Black Friday Spinning

After being brutally knocked about all summer, Little Diana needed some work.   I spent an hour or so tightening, oiling, adjusting and tuning her all up,  then got to spin!

Since my whole thinking about this Black Friday thing is best summed up as “Screw that”,    I was dead set against going out on Friday – but my daughter wanted too, and she can’t drive yet.   Compromise – I drove,  but we only went to two locally owned small businesses.     She wanted to check out Sir Troy’s Toys, and for me we visited  Artist’s Gallery Yarn,   where I found a nice local hank of hand dyed Coopworth!

It was hidden in the back in the fiber room, sort of buried in plastic bags full of other fibers,  and I was delighted to spot it.   It’s got all these lovely sort of autumn wine grape colors.  I  practiced my woolen draw to spin some reasonabley consistent sock yarny sized singles,  and then triple plied it.   Yield – approx. 60 yards of extremely bulky yarn.

After spinning it looks like this –





The Great Grey Fleece project.

As I talked in about in an earlier post, I have this large longwool fleece that I am slowly processing and spinning. It’s not a great fleece, but I’m fond of it because it was my first fleece purchase. It’s a fine exercise in patience and thoroughness in process techniques. I’ve started working on it every day. I comb enough to make six bird’s nests of combed top, and stick the combing waste in a sack to card later.

The combed top I am spinning on Sakura, a 0.8 oz Spinsanity that I got a few years ago. I spin in the morning and afternoon, using up the birds nests I combed yesterday, and then in the evening I comb more. When not being spun, the fiber and spindle hang out together in a nice bin I have.

From Spinning

Every few days, I sit and pick over then card the bag of waste from combing, and spin the rolags fresh off the cards. It’s good practice for the woolen draw, which I am working on learning to do well. I can really tell the difference between the rolags where I’ve been nitpickety about the fiber the ones I haven’t. I”m learning to be more selective about the fiber I choose to process, and what is just not worth the trouble. It’s a fun project.

If I didn’t have cheap-ass rechargeable batteries….

…you’d be looking at my own picture of my new toy, instead of this one. As soon as I get my batteries recharged, I’ll plug in my own picture. This one is from the shop website.

Maine Fiber Spindle Kit

I got my first bottom whorl spindle, in a spindle kit from Maine Woods Yarn and Fiber — I love Etsy! Tons of great hand crafted stuff, including plenty of fiber artists, and my blog buddy Sarah’s shop — her bags are divine.

I really wish I knew what kind of wool the white top is — it’s lovely, and sheepy scented, fairly long staple length, and smooth smooth smooth. Partially it’s the combed top preparation – but the wool is not like anything else I’ve spun — it seems almost like Lincoln, if Lincoln were really soft. I hope I can figure it out!

Done and done.

I finished spinning my Cormo – here’s the final tally.

1 lb. raw Cormo fleece yielded 10 ounces of 4ply cabled yarn, approx 400 yards total. It is a heavy worsted weight, about 8WPI, and will eventually be a hat and mitten set for me. The six ounces lost is partly due to washing – this was a a very lanolin rich fleece – and partly due to sampling and leftover bits. I probably have about 10 or 20 yards of singles, 2plies, and sample skein hanging about.

And here it is:
Finished Cormo.

3 large skeins, and one little one, which is ten yards, and not included in my yardage above.

I also sat down and did a little organizing work on my spinning stuff. I took a fiber sampling class a while back, and came away with a box full of top and roving samples from about 20 different fibers. With my usual laissez faire attitude, I stuck it on a shelf and ignored it, until yesterday.

Yesterday I pulled the box down, laid out all the samples, pulled out the singles sampler I had spun during the class and my little note card, and labeled everything. Now I know what I have, and can refer back to it when ever I want to know what someone else is talking about.  Gods willing, I might even refer to my samples for oh, say, designing spinning projects.

Fiber Samples

I’ve got a nice range of fiber – bombyx and tussah silks, several rayons including milk fiber, and a wide range of wools from Optim stretch merino to Lincoln (which is startlingly like dolls hair). I’ve also got some yak in there, and a bit of possum/merino. Fun stuff.

