it. So, instead, I’ve got singles. Again.



Yep, 4 oz of merino singles from a chameleon colorworks braid I began working on quite some time ago. This one was such a surprise to me. I expected not to like it. I expected that the compacted nature of the braid would mean I’d have trouble drafting it. I figured I didn’t love the colors. All of these things were incorrect assumptions about the fiber. It was a joy to spin. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to finish the last of the plying shortly. It is looking very good so far.

Productivity and then some!

I’ve had a ton of time for spinning and fun this weekend.

I’ve done a bunch of cooking, and last night was probably the best meal I’ve ever had. Jeremy and I had decided on a meal plan, combining some food we’ve already tried together but with new twists. We had my favorite salad with homemade dressing, but it came out the best it has ever been. I also had Jeremy roast a bunch of garlic, so we had roasted garlic noodles with parmesan cheese. Over that we had grilled chicken, and I do believe it was the best chicken I”ve ever tasted. Such a beautiful, healthy, and deliciously satisfying meal.



I also made mojitos with mint from my garden and they were just as delicious as the meal. A win all the way around!

Prior to the amazing meal, I’d taken the opportunity to do a little single track biking. This is something new to my biking repertoire, so it is currently a huge challenge. Each time I go out I see improvement in confidence and ability. However, yesterday my confidence seemed to exceed my ability, causing a tumble.


Doesn’t look too bad right? This is before it swelled up and got a bit infected. It is back under control now, and no major damage done. My first single track injury, and I am ridiculously proud of it. No one can say I don’t try!

There’s also been spinning. Notably, I finished plying the inglenook batt singles. I ended up with 210 yards of a gradient. Spinning on two spindles, just alternating chunks from the batt worked even better than I expected, making a well blended gradient with no particular color barberpoling badly.    I’d call it a DK weight yarn.



I think this is just so gorgeous!

I actually finished spinning singles for another project as well, and hope to do a little plying today.

How was everyone’s long weekend? I hope you were all able to relax a bit this weekend!

That’s it!

I finished the last of the bamboo I have in my stash. I am so thrilled to be done with it! Light and lofty, I have 200 yards of a worsted weight single.

As I mentioned before, this one surprised me. It isn’t at all like what I’ve come to expect bamboo blends to spin like. I don’t love the feel of it still, but it didn’t act limp at all.



I’ve been spinning like mad on other projects this weekend as well, so I am excited about all the fun yarn I get to post about in the upcoming week!


My last braid of fiber with the hated bamboo and it goes and proves me wrong!


This is Yarn Love Scarlet O’Hara. It is 60% merino, 40% bamboo. I received this in a box with a lot of other fibers someone was trying to get rid of, so it was a surprise. It is not at all my colors so it languished in the stash for years. Now that I am freeing myself from bamboo and tencel, it is time to spin it up.

But this braid is different from the limp, heavy and drapey bamboos and tencels I’ve spun in the past. This one turned out light and lofty. I tried to spin it as I generally would such a mix of fibers, but it didn’t work out so I settled instead on a low spun single. It is so light and lofty that I packed a 4 oz bobbin, and then used another half bobbin. That’s a lot of air!



Almost finished now.


You know, I still haven’t had all that much time to play with my newest cool toys. But, every once in awhile when I have a free moment I get a bit more shetland wool locks combed. I’ve tried two different ways. One being to comb the wool, pull it off the combs into something called a plank, then to basically recomb the planks. This seems to blend the fibers quite a bit. But, there’s about double the amount of waste, and it takes some extra time. The other way I tried was just to comb the wool until the nepps were gone, the VM gone, and the fibers were all lined up nicely. Less waste this way, but I certainly had less well blended wool.

As you may remember, the shetland locks are grey with brown tips. The second combing version makes combed wool that starts out brown, and moves into a light grey. It is quite interesting. But I like it, and that is what I will continue to do with this one. I also found that spinning those sections of wool from the cut end, in this case the grey end, works just as well as spinning from the cut end of a flicked lock.

