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Eight pretty skeins…

May 29, 2006

…all in a row. O.k., so it’s really nine skeins, but when I thought of the title for this entry, I hadn’t yet finished the silk. This might explain why I haven’t been getting much knitting done!

Today’s entries are, from the left: chestnut brown Romney lamb fleece from The Pines Farm, hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester roving from Winderwood Farm, hand combed grey CVM fleece that I got at a St. Distaff’s Day spin-in, cinnamon Corriedale top from Aurelia, hand dyed merino/silk top in watery blues, hand dyed “Soft Wool” (primarily Targhee) in spring green, Lisa Souza’s “Bird of Paradise” merino top, and in the front (left), bombyx silk sent to me by Kerry, and (right), merino/tencel from Ellen’s Half Pint Farm that I picked up in Maryland this year. Whew!

I have about 8 oz of the chestnut that is probably destined for hats/mittens, unless I can find more of the stuff. The finished yarn is somewhere between a chunky and bulky weight. I’m not sure of its exact yardage, but I’m guessing it’s not tremendous. This was my first really successful woolen spun, long draw yarn, and I’m now sunk deep into the long draw vortex. What a hoot! I have only one hank of the BFL (about 180 yards), so it’s probably also destined for hat-itude, or perhaps mittens.

The grey CVM is only part of a fleece – an extremely filthy fleece – that I’m having to hand comb due to a break in the fiber. I’ve currently got about 500 yards of the stuff. I love what happens to greys when they’re overdyed, so once I get it all spun up, I’ll decide on a final color. Because of the break, I’m getting an unfortunate amount of waste, and I’m just hoping to get enough for a project at this point.

The cinnamon Corrie is the base color of the Stockholm Sweater. I already have 8oz of a coordinating brindled roving spun, and have nearly completed the 24 oz of cinnamon. This is being worsted spun at sport weight. The blue silk/merino (also a wosrted spun sport weight), came in at just under 400 yards.

The pale green is two pounds of my favorite “Soft Wool” that is destined to become Brenda Zuk’s “Shoal Waters”, to be complemented by lovely glass buttons from the fabulous Sheila E! Two pounds was probably overkill, but as this sweater is knit with the yarn doubled throughout, I wanted to be safe. The Bird of Paradise on the end has yet to tell me what it wants to be, but I’ve got 1.5 pounds of sport weight. Inspiration will strike soon, I hope, because this is one of my favorite colorways of Lisa’s. The woman *is* color magic.

My biggest thrill, though, had to be the silk in the bottom of the photo. Here’s a close up:

I’m jazzed about this because it’s the first time I’ve ever been able to spin bombyx silk. It has a squeak and crunch to it that makes it a tough spin for me, but I decided that it might be like little kids eating broccoli, i.e., I just needed more exposure! It was a tremendous opportunity for some fun. I learned a lot about spinning silk, I think. At least, I learned a lot about how I should spin silk. I had a much easier time when I pre-drafted enough to get the fibers nice and fluffed up. I know that there’s some controversy between the PreDrafterians and the NonPreDrafterians, but when it comes to silk, I know in which camp I reside! Thanks again, Kerry. I ended up with about 730 yards.

My second biggest thrill is the merino tencel, because I was largely able to achieve a “hand painted” look without Navajo plying a single, or hand painting the finished yarn. I split the roving (just a 2oz taster) as cleanly in half lengthwise as I could, and then really tried for consistency in the grist so that I’d get roughly the same yardage on each bobbin. When I plied it together, I was pleased to see the colors mostly lining up, with only small spaces of overlap. I got about 530 yards out of my two ounces, making it a reasonably respectable lace weight. Here’s a close up:

Now, it’s off to finish up the newest Romney batt. I made it in under the wire, Caroline – it’s still Monday!

31 Comments leave one →
  1. laura permalink
    May 29, 2006 10:03 pm

    its all beautiful. i am in awe of the silk.

  2. May 29, 2006 10:12 pm

    Mmm, delicious yarn. Quite the visual treat.

  3. Melanie permalink
    May 30, 2006 12:13 am

    Oh my, so very pretty! I just want to reach through the monitor to squeeze and pet them all. Your spinning is just awesome. The bombyx is perfection, particularly knowing how much you hate the way bombyx scrunches.

  4. Barb permalink
    May 30, 2006 1:05 am

    Beautiful work Sam! Mmmm and I was the lucky one to stop over and get to pet them and squeeze them…. did you count them again after I left! Hahaha – you better have. It was sure tempting to let one or two follow me home. πŸ™‚

  5. May 30, 2006 7:21 am

    Um, can I have that back?? Just kidding! Looks much better than what I sent! For hating silk, you sure did a great job on it!
    All of the others are beautiful, too – so inspiring! Very cool how you got the colors to line up so well on the laceweight…

  6. May 30, 2006 11:31 am

    wow, I love the colors of the merino/tencel especially!

  7. May 30, 2006 12:05 pm

    I wanna spin like you when I grow up! Gorgeous skeins!

  8. May 30, 2006 12:42 pm

    OMG, Sam! Those are spectacular! And I’m completely in awe of you pushing through your silk aversion to get that incredibly gorgeous skein. Now I’m all inspired to go home and spin something tonight. Thanks!