News of the day.

I have finished carding and spinning all the Cormo.  The last two bobbins of singles are waiting to be plied,  and once they are plied I can spin the final yarn, and then the Cormo will be done.

I have made a Navajo spindle for the Navajo spindle class I will be taking in October.  It cost about ten dollars to make,  including buying a seven dollar drill bit.

I am knitting a round pink and white dishcloth – it is the first new knitting I have done this year.  Everything else has been stuff that was on the needles in January.

I have decided to comb as much of the sweater fleece as I can, and card the rest.  That will give me two yarns, and between them I should have plenty to make my sweater.

I am trying to decide how to process the Jacob I have.   Probably I will card it, because it has a very short staple, and the black and white locks have different staple lengths.   I will blend some, and keep others black and white.

Wool work.

I’ve got the second skein of cabled cormo finished, and tucked up with the first. I wrapped this one on my 2 yard niddy, and it’s made a very pretty skein indeed.

Today is a carding day – I finished picked over the last of the Cormo last night, so it is all fluffed up and ready to card. I’ve got two bags now, one of neatly fluffed locks, and one of rough fluff. The rough will make worse rolags, so I am carding it first, and saving the pleasure of the locks for ending with.

So far, it’s going nicely – lots of neps and VM to take out, but that’s okay.

This post brought to you by the letter F.

F is for Fair – the Stark County Fair:


At the Fair, F is for Fleece – which I did not succeed in buying at the 4H Jr. Fair wool auction this morning.  Did you know that a prize winning fleece can go for over $300?   Neither did I.

F is for the Full Moon, which was on Friday (F is also for Friday,  but I’m leaving that out since this is Saturday),  and not for vanilla incense.  But if it were for vanilla incense, it would be for the Ohio made incense from Rita at CommonScentsEtc.  Her incense is hands down the best I have ever used.

And finally, F is for Finished!    DasHusband’s green socks are done!


Cataloging my spinning stash.

Since I haven’t organized and sorted my stuff in a while, I’m taking today to catalog my stash. First up, spinning stuff.



I have four spindles right now, my dark brown Spinsanity, my laceweight Spinsanity, a plain octagonal Louet, and a fossil series Yorkieslave. I’ve also got a one yard niddy noddy, a WPI tool, hand cards, and a spindlers lazy kate with 4 bobbins.

Here is some of my fiber stash, being spun on the fossil spindle, and my octagonal Louet spindle. I do not know what the fiber is – it’s a combed top preparation, and was a gift from Denise.


None of the Cormo stuff is in this post because I’ve posted about it extensively recently. My main spinning project is a local fleece that I am spinning for a sweater. It is a 5.5 lb longwool fleece, from a ewe named R24 – she is a mixed breed. Her fleece is very soft, and low crimp. I’ve spun three skeins so far – a 4 ply, which I decided was too bulky, and two 3 ply skeins.


As well as the Cormo and R24, I also have a pound of Jacob that waiting to be carded and spun. I’m not sure what I will do with it, or how to spin it yet. I want to preserve the brown and white color of the fleece somehow.


I’ve also got a box full of sample fibers from a spinning class I took last year – I’m giving some serious thought to blending them all together somehow, and spinning them that way. There’s milk fiber, carbonized bamboo, several different kinds of wool, linen, and a variety of other fibers. I do have plain samples spun, so I wouldn’t be losing my reference if I spun them, though I do need to label the reference bobbin.


And of course I have a fair amount of handspun. Most of it is labeled with at least the yardage.


Cormo cabled yarn, finished.

I’ve finished the first skein of my cabled Cormo yarn. It weighs 3 oz, and measures 8 wraps per inch, making it heavy worsted weight. Yardage, 122 yards. I am guesstimating that I used about a quarter of my fleece, so I think I’ll get another three skeins out of it of similiar weight and yardage. The Cormo has been very pleasant to spin, especially as my carding technique improves and my rolags get more even.

The finished yarn.