As I mentioned, I’ve been moving slow on these. Just combing a section when I get a chance, then spinning it. Slow going, I know. But I am enjoying the process and figured I’d give you a preview.


I do think natural colored wools are the most beautiful. I realize that I am all about colors, and love deep and saturated hues. But there is something distinctly special and elegant about natural colors to me. So I am, of course, drawn to this shetland.


I love all the potential contained in a set of singles not yet plied. It gives me great joy to see them sitting there all ready to go.



These particular singles are from an inglenook batt called Jalapeno Peppers. They are thick and thin and slubby and whatever they want to be. I didn’t force them into submission at all. I can’t WAIT to see what the finished two ply looks like!  It will be a gradient. I pulled strips from the gradient batt and alternated between two spindles. This seemed to work fairly well for blending into new colors, but there will be some harsher transitions.

Sadly, they will have to wait. I need to finish up what is currently on the wheel (bamboo blend!) before I ply these. And since it is a ride night, there won’t be any spinning this evening.

One down, one to go

Out of my goal to use up the tencel and bamboo blends in my stash, I’ve got one down, one to finish. I chain plied the merino/tencel from Chameleon Colorworks on Sunday during an evening, post storm, spin on the porch. It went fairly quickly as I only have 132 yards of this one.

And then I went to wash and finish it. It is interesting that KnittingSarah and I were just recently discussing what can be done when a handspun yarn bleeds terribly on finishing. I suggested a glug of vinegar in the rinse water. I don’t usually do it, but if I am sure something will bleed, it is worth a try.

Turns out, this finished yarn bled like crazy. Even after rinsing, it made a terrible dark grey mess all over the tub under where it was hanging. And I can’t help but think that this muddied the colors a bit. It might be my imagination.


Did you know?

That there is such a thing as navajo 4 ply? Yeah, I didn’t either until recently. Of course, once I read about it, I determined I’d need to try it as soon as possible.

The concept is simple. You chain ply while holding a separate single at the same time and plying it in. I decided to try it with my saxon wool spin. I’d spun forever on the singles, as they drafted out quite thin. On Sunday I had time to ply on my wheel.

The concept may be simple. The execution a bit more like spinning performance art. Slightly pointless but pretty cool. It all goes well if you can set the separate single to the side, away from the single that you are chain plying. If they mingle, things get ugly quickly and there is really no returning from it. Suddenly it seems more like auto wrapped art yarn.

I was able to estimate fairly well though, as to how fast my chain ply single was being used up, and toward the end, I could see I’d have a ton left over of the separate single. So I just switched the single I was chain plying toward the end, and ended up with less than half a yard of leftover singles. That was amazing.

I really am not sure that I’ll try this little trick again, but it was fun to experiment with. The resulting yarn really isn’t the prettiest. It isn’t terribly well spun. But it is soft and I like the natural color and I am very glad I gave it a try.

I now have 212 yards of 4 ply (or 2 ply since one is chained?) and a new trick under my belt.

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A Weekend of Spinning

This entire weekend consisted of spinning. While Bug is feeling better now, we just stayed in and stayed relaxed. The weather was beautiful on Sunday and so I finished spinning the merino/tencel singles I started Saturday morning. And grabbed a photo.



I did get these plied as well, but apparently tencel takes a long time to dry, as well as being limp. 🙂

The Latest Fiber on the Wheel

After finishing the lemony gradient, I made the decision to remove and spin anything in my stash that I truly disliked spinning. This, for the most part, includes bamboo and tencel blends. Thankfully, once I looked through my stash, I realized I only have 2. One a tencel blend and the other a bamboo blend. The one I chose first is Chameleon Colorworks, and I’ve had it in my stash since 2007 or 2008. It is high time to spin it anyhow!


In braid form, I actually didn’t realize, in all these years, that there is some green in there! It is almost entirely hidden by the label. So, actually spinning this has been a bit of a surprise, colorwise. Though not irritation wise, quite frankly.

While I always tell people that there is no “hard’ fiber to spin (with perhaps the exception of dryer lint or dust bunnies, but that hardly counts) I do think spinners should try all manner of fibers and then make their preferences, realizing that those preferences may change in time.

