Friday, February 8, 2008

Fiber Friday

A few musing before I get down to business. Has anyone out there seen the "Little bit of Luck" commercials the New York Lottery is airing and putting up in the subways? That creepy little guy with the big head an bad hairline gives me the heebie jeebies and makes me not want to play the lottery, he makes me want to check under the bed to make sure he's not hiding down there.

I'm kind of upset that Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, he was making such a good case for why another Republican shouldn't be president. The Daily Show ripped him a new one last night and I laughed so hard I choked on my peppermint tea.

Okay enough personal ramblings on to the crafty goodies.

First I have some yarns to share
This was spun for Marisal on Ravelry as part of a trade for a Boye Needlemaster set
410 yards dk weight 6oz wool top

And this one is 400 yards 1.7oz (!!!) laceweight wool bamboo blend.
This fiber was purchased at Rhinebeck on the cheap but it appears to have been dyed so poorly. When I put the skein in the water to set the twist it bled so much that my sink got stained pink. I'm going to try to heat set the dye with citric acid when I get home.

Now heres a blending tutorial for wool combs (I love my combs and I hope this helps others who use combs)
I'm blending a 50/50 mix of Coopworth and Kid Mohair. Both fibers have equal staple lengths, when blending with combs its best to have fibers with similar staples because otherwise the longer fiber will comb out leaving the short fiber behind.
First I load the Coopworth
Then I layer some Kid Mohair on top
P1010013-6 Then I repeat these two steps
ending with Kid Mohair
I spritz the fiber with a solution of water and conditioner. Just a teaspoon of conditioner to 2 cups water. I do this to eliminate static and to prevent fly aways. You can see my spritzer in the corner of the photos above.
Then I start combing, I like to do three passes, this picture is after two passes
After three passes I give the fiber a little tug to losen it up a bit
Then I take my diz and start to pull a Roving
Here's my roving all pulled out
Remember to leave a little bit of fiber on your comb when pulling the roving, this end fiber is usually considered "throwaway" but I card it up to make crazy blended batts.
I like to spin my combed roving with in 24 hours of when it was combed. I find it starts to loose it's loft and the fibers stick together (like a commercially prepped top) if I wait too long.
Look at these beautiful balls of roving waiting to be spun
I like using this prep for lace weight and sock yarns. This blend is currently being spun into a lovely two ply laceweight for a shawl.

Well I hope this helps you use your combs for interesting blends. I love to experiment with all types of fibers to see what works best.

And fyi spell check still doesn't work.


Necia said...

You're making me want combs now! Which do you have again!


Courtney said...

All that yarn looks very pretty