I've got a fine thread going and a thicker thread that is a lovely violet/green combo from Zweeliger's (I know I got the spelling wrong) in Frankenmuth.
Spinning is pretty mindless for me, so I can listen to podcasts while I spin. I don't have a niddy-noddy to skein the yarn (I'm going to Home Depot tomorrow to pick up the PVC pipe to make one - I made a smaller one but I want a 2-yard skein for this yarn. I know I made one that size but I think it's at work.)
I've got a few dozen yards plyed (three stands of thread twisted together) that I can make into a skein as soon as I have the niddy-noddy made.
Next weekend I'm taking a little field trip to Frankenmuth to drop off alpaca fiber to have it made into roving - I don't want to spend the money on a drum carder that I'll use only a few times - besides, Zwellinger's will wash the fiber for me.
I acquired this spinning wheel from a co-worker (out of her barn), in an unworking state. There were a few minor things wrong with it and a couple of parts missing.
I thought of my dad and I wanted to work on this with him. We took a little time this weekend (less than I thought it would take) and...
WE HAVE STRING!
Not very pretty, not very even...but the wheel is (sort of) in working order. You can see the slot where a piece is holds the spindle in place and there is a nut missing that will hold the holder in place. Without that nut, the holder slides away from the whorl (where the outside piece of string is) and the string comes off of the big wheel, so the drive "string" comes off, which brings a halt to the spinning.
Here's the catch. There are only 4 pieces of metal on this thing - it is put together with wood pegs and all of the nuts and screws are made of wood. So the threads are carved. What we need to do is find a slightly larger metal nut than we need and wrap the peg in some sort of fabric to protect the wood threads and use the metal (until if/when we can find somebody to carve a new wooden one).
I also need to find somebody with a lathe who can make a couple of new whorls and about 4 spindles.
I was able to get my hands on a small bag of baby alpaca fleece (see the beige fiber below). I was told that it is easier to spin unwashed alpaca because the dust helps hold it together - which may be true...but!
I'm pretty miserable today, so I'm in the process of washing just enough fiber to spin in a week (otherwise I will have accidental felting)
But I have been busy.
I started spinning a beautiful merino/silk fiber
This morning I visited an alpaca ranch
I'm spinning this
Part of an order I places is being delayed by "unruly llamas".
My alpaca fiber is back-ordered
The baby camel top (sample size only) is on the way.
Sock of the Week - check. Next week's "official" sock is nearly done (you'll see it next week)
On the spining front...
I bought a bag of alpaca fiber - the animal's name is "Juan" and the color pathway is called "blue sheen".
Here's Henry spending quality time with Juan's long, silky hair...
.(the fiber spun onto a drop spindle - it's counter intuitive, but the lighter the spindle, the finer the thread; I think because it spins faster.
This is how fine it's spinning up. This is a single ply thread - when all the fiber is spun, two balls will be spun together with the spindle going in the opposite direction of the single ply - this is called "worsting", making worsted yard.
My first experience with spinning was with sheep's wool
after worsting and washing
wound into a ball
and being knit into a scarf with a cable twist
will have me on track to make 26 pairs of socks in a year. So far, I'm on track (4 pairs finished so far). Handmade socks seem like a very nice gifts to give "somebody who has everything".
Meanwhile, spinning is challenging, but fun...so I think I want:
SILK FIBER FUN KIT: treat yourself to 9 types of silk and silk blend fibers: Tussah silk roving, dyed Tussah silk, cultivated silk cocoons, Bombyx silk slivers, 100% mixed silk fibers, throwsters waste, cultivated silk hankies, Tussah silk noil, and Bombyx silk caps. 100g total. Each kit is presented in a beautiful 7"x9"x2" handmade box produced by a family cottage industry in India. A great gitf!