My preference is that I choose to avoid bamboo and tencel. I don’t like the way the yarn finishes up, as beautiful as it may be. I don’t like the way it spins up, the artificial nature of it messes with how the wool acts and I don’t care for that. It isn’t a problem of being difficult, though it takes getting used to, the problem is more how the fiber acts. It acts limp. I guess you could call it drapey, but I am going to call it limp.

(Please don’t let this stop you from trying it, try it, you might like it. Like some people enjoy eating chocolate covered locusts and all…just those some people aren’t me.)

In any case, I began spinning this braid yesterday morning as there is a nasty little noro virus going around, and I am not talking the yarn brand type, and poor Bug has been very ill. Her desire to sleep in my bed and be left alone equals coffee and spinning time on my porch.


I’d say it is going pretty well. For chocolate covered locusts, that is.

Dyeabolical Rolags All Spun Up

Due to the pink and purple toned rolags being a color combo I wasn’t sure was going to go well together if striping, and being that I had so many colors in a small amount of singles, I decided to make a 4 ply for this yarn. I must say, it worked out very well in this case. I love that the brights were all toned down with the addition of the darker purple throughout the skein. While it didn’t seem like there was all that much sparkle in the rolags themselves, the entire skein does have quite a bit of sparkle in it, and it looks evenly distributed, rather than all clumpy.

All in all, while I was quite hesitant awhile ago about rolags from blending boards, I am officially sold on them. Not sold enough to purchase a blending board, but sold enough to want to spin rolags from a board. I really enjoyed the experience, they drafted out so nicely with my support spindles, and the resulting yarn is quite interesting.

I ended up with 145 yards of 4 ply yarn. I’d say it is a fingering to sport weight yarn.

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Good stuff!


My dyeabolical rolags have all been spun. I do believe I’ll make this into a 4 ply. Why? Because there are so many colors in all different orders that I don’t believe I can possibly make heads or tails of them otherwise.



That being said, aren’t they bright and pretty?

All the Cool Toys

I’ve added to my collection of cool toys this month. From a destash, I picked up a pair of wool combs. I’ve desired them for ages now, but wasn’t ready to spend the cash on them. These just practically fell in my lap. While I received them on Monday, this week has been ridiculously busy and I wasn’t able to even touch them until Tuesday evening. I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I’d put on them. Then I remembered that one of my between ewe and me fiber club offerings was 4 oz of washed shetland wool. That seemed perfect. 



I loaded up my combs with gorgeous shetland locks and gave it a try. I was surprised at just how much VM these locks had in them. It wasn’t immediately apparent by looking at them, but combing wool does really make all the VM fall out of the locks. 



I combed according to the Benjamin Green Studio youtube video. It worked quite well though I’ll need a lot more practice. And it is my intention to watch a bunch of other wool combing videos since I think just going with one is unwise. Other people may have tips and tricks which are quite valuable. In fact, Susan McFarland’s video seems to get the results I would find ideal. 

In the end, I had 2 birds nests of fiber. One which is quite small as my first combing I was too nervous to put many locks on the combs, and the other a pretty normal sized next. 



The shetland, which was super light grey with brown tips, turned into a lovely blended beige. 

I don’t have time to work on this any more until at least the weekend, but I am eager to practice and make this part of my fleece prep routine. 

I still knit!

You know, each time I finish a large project and want to show it off, I feel the need to say that I still knit. Maybe you all know that, but it feels that I do so little of it that I am forced to say something about it.

In any case, I do. Once in awhile. It’s a bit of a struggle. I knit mostly during my lunch break at work. If I really want a project actually finished, that’s when I knit on it.

I finished a shawl I started in January. It was supposed to be an easy project. It was, until I got to the lace part. Then I struggled. And then I got sick of it, didn’t want to figure out the problem, and put it away for awhile. It didn’t cease to be a struggle when I started it again.

But, it is done now. The pink yarn is a hand dyed yarn I received from a local friend of mine. The brown is some early handspun that I spun ages ago. The shawl is actually rather nice. Hopefully I can get over the feeling of hating that particular knit by the fall so I can actually wear it.





