Sorry for the long silence. There have been some delays getting pictures off of cameras and onto the computer, and then some problems with life being busy and me not sitting down to write, and suddenly here we are with almost three weeks of news to share.

Not much has happened on the knitting front. I’m working on a pair of socks that I’ll show you next time they’re out and the camera is handy. I have finally gotten past the huge tangle that results when you block Misti Alpaca on the needles, rip out six inches, and expect to make a ball out of permanently crimped, felty alpaca yarn.  Thankfully we’re past that now, and the shawl is beginning to creep slowly toward actually being an active project again.

But spinning is where the action has been lately. I am making yarn way, way faster than I can use it.  I finally finished spindling the rainbow roving that I got in Germany. I plied it up a couple of weekends ago, and then hung it out to dry in the springtime sun.

I love the range of colors that I got from this fiber. All of the bright colors mixed gently at the transitions, making a smooth change from grass green to ocean blue to sunset. (Here’s what it looked like before spinning, just as a reminder).

And now:

I ended up with about 475 yds of fingering-to-DK weight yarn. I was hoping for a slightly finer yarn and more yardage, but decided to Navajo ply to keep the colors together. I have no idea what it will become. Right now, I am just petting it.

You may have noticed an improvement in the photos lately; Branden is back in his position of blog photographer, and is very happy to take 20 minutes to get the lighting and angles just right. It’s amazing what a good camera and a little patience will get you. He is also, of course, back in his position as full-time enabler, too.

On a possibly related note, I slipped and bought a new, lighter spindle a few weeks ago. I’ve been spinning up some of this:

It’s a merino/silk blend, and it’s currently looking like it will be a heavy laceweight. I have 2 oz. of fiber, so it should go quite a ways.

Unfortunately, all of this spindling was irritating my shoulder, which is already cranky from the bad ergonomics of my desk at work. I mentioned to Branden last Saturday that I kinda missed my wheel, and the enabler kicked in immediately (he’s been waiting for that moment of weakness for several months now, and didn’t hesitate for a second before jumping on the opportunity). On Sunday, we went to “look” at wheels again, and ended up bringing this one home:

It’s a Kromski Sonata. I liked it a lot the first time that we went looking, and it has stuck in my mind as the “right” wheel for the past few weeks.  I thought I wanted a Lendrum, so I was surprised that I liked the Kromski so much. There were some other wheels that I wanted to try before making any final decisions, so we’d put off the buying for a while longer. When we went back, I ended up at the Kromski again, and so it came home.

I’ve always spun double-drive rather than Scotch tension, and I missed the double drive when I wanted to transfer yarn from one bobbin to another*, but all of the folding wheels are Scotch-only, so that’s what I got. I’m still working on keeping enough tension on the yarn to avoid getting twists in the singles while winding onto the bobbin, but that will probably come with practice.

All in all, I’d say we’ve had a pretty productive first week:

That’s the blue faced leicester that I dyed with my leftover dyes just before leaving Seattle. I love the way the colors are working out, and I think I might just get laceweight this time, if I double- rather than triple-ply. I have 8 oz of fiber, so it should make a good amount of yarn for a project. I’m almost halfway through the spinning, though…I think I either need to slow down the yarn production, or increase the knitting!

*With a double drive you slip the drive band off of the flyer and onto the drive wheel, and then you can wind onto the bobbin without adding twist. There has to be some way to do this on Scotch tension…maybe if I just run the yarn through the orifice and keep minimal tension on it I can avoid adding twist??