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

Misc. Monday – Fine Weekend for Dyeing

It was a fine weekend for dyeing
It was a fine weekend for dyeing

The weather finally decided to get with the program so it was a fine weekend for dyeing fiber and yarn.  I have been itching to pull out the colors for weeks, maybe months.  However, it has rained more days than not so trying to get anything to dry would have been next to impossible at best.

But this weekend…  Oh, this weekend…  What a fine time to be alive if you are a skein of undyed yarn or fiber!  There is nothing like a good makeover to bring you out of the doldrums.  Okay…  Maybe not.  I don’t wear makeup and no one is allowed near my head with a pair of scissors.

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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.

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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”

WIP Tuesday – How Many WIP’s are too Many?

Game of the Day
Game of the Day – How Many WIP’s Can You See?

Can a crocheter ever have too many WIP’s?  Is it even possible?  I guess it is, especially if there are more WIP hours than hours in a person’s life.  But all the pretty patterns and yarns!  It’s a struggle to choose one over another.

Take for instance the Hygge CAL I am finally working on.  I had to have it when the kit first became available.  And though you couldn’t technically call it a WIP until I started making the 60 chains a few weeks ago, it sat on my bed for over a year.  For over said year I moved it from the bed to the stool every morning and the reverse every evening.

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Another Fiber-filled Weekend Full of Fun

The Family Collaboration
The Family Collaboration I showed off this weekend

Good grief!  Are there enough F’s in that title for you?  🙂  It truly was a fun fiber-filled weekend.  The anxiety I felt most of last week has subsided now that I am taking Monday to recover.  The blog should be back to normal with daily posts during the week.  I had to take a few days off for my own mental health.

The weather (I must be British) was doomy and gloomy, going from hot to cold with almost constant rain followed by humid days that made me melt like chocolate on the sidewalk.  It was a bad week if you wanted to remain cheerful.

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WIP Tuesday – My Three Scheepjes Crochet Projects to Date

White and Black Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn
White and Black Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn

I brought all three of my Scheepjes crochet projects with me to the library this morning.  Since I couldn’t make up my mind which one to put in my bag, I took all of them.

With the forecast calling for heat and humidity, the cotton blend of the yarns were a good choice.  It’s usually a temperature control lottery in the library when the weather changes dramatically.  Today the room was relatively comfortable, no doubt because the heat wouldn’t arrive until later in the morning.

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Working on a New Shawl Idea …or Not

The final color combination
The final color combination

There are two organza bags full of lovely yarn that have been sitting on my shelf for about a year. I made sure to get a nice rainbow selection when I placed the order.  Then I added several more skeins of a creamy white so I would have a neutral to place between each color.

Did I have a pattern in mind when I hit the “Place Order” button on the website?  Are you kidding?  I like to live dangerously.  Who cares about dye lots?  So what if I need 300 more skeins of the yellow?  Pah!  That’s for noobs!

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A Fiber Swap and Other Fun Stuff this Weekend

What a crazy weather weekend we had!  Saturday was rainy and cold then Sunday was hot and muggy.  I was so grateful that my crochet student gave me a cup of coffee when I came in for our lesson Saturday.  She even turned on the heater since we were both chilled to the bone with the dampness.

Sunday’s fiber swap was a bit nicer when the sun came out for a little bit.  It was so muggy though and the rain was not ready to give up as two showers passed as we spun.

Today’s weather is just about perfect with a few fluffy clouds and a nice breeze that is airing out the damp.  Hopefully, we have a few more days like today before summer hits with a bucket of humidity.

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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.

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