Lemony goodness!

I am not one who loves sweets. You can put commercial candy in front of me and I won’t even think about touching it. It just doesn’t tempt me much. This applies to most store bought sweets as well. I’d rather eat a bag of potato chips or make biscuits and gravy.

Unless I am faced with a sweet dessert which is a homemade confection. Particularly if it is dark chocolate and wonderfully rich.

But somewhere in my adulthood I realized something else. For me, the one thing that trumps a good dark chocolate homemade dessert is a lemon dessert. Paired with coffee preferably. I just love lemon! I add it to many dishes I make, even the savory ones. But a lemon dessert is really my greatest temptation.

A few years ago I remember walking through a fancy department store and it seemed everywhere I looked, I saw a new sweater pairing lemon yellow and grey. And I loved it. That color combination really spoke to me somehow. I doubt it is even a color combination I’d look good in, but I still love it. It looks so bright and happy to me.

When I saw the Twisted Fiber Art glam gradient in those same colors, it was instantly irresistible. And one I had it in my possession  I couldn’t wait to spin it!

One chain plied gradient completed in short order. Yarn is worsted weight, and I’ve got 145 yards. Just gorgeous!



It reminds me of delicious desserts and pretty sweaters and spring. I’ll call that success.

Are you sweet or savory? And which color combinations do you find irresistible?

Well Duh!

From the moment I finished the dyeabolical blue gradient yarn, I could think of only one thing.

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That the colors of the gradient closely resemble the colors on the label of my favorite beer.

So when I thought about using that yarn, I kept thinking it might be fun to weave it, using the gold color from the label as the warp.

And when I say I kept thinking…I mean that I couldn’t get it out of my head. I would consider heading to the yarn shop and trying to find the perfect color gold yarn. Or I would look online for yarn that might be the right color. I’ve been telling myself this for a month now.

Saturday I finished a skein of yarn. Corgi Hill Farms lush batts. I ended up with a 240 yard skein of yarn in about a sport weight. I hung it up to dry in the bathroom. The next morning I walked in the bathroom, and only then, despite having spun on this yarn for quite some time now, did it dawn on me that I already *had* gold yarn to compliment the blue gradient.



I’d been spinning it all along!


The Weekend Agenda

Disclaimer-I meant to post this on Friday. Looking at it now, I realize I really didn’t get a whole lot of my list done! Let’s see if I can use the Sunday evening to draw it all to completion!

I’ve got projects nearing completion on both the knitting and spinning front.

I’ve got my lush batts, which I started plying yesterday. These are a light and bouncy 2 ply and I am really loving how this yarn looks with its almost tweediness.


Then I’ve got this shawl I’ve been working on FOREVER. Or, should I say, not working on forever. I put it into hibernation for my seeming inability to read a pattern. I finally pulled it out and took it to work. It has had about 4 days of work at the office, and that brought it close enough to completion that I felt it necessary to bring it back home this weekend to finish it off. It will be pleasant to have a large finished object on the knitting front.


I’ve also got the twisted fiber art gradient to ply. And potentially fleece to wash. I certainly need to make a trip to purchase plants, as Monday will be garden work evening.

And then there is my full weekend of cycling. Both rides I plan to attend this weekend are women’s rides. Being that it seems I mostly end up in a group of cyclists who are predominately male, this will be most pleasant as well as a fitting tribute to a mother’s day weekend.

All in all, it should be a nice full weekend!


I do love spinning a gradient! Last weekend I started on my Twisted Fiber Arts Glam braid. This one spun up awfully quick, I finished the singles last evening.



I am sorry that the picture is not the best, but the fiber pictured was as grey as the morning was.  Not that conducive to decent pictures. That being said, this means that I can get started chain plying this over the weekend if I have time between bike rides and other fun stuff.

I may not love spinning bamboo, but I suspect I am going to adore the end result of this particular spin.

