In which I almost make yarn.

Plying was horrible. Then I got some advice and it wasn’t as horrible. Something clicked and it became a little more natural.


Giving the yarn a bath released the KoolAid smells from when I dyed the fiber a few years ago.


It almost looks like real yarn, doesn’t it?  I’m contemplating running it through the wheel again to see if I can tighten up the first bits.  That’s a doable thing isn’t it?

I can’t believe I didn’t finish this post back from October. I did indeed run the first skein back through the wheel and tightened things up and then did the rest of the singles into a second skein.


I got out the niddy noddy and by Nov 1, I had real skeins of yarn.  I need to figure out what to make with them. The point of this exercise wasn’t to get a nice finished object, it was to learn how to dye and spin, so this is kinda weird looking, scratchy feeling yarn. I don’t think a scarf or gloves would be a good choice.  It’s 100% wool, so a hat made from it would be warm if not particularly good looking.


I started plying new things right away but the wheel band broke so I had to wait for another to come in the mail. It was the wrong size so I tied the old and new bands together. I didn’t get around to trying the wheel and I had a lot of Christmas knitting to do. When I have some time I’ll try it out and also order the correct size wheel band.


Ready to ply

I’ve finished what must be my 4th and 5th bobbin of singles.  I’ve yet to ply and I’m ready to change that. One bobbin has a few more grams than the other but I can live with that. I’m still learning and next time I’ll do a little planning ahead and weigh the fiber. I will also pay more attention to which direction the colors are going. These bobbins have the color progressions flipping back and forth. I expect a muddy color when I’m done, but again, this was all a learning exercise. I used the fiber to learn how to dye with Kool Aid, how to spin, and hwo to ply. I think I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage out of it.


Long ago I purchased a Jumbo Flyer and I think now is the perfect time to try it out. First, I need to prepare the leather bit on the post.


Once the leather bit has soaked in oil for a few hours, I should be ready to learn how to ply. I’m off to watch a few videos.

A Little Bit of Spinning

I might be getting back into spinning. Mind you, I was never truly into spinning. I purchased a spindle and some fiber in September of 2010, dabbled a little bit, purchased a book or five (complete with videos) and received a Kromski wheel as a gift from my mother in 2011. I dabbled a little bit more and partially filled a couple of bobbins. Then the crafty part of my brain jumped into other things. However, spinning would occasionally wander in and out of my thoughts. I watched the lovely and accomplished efforts of my fibery friends with longing. My spinning wheel was always in easy reach but remained untouched, gathering dust. My spinning stash continued to grow, slowly, but I still hadn’t spun in the few years after acquiring the spindle and wheel.

During my afternoon at the fiber arts fair, I gave in to the temptation of another spindle and have been spinning little bits each day on both spindles. Each time I start I have to let the fiber unwind a little in order to remember which direction I need to turn the spindle but I think I’m getting a little better at it each day.


I suppose I should try out my wheel next. It has been sitting there in my dining craft room oh, so patiently ever since we moved to the new house.


A nice day

Last Saturday, some of the knit night ladies went to a couple of yarn shops because some of them hadn’t been to the Salt Lake shops yet. Kit and I took Glenna and Lorraine to Three Wishes and Gardner Village. We started out at Three Wishes where they were hosting an open house. There were chairs set up with some people spinning. Kit set up her wheel and I knit for a bit. I may or may not have broken my yarn diet again, but this time with fiber. I have a small amount of spinning stash and I haven’t spun anything since finishing those singles made from roving that I dyed with Kool Aid last summer. I was commenting to Kit that if saw roving that had that particular orange, purple and black shiny stuff that another lady next to us was spinning I might have to get some. Of course I saw some in the shop. After hardly any much encouragement from Kit, I purchased some. I may or may not have purchase silk hankies in a similar colorway. Both come from Greenwood Fiberworks.

It’s coming up on a year since I got my spinning wheel and I stopped spinning after finishing some singles and not feeling confident enough to ply them. I would really like to get back to it and I think this fiber might do the trick.

Our next stop on our mini yarn crawl was Gardner Village to visit Kamille’s where I made the Yarn Score of the Century. For probably about a year I’ve had my eye on this Halloween-ish colorway in Noro Furisode. Both of my readers know that I adore Halloween and Halloween colors and Noro yarn. I almost bought this yarn at various times at 30% and 25% off but always put it back knowing I was on a severe yarn diet and that I had a storage tub full of Noro. I deserve a medal for doing that because I have a weakness for Noro. I hate the knots that are in almost every skein but I love, love, love the colors. That day I found those very skeins, four of them, in the $5 bin. I snatched them up and then made the girl at the counter call Kamille to make sure they were really for sale at $5. This yarn typically carries a $20ish price tag. Sure enough, the Knitting Goddess and Kamille smiled upon me and that yarn was MINE, MINE, MINE for $5. My day was made. I sent a text to the knitting ladies that weren’t with us that day. I posted on Facebook. I may have mentioned to a few, random, passers by that most certainly couldn’t have cared less that I BOUGHT NORO FOR ALMOST NOTHING.

