What’s on My Bobbin? – Bright Rainbow Singles

The first and second set of singles
The first and second set of singles

It has been a long time coming, but I have finally finished the bright rainbow singles that have taken forever and day to spin.  The bobbin is plump full of mixed wool of lovely colors that must now be put into a skein before giving them several rounds of fiber abuse so the final kinks can relax.  After torturing the skein with alternating hot and cold water, I will take out my frustrations as I whack the skein on the deck railing.

This might sound excessively cruel, but it’s how the springy singles settle down.  As long as I don’t agitate the yarn while it’s in the hot water it won’t become a felted disaster.  This skein is mixed wool and not something more delicate such as merino.

So What is the Process?

I let the singles rest on the bobbin for a few days.  Then I wound them onto the niddy noddy where I discovered, to my disappointment, that there was only 472 (3.936 oz.) yards on this skein.  The original has 590 (3.968 oz.) yards.  There is a difference of 118 yards (0.032 oz.).  The total yardage of the two skeins is 1062 yards so I shouldn’t be too unhappy.  Besides, with all the distractions and disappointments going on in my life while I was spinning this roving, I should have expected that this wasn’t going to be as consistent as the first skein.

The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn
The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn

**Note:  In hindsight (a few minutes later actually) the skein with more yardage weighs slightly more so the difference isn’t as bad as I originally imagined.  Whew!

Since my plan is to crochet a lacy shawl, I will alternate each skein in the rows so if there is a visible inconsistency it will be somewhat hidden.  And speaking of turning these two skeins into a lacy shawl, what pattern shall I use?  Oh the problems of being a spinning crocheter!

Now onto the Fulling Process

I found a blog post by Jobo Designs on fulling yarn.  She does a great job of explaining the reasons behind this finishing technique as well as the basic steps.

Before and after whacking
After whacking the singles on the deck railing the yarn relaxed even more and the kinks are mostly gone.

I usually full my yarn in the bathroom because it’s closest to the hot water heater.  This time I did the hot part in a large plastic container and the cold in the sink.  It works much better to keep the two temperatures as far apart as possible.  I don’t usually keep ice cubes in the freezer so adding them to the cold water wasn’t an option.

Questionable Yarn Treatment Practices

The finished yarn drying on the deck
The finished yarn drying on the deck

Now comes my favorite part; however, it also makes other people question my sanity.  I took the skein outside and after carefully making sure that the ties kept the strands separate, I began whacking the yarn on the deck railing.  Three whacks on each of the four corners of the skein and quite a bit of grunting happened during this step.  Then I gave it one more pull on each of the two ends to put the yarn into place before hanging on the shepherd’s hook to dry.

As you can see in the photo, the yarn is not 100% perfectly balanced, but it is much better than singles I have done in the past.  I’m slowly mastering spinning which makes me quite proud of myself.

Have you ever spun yarn you intended solely for singles?  How did it come out?  Did you full it?  Or did you get frustrated with what looks like a huge disaster?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

What’s on My Bobbin? – The Trials of Spinning

New braid to spin
Things have to look better soon so I can spin this lovely merino roving I recently picked up from my LYS.

Oh, the trials of spinning!  It’s always in the back of my mind.  However, things have been happening lately that have prevented me from spending an afternoon (or even five minutes) doing what I love.  Loki, my spinning wheel, has been neglected of late.  Some of this has been his own fault and some has been mine.  Relationships are a two-way street, even with a spinning wheel.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – The Trials of Spinning”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend

Henna, Cutch, and Madder
Henna, Cutch, and Madder – the three natural dyes we used this past weekend. (Please ignore the horrible spinning. These were my very first skeins from Loki, my spinning wheel.)

Natural dyeing was not something I thought I would have more than passing interest.  However, I failed to realized that it taps strongly into my love of foraging.  I love finding plants for the bun sisters to nibble on so they have a varied diet.  But foraging to dye fiber or yarn?  Ehh…  Not so much.

Then came last Sunday.  I spent the afternoon using plant-based dyes with my spinner’s group.  Wow!  That was incredibly fun!  Though the yarn was not as intense as what I dyed in the past using acid dyes, the colors are …well …natural. Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Multiple Rainbows

Rain, Rain go away!  With all this rain I expect there to be multiple rainbows once the sun returns.  If not, there are several rainbows lying on the bed next to me as I write this blog post.  Currently, it’s steadily raining and the poor chap just outside my window is vainly attempting to leaf blow the wet grass he just cut.  I’d tell him not to even bother, but he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Multiple Rainbows”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Rainbow Wishes

The first ply with the some of the fiber
The first ply with the some of the fiber

Once again I am working with a particular Merino top to create a yarn I am calling “Rainbow Wishes”.  The first skein of yarn I spun using this fiber is called “Muddy Rainbow” since the colors mingled together into a muddied mess.