May Christmas Ball

This month’s Christmas ball was my choice of two, both being “Xs and Os” themed. For colors, I decided to give a low contrast combination a try. I used both of my green yarns for this one, and I really like the result!



I don’t think I’ll use low contrast often, but it was a fun experiment. And I think that this KAL can be all about small experiments as it is long term and the projects are little and quick to knit.




Dyeabolical has something new in her shop! Rolags made from a blending board! So cool!

Ever since I saw the resurgence of blending boards as being “a thing” I’ve been interested in trying some fiber blended on a board. I wasn’t really convinced it would be a lovely experience. I wasn’t sure of the point of it, though it was intriguing and I was curious to know what yarn spun from them would be like.


I think I get it now. I’ve got some rolags from dyeabolical and spinning them is a dream! A great deal of fun! These that I have (and please forgive them for being jumbley, they were dropped, it happens, they don’t spin any worse for it!) work super well on a support spindle.

I finished up the singles from the corgi hill batts. I planned to continue on the saxon, but it has been a super busy week at work and at home. I was so tired and I had a bunch of chores, and so when I did get a chance to settle down, the newness of the rolags called to me and I couldn’t resist trying them.

I am not sure I’ll have much time for spinning this evening either. And I know I’ve got some other stuff to get done before I can ply the corgi hill batts. But once I do have time again, probably this weekend, I think we are going to see a bunch of yarn all at once from me!

In knitting news, I am quite excited to report that I picked up a 2 colored shawl I had set aside for awhile, figured out where I went wrong, and am well on my way to finishing. This is pretty exciting for me since I haven’t really been doing much in the way of knitting lately.

Now for the question of the day. You know, I was struck by the fact that not one, but two people suggested chain plying that caramel colored saxon wool. The reason it struck me is because I don’t generally consider chain plying at all unless I am trying to preserve color changes or make stripes, or too lazy to figure out what I want to do about color changes before I start spinning. Being that chain plying makes a weaker yarn, I am not sure what the advantage there would be? Also, I’ve always heard that chain plying “eats” singles. Now, I am not sure if that is in comparison to a 2 ply or in comparison to a traditional 3 ply, though I suppose this would depend on how long you made your chains. So I am curious, what are your reasons for choosing to chain ply over other plying methods? And do you choose chain plying for wool that is all the same color? If so, why?



I HAVE been spinning, I promise! It just doesn’t feel like it since nothing seems to be getting done. And this is entirely because I keep splitting my time between projects.

That being said, the corgi hill lush batts are so close to being done, as is the saxon wool. Really just very small bits left. The lush batts have been a wonderful and fulfilling spin. The saxon is now bordering on tedious. I think this is simply because it just wants to naturally spin into quite a fine single.


The lush batts are going to be a 2 ply. I estimate they will be about a sport weight. The saxon? I dunno, I really am at a loss as to what to do with them. 2 ply? 3 ply? Get crazy and 4 ply? No matter what, it is all going to be one color. Any suggestions?


Dryer Balls

I have to tell you a story about yesterday. Yesterday I began a project I’ve been considering for quite some time. Felted dryer balls out of handspun yarn. I had this post all ready to go and I was absolutely positive that Sparkeespud had made felted dryer balls before, and I truly believed that was where I got the idea. So my intention was to link back to her post on the subject.

I started to look back through her blog, looking for the felted dryer balls. I looked farther and farther back and never could find it. I found a bunch of other awesome posts and projects I’d spaced, but I couldn’t find those darned felted dryer balls.

I then gave up and emailed her. I figured she could pull up the post and send me the link so I could link back to it. And that was when she told me she’d never made felted dryer balls! I had to laugh, can’t be a bad thing to have such clever friends that you attribute clever projects back to them in your mind, right?

So whichever of you dear people who posted about felted dryer balls, I thank you. I made one yesterday out of handspun.

And now I can actually begin my regularly scheduled blog post. I decided on handspun for my felted dryer balls, as I’ve become such an avid spinner now that I no longer stress over leftover handspun. I thought this would be a fun way to commemorate handspun without the stress of trying to figure out what to do with it.

