Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spinning and Yoga

With a title like that, I expect to get more than a few hits from people looking for exercise information. Move along, nothing to see here. We're talking fiber, and I don't mean dietary fiber. . .

rug yarns March 2007

Cold weather, snow and ice have meant much spinning time in front of the warm fire lately. These are three yarns I've been spinning: pile weft, rug warp, and band warp. The pile wefts are Karakul and English Leicester. The grey Karakul I bought this past month at a new spinning store Stick and Stone Fiberarts, in Van Nuys. This is all there was of this fiber, and only a rug weaver could love it: full of kemp, it was abrasive enough to exfoliate. I also spun up some dark Karakul from Black Pines (thanks Cathy for the heads-up). It was very nice to spin, not as abrasive as the grey, but definitely a rug yarn. The white is the English Leicester, from Brindle Hill Farm in PA. Very nice stuff, all of it, and now I have a pile of pile yarn.

The rug warp is 3 ply, only a portion of what I will need. I think there are 250 yds. here and I'll need about 1400. But it is coming out nicely:

warp yarn Mar 2007

This is two commercial warp yarns on the outside edges used as standards, with the handspun in the center. The fiber is a wool/mohair blend, from neighbor Sue's (former) goats. I have plenty and plenty of the blend to spin up, so I will persevere. I once read a lengthy online missive from an inexperienced spinner about spinning coarse wools into fine yarns: she was opposed to it on some logical grounds, the extended explanation of which I have forgotten. My thought at the time: too much thinking, not enough experience. She'd been spinning for some twenty years, but had limited experience with traditional weaving. Some things are counter-intuitive: coarse wool makes fabulous firm fine rug yarn, and has for centuries.

3 yarns March 2007

Here are all three types of yarns: two ply band warp, three ply rug warp (both from the same fiber blend) and the pile yarns. It is fun to be able to flip back and forth spinning a variety of yarn types: it makes a big project seem less daunting when taken in small bites.

I have some dyeing to do now, and the weather has been improving enough to imagine working (outside) in my dye *room*.

The yoga mentioned in the title? That would be Mojo:

mojo sleeps Mar 07

He practised his Bikram yoga during the storms, on the rug in front of the fire.

8 Comments:

Blogger bibliotecaria said...

Interesting. I'm curious, since I'm not a weaver (yet), what do you look for in spinning a yarn suitable for weaving? Although that may be too broad a question.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

It registered with me when I saw pictures of Lawrence Sanders and Barbara Michaels on book jackets, photographed with their cats, that book people tend to be cat people. And now in blogs, I'm seeing the fiber people are also cat people. Ian has become a cat people because our cat refuses to end his day unless he can sit on Ian's lap. Ian doesn't fiber but he reads. I'm looking for the connection - paper used to be made out of cotton. Am I reaching?????

4:55 PM  
Blogger jackie said...

Smart cat.
I'm impressed with your long term goals!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

Any chance of a photo of the author in the same pose as Mojo? :D

11:21 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wonderful to be using commercial yarns as your models. I'm definitley shooting for accuracy in that area.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

That Cathy - you must watch her like a hawk, or she will have your house as full of fiber as hers is.

Do you have a favorite "coarse" wool breed for warp? And do you prefer singles over plied? Or does it depend on the application?

3:37 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Lovely, wonderful, bravo !!!

The yarn is nice too.

Funny how cold weather does that-I am spinning up some roving I got from Twistin Sandy a few years back. I think it was the 2 inches of snow last week that started it.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I am still staring at my karakul yarn - need to get to the bear cubs. Which will be modeled on Anne's DH holding a bear cub. D will be a tree trunk. Love Black Pines - Anne and I split one of their CVM lambs fleece. Also have several longwool fleeces currently in stash for more hangings. I remember the spin fine wools for fineness, coarser wools less so post or article or whatever. I thought - I am so out of step here - the karakul prefers to be spun fine. Who am I to resist?

8:20 PM  

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