Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Technical SNAFU

So. I received an email today from Google+ saying "this is what your profile looks like" and did I want to add a photo? Since I have a few photos that are good for this sort of thing, I picked one out of a photo album online (first clue) and I inserted that. Then I found a good background image and put that in.

Then I decided to go see what else was on Google+. Piles of stuff, all the pictures from my blog, as well as some things that I don't know where they came from. But the Google+ site was a mess. Lots of the photos didn't make any sense outside the context of the blog so I decided to clean it up. (Alarm bells)

I spent a pleasant evening curled up with the dog, going through these pictures and deleting those which don't really stand on their own...

...and when I went back and opened the blog, was horrified to discover half my pictures are gone and I'm the dumbass who deleted them.

I suppose its a good lesson in illustrating a blog, but right now I'm so mad I could spit nails. So I apologize for the sudden lack of photos here. I'll get them all back. Eventually.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ice Core II

So to continue to the story of the Ice Core Alpaca that I spun last week.

I actually let it rest on the bobbins overnight.  The next morning I had another look at my bobbins and admitted that one had noticeably less yarn than the others.  OK, well, lets start spinning and see what we get.

So I started plying the three singles together. I had two plies which twisted together just fine and the third was all over the place.

I don't normally have much trouble with yarn, but really, this one ply was just out of control. I pushed through it thinking "I'm the human here, and I dictate what is going to happen". Silly human - what was I thinking. It's been said that its always better if you enter into a partnership with your fibre rather than forcing something on it. In the end, I had to accept that I had one wonky ply.

Then I had to accept that it was overspun. Not just a little bit, I mean it was overspun.

Even after a good soak and beating in the tub it doesn't lie straight. OK, so my yarn has body and that wonky ply now looks like I made a bouclé yarn. So that's what I'll tell everyone.

But back to the remaining two singles on the bobbins. I decided I'd do a two ply yarn and maybe use it in conjunction with the bouclĂ©.  I couldn't spin this to save my soul. I looked and I studied and I Googled and nothing was helping me. Then I sat back and really looked at my remaining singles.

And then I saw it. One was spun to the left, and one was spun to the right. No matter what I do, this isn't going to work. Probably explains the wonky single too.

The moral of the story is, pick a direction to spin your singles and stick to it. I vaguely remember thinking when I started that something was different but I let it go. In the end, I used these two plies to teach myself Navajo plying so it isn't a waste. I'm a little disappointed at such a silly mistake because I really wanted to use the yarn. I can probably still do something with it, but I need to be aware that one third of it is structurally compromised.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Ice Core

Last summer at the Mississippi Mills Fibre Festival in Almonte I picked up this fabulous "petite batt" from Victory Farm Alpacas. The bag says that it is approximately 2 oz which is about 55g.

What is unusual is that I typically prefer to spin with undyed fibre because I'm still fairly new to spinning and undyed is always so much easier. I have heard it said that if you aren't careful when dyeing that the fibre will felt slightly, making it much harder to spin.  I don't know how true that is and I'm reluctant to shift all the blame for my lack of skill to the dyer so don't quote me.

 This, however, was no problem to spin. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was almost easy. 

The batt was in three layers so that made the "How many plies" decision an easy one.

I expect I'll have the spinning completed today so I can ply it tomorrow.  I'm thinking of making a cowl or perhaps short scarf with a big button.  Something fun.  I'd like to say "something light and flirty for spring" but it's still -10C here so the blue makes me think of the blues you see in ice and snow rather than the blues of Mediterranean Seas.  Then again, maybe I will call this Santorini and tell winter where to go.