I’m getting back into the dye kitchen. It’s been a while since I’ve been enthused about mixing colors and yarns and roving. For today, I stocked some new colors of Polwarth Silk Hand Dyed Combed Top. These are lovely. They are 60% polwarth wool and 40% silk. Polwarth is a lot like merino if you’ve never tried it. And the addition of silk makes it really lustrous and so, so fun to spin.
This week I’ve been working on dyeing spinning fiber. First up has been superfine alpaca top. I wanted to show you part of the process. Especially with alpaca fiber, the dry dyed product is a lot lighter than the wet product. You can see the difference!
I’m working on replenishing my hand dyed roving…. Here are the ones I just took out of the dye bath.
Remember these will dry lighter of course. I’ll post in social media when they are available for sale. This is superfine alpaca top. It is pretty slippery, and so makes some really fine singles if you like to spin fine yarn!!
I put a bunch of new hand dyed alpaca top into the webstore. You can find them here.
Okay, it’s a strange time right? The stores have limited hours and limited availability. The festivals are all virtual. And it’s hard. It’s hard to find that skein you’re looking for. It’s hard to trust that the skein will look like the photo when you get it. It’s hard to try to look through all those Ravelry patterns to find your next project. Let’s not even get into the changed look of Ravelry and all the distress it’s causing many of us.
I know you’re knitting or crocheting or spinning or felting. You have to be, in order to maintain your sanity and to feel creative and positive. I am too.
Have you just given up? Do you say to yourself, “I’ll just use my stash. I’ll just find patterns in the books or magazines that I bought a while ago. I’ll just use the needles I already have.” And even if all these things aren’t thrilling to me, it is just too hard to do online shopping.
So how can I help you find what you need? Well there are a few ways…. First of all, you can make an appointment to come by. Bring yourself and up to 2 others. We will all wear masks. I have hand sanitizer. It’s a nice drive in the country.
Secondly, you can make an appointment for a Facetime appointment with me. I can help you shop for a project. You can ask me the same questions you might as in person. We can set up a project for you with the yarn and the pattern. And then I can send it to you in the mail. Especially if you want to make a Casapinka shawl or one from Steven West or maybe a nightshift, where you need so many different skeins. I can help you put it together. That’s the part I love. I love working with you to come up with skeins that will make wonderful projects.
So how do you set up an appointment? Just shoot an email to email@example.com and we can get out calendars out and make a date.
Lastly, I am holding open studio days. The next one is September 19th. Of course we will all wear masks. I will have the hand sanitizer and I’ll let 2-3 people in the store at one time.
I’ve been thinking about getting an e-spinner for several years now. I couldn’t really rationalize the high price of the most popular model. Last year at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, I saw a woman spinning on an eel nano. It seemed so small and delicate. I looked at reviews, I looked at other espinners. And I found the one for me.
I bought a Heavenly Handspinning Vespera, Gen 2. I had it unpacked and put together in under 30 minutes.
And I was spinning very shortly afterward. HH has nice YouTube videos to help you set up the machine and to get started spinning. And I did use them to make sure that I had all the cords connected in the correct way.
Flying Goat Farm Tour de Fleece Team
Okay it’s a really weird year. The Tour de France is postponed until the end of August….will it happen then?? I’m not sure, so I decided to do my tour during the original dates: June 27- July 19.
What do you do on Tour de Fleece? Well you spin everyday. Even if it is just 10 minutes a day. Just sit at your wheel or walk with your spindle. This is the single best way to improve your spinning technique. In years past, I have made a goal for myself. Last year, it was to finish spinning a 3ply worsted weight yarn out of a lamb’s fleece. I did that. I have enough to make myself a sweater.
My goal this year? I’m really not sure. I am so far out of practice. I don’t think I’ve spun A THING since last year’s TdF. Really? It’s pitiful. But I’m excited to get back to the wheel. I know I want to do some great colorful spinning. I know I want to practice preparing my cashmere for spinning. And I want to get better at documenting my spinning.
I made bingo board so that we can stretch our skills. And the prizes will be based on that board. More to come about that later.
Members of my team will connect on Ravelry and Facebook too. And in this age of social distancing, we’ll have a zoom spin-in or two. We can check in with each other and talk about spinning or our lives or something like that.
The Fiber Art Studio group is going to have a special Tour de Fleece day on July 11th, too. We’re putting together what that will look like.
So if you are going to join me my team, just drop a line here on Ravelry.