I had leftover from my zuzu’s petals cowl, the pink/grey/yellow bfl. I decided to use that. I wound the yarn in a way I hoped would show off the colors as well as possible. Then I tucked the end into the middle of the dryer ball with an embroidery needle.



As I’d just done a great bedroom clean out and rearrangement, I was able to easily locate an old pair of nylons I no longer needed, and I cut the legs off those. I stuffed the yarn ball in the toe and knotted it up, cutting off the excess.



I threw that into the laundry on hot with sheets and towels, then tossed it in the dryer immediately after.

It turned out like this:



It is even, and slightly felted. And very pretty. In fact, I am having a hard time imagining using it as a dryer ball. Maybe just make a few more and keep them in a clear vase? I don’t think it felted down enough though. As most of my felting projects take two or three trips through the washer to really felt well, it may just have to go through another cycle. But, it was an interesting little project for a busy Saturday.

Welcome Back!

So, up until yesterday, my only local girlfriend who aslo actively blogs has been Sparkeespud. It’s been a lot of fun following her blog while at the same time knowing her in person. Sometimes I have the opportunity to know a little more than she’s telling her readers in a post, and sometimes I learn something from the blog I can ask her about in person. Keeping up with blog and personal life is rather a fun thing to do. I like it, and often wish that more of my girlfriends blogged.

And this weekend? One more of my girlfriends began blogging again after a long hiatus. I now get the opportunity to enjoy another local girlfriend’s blog and I am quite excited. So if you get a chance, welcome Maryfargo back to the blogosphere!

Now on to more bloggy type things. Today was my once a month meet up with local knitters. I generally bring my wheel because I love social wheel spinning. Despite being at the beginning of a jacob fleece gradient project, I decided I needed a little color in my life.

I pulled out a lovely gradient braid of fiber I got from a destash. The Fiber is Glam from Twisted Fiber Art, and the colorway is Firefly. Fiber content is 30% bamboo rayon, 60% superwash merino, and 10% nylon. Now, while I often say there isn’t hard fiber to spin, just spinner preference, I find bamboo and tencel blends tough to spin. They are slippery for me, and they rarely spin as thin as I tend to spin. Which means I end up with something fairly thick and thin, because I’ve tried to force a fiber into submission by my will. It never works that well.


Since I am spinning thicker this year, rather than forcing the bamboo blend into a super thin yarn, I tried to let it spin to the thickness it wanted to be at and then attempted consistency from there.

It spun up fairly quickly , I am through the yellow and the greener tone, and on to the charcoal grey. May I add that the yellow/grey combination is one of my absolute favorites. I don’t know why. I just find those tones together so soft and comforting.

That being said, if I give this a little more of my time, I suspect I could have a new skein of yarn in fairly short order!


One More Thing

I kept thinking I didn’t have anything to post today. I figured since I am being slightly ADD about all my projects, devoting just a little time to each of them, I didn’t have anything worth showing.

And then I remembered my latest inglenook batt. You see, when I photographed my spindles the other day, I realized that I had this wide open russian spindle. Of course I had a hankering to start my next inglenook batt, despite the fact it would be much wiser to NOT start new things.



I didn’t resist.

I am going to try to make this one a 2 ply gradient. In this case, it means having two spindles going at once, tearing strips from the batt and alternating which spindle I spin them on. It should work. I hope it works! I guess we shall see.

But, I am concentrating most on my corgi hill lush batt project at the moment.

Why Spindles?

I love being of an age where every question no longer feels like a criticism or something I need to get defensive over. Most questions feel more like general curiosity and while I never quite feel like I explain things particularly well, they do make me think about what choices I make in my craft. Sometimes one question triggers quite a bit of thinking. As was the case last week.

Last week a friend of mine stopped over to the house after work with his son. Our kids played around the house a bit while we had a quick after work drink. Now, this is someone who understands fiber arts. His wife went to school for it, and he can sew like nobody’s business. However, after glancing at my mason jar full of spindles, he commented that he thought I was going to need another mason jar. And then asked the question “Why spindles? I mean, if you already have a wheel, why have spindles too?”


