spinnin’ like a 12 pound villain!

Since i have all this extra time on my hands I figured I’d pick up a new yet related hobby. I’ve learned to hand spin yarn! Here! Let me show you lots of pictures of what I am doing because I KNOW YOU CARE!!!!

This is my very first handspun

My mom’s friend, Susie, dyed up the roving for me and I spun it out in one long, uneven length and then folded it over and plied it on itself.

For my next bit of experiment I decided to dye some wool roving and see how that worked. There are a lot of dye options out there, but I was concerned about their toxicity. A lot of the commercial wool dyes have mordants that can be dangerous (like copper sulfide or arsenic). I decided that any dye method that warned me not to use near food just wouldn’t work. After some investigation I found that Wilton icing dyes were very popular and relatively inexpensive. You can also use unsweetened Kool-Aid but apparently that is not always colorfast.

Using the time honored method of closing my eyes and picking a color I ended up making green! This is one ounce of roving in the crock pot with hot water, Wilton Kelly Green dye and some vinegar

Once it cooled to room temp I washed and rinsed it gently. You have to be careful not to felt it or you will surely end up hitting someone in the face with a fist of fury!

Hand it up to dry, don’t mess with it, just let it dry.

This is Chester trying to flash you a little peener. He’s a dork.

The next step is to spin it up. This is Maddie with my awesome handmade spindle. Dawn made this for me with a dowel, a cup hook, 2 CDs and a rubber grommet. Later this week I hope to get some real drop spindles in different weights for different kinds of yarn.

Maddie wants to be a spinner but she doesn’t have thumbs. Evolution has screwed Maddie yet again.

This is a pile of unspun roving from Border Leicester sheep along with my spindle and some already wound laceweight yarn that I made from it. This roving is so soft! I want to slam my face into it!

This is the final product! the green roving spun up to an aran weight (more or less). I dyed the roving in four 1 ounce batches and a couple batches I tried to make a little splotchy to give the yarn some depth of color when I plied it together.

This was made with roving from Montdale sheep. It’s definitely coarser than Leicester or Merino, but it was cheaper and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the practice wool.

This is Chester with my burgundy yarn. For this I spun up the yarn first and then dyed it. I found I just did not appreciate that process as much.

Chester can think of nothing more awesome than staying still withh yarn on him!

Sadly, the color in the photo is not as nice as the actual color. The variations in color are not so gloomy grey but nice shifts in tones

I’m very excited about all the yarn and all the possibilities. I definitely have plans and projects in mind. Spinning is really relaxing (except when you first learn, then it’s really tense).
Also, I am an old lady craft nerd!

mmmcherry chocolate stress cake!

So, what happens when things in your lie start going to hell in a handbasket and you spend all your time worrying about things getting even worse AND even though you know it’s what caused 75% of the trouble in the first place you still can’t help but hide the full extent of your worries from the people around you???
Your mind finds alternate ways of pushing the stress out. In my case, SHINGLES!!! YAY. Starting just to the left of my breast bone I have a painful rash on my left boob, left armpit, down the tender fleshy fat part at the back of my arm and around on to my back. The awesome thing about shingles is that it lives in your nerves! So even where there is not a rash there is still pain!
YAY!!!! Could nature and science get ANY MORE AWESOME??? I don’t think so!
I don’t have insurance so I’m not going to the doctor for this. From the best of my research it sounds like there are few treatment options that are truly effective anyway. My aversion to vicodin and codeine has come in handy, however. I have old bottles of vicodin and codeine dating back to 1996! So I’ve been self medicating with old opiates and copious amounts of beer. The pain doesn’t get shut off, but the part of my brain that cares about the pain goes to sleep for a bit.
Have I learned anything about stress and sharing the burden? Yes ma’am! Will it change anything? um…well…old habits are pretty hard to break even if you KNOW you are supposed to break them. I’ll be putting the advice column (on Ravelry) on hiatus for one more week.
oh also, dogs have an UNCANNY ability to smash their paws into painful rashes when they get excited, or when they are not excited! Like when you are sound asleep and the searing pain in your left boob forces your eyes open and you find that Maddie has decided to get comfortable by streeeeeetching out and pushing her paw into you but FELL ASLEEP mid stretch and therefore is sleeping with her paw digging into a sensitive patch of blistery fun!