Sunday, June 29, 2008

More yarn, and some sewing

Here are my two latest yarns. The first is corespun suri alpaca, in a colorway called "Rosewood Orchid." It's every bit as soft as it looks, and then some! The second is a simple thick and thin merino, in a colorway called "Drunken Sailor."

I also took a break from spinning this weekend to finally try a project from a book I bought a few months ago, Alabama Stitch. This is a "reverse applique" cover, designed to dress up a basic composition book from Staples. I love making covers for these inexpensive notebooks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My first corespun yarns

Still high on inspiration from Camp Pluckyfluff, I pulled out some beautifully dyed locks this week to try some core spinning. What fun! I used a commercial mohair yarn for the cores -- the fuzziness of the mohair grips onto the wrapping fiber really easily. On Monday, I took out some cotswold locks from HollyEQQ, in a colorway called "pixie meadowbrite," and made this:

I liked the results so much that on Tuesday, I took out some more cotswold locks -- this time from Homestead Wool, in a colorway called "hydrangea," and spun up 50 yards of this:

I suppose that one of these days I should try knitting up some of these handspun yarns, but for now I'm having so much fun making them that it's interfering with my knitting projects!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Post-Pluckyfluff spinning

While I was at Camp Pluckyfluff, I bought some beautiful hand-dyed blue-faced leicester fiber, in a colorway called "neapolitan." Given its ice cream-y name, it just had to be spun up into something swirly, right? So here's Neapolitan Soft Swirl:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Camp Pluckyfluff!

Last weekend was 48 hours of spinning fun -- I got to go to Camp Pluckyfluff in Vermont! We met at The Spun Monkey's studio for two days of spinning instruction from Lexi Boeger of Pluckyfluff. Lexi taught us lots of fantastic techniques for spinning novelty and art yarns. Many of them are discussed in her latest book, Intertwined -- if you haven't seen this book, you should look for it the next time you go to the bookstore. If you're a spinner, it will inspire you to spin. And if you're not a spinner, it could well inspire you to start.

Unfortunately, I haven't got any photos of camp, because my camera battery died when I got there. Lexi's got some great ones on her blog, though. And I've got photos of my yarns. Here's my favorite:

I started this yarn with a base of green wool, with some bits of of orange thrown in as well. Then following Lexi's technique, I spun in some orange silk poppies (bought at Michael's, and plucked off their stems), some tulle, lace, fabric scraps, little flowers, and even a green zipper. Maybe I'd better take another photo that actually shows the zipper.

I spun lots of other yarns, as well.

This one, plied with a textured green thread, has beehive coils, granny stacks, and some spiky bits.

Then there's one with contrasting crescents (left), and one with pre-made felt bits added (right).

This one was spun from a crazy-carded batt -- we just grabbed bits of wool, sparkle, threads, and whatever else we had around. Then our random fibers were run through a drum carder, and spun up rather randomly as well -- thin where the fiber was smooth, thick where it was clumpy.

This technique, along with the others we tried, convinced me to order a drum carder of my very own when I got home.

... and this wild spiky skein was made by plying a heavily over-twisted single with a red thread.

And finally, this was the last yarn of the weekend, still on the bobbin because I didn't have time to spin very much it of. Gorgeous jade green locks tail-spun onto a core of commercial green mohair yarn. Soft, fluffy, and exotic-looking -- I can't wait to spin more of this one!

Thanks to Lexi, our host Shannon, and to my fellow campers for a fabulous spinning weekend!