Even knowing that this question was genuine curiosity, I fumbled with my answer. I think I’ve touched on it every once in awhile even here on the blog. But it is a question that keeps coming back to me. I explained I’d been a spindle spinner less than a year. That I started with my wheel and was quite satisfied with it for 5 yrs or so before I started to get it in my head I should learn to spin with a spindle as well.

In all honesty, it was trindles that did me in. I’d seen them a couple years prior, and I’d seen people who were quite happy with them, but it took the fact that I was going to be away from home much of the summer with no ability to bring my wheel that threw me over the edge. I bought a trindle. And, I spun yarn that I was quite proud of. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t too awful either. So I bought a few more trindles.

Then I discovered support spinning. It fascinated me. The people who do it look so zen and calm and comfortable with what they are doing. I also loved the look of support spindles. I loved the beautiful wood combinations and I couldn’t get them out of my brain either. After borrowing a thakli and having that go rather horribly, I purchased a tibetan spindle and learned on that. This was a complicated process for me. It took a long time to get usable yarn. Even longer to feel comfortable with it. However, I couldn’t let go of the quietness to spinning on a support spindle and I persevered.


I then learned that different types of spindle spinning could serve different purposes. I also learned that I often spun faster on a spindle than on my wheel. More than that, I did more spinning on my spindles than I did on my wheel. There’s something about the relaxed, feet up on the couch feeling I get to spindle spinning that I can happily spin all evening without my back getting sore, or getting the spinning stitch in my side I often get from my wheel. It is easy to put down and pick back up. And even more wonderful? While I had always been a one project at a time spinner while working exclusively with my wheel, I now felt like I could have a number of different projects going on at a time. I mean, I often had an open spindle, all ready for my next fun little project. I spin a ton of samples on a spindle. It is a great way to get a feel for a new fiber before throwing the entire thing on my wheel. It is also a great way to take a particular fiber, prep it a few different ways, and then decide how it best spins.

I also choose to spindle spin for the same reasons I fleece prep. I want to know my art fully. I want to understand how one particular fiber works in different situations and I don’t feel I can do that without using different tools. I want to understand how the tools of our ancestors were used. It rounds out my knowledge, it beefs it up, it continues my learning, inspires me and makes me feel less stagnant of a learner and a person. Every time I pick up a new type of spindle and learn to use it, I get to hold on to, and ideally pass on, knowledge that is interesting to me but is, to some extent, in danger of getting lost in our increasingly intangible world.


I choose spindle spinning because it feels like it gives me roots.

Why do you spindle spin? Or, why do you wheel spin. Or why do you choose both?

Yarn Bombs!

As you may recall, over the past few months I, with the help of friends, have created 6 woven strips of fabric. These were created for a yarn bomb bike ride which took place on Thursday evening last week. We planned quite a bit in one evening, a whiskey tasting, the yarn bombing, and a long bike ride with a picnic. At some point we realized we had overshot the amount we were trying to do in one evening, so in the end, out of 6 strips, only 3 were installed. We will follow up with additional installation at some other point. Ideally on another bike ride.

As I mentioned, I had quite a bit of help. I ended up doing 4 strips myself. I did the warping for the other two as well, but Bug, as well as a couple friends helped with the weaving, bobbin winding, and even measuring the warp. In order to get a little help with this, I planned an evening of food and fiber fun at my house, where I captured a shot of this husband and wife team working on my loom.




We then did the first installation the evening of the ride.



With one bike rack bombed, and more riders showing up, we gathered for a whiskey tasting and then set off to another 2 locations. This is where other cyclists got to participate with sewing on the strips.

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I was so grateful for all the help, and we had good fun doing it.

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Hopefully we will be able to get the next 3 installed in the near future. Now there are 3 bike racks in downtown Omaha that help create happy bikes. And more to come.



Now I just need to get inspired about weaving again. While I love these yarn bombs, the creating of them kind of sucked the life out of weaving for me. I blame red heart. Hopefully a quiet weekend and an exciting project will allow me to get inspired all over again.