Friday, September 15, 2006

Some answers

Thanks for stopping by! Nice to know that SOMEone is watching out for me. It's been raining for about 3 days now, and has turned quite cold. Winter is upon us! There is snow just west of here in Banff, but they are high in the mountains, so get it early. Skiers are happy! There are indications it's going to be a very early winter, and some say it will be short and rather mild. We shall see.

There have been a couple of questions asked about how I spin White Buffalo. If you will go back to February 2006, and continued in March 2006, you will see a step-by-step explanation of what I do. I like my CD spindle very much, and have used it exclusively for all of my spinning for a couple of months. I do have a wheel with some delicious Merino/alpaca on it, but because of the over-crowding right now, I just can't get to it! I HAVE to clear some space for at least a wheel! Yah, I've been saying that before, haven't I?!

Yes, I would very much recommend that you start with these carded strands to start spinning on a wheel or with a spindle. These are already pre-drafted, if you like, and all you have to do is add twist. As you progress, you will be able to 'draw out' some of the thicker areas, should there be any. When you start working with carded fleece, you will know what you need to have in your hands to spin, and will be able to draft rather easily to that same thickness. I often recommend that you make your own thin rovings (just like these) when starting to use a wheel or spindle. (there should be a description of this in my archives somewhere!) When learning to spin with a wheel, there are so many things to concentrate on: treadling, drafting, tension, coordination of hands --- it's easier to do one thing at a time. The same with spindles: learn one thing at a time.

I do like the CD spindle; it's cheap, very light-weight (one CD) and is perfectly balanced. Some people like a heavier spindle and use 2 CDs. Some will glue pennies to the outside rim, if you can get them on evenly! Remember that a heavy spindle is for thicker yarn. Use whatever you need for the yarn you want to spin. That is why we NEED a whole collection of different spindles!

Happy spinning!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Incredible People

It astounds me still at all the people that read my blog. I mean, I am not anyone famous, I don't have an interesting life, I don't make a lot of noise! So when I find that there are a few of you that check in regularly to see what I've written, I am humbled-- and embarrassed when I am not posting anything for some time!

But I seem to be running all the time, and not getting anywhere. Does that happen to others? I am not sure if I am getting older, and slower, or that someone has wound up the clock too much and it's running fast. I don't seem to accomplish very much these days. It could also be that I am being lazy and not attempting to do much either! It's been a great summer; winter will be here in a few weeks, so maybe I will get more done if I stay indoors during the bitter cold!

In one post in the recent past, I made mention of the fact that I have quite a large stash. You may remember that one. One of my readers, obviously feeling some compassion, wrote to me telling me that she also has some White Buffalo wheels, and didn't really know what to do with it. I really don't know if she actually took note of the size of my stash, because I have no idea what was in her mind when she asked if I wanted her stash of White Buffalo!! Did she think they wanted company? Did she think I wouldn't really notice if there were a few more wheels? At any rate, she offered me her numerous wheels -- in a teal and light green -- colours I don't have. Well, what could I do??

They arrived about 2 days before I was going to visit Mom for her 77th birthday. They were a welcome surprise when it arrived, and I was very pleased with the colours. The light green is not something that I would have bought myself, but it is quite a nice shade, nonetheless. I quickly separated the strands, and wound them into balls. I took my favourite CD spindle and several of these balls with me on the long, long 15-hour bus trip through the flat prairie. I tend to travel at night (there are fewer stops then) and hopefully I would be asleep through much of it. In case I was awake, I would so some spinning!

As it was, I didn't do much on the way out, so it didn't get spun up. But during the couple days I was at Mom's, I did spin some of the light green, and did a 3-ply skein of 4 oz. There were times that we were just chatting, and I was spinning. It took about 2 hours for one bobbin; 6 hours for the skein plus some plying time. It's quite nice, actually! And I spun the teal too, and also did a 4 oz skein of 3-ply. I like the 3-ply because it is a rounder yarn, and these were quite fine, so it works quite well. I'm not sure yet where I will use these, but that doesn't stop me!! I may give it away to someone, or I may make something out if them. They go together well.

So thank you, Monika, for sending this out to me! I am truly amazed that you would do that for me, someone you don't know, from across the country! Fibre-people are truly wonderful! I will see if there is "something I don't need" in my stash (LOL), and offer it to you. Or I may just give something to someone else, and pass it along in the same spirit you gave it to me.