knittedgems

A Birthday amongst the Olympics

In Fun, Spinning on August 11, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I don’t know about you, but I have been spending a lot of time in front of the TV watching the Olympics. From basketball to soccer to volleyball to swimming, it’s been thrilling to watch! Of course, more TV time means more dedicated spinning time. So much so that I made my wrist sore from all the spinning.

I finally got the wool off of my spindle.

This wool came from the brown Shetland pencil roving I purchased on Etsy from Serentity Sheep Woolens. I spun it on my Jenkins Turkish spindle. It’s about a fingering-weight yarn. After the Olympics, I plan to ply the two balls together and create a DK-weight, 2-ply yarn.

What I learned from spinning this wool:
I love to spin!
I really enjoy the drafting process.
I like the spindle to turn slowly, allowing me more drafting time.
I should not try to spin anything over .75 ounces on my spindle. It makes my wrist throb.

Thanks to my wrist hurting on Sunday, I didn’t spin a lot. But, I couldn’t resist playing with the Sunshine fleece I have to spin for the Ravelympics Fleece to Fencing event. The rules behind the event state that I have to spin yarn from a fleece and then knit something from the newly created yarn.

I am using the alpaca fleece that I purchased from North Star Alpacas. Though Maple did recommend washing the fleece first, I read from other spinners that the washing step could be postponed until after the locks were spun. Guess which option my lazy self chose?

Yep, I just grabbed a few locks and slowly drafted them into something resembling a pencil roving. Then, I threw it onto my spindle. I was nervous at first, treating the alpaca like it was fine china. Once I got over my silly fears, it went fine. The ends of the locks tended to be wispy. I spent some time just pulling the locks back apart and redrafting/rejoining them together. Next time, I plan to try a little bit of greasy lotion on my hands and see if that doesn’t help tame the fly-aways.

I won’t lie to you. My hands were dirty after spinning for just a short time, but I am washable. I’ll wash the small sample of yarn later today to remove any remaining dirt. Hopefully, the washing will help the yarn to bloom as well, making it softer and more lofty.

I mentioned a birthday in today’s title. It would be mine.

Dan surprised me with an Irish tin whistle this morning for my birthday.

Recently, I have been trying to learn how to play the recorder again. Though I was pretty good at it during my middle school years, I apparently forgot everything. I explained to Dan that my ultimate goal was to learn my favorite instrument in Irish music: the tin whistle. Isn’t he the best?

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  1. Great gift! I love Irish music.

  2. Hope you have a happy birthday. And, I see you bought from North Star Alpacas. She seems like such a nice lady.

  3. Happy birthday! *throws confetti*

    I really want to get some of Maple’s alpaca to spin, but I’m trying to convince myself to wait until I spin up all (or most of) the wool I have. Does alpaca spin like wool?

    And I second the love of Irish music. :)

    I’m trying to learn how to play an ocarina my fiancĂ© bought me last year, but I have no musical talent and can’t read music, so I think it’s a lost cause. ;)

  4. The yarn looks great! I can’t imagine spinning that fine a yarn with a spindle. I’m sure mine would spend more time dropping to the floor than spinning. You’re very talented! And happy birthday! Have fun learning the tin whistle. :)

  5. Happy birthday! I’d keep that husband if I were you, he listened to what you wanted, that’s really good.
    My tag is up, finally.

  6. Happy Birthday!!!
    Love the gift, how fun.
    OOO you started spinning your alpaca, I still haven’t knitted any of my hand spun. I’m just looking at it.
    Vicki

  7. Happy Birthday! What a great gift. Having lived in Ireland 13 years I enjoy the tin whistle very much.
    Yep I’ve been plugged into the TV until 1am every morning. Wasn’t the swimming relay where the US nipped the French fantastic?!

  8. I know it’s late but I hope you had a great birthday!

    I enjoyed reading about your experience of spinning fleece before washing. I’ve never tried it.

  9. I am so proud of you! Your yarn looks WONDERFUL.

    I always wash my alpaca first cause the adorable critters love to roll in the dirt. Really it is not the fact that my hands might get a little dirtsy….it is the fine dust that makes me sneeze.

    When you wash alpaca, use as little movement as possible, and even with that it will seem that the fiber has felted…..not actually, alpaca just loves to clump. A few passes with the carders….and I use doggie brushes because the larger heavier carder hurt my wrists…..and your alpaca is fluffy luscious and ready to spin. ; )

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