Last year I entered two skein of handspun yarn into the crafting competition at the Burlington County Farm Fair.  I was surprised when both did incredibly well, earning a first and second place.  Competing is not my thing, but I was proud of what I had accomplished in such a short time.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Rainbow Wishes”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Some of My First Hand Painted Fiber

The Chocolate and Mint Spin
The Chocolate and Mint Spin

Several weeks ago I started making my own hand painted fiber.  After my heavy-handed first attempt at dyeing in a roasting pan, I figured I would have more control with this technique.  And I do indeed.  This is becoming an addictive part of working with fiber.  I try to block at least one day a week to have fun and make a heck of a mess.  This usually falls on Sundays so I can hang the fiber out with the week’s laundry.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Some of My First Hand Painted Fiber”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Embers from a Summer Campfire

Embers by Fuzzyfrog Fibers
Embers by Fuzzyfrog Fibers

Today’s “What’s on My Bobbin?” is the Embers colorway from Fuzzyfrog Fibers.  I picked up this braid last September when I went to New Jersey Sheep and Wool.  This is one of several braids, mostly named after locations in Middle Earth, that I was drawn to.  Choosing something to spin this week was a challenge because I wanted to spin everything in my stash.  I ended up blindly reaching into the box and spinning what came out.  It turns out that this was a good choice.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Embers from a Summer Campfire”

What’s on My Bobbin? – A Mixture of Colorful Fiber, That’s What

All four of my bobbins
This is what’s on all four of my bobbins today.

Do me a favor, folks.  No matter how much I beg, plead, and cry please don’t let me get me another bobbin.  I have four bobbins and in typical spinner fashion, I feel I need about 300 more.  The hard, fast rule in my home is that the fourth bobbin is ONLY for plying so it is off limits for singles.  Otherwise, I would be in one heck of a pickle and my life would turn into a really hard logic puzzle.  And I really suck at logic puzzles.  LOL

Bobbin #1

Bobbin #1
Bobbin #1

What you see on the fat bobbin is purple Super Wash Merino in a lovely purple with sparkle.  This is half of a two ounce roving.  I like the fact that one half of the braid was dyed one color and the other half was dyed another.  This would make it easy to spin all together and then Andean ply if I had chosen.  But I will ply this as I normally do with the second half of the roving on bobbin #2.

Peeking through is the sparkly Wintery Batt I spun last month.  I haven’t taken it off the bobbin because I wanted to add the green, sparkly Romney and do one big wind off onto the niddy noddy so I could full the singles all at once.  However, since I am not in the mood to deal with excessive sparkle, it might be a few more months before I spin the green batt.

Bobbin #2

Bobbin #2
Bobbin #2

I spun the second color of the purple roving onto this bobbin.  It’s a strange color and I’m not 100% sure that it goes with the purple.  The best description is flesh colored which makes it sound rather macabre, but I’m going to ply it with the purple anyway.  I tried to think of other colors to ply it with, but nothing really stood out in my mind.  I’ll let you know how it comes out in the end.  I’m hoping to be delightfully surprised.

Bobbin #3

Bobbin #3
Bobbin #3

Recently, I started dying fiber.  This was my first attempt and though I was a bit skeptical while it soaked in the dye, I think it came out alright.  I do have a problem with adding too much of an ingredient when I cook and it seems I did the same thing for my first round of dyeing.  But I’m alright with that.

Originally, I had intended to make a bright rainbow gradient.  I should have known better.  The colors were muddied and incredibly dark in the pan, but I like the way it came out.  I accidentally made chocolate brown and black but I don’t care.  I like it.  I’ll get better the more dyeing I do.  (As a side note, there was not one bit of dye on my fingers when I was done spinning.  Yeah me for setting the colors correctly!)  My plans are to ply this with the second half of the same roving once I clean off the other bobbins to make a really dark autumn to winter gradient yarn.

What fiber is on your bobbins?  Do you think you might need more bobbins or do you feel you have enough?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

What’s on My Bobbin? – “Wishing for Spring” Merino Roving

Wishing for Spring Merino Roving
Wishing for Spring Merino Roving

Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster around here.  If the wind wasn’t threatening to blow the roof off my home, I was dealing with what I can only conclude was a direct result of Mercury being in Retrograde.  All I could do to keep myself sane was to spin some new hand painted Merino roving.

Though by the end of the afternoon yesterday I threw in the towel. The wind was howling and my stress levels were threatening to turn perfectly good fiber into a tangled mess. I put Loki back in the kitchen and spent the rest of the evening watching Minecraft videos on You Tube. It was hard not to cheer up as I watched Mumbo Jumbo’s total fail in his latest video.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – “Wishing for Spring” Merino Roving”

What’s on My Bobbin? – Spinning a Wintry Batt

Sunlight in the Snow batt
The sunlight reflecting off the snowy batt

In honor of the snow that fell yesterday, I spun a wintry batt that is reflecting today’s melting snow.  The sparkle nestled in the white Romney looks like the sunlight on the snow this morning.  It’s amazing how the dreariness of yesterday’s storm evolved into something so beautiful today.  The snow is continuing to fall, but this time it’s the sun melting the snow on the tree branches.

Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Spinning a Wintry Batt”