Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Fiber Play...Oct 28th

It started out looking like this...
It's a roving of Yak, Merino and Bamboo.
This combination is really soft and when spun it
has a kind of springy-ness.

To help you see where the fibers were "born"
read below.  =)

Yaks have a course outer coat that is used
for making things like rope.  It's the soft undercoat
that is mainly used for spinning. The softness
is often compared to cashmere.  But, the fiber
is short.  So, it is blended with other fibers
like wool and/or silk.

 is very fine and very the realm of sheepdom.
It is a wool used to make garments that will be next to
the skin.  It is quite greasy tho and can become matted
easily.  So, processing it into fiber to spin...takes extra
effort and care.  But, imho, it's truly worth it.  I will post
more about the wide range of wool/sheep, in the future.
  And, about the wonderful and unique properties of wool.

The bamboo content in the roving
I have pictured above - the one in the brown bucket,
...actually came from the bamboo plant.  Isn't that
amazing?  It's really hard for me to think that
the VERY soft shiney fiber comes from the stalk
of wooden-like bamboo.  This fiber has been
compared closely to silk.  But, it is less expensive,
a bit shinnier, and slippery-er.

Hanging around waiting for it's warm bath...

* two things learned*
I found out after the fiber was washed and
dried to set, that I tied the turquoise figure 8s,
that I tied too tight.  There were lines when
I took off the ties.  =( .  I think that if I rewash,
the lines might come out. I'll let you know.

Another thing learned from the last few
fiber-to-yarn experiences is that:
If I want to spin equal amounts onto the
bobbins, I need to divide the roving into
equal parts firsts BEFORE I start to spin.

Why would I need the bobbins to have equal
amounts of single ply yarn?  Well, when plying the
two single ply yarns...some would be left
on one bobbin, while the other would be empty.
Is that clear as mud? Or does it make any sense?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Fiber Play...

A good friend gave me a really wonderful
prepared roving of merino and tencil...
Here pictured are two bobbins of single plied...
sitting in a lazy kate.

Spinning two ply...

With the drivebands taken off the whirl and the bobbin,
 so the bobbin can spin free...

the plied yarn is wound onto a kniddy-knoddy.

After washing gently in warm slightly sudsy water and
then, rinsed in cool water...the yarn is left to dry on a towel.
It rests in a relaxed position of it's choice...plumping/fluffing
as the twist becomes set.

Once completely's ready to become something
special like a scarf or hat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Visiting the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival...

Calling OFFF a "fiber feast" is an
exaggerated UNDER-statement!
It was a fiber enthusiasts..."heaven"!
We drove about 20 minutes south of our
hotel...arriving right at 9am...just as the festival opened.
The weather was very cooperative...even tho
I did miss those Pacific Northwest clouds.

We were so excited! Our first stop was the
Woolie Winder booth so that I could purchase
2 more bobbins for my Majacraft Susie spinning wheel.

Our VERY next stop was at the
I've been communicating thru emails with
Mr Hansen and his wife since 2009...when they
 first started selling their
"miraculous" mini-spinning machine.
I approached them with the idea of making it
out of exotic wood...and, not very long after,
...I was the proud owner of a
Bloodwood Minispinner with Maple Woolie Winder
and Maple's  #21
I was so excited to actually meet them in person.

They are two of the nicest...most fun
people I've ever met...also MOST talented and
clever for creating such a simple and unique
product.  Can you tell I'm in LUV with my
Hansen electric?  I have to admit, while mozeee-ing
around the booth...there was some bad news.
Well, bad news for my wallet.  I came across
a display shelf with...probably, more than a half
dozen new, pristine minispinners.  Several of them
were made of beautifully colored, wonderfully grained
exotic woods. special one seemed to keep
calling..."annie....AAAAnnnnie...." Then, in a quiet sultry
whisper..."taaaayK....meee...hooOHme with you"
Now, Mr Hansen speaks telling me that this
particular one is part of small group (maybe12-15)
 "Anniversary Issue" designed spinners.
This particular one...that I was holding...
 numbered 1001.
So...I'm now the proud owner of TWO
wonderful Hansen Electric Minispinners.

My new limited edition minispiner.  =)
This booth had some lucious feeling fibers...and
some wonderful colors too.  One thing I really liked
about her display was that about 90% of her colorways
and/or different fiber content rovings...had spun samples.
It can be difficult to look at a roving and guess what it
will look like spun into yarn.  Granted, my spinning would
be different from hers...but, at least I have an idea
of what the end product might look like.

Below are two of my purchases...just petting them...
brings on the endorphins!

I'm kicking myself because I didn't take pictures
of one of our Utah representative vendors.
Judy is one of the most sharing/caring fiber
teacher and vendor I know!  She always has
fun things in her booth to "loop/roving" to make
rugs.  Her prices are really good and she is so
patient to answer just about any fiber-eee
question you might have.  She is a REAL
regular at OFFF and has one of the nicest booth
areas to prove her patience to work up the "list"
to get her special location...inside and with a breezy
access to two doors.

This is me with Hazel Rose of
What a REALLY NICE lady she is!  The frame looms
that they make are really practical and easy to use.
 But, the added wonderfulness of the Hazel Rose Looms
is that they are made out of beautiful, strong woods...
with simple care, they will last a lifetime...or even longer.

This booth was stuffed to the gills with fiberee toys,
 books and gifts, along with some very yummy fibers
for spinning. They had the most variety of new/for sale
spinning wheels.  You could sit and try any of them.
Morgaine...was very helpful in helping the prospective
spinning wheel buyer...pic the wheel that was just right
for them. 
This is also the booth where I was able to purchase
the "famous" Zuca rolling bag.  It's perfect for
carrying the Hansen Minispinner with accessories.
The Pro-Zuca is airline approved for carry-on and only
weighs also doubles as a chair securely
supporting up to 300lbs.

Below, can you see something furry?...
checking out the new "throne" for
the Hansen minispinner?

After our day of living in "Fiber Heaven"...
we had great low calorie (NOT!!!), YUMMY
finger-licking, lip-smacking ...dinner at
Then, my VERY sweet chauffeur took
me to my hotel near the Portland airport
and I flew back home early the next morning.

So....whuddda you think? Are you "ON" for
shopping at a FIber Festival in Oregon next year?