Category Archives: spinning

My Friend Goo!!*

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We are in the middle of a goop obsession here. If you have kids, I’m sure they brought a blob of this stuff home with a recipe from science at some point in their lives.

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Basically, you make a 50/50 mix of glue (good glue does make a difference, we us Elmer’s) and water. We use about a 1 Tbls. of each. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir well. Then, mix a cup of water with 1 t. of Borax. Add one tsp. of the borax/water mixture into the glue/water mixture at a time and watch it turn into a fun slimy glob! You may need to add a few tsp. of the water/borax mixture to get it to firm up enough. Stir fast!

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The more you play with it, the firmer it will become. The boys will play with it for hours. Their favorite trick is to see how far they can let it hang down from the top staircase. It’s gotten amazingly long.

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My only warnings with this stuff:

1. Make a different color for each kid. If they are like mine, they will try to add their brother’s goo to theirs when he is not looking!

2. This stuff is an enemy of fabric. (I’ve thrown out a pair of underwear after they decided to sit on it to flattern it out). If it does get stuck on fabric, scrub it out with a brush, don’t throw it in the washer. If it goes through the washer and dryer you’ll end of with a permanent hard glob.

3. No matter how much they beg, always wait until you have had at least one cup of coffee before you agree to make some. I’ve been talked into doing this at 6:30 in the morning before and always regret it. Plus my coffee gets cold.

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On the fiber front, are you ready for this? SPINNING!!

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I have been sucked in by the Tour de Fleece bug again, and decided to finally try spinning up mohair locks. What I’ve decided so far is I really hate mohair locks. This yarn is a MESS and I’m hoping that by plying it with silk thread it might be passable.

 

Any tricks? I tried spinning it along with some plain merino top, but it is not looking like the cute curly mohair that I that I was looking for.

*If you are Sonic Youth fan, you can thank me for planting that song in your head all day!!

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2.5 pounds

That’s what I plan to shed over the next 2.5 months….in fiber of course!

I realized this weekend that my spinning wheel has been sitting sad and lonely in the corner for months now, and it was time to remedy that. Also, it’s only 2.5 months until Shepherd’s Harvest. If I want to be able to allow myself my one big shopping spree a year, I need to clear house a bit.
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This weeks effort is a merino silk blend. I’m spinning worsted style, inch-worming it with a forward draw. Absolutely no spin let into the drafting triangle, which is something I haven’t done in awhile. My spinning plan these next couple of months is to really try a bit of everything.

The best part of spinning this weekend? When Spinner and Knittykid both sat down to watch me spin, and Knittykid said in a confused voice, “Why do you have to DO that?”

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Taking Tea

Because boys will be, um…boys. I decided it’s time to learn some manners…..
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We sipped our tea, ate our cookies and tried really, really hard to not get crumbs all over ourselves. So far Knittykid is the winner in the neatness category. Little Man saw no benefit to the exercise and professed his love of sloppiness. Although he did like the fake British accents…..

And spinning, because I need a hat. This hat in particular. And I have no cash and not the right yarn, so this will be my first attempt at recreating a yarn that I would normally buy. A bulky yarn, tricky when I’ve been working so hard to spin finer yarns. This will be a two-ply bulky yarn. I hope…..
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Twelve Years

Sixteen years ago this fall, I was just getting to know a shy, goofy boy of 19, who played the bass and tuba and hated studying for music history. Twelve years ago today I married him, and what a blessing those twelve years have been. Last night the Skeptic noted, “it’s nearly half our lives already, isn’t it?” Wonderful to think we could be so very, very lucky.

Our anniversary marks your last chance to get your book review in. I’ve really enjoyed reading those that have entered and have already added a bunch of requests on my library list because of it. Hope to read a bunch more tonight! Remember, I’ll pick one lucky random winner to choose either a handmade needle roll or project bag, your choice of colors. You don’t need a huge review, short and sweet is fine. Old or new books, knitting or sewing, ti doesn’t matter. Be sure to post here when you’re through.

