Handshakes

As I have mentioned before, I like projects where I have a hand in as many steps as possible. This one is special.

First, my mom sent me a couple bumps of black shetland wool roving. This roving came from sheep owned by my mom’s friend. I don’t have a great picture of it but it is on the right side over there.

backlog.

I have a backlog of fiber to spin. I know!

My friend Kristen lets me use her drum carder. A drum carder is a terrifying machine with a million horrifying teeth that want to scrape the flesh from your bones. Also, you can use it to blend different fibers so that you can spin them up together. I took the wool, ran it through the carder with some very sparkly bits. Not too much, just enough to accent it.

The Mayor's Wife

There i have it, wool from my mom that she got from her friend and now I have it and it is ready to be spun.

Pre-drafted:
The Mayor's Wife

Singles:
The Mayor's Wife, singles to be plyed.

Plied:
The Mayor's Wife, plyed

Washed, thwacked and ready to go:
The Mayor's Wife

I asked my mom to help me line a purse and in exchange I gave this yarn to her. It was the best thing, sharing this gift with her. And then for Christmas I got a most excellent present from my mom.

My scarf

My scarf

She gave me the wool, I gave her the yarn, she gave me a beautiful scarf. This is one of those projects that really mean a lot to me. I get many compliments on it and I love to tell the story. There is a photo of me in the scarf but also I am covered in dirty ice and crappy grit because I fall down all the time and a picture of me coveren in crap really isn’t something you want to see.

It’s my post-apocalyptic skill set

Spinning yarn is always more fun than washing, skeining, counting, blocking the yarn. I’d managed to create quite a backlog of spun-but-not-processed yarns coming off the spinning wheel. 4 different yarns, 9 skeins, 1500 yards.

This is how it goes…

This is the wool after I dyed and washed it. It’s superwash merino wool, which means it won’t felt up on you if you absentmindedly toss your lovely handmade sweater into the wash machine. I use basic acid dyes in a pot with the wool and toss it in the oven for a couple hours on low.
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This is the wool after pre-drafting. You draft the wool, pulling the fibers out and apart a bit so it can be spun evenly and quickly. The header you see at the top of this page comes from this first picture.
Polychaete

Polychaete

Then you sit at your spinning wheel and spin it up
Polychaete

Action shot with Chester
Action shot with Chester

A comparison, wool, pre-drafted roving and singles on the bobbin
Polychaete

Spin up all your wool and then ply it together and do the boring stuff, skeining, counting washing and soaking, squeezing, snapping, and turning it into real yarn
Polychaete

Polychaete

I spun up 750 yards and I named it Polychaete.

And in a slightly different process…

I had 16 ounces of natural black shetland wool that my mom gave me as a gift (thanks mom!!). Since it was black there was no real need to dye it (though I do want to mess around with dyeing over black wool sometime). Instead I ran it through a carder which allows you to blend different fibers together. To the black wool I blended in some sparkly, multi-colored bamboo.

The batt begging to be spun
The Mayor's Wife

Pre-drafted
The Mayor's Wife

On the bobbin
The Mayor's Wife

Singles ready to be plyed
The Mayor's Wife, singles to be plyed.

Plyed
The Mayor's Wife, plyed

Washed and skeined
The Mayor's Wife

The Mayor's Wife

This yielded me 500 yards and I called it ‘The Mayor’s Wife’

Should the final revelation occur and we find ourselves wanting, you’ll be able to find me, I’ll the the chica in the swanky sweater.

Duke Chester III of Nokomia

Many moons ago (I really should have written this a long time ago but I am brainholed and easily distracted) I got up and checked my email and there it was, a picture of a portrait painted of Chester. I kept staring at it in a bit of disbelief because who would paint a portrait of Chester (sorry, Chester, but yeah)?
One of the Pantsters, a very creative and artistic (that really fails to sum up her talent and her ability to create such beautiful art, sorry) had seen a photo of Chester on my flickr jiggity.

Chester is a good dog.

A rare moment of quiet for Chester.
(the craziest part of that photo is just how clean my carpet was. Like diggity clean.)
She grabbed that photo and made for me a gift that will always be so very dear to me.

Chester 12Pound


Darlissa Riggs
, so very talented in ways I can’t even list. She is always on top of one beautiful endeavor or another. I am always in awe of the range of talents she possesses.
Just the honor of having my Chester 12Pound immortalized on canvas was awesome, but she also shipped the original portrait to me. It hangs on my wall.

Chester

I am so lucky in this life to have my awesome friends and family. So many wonderful and generous people surround me and sometimes I am unable to find the words that truly express my love for them.

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Probably a good thing she saw the other picture first.