Celtic Cable

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Mood to Spin

     I finished several projects over the last few weeks ... three shawls, socks, bootikins. Now, I seem to be in the mood to spin for a while. I somehow -- don't know how -- found myself on Etsy last week, buying some more fiber. 

     The BFL on my Kromski. Spinning up very quickly, but since I only bought six ounces, I might try to use it as a single.

The Falkland/bamboo/Angelina, in a lovely batt. Holds together quite nicely, and this shade of red is my favorite (more red, less pink, in real life). Both purchased from SpinFusion on Etsy.

     As you can see, there really isn't enough of either roving to do a project by itself, unless it's really small. But I find that the process of spinning yarn is often what I'm after -- sitting at the wheel or spindle for a while, watching the pile of roving dwindle, having a nice sense of accomplishment when it's done.

    Question for all my fellow spinners: What is your favorite fiber or blend? What fibers have you spun before? I have spun the following: Corriedale, Merino, bamboo, silk, alpaca, camel, yak, bunny, qiviut, BFL, Shetland, Swalesdale (very hairy!), Jacob (very nice), English Herdwick, Welsh, Polworth, Ramboullet, and Lincolnsomething, a crossbreed of some sort. My favorite is Merino-Bombyx silk. Absolutely fabulous! I like alpaca, but I prefer the way Wonder Why Gal has it processed, because it doesn't float around and get in my eyes. I have 4 oz of baby camel that I don't enjoy too much, I can't seem to get a smooth yarn out of it and I hate slubby yarn.

     A good way to experience many different fibers is to purchase sample packs -- I've done that twice, once with wools, and once with exotics. It really gave me a good idea of what's out there. Oh, and 51 days to MD Sheep and Wool!  SWOON!

     This is the shawl that is featured at the top of my blog. I honestly don't remember when I started it; maybe late summer 2009. It is my first attempt at lace, and I did not do a good job. I kept winding up with one too many stitches, always in the exact same spot, or I would drop them. It looks okay, but nowhere near as good as the one in the book! I had a terrible time following the pattern. I will try something easier, next time. Perhaps a little cowl. The yarn is fabulous (It's called "Whisper" and it's laceweight).

     And as I blogged this past Monday, Edgar Allen Poe cat seems to be okay -- it looks like it was a severe infection, and not bone cancer. Now, he's very playful and -- well, irritating, wanting a lot of attention and petting. He gallops around the house in the early morning, meowing at who knows what. Whoever started that rumor about cats being graceful? Mine sound like bowling balls coming down the stairs.

     If fog really does creep in on little cat feet, then the cat must have tin cans tied to its feet.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

"Fog" by Carl Sandburg


  1. Have you thought of plying the BFL with Suri Alpaca? I have done it and it turned out gorgeous plus it stretched the fiber out enough to allow for a bigger project. There are a lot of times I take my Alpaca and ply it with a totally different fiber. Recently I took 10oz of Polyworth and plied it with 10oz of Suri Alpaca (actually I am still working on that) and I also took my Suri Alpaca and plied it with Pygora (that was super yummy)

    Obviously, my Suri Alpaca is always a favorite but I love to experiment with other fibers too.

    Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  2. You've touched me in many ways this morning. The fiber you're spinning is magnificent, especially the red/Angelina. I love your spindle, what kind is it please? And Robert Frost has been my favorite poet since I was about 12. I'm so glad to hear that your kitty is ok. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  3. Of course I'm partial to alpaca but I love using tencel and bamboo as blends. I'm a luster kind of gal.

  4. Glad to hear Edgar is doing better. I am assuming you have read TS Elliot's poems on Cats. This one is my fav. http://www.poetry-online.org/eliot_macavity_the_mystery_cat.htm
    Your reddish batt is dreamy. Have fun spinning it. Thanks for sharing on FAF. I love to read your posts as they are always inspirational!!

  5. Beth--I'm happy to hear that your cat doesn't have anything more serious!
    I'm guessing by your enthusiastic comment that you are planning to attend the MD S&W? Are you a vendor or a visitor? We will be there on Sunday, so when it gets closer, let's plan to meet for coffee if you'll be there that day!?!?

  6. I love experimenting with new fibers/blends! Your yarn-in-progress and the lace both look good from here. :)

  7. Lovely spinning! (sometimes I thread ply or use a fine commercial mohair when I want to stretch my yardage, plus the color variations in the single stand out more)All your projects are beautiful!

  8. I don't spin (yet!), but think I'll like alpaca and silk together a whole lot. :)

    I'm so glad you mentioned the lace shawl in the your header photo - I love the color and it looks lovely. From this still-newbie knit lacer's perspective, I think you did a great job. I'm working on only my second knit lace stole, and it's going well ... now that I've found a better-fitting fiber for the project.

    Finally, glad to hear it was nothing serious with Edgar Allen Poe cat. Celebrate the meowing, for the alternative is not appealing in the slightest. :)

    Happy fiber arts Friday!

  9. Lovely fiber & singles. I've only been spinning since November, but so far I have used Corriedale and BFL. I have a new box of merino that's so pretty I'm still a little nervous about using it! Your shawl looks beautiful despite any (ahem) variations in stitch pattern.

  10. I'm with WWG and Dutch Hollow in that I am partial to Alpaca. Mostly Huacaya, tho I have spun some Suri as well.

    Regarding blends: I spun a merino/bamboo that was wonderful and had almost no halo.

    Currently I'm working with alpaca/silk which is also lovely. Also no halo but it was a bit fly-away while drafting.

    I've also loved spinning Jacob wool but it might be a bit too rustic if you don't like a slubby yarn.

    One of the easiest to spin for me was a wool/mohair blend. The most difficult was natural colored cotton.

    So so so happy about Mr. Kitty.

  11. Your shawl is stunning! One thing I learned in years of knitting is don't ever let imperfections stop you. When you are wearing the shawl it doesn't make much difference.

  12. Thanks, Beth, for the spindle information. She has some beautiful pieces in her shop. Truly like jewelry to spin with. I missed mentioning your shawl in my previous comment...it is beautiful!

  13. I love your shawl, mmm, the orange is beautiful! What mistakes, I couldn't see any mistakes.

    The Falkland/bamboo/Angelina blend is awesome.
    I haven't been at my wheel for a few months. This really inspires me.

  14. Hello Beth! Your spinnig and knitting is always so beautiful! I'm happy to hear your cats are fine, they look so adorable - I see... in a bag!
    Thank you for your lovely words on my blog! Teje

  15. Hi Beth, the shawl looks absolutely pretty and a very beautiful color. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the lovely comment.
    Have a nice day.


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