I wish I had some Halloween photos to share from last night, but to be honest the day was one big whirlwind and I barely managed to snap one blurry shot before chasing a vampire, Spiderman and dinosaur our the door and down the street. There were jack-o-lanterns, giant handmade spiders, and treats galore. Today we woke up extra early (@#$% daylight savings) and were already eating candy at 5:08 in the morning. I’m trying a new approach this year. Instead of the careful rationing I’m letting them eat it all. I figure it will already be gone by the end of the day, and out of my life!

So I’ll share the Miss Babs, all plied up for you visual folks. I’m in love it with, my best handspun yet, I think!

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Woolen style

One of my goals for the Tour de Fleece was to attempt new things. I recently purchased Spin Control and The Intentional Spinner and I must say, these were the books that have been missing from my spinning library. Everything I’ve had has been either too basic or too complex. (Alden Amos? Love him, but that stuff is complicated. Have you seen that math in that book?!?)

Between Amy’s excellent information on making your wheel work for you and Judith’s brilliant explanation of woolen vs. worsted (she has flow charts!!) I finally figured out how to spin woolen style. For you non spinners it means you are drafting (pulling) the fibers as they are being spun. Much trickier than worsted spinning, in which you don’t let any twist into the drafting zone. But woolen results in a nice, fluffy yarn with air trapped in the core. Both authors explain this stuff in a very understandable manner. Add to that this You Tube video I found….

…and suddenly I’ve got it!

Here are the singles. The singles look terrible:
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But once I plied it there was a huge improvement:
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Apparently the trick with woolen is to underspin, overply. Sadly I do not have a picture of the finished yarn, because once I gave it a good soak it looks even better. Nice and fluffy and fairly even despite that once thick hunk you see.

Not bad for my first attempt and now that I have it figured out I’ve got lots of experimenting to do!

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Moments

There are lovely moments with boys that I often tell myself, “remember this moment, remember this feeling.” Of course, time goes by so fast and so much happens that it often feels impossible, but I saw one today that I didn’t want to miss:

Little Roofer

Little Man, the roofer….the hammer hanging on his pants, that boyish determination to do something so grown up. We’re having our roof redone this week, and the boys are in love with the crew. Roofers are their newest heroes, so of course as soon as they cleaned up and left for the day Little Man had to go downstairs, get Daddy’s tools and get to work. I especially love the fact that he put on his jeans since I usually can’t get him to wear them. He was sad that I nixed the saw, but said a tape measure and hammer would do.

(Those power lines look frighteningly¬† close to his head, I promise, they’re not!)

We had a visitor due to the roofing:
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This baby sparrow was found living in one of the many gaps in our roof, not quite ready to be on his own. The Wildlife folks said it would be best just to bring him to them since there was nowhere else to move the nest and mom probably wouldn’t find it anyway.

My Tour de Fleece is coming right along. I can tell you that respinning something S when you had already spun it Z is worthless. The good news is I had enough red silk hankies to spin more, S style and finish with my plan:
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The crazy batt is black and full or silk and glitz, plied with red silk spun from silk hankies. Lovely stuff. I wish the picture showed it as black as it really is.

I’m experimenting with woolen spinning now, and I actually think I’ve got it. I’ll be plying tonight and will show the results soon.

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Happy 4th of July!!!

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4th

Glitter, stars, dotters…you can’t go wrong. Although the boys were distracted by a butterfly outside, so I was left to finish up on my own. Still fun though, and I love the fact that Little Man woke up today telling everyone “Happy 4th of July!!!” Today I’ll make my last rhubarb pie of the summer, grill out and we’ll head to Powderhorn Park for the best little fireworks show in Minneapolis!

The Tour de Fleece also starts today.

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Who’s in??? I found a site to live stream it on, so I’ll even be able to watch.I signed up at the last minute this morning, so I’ve got to think of some goals. I’m thinking it’s to spin massive amounts of fleece in as many techniques as I can.

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