Ten Minutes

Every morning, weather permitting, I spend some time outdoors wrangling cats. It can be interesting if the cat and I can poke around.  If the cat decides to sit in one spot for 20 minutes and wait for a mouse, well.. it can be pretty boring.  That's when bringing a spindle is a really good idea.  I can get a lot done in those bits of time each morning. 



Last summer, I spun 4.5 oz. of hand dyed silk.  After spinning two shafts, I'd wind them onto a plying ball.  




The yarn is a little under plyed.  Over twisted and under plyed.  When I decide what it will become, I may add twist.  It'll wait.




Ten Minutes


Summer is just a memory and I haven't showed you what I spun on my morning walks.  Cat wrangling,  if you will remember.   A week or so ago, I plied it and put it aside.  You'll have to wait to see it on another Tuesday post.   The weather is holding and mornings still include wrangling and I needed another project.  Look at that gorgeous fall colored silk.  How could I not spin it now.  It reflects the last gasp of color in the hills, the tamamacs.  



Ten Minutes (for Tuesday)

Maybe not 10 minutes, but in bits of time stolen from each day during the past week, I've manged to clean off many bobbins and in the process, finish over 1800 yds of yarn.


clockwise from top: white alpaca 3 ply using the navajo ply, charcoal alpaca carded with a cream merino silk blend 2 ply, and a brown wool carded with white merino silk blend 2 ply.

It sure feels good to have those bobbins cleaned off and ready for a new project.  Most of this was sitting around for over a year, maybe two.  Housekeeping of the best sort.  Now to soak them and hang to dry.

Ten Minutes (for Tuesday)

You've seen them before.  The first is the spindle spun that I posted earlier this week winding onto a felted ball.  After checking my records, I found that it was the last of the llama and silk I bought from Barnswallow Farm.  It was spun on one of my beautiful Ledbetter spindles and plied on the same one.  This was truly a take with project, carried around in my knitting bag and spun bits at a time.  I plied it while taking breaks from my knitting this week. The 200 yd. skein brings the total yardage of this yarn to 640 yd.  That should be plenty for a little shawl.


alpaca / silk
total yardage: 640 yd. (approx. 2560 yd/lb.)
spindle spun : Ledbetter and Hardy spindles

The second project (my carded Shetland) has been spun in blocks of time that are for the most part hours, not minutes.  However, this week I am spinning in little bits of time, keeping my wheel handy so that I can keep this project going.  I spun almost another bobbin last Saturday at my friend Sue's end of the month Spin In.  Here's what is in the drawer so far, not including an almost full bobbin still on the wheel.  As soon as it's full, I'll ply a skein.  I'm still thinking that it will be a 3 ply yarn.


With six more weeks of winter predicted to the south (ground hogs in the north wouldn't think of showing their faces yet), there should be plenty of spinning time in my future.

Ten Minutes (for Tuesday)

Detail of yarn ball

One of the first things I do to prepare for a spinning workshop, retreat or other such meetup, is to gather up all of my partially filled bobbins and decide which ones I can empty.  Running out of bobbin space when you're away from home is counterproductive, right?  This also gives me the opportunity to see what projects I've got on hold, abandoned, or have finished and left the ends hanging.  This would be a good routine to program as once a month housekeeping, say before the spinning group meets.  In addition to the bobbins, I decide which of my spindles are coming along and again, what needs to be wound off.  Those cops (not all were large enough to be considered finished) were added to the drawer where the cops of spindled yarn are kept while more accumulate.  I was surprised to see how many were in there. I spindle quite a lot, a bit here and there.  Those minutes had really added up.  Time to get some plied. I decided to set up my Spindler's Kate on a corner of my desk, thinking that I'd use some of those lost minutes waiting on phone calls, etc. to wind off two strand balls in preparation for plying. 


That's a bit of cashmere and silk.  Somewhere in my stash are a skein or two already to go.  This will be a nice addition to the yardage.  


ten minutes (for Tuesday)

Have you noticed how beautiful the light is?  The sun is high, mornings begin earlier and the days extend into what were the evening hours.  I love it!  Like a magnet, the light draws me out of doors.  Even before I grab a cup of coffee, I head out onto the deck to feel the air.  This morning, like the cats, I headed out time after time, in spite of the 20F temps and a too thin nightgown. It was glorious.  Ice out was yesterday, sometime around 4 pm.  Poof!  It happened so quickly that I wonder if the ice is still just below the surface. 

What does this have to do with ten minutes...


Portable projects. I find myself walking around, checking things out, spindle in hand.  It adds up. 


Sammy's good, he circles around under my spindle and rarely touches it, even with his tail. He's a spinner's cat and well practiced.


P1060218 I continue to be distracted. I pass the shop and have to stop.  There is something about stone.  Seems that there is always time for one more button.

ten minutes (for Tuesday)

P1060068  It has been a long time since I shared my Ten Minutes a Day projects.  This one has held my interest for a while.  Last October, I came across some merino roving I'd had for a while.. probably longer than that, and decided to toss a pound or so into the dye pot.  Something came up, maybe a phone call, who knows, and I promptly forgot about it.  It merrily cooked away and by the time I remembered, it was a touch overdone.  Not badly, but I'm not a fan of overcooked merino.  Been there, done that, years ago. What I am a big fan of, are my carders.  Love them.  If I wasn't a fan before the three days I spent with Deb Menz at SOAR, I was when I left.  Now, I'm a carding fool.  Nothing is safe.


See, it isn't really too bad.  But it sure is nicer after a run through the carder.  To it, I added a lovely hand-dyed mohair blend I had kicking around.


and that + that = this...


Here, I'll open the batt up a bit to show you what's inside.


My carder is close enough to the kitchen that most of the carding is done while I wait for my coffee to brew in the morning.  Seriously, before coffee. 

Spinning the singles, that's hit or miss.  Whenever I can sit down for a few minutes, I tear off a strip from a batt and spin it up.  Less than 10 minutes.