Apparently, walking behind a snow blower, no matter the miles, does not constitute exercise. If it did, I would have lost at least one pound by now. I figure a pound a storm would be a fair trade. But no, not one. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I weigh as much (and maybe a bit more) than I did when January began. When I emailed this sentiment to a Cyndy over at Riverrim, she responded with '2 hrs. of snow removal equals one good appetite.' ** There's a thought.
Between the storms, and work, and if I don't fall asleep (because at least part of me thinks it has exercised), I've been carding and spinning batts of Shetland and silk that I dyed last fall. Each batt delights me. The variations in the hand dyed fibers, each a bit different, all part of the same, fascinate. So much fun.
At Rhinebeck, I treated myself to one special purchase, a Woolee Winder. I'd always told myself that I didn't need it. Maybe not. The gain in time and the extra yardage that fit onto the bobbin makes it more valuable than I'd thought.
If all goes as planned, I may have some time to spin this weekend.
We'll see. In preparation, I carded up a pound of the Shetland blend
I'm working on. I'm thinking about two pounds equals a sweater. hmmmm...
The more things I learn, the more things I need to know and more I find I don't know.
Take carding, for instance. There are some fibers that I have carded that I am very pleased with. They card up the way I expect them to be. They are basic, easy wools. I think that's why they are successful. That's one of the things I think that I don't know about yet.
A couple Sunday's ago, Jenny Bakriges challenged each person in the class to take a variety of fibers that she chose and that we, in this case, I knew little about. We were to card them and spin them for an imaginary project also of her choosing. I was given a bit of INGEO, a (miserable*) fiber made from corn. One online description has it as "a fiber entirely derived
from corn, with the final product a “natural plastic". Felt like it, too. The article goes on to state that it has great drape and so on.. It has a melting point of 170 F. I found this description on a fiber site: INGEO (In-gee-o), which means Ingredients from the Earth, is made in
the USA and represents a new era in fiber as one of several emerging
products created from
annually renewable resources. It is one of those clever names that hints at it's origins and sounds good, like Canola oil, a derivitive of Canadian oil, a name having nothing to do with rape seed. I gathered that it is a recycled bi-product of the sugar industry, corn syrup. Recycling.. sounds like a good thing. This past weekend I decided to card it with the green multicolored wool top she included in the challenge bag. Darn stuff made a mess in the carder, sticking in clumps to the licker. I carded and spun just enough to say I had, put the remaining into a baggy for later experimentation and went on to my next learning experience.
The next project I made for myself showed me that I know very little about carding with silk. I had small portions of three different tops leftover from the same class. I had maybe 5-6 ft. of the natural oatmeal colored coopworth, 3-4 ft of the mixed burgundy colored superwash top, and maybe 10" of silk top. I put onto the carder in layers, sandwiching the silk between the wools. The first pass gave me lines of the silk, colored and natural. I wanted a more uniform blend so I separated it into four strips and recarded each of those. That's when the trouble started. I was getting fuzzy balls of what can best be described as wool bunnies jumping off the carder. I got rid of them as they formed and finished the remainder of the fiber. The results were a good blend, but the silk had nupped in places. The resulting yarn is fine, I left the nupps in. However, I know that I do NOT know enough about carding with silk.
I ended up with 100yds of 2 ply yarn from the 1.4 oz of blended fiber. More for the stash. I had hoped I would have enough to make a pair of wristers or something... If I'd spin up the corn stuff and use it there would be, but 170 F?? Not for my hands.
* could be if I knew more about INGEO, I'd like it.. time will tell.