I Like It!

26 Aug

  
That’s the sample CVM I spun up and 3-plyed. It’s nice and thin – a true fingering weight. I researched more about flicking and I was being too rough and that’s why I got so much waste. I flicked some more locks last night and I think I’ve got the hang of it. 

I’m so excited! It’s really soft and squishy and I love the color as is! Now to wash and comb up a bunch and decide on a project!

Very Interesting

25 Aug

This new fiber has me intrigued. I don’t think it’s oatmeal color but instead, it’s a light gray. 

  
The more I spin, the grayer it looks. I did some research on the breed and came across this picture.

  
I’m pretty sure the one on the left (varied gray) is close to what mine will turn out to look like. 

Some background:CVM stands for California Veriagated Mutant. It’s a rare breed that spinners seem to like. It’s soft like merino so you can wear it next to your skin without irritation. It has high crimp so it’s bouncy and poofs up once plyed, washed/soaked and dried. It does felt. And it takes dye well but has a matte finish. 

The little bit that I spun there is very nice. I flicked most of the locks but hand carded some. Carding is faster and I didn’t see any degradation in quality from carding. I flick with a cat comb/brush and have waste. I didn’t seem to have as much waste when carding so that’s probably what I’ll do. I’ll see if there is any visible difference in the finished yarn between the flicked and carded stuff. I spun that single at 45 wpi so even 3-ply should be nice and thin.

I find it so interesting how different breeds produce totally different wool and each feels so different to spin. 

New CVM Fleece

25 Aug

I bought a new fleece online. It’s 6 pound CVM Romiedale fleece. It was not covered or coated so there is quite a bit of VM.

  
Alpaca gets you spoiled – there is little to no VM in the alpaca I’ve spun! I washed some up (about 8 ounces).

  
This morning some parts were dry so I flicked the ends instead of carding it (as per advise from the breeder).

  It looks really white there but it’s definitely an oatmeal color. And I couldn’t resist spinning just a tad bit of it.
  
I will ply that upon itself (chain or Navajo ply) tonight and soak it to see how it’s going to look. I will probably leave this first batch in the original color but may try dying the second batch. 

It’s very soft. It has a nice crimp. It feels almost like a down fiber similar to Southdown. I’m not going to spin all 6 pounds at once.  Once I see what it looks and feels like, I’ll decide on a project to knit and just spin up what I need. 

Ahhhh…. Another project!

Fingering Yarn

24 Aug

My goal is to creat 3-ply fingering weight yarn. I am getting something close – maybe a heavy fingering or light sport weight.

  
Some of the singles are under spun. I need to work on that but for the most part it’s usable. But yellow socks? Hmmmm…. Those will be bright!

Benny is Spun and Done!

22 Aug

   
    
   
I am most proud of that last picture because it shows a few of the skeins close up.  It’s my best quality so far in spinning and I was consistent with the yarn gauge throughout the eight skeins.  There are a few thick and thin spots (I’m not a machine) but overall it looks good! Such a great feeling when you finish a huge project like that!

Yellow

22 Aug

I finished spinning and plying the last of Benny the Alapaca’s fleece last night.  Pictures will have to wait until tomorrow because the last two hanks are still drying.

I retrieved some superwash merino from storage that I hand dyed and set up my wheel in double drive and started spinning that. Here it is after dyeing:

   

Here is the first 1/3 spun on the wheel. The colors blended nicely. I like semi-solid yarn.

 
I wanted to try double drive tension instead of scotch tension because I watched a video that said I can get thinner singles (resulting in thinner 3-ply yarn) with double drive.  I’m not sure these are thinner but it does seem to have more twist. My very unscientific spinning comparisons say that the yarn is about 45wpi (wraps per inch). That’s right in the middle of fingering and light fingering weight yarn.  But that’s when it’s spun up tightly like this. Once I ply and set in water, it puffs up. 

Since this is combed roving from a mill, it spins up quicker than Raw fleece.  I should have the other 2/3 done this weekend and plyed early on next week so I’ll see what kind of yarn it turns out to be.

School

19 Aug

School has begun for DJ, Gianna, and me. We all started on Monday and seem to be off to a good start. 

DJ moved in on Saturday. He likes his classes and is very excited about his programming class. It’s in Java (which I teach for my college). He’s programmed a bit in Java before and I think he will take off in this area. He’s got great logic and has really enjoyed programming in the past.

Gianna is a freshman and seems to be adjusting. Only one other boy from her grade school is attending this school. She knows some girls from softball teams she has played on. She joined the golf team – there are only 5 girls total on the team. The girls are nice and are taking her under their wing to show her the ropes of golf team play. She is “okay” at golf and seems to be holding her own at practices so far. Subject-wise – she has homework in every subject. That’s very different than her previous school where she rarely had homework. 

Me? I’m doing alright too. I put in a lot of work in July and August prepping for my classes. I have a lot of new or newly-formatted classes. I think the summer work is going to pay off.

On the knitting front, I have about 30 rows of the shawl left to do.

  
It doesn’t look like much because it’s all bunched up but will be a nice large shawl when done.

I bought a new book detailing different top-down and toe-up toes and heels. I started to experiment.

  
The toe doesn’t look that much different than my usual toe, but it’s supposed to fit better for my angled toe-line. Here is the finished sock.

  
Simple and functional.

I am spinning away at the last of the alpaca fleece. All is carded and I’m down to my last bag to spin.  I will get eight hanks of about four ounces each from the fleece in total. Half will go to the farmer and I get to keep half. I already have a hat/glove pattern in mind for my half. 

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