  9. May 30, 2006 1:06 pm

    All lovely skeins. I just got some bombyx this weekend (undyed) to see if I can get a hang of silk spinning.

  10. May 30, 2006 2:12 pm

    You did a beautiful job with all of them! My favorites are the silk and the 2nd one from the left.

  11. May 30, 2006 4:26 pm

    talk about eye candy πŸ™‚

  12. elizabeth permalink
    May 30, 2006 5:52 pm

    Oh my. That is all so gorgeous Caroline!!! I can’t wait to see the soft wool knit up. What a color! the silk is amazing!!! Every single skein just looks gorgeous.

  13. May 31, 2006 11:17 am

    Wow, your post is just packed with gorgeous spinning.

  14. May 31, 2006 11:38 am

    Whoa. It’s so gorgeous. Makes me think about spinning silk again soon. Wow.

  15. Sam permalink
    May 31, 2006 11:39 am

    Thank you all for the very kind comments! It’s certainly been a binge, and I don’t think it’s over yet. πŸ˜‰ Jessica, I’m looking forward to seeing your silk when it’s finished, and Lindsey, if I remember correctly, the color 2nd from the left is BL54. I’ve had other fiber from her, and it’s a really pleasant spin. Kerry, we can talk. πŸ˜‰ You’re all really nice to take a peek and comment – thanks again!

  16. Roberta Eaton permalink
    May 31, 2006 12:48 pm

    Good Golly, Miss Molly. Utter perfection! I’m thinking you are the one I should take some classes from. ; )

  17. May 31, 2006 6:08 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for throwing a post together, it’s good that we get to see you work at least a few times a year…

  18. Sam permalink
    May 31, 2006 8:10 pm

    Welcome home, Ms. Prudence. It’s good to see you. πŸ™‚

  19. Denise permalink
    May 31, 2006 11:11 pm

    Very impressive! My goodness, you have been a regular spinning machine! I’m inspired at how well you got the tencel to match up – perhaps enough to tackle my Nancy Finn dyed silk sitting the basement of wool (and silk). Can’t wait to see what lovely knitting you produce with this bounty of beautiful spinning!

  20. June 1, 2006 12:59 pm

    Beautiful yarns all! I wouldn’t mind closeups of all of them. πŸ˜‰

  21. June 2, 2006 7:25 am

    Wow, when you decide to get the hang of something, you really get the hang of something. That silk is astonishingly well done, and I love the subtle sandy colours. That last one? I’ve been thinking about trying that for ages, I’ll do it for sure now. Sam, they are all really beautiful.

  22. June 2, 2006 5:59 pm

    OMG…… are such a great spinner – I’m so in awe – I can’t think of anything else to say!

  23. Sarah U permalink
    June 2, 2006 11:51 pm

    Oh my god. Your yarn is an inspiration to me. I just recently started spinning using a drop spindle, and I absolutely love it. I hope one day to get a wheel.
    But none of my stuff has come out nearly as great as yours. Yours is perfect! I am definitely going to keep following this blog.

  24. June 3, 2006 6:24 am

    Where oh where did your “favorite soft wool” come from? They are all lovely, but that one……

  25. June 3, 2006 9:16 am

    WOW. That is awesome. I want to learn to spin. 😦

  26. June 3, 2006 11:38 am

    Wow, all of the yarn is beautiful.

  27. Sam permalink
    June 3, 2006 12:06 pm

    O.k., wow – you are all so kind! Juno, the Soft Wool comes from Veronica Cox (, though the green was brought back from BSG for me by a friend (thanks, Jen!). I’d bought her stuff in the past, and wasn’t able to make BSG that year. She was also at OFFF, though, and I got a bunch of undyed fiber from her. The fiber is amazing soft and sproingy – love this stuff! Thanks to you all again. πŸ™‚

  28. June 3, 2006 1:04 pm

    Ohhh… prrrreetttyyyy. I am in awe. Really, really gorgeous, all.

  29. Beverly permalink
    June 5, 2006 11:09 am

    I am blown away by your lovely spinning’ gorgeous yarns. I am guessing that you are not the Sam(mie) who is Stephanie’s daughter? How long have you been spinning and where/how did you learn to spin? I couldn’t do what you have done if I lived to be 200…(well, maybe if I lived to be 200).

  30. Sam permalink
    June 5, 2006 11:41 am

    Thank you, Beverly. πŸ™‚ No, I’m not Stephanie’s daughter, though wouldn’t it rock to have Steph as your mom? I’m just plain ol’ Sam, and I’ve been spinning for about five years and some. A friend brought her wheel over, showed me the basics, and then was kind enough to sell me the wheel a few months later. Then I mostly just wrestled and practiced – read a lot on the internet, got books and videos, and practiced a whole lot more. I picked up spinning tips here and there from friends, as well. It’s an ongoing process! Do you spin yet, Beverly? πŸ™‚

  31. June 6, 2006 10:46 am

    Sam, I am in awe of you!! Your spinning is to die for. I keep scratching my head and wondering, how does she do ALL of what she does? How Sam how?
    Thanks for mentioning me on pinktea…and in such glowing terms. It truly made my day!! I was smiling for hours!

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