a big spinning project completed last week
means it is time for the next idea in the queue, right?
And the last 1 .5 lbs of this Targhee/Deboullet fleece
has been very patient,
and was totally ready.
the locks were clean and lovely--
still easy to tease and card into silky batts .
The goal is a spring/ summer
spin-and-knit-as-I-go portable project
and I wanted to get both parts going
so I can pick up either part
at a moment's notice
without much thought.
(Yes, I know it is sensible to spin all the yarn
and mix up the skeins before plying,
or at least before casting on,
but who can be sensible
when one's fingers absolutely ache
for this fresh fluffy, fine yarn,
especially since the spinning portion
of other recent projects in progress
actually did need to be complete
before I could commence the next phase?)
--my reliable, superfast 24 gram cherry Hepty,
whose steadfast nature
has, over the last three years+,
been the tool of choice for several sweaters
and enough yarn for a couple of good sized
but as yet to be designed swaths of backstrap cloth
--the cheerful, fast and balanced but mostly untested
20 gram blue and yellow Hepty
that my son 3-D printed as an experiment
for wet-spinning flax
and is just as happy with wool?
(the shaft is painted wood, the whorl 3-D printed --
and no production of these is planned, fyi...)
They both make me happy.
And so does working with one tool at a time,
especially for a portable project.
to this glorious strick of Belgian flax
singing sweet songs from the cabinet
where it had been waiting for months?
Well.... cuz... um....
I'm susceptible to wooing?
connected with my search for local flax
(short of me growing my own-- another future project),
and the heart-stoppingly exciting work being done in Oregon
by the women of Fibreevolution.
No room today for the whole surprising tale,
except that I feel most fortunate to have this strick in my hands,
and am thoroughly enjoying turning it into yarn,
especially with an appropriate spindle.
but it is good to slow down and develop a rhythm,
since, in my flaxen eagerness last year
I got ahead of myself,
and found, among other things,
that the blue and yellow Hepty
is far too fast
for the yarn I'm able to make
with my slowly emerging skills--
and perhaps too fast for flax at all
as the long fibers do not need the kind of twist
demanded by the fine wool yarn I love to make
and that my hands think spinning is all all about.
Luckily, practice is a thing,
as is really nice fiber
and a slow-and-steady
long-armed, lightweight spindle--
even if it's not water resistant.
(this Jenkins Spindle is a 17 gram Lark
now discontinued but perhaps similar to the Wren?)
use slightly different hand and finger muscles
and switching back and forth
actually gives my hands a break.
Except, you know,
just because my hands know when they need a break
doesn't mean my brain does
and my friend Jodi had sent me
another batch of coffee filters,
many of them a weirdly enticing light brown
and I was curious... so...
Another 3-D printed wet spinning spindle
was the tool of choice this time
(coffee filters, in my experience, are best spun damp),
and I had a swell time cutting and adding twist.
This 10 gram cross-arm spindle,
also a slightly too speedy flax spinning contender,
turned out to be ideal, both in weight and speed, for the filter paper,
and a worthy and portable alternative to
on the slow charkha
I talked about in the post linked above.
(Note: Public domain code is available for these spindles;
it can be found with a little googling and printed by someone in your area who knows how to do such things --
local library/maker space/ etc).
at least mostly,
and having learned what those brown
bits of paper look like spun into yarn,
I returned the coffee filters to the cabinet,
moved the associated tapestry idea
to ferment at the back of the cue,
and returned to the pleasures at hand--
if I don't get distracted again,
join the completed skeins of wool
to become the linsey-woolsey cloth
I've been longing to wear.