family · fibre preparation · handspun · norahWHY · spindle spinning · spinning · tinytuna · Tour de Fleece · yarn

summer spinning & celebrations

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The summer has been passing so quickly that I’m not really sure where it is going! I had lofty plans of working on some blog posts to intersperse between the shows this summer but lo-and-behold, it hasn’t happened! I have been working away on my Tunis fleece that I was able to get through the guild this past winter. It has been such a pleasure to work with and I am sorry to see it finished. Now comes the knitting, but I so enjoyed the spinning. Halfway through this spin, I bought a hackle so that has changed the second half of the spin slightly but I am happy to see the two skeins are slightly different as I learned a few things!

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The first half was spun on my spindles –  I used a heavy and slow Turkish spindle that was about 30 grams. It was hard to get enough twist into the fibre but in the end, it made a lovely softly spun yarn. It was about a sport weight with a lovely sheen and halo from the long wool characteristics. I had hand combed this first batch of fleece and hand-pulled it off to create little nests of fibre which made for perfect spindle spinning as I was able to spin one little nest at a time.

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With the second batch, I really wanted to test out my hackle so I washed the rest of the fleece and loaded it up! I dizzed off the fibre this time, creating long and continuous lengths of fibre. What a pleasure to spin from! I loved this prep and couldn’t believe how much air and loft remained in the fibre – it was fresh! It had a certain life to it that combed top just doesn’t possess.

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I’m not sure what the amount of spun fibre I ended up with and I have yet to weigh this skein – it’s quite substantial. For the wheel-spun skein, the finished yarn is a fingering. It is incredibly evenly spun and I plied with intention (rather than watching the twist angle as I normally do). I placed 2/3rds of the singles twist into the plying and the resulting yarn is absolutely gorgeous – I think this might be one of my favourite skeins EVER. I have experienced this ‘favourite’ skein feeling before with some Corriedale that I combed a few years ago with similar results – there much be something about processing and spinning from true combed top that just gets me! That’s the coolest part – this is true combed top spun from tips to butt, plied from the ‘first spun’ end and smoothed as I spun. Beautiful!

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While this is all I have to show for Tour de Fleece at the moment, we have been busy with small people turning 5 years old! We celebrated at a local National Historic site. Because it is Canada’s 150th birthday this year, we decided to host James’ party there, which seemed fitting. We were able to co-host with one of his good friends (who’s Mom I am really good friends with!) as well and hosted the preschool class for a year-end celebration. It was really fun!

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They dressed them up as traditional gold miner’s would have dressed and fun fact: The Scarves they wrapped around the kids waists are handwoven by some of the local aboriginal women who have been doing some work to educate and teach traditional Salish weaving in the community. Cool, huh?!

Happy Summer, everyone!

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