Monday, March 31, 2008

YES-finally making progress!!!

okay, so i know i haven't posted in a while, but i've really been trying to focus on my spinning, i've got to back away from the computer and get some actual work done! but i'm super excited to report that i have had some lucky breaks in helping me to get moving on the cotton spinning!

on a stroke of luck, i WAS able to go the spinning store! i was soo thrilled!!! and i didn't have to take the kids, i dropped them off to spare them from the boredom. i was extremely dissappointed to see they had NO cotton, except on lonely bag, which was the unginned *i think that's what it's called* which is the same thing that's driving me crazy now! i know it's a little store, and not that many people spin around here, but COME ON people, it's freaking texas!!! the only thing they keep stocked is 100% merino *which IS good quality* and 80/20 mohair and merino blend, which i have had alot of experience with theirs, and it doesn't make a particularly good yarn for what i normally make, so i NEVER get mohair there anymore. i will from now on be buying the same mohair i got the rainbow mohair curls from, exclusively, unless i find something i absolutely CAN'T pass up. and they also carry alpaca and some llama of limited qualities. this perplexes me even more. if you're not from texas, it's impossible to know how much the weather sucks down here! every five minutes it's different, even the weather men don't do a good job of predicting it. it's basically, if it's raining right now, it's raining, if it's hot, it's hot, but there's no way to predict what it will be like the next day. and as someone of a particularly hot nature, we just don't mesh well. i'm getting off point, but as you can tell, these are not logical spinning fibers for texas.

so after all the anticipation, it was a HUGE let down. i was also thinking about getting, a diz, a wraps per inch tool *the nancy's knit knack one, LOVE it* maybe some cotton, nothing. i DID get a puni stick *very surprised they had these, as the lady told me nobody in the store spins cotton* and the newest issue of spin-off *which i WAS excited about, because it's not even supposed to be out until the first. *i have not yet written about my obsession with spin-off, but i have driven people completely batty *at the two spinning stores within a 45 minute radius and the local hastings* calling everyday to ask if they've gotten it yet, they know me, they probably cringe when i walk in the door!!*

so, i went to pick up the kids from my grandparent's house, and i'd been meaning to talk to him for a while about making some tools for me, but i didn't know if he still had all his wood-working tools. turns out, he didn't. BUT he did have a few *he got rid of all of his table saws, and stuff like this, all the BIG stuff* but he did have basics, and much to my surprise, he was able to make me a diz! it's not very pretty because i wanted it right then, but it's functional. and i asked him about some bigger items and he told me that a couple of his friends that live in their subdivision are like MASTER wood workers, they make awesome stuff, almost like art pieces, they do all the hand-turning and stuff like that. so he's going to ask them about some custom projects for me. i need a yarn blocker FOR SURE, and hopefully if they agree, we can work on stuff in the future.

so when i got home i sat down with my half-already-spun batts of cotton, and got the diz out. to my surprise, it went very well! it was easy and relatively fast, i thought this might take forever. of course, with minimal knowledge of the process, i did break the roving about seven times, but it doesn't matter, it's still spinable, no big deal. i pulled out both the cream and red-brown batts for the first single. once i sat down to spin, it went like a breeze! there was still drafting to do *i'm not from the school that thinks you should just predraft everything so that once you spin, you only put twist into the roving, that takes all the fun out of it to me!* but the drafting WAS much easier, and FASTER!!! i'm so happy, i finally found a way to make this cotton thing easier! i have since ordered some cotton punis off the internet, i've heard they are a dream to spin-super easy. i'm going to compare and see what types of cotton are easiest and most user-friendly.

ok, so here are some pics of my rainbow bamboo *read, bellow* fair warning, it's a lot of pics, and some of the pics are a little blurry, but you get the idea!

my very beautiful singles for the rainbow bamboo!!! the second bobbin is tussah silk roving

ok, this is the BEAUTIFUL yarn, PRE wash, of course!

last pic, just showing a closeup of the plying method. it's not a great pic, but if you look BEHIND my hand *dur, sorry!* you can see some good examples too!

on another note, i have some very sad news. i went to wash my finished *note:BEAUTIFUL* bamboo yarn. on advice of the seller of the roving, i laid it flat to dry. when i went to inspect the dried was a DISASTER!!! my beautiful yarn turned into something flat, and squished, and looked like a drowned cat. i cannot explain how this yarn looked after it had been spun. it was perfection! after they ply, it was even MORE soft and lofty, it looked like a springy, bouncy wool! but i'm guessing it just didn't have enough twist and got too compressed with the weight of the water. i have tried to fluff it up, but nothing has helped. i'm going to contact the seller of the roving, and ask her about it. these are the trials and errors of a beginner! but it truly is devastating. i hope it can be salvaged.

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