Gardner Village was hosting a Farmer’s Market with loads of fabulous vendors and activities. Glenn didn’t have her camera with her so I turned her loose with mine. We saw baby geese, a guy making balloon animals while wearing a really great costume, purchased fudge/goodies at the sweet shop and had a yummy lunch at the bakery.

This Saturday I’m going to the Provo Farmer’s Market to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public which has expanded to a week instead of just one day. We are going to find a nice shady spot to sit and knit, crochet or spin. I can’t wait to look around and sample all the tasty treats that are usually there.

Escape to Alpaca Mountain

On Saturday I escaped from horrific table manners, noise, picky eaters, eaters that wouldn’t eat dinner but would sneak into the kitchen 15 minutes later and make a pbj… and spent a lovely brunch with some friends. I then further escaped by driving to Kamas to visit an alpaca ranch. The owner hosted a lovely knit in. About 10 ladies were spinning, knitting and enjoying tea and brownies. It was great to get out and drive on good, open roads that weren’t under construction. The Mustang and I loved it. Freeway speeds and loud music used to be good therapy for me and I’ve missed it. The drive was beautiful and filled with snow covered mountains and valleys.

I got to see this:

I treated myself to this: It’s a merino, alpaca, firestar batt that I purchased while at the ranch. I’m in love.

Now I might go clean up the mountain of dishes that magically appeared in the sink even though the kids supposedly ‘cleaned up’ after dinner last night. Then again, I might just hide in my room and start to spin that fabulous batt.

High time to dye

On Monday I decided it was high time to dye. Something. Anything. I’d been teaching myself to spin and I was tired of spinning the natural colored Corriedale that came with my spinning wheel.  Two pounds of the stuff came with my wheel and I hadn’t made a dent. I’d long wanted to dye my own fiber and what better to practice on than the free stuff?

I’d read the dyeing books, articles, how-tos, websites and watched the Youtube videos several times. I’d been collecting Kool-Aid packets and Wilton cake colors for several months. I’d joined the Kool Way to Dye Ravelry group. I’d obtained bare fiber and sock yarn.

There was nothing left do to but jump in.

I used a very scientific method of measurement to decide how much fiber to dye. I used the amount that fit into my 9X13 glass baking dish.

I got the fiber wet. I mixed KoolAid in glass glasses.

This would NOT taste good

I poured the stuff over the fiber in stripes. I nuked it in the microwave. I did try to sort of maybe vaguely follow the aforementioned books, articles, how-tos, website and videos. It looked like I was going to want more color so I added more dye.

I got this.

It was so much fun I did it again

and showed it off at knit night the next day.

I still have lots of plain fiber to practice on. I still have many packets of KoolAid left. I’m thinkin’ hot pink and lime green need to make an appearance.

Fear me.

The Wheel!

The wheel arrived. I let it sit by the door for a day or two before hauling it upstairs to my room.

The first box to arrive was the two pounds of fiber, extra bobbins and DVD. I then opened the big box and pulled out the pieces.

… and more pieces…

… and then some more …

I was beginning to think I was going to lose the dog or one of the cats in all the cardboard and paper.

I started reading the assembly instructions and watching the assembly video. Both of those left a little to be desired.  I wrote instructions (software design instructions to programmers) for five years. I know that you have to be very, very anal when describing something that you are very familiar with but your audience is not. The author of the wheel instructions forgot that terms like “front”, “rear”, “left” and “right” are relative to where you are sitting when assembling an object.  No mention was made that “rear” in these instructions meant the rear of the wheel while spinning, not whatever is farthest away from you when assembling. Hilarity ensued.  After a couple of emails, discovery of a part or two that wasn’t the right shape, and the light bulb going on about what the guy meant by “rear”, I eventually managed to get her assembled.

Isn’t she pretty? The ladies at knit night have named their wheels and so shall I. I have decided on Maya, after my dear sheep that I had to leave behind when I left Lehi and who a good home couldn’t be found for. I really wish I had kept her fleece 🙁

Introducing… Maya.

After several days of watching video and reading books and practicing treadling, I tried to spin. More hilarity ensued. Behold! The dreadlocks of Kimberly!

After ditching the leader and tying it on differently (thank you to Teaching Yourself Visually Handspinning) and messing around with tension, I finally got into a rhythm and ended up with some yarn. Not fabulous yarn, but yarn, nonetheless.