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red maple (merino) Archives

March 19, 2006

Taking it for a whorl

Since finishing my shawl, (pics coming soon) I've been spinning a lot. It could be the influx of new roving that has me excited or maybe it's seeing something I've spun worked up into something I'm proud of, but whatever it is, I just can't seem to stop.

First, I spun up some of the merino/tencel I got from Janel. The colorway is called "Indian Wedding." It beautiful, though I found it harder to spin than some of the other fibers I've used. I want to try again with a different spindle and see if that helps. The final product is so soft and the sheen is so nice, I know I'm going to want to spin it all up.

I also got my order from Spunky Eclectic. I ordered two batches of Amy's Almost Solid Series.

I. Love. This. Stuff.

It works up into a yarn that looks a lot like the Twisted Sister Monochromatic Variegated yarns.

I got myself a batch of Corriedale in Sunflower.

And worked it up into a big ol' skein. My new spindle has allowed me to make much larger quantities of yarn in a go. Why on earth I chose yellow, I don't know. I certainly can't wear that color alone and the other colors I have don't really go with it, but it makes me so happy to look at it. Don't get me wrong, I think yellow is an amazing color, I'm just not so sure it's a logic choice for me.

I also bought myself a batch of Merino in colorway, Red Maple. I think the color is really more like Plum. It's got a warm red undertone, but it's a pretty deep purple overall.

I'm spinning this much finer than the yellow, which is between a sport and worsted weight. This is going to be more like a sock weight, once plied.

From some of the sweet comments I've been getting, I am starting to think that we might need a "Knit Your Handspun Along," because there are a lot of you who don't seem to ever do anything with the yarn you create. Julia suggested that to me a while ago, so I can't take any credit for the idea, but I'd love to know what folks think.

September 20, 2006

Purple is the color of my true love's roving

Every time I pull a new skein of wheel spun off my niddy noddy, I'm inspired anew to crack open my stash of roving and see how the next fiber will work up. This time, I pulled out my supply of Red Maple Merino, one of the Almost Solid Series fibers that Amy offers. It took me a few yards before I really started to get the feel for the merino. It's a more challenging fiber for me to control than some of the others I've spun lately, but I think the practice paid off. This stuff is sproingy, soft and airy. I'm spinning it a little thick and not too tightly (I hope) in an attempt to maintain it's great innate qualities.

During my lunch break, I often eat a quick bite before sitting down to spin a bit. Monday was no exception. As I did so, Spongebob playing on the tube and Panda sitting beside me (try to top THAT for a lunch break), Leo stopped and watched me for a moment. I look up and our eyes meet. He smiles and says "Can I try?"

Well, short of offering to do all the housework forever onward, there are few things he could have said that would have filled me with more joy. So hurtling over pre-drafted yarn, a sleeping pup, and nearly crashing into the coffee table in my excitement, I ushered him over to El Matchador. We practiced starting up and maintaining the speed of the wheel with the treadle and then I reattached the unspun fiber to the yarn on the bobbin and held his hands while we drafted together. After a bit, I left him to try it on his own, offering advice when he asked.

Let’s be honest, though, I am probably not the person to be teaching anyone to wheel spin right now. After a few minutes, Leo gave up in frustration. I removed his yarn from the bobbin and piled it carefully next to El Matchador and started back to my own spinning.

Later, he picks the small pile of yarn up off the table and begins to straighten it out and untwisting it. "How will you salvage this?" He asks innocently.

"I don't plan to salvage it, I love it," I say as I snatch it from his hands before the fibers are completely set loose. "It's sentimental now."

He smiles and walks off and I go into the kitchen to do the dishes. And then he realizes the implications of what I've said. From behind me, I hear "You're going to BLOG about this aren't you?"

I don't meet his gaze.

"I won't if you don't want me to."


He kisses my neck, gives me a little hug and says, “go ahead.”

He's a keeper.

September 24, 2006

Great, now I have even more to miss

Well, it looks like I'm headed back to India for a couple weeks, starting on Wednesday or Thursday. So now, I will be away from Leo and Panda, my two little rays of sunshine AND El Matchador, my new constant companion (is it just me or does "constant companion" sound like a personal hygiene product?). I expect this trip to be much more intensive and less fun all around, but I still hope to make the best of it. I'm a touch nervous about going without anyone I know and as the sole representative for my company. But let's not talk about work, let's talk about freshly spun yarn.

The Red Maple roving worked up quickly at a nice thick and thin, mostly worsted weight yarn, once plied. Do you want to see something amazing? Here are the two bobbins after I finished plying them.

Please excuse the lighting, it was evening when I did the plying.

I had all of maybe 12-18 inches of singles on one bobbin when the other emptied. There was no planning, no trying, just magic. *sigh* It'll never happen again.

I thought the red purple would look nice against the cement of the back patio.

It's a thick and lofty yarn, with out too much spin, and the results are every bit as squoochy and sproingly as you'd want it to be. I already have plans for some of this.

Panda gives it a due air of elegance.

After the merino, I pulled out some more roving dyed by Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks (alas, still no website) that I bought from Carolina Homespun. The colorway is "Purple Haze" and it's a heavenly mix of purples and steel grays. The blend is Merino/Bombyx and I had 2 ounces worth.

I spun it up pretty finely because I wanted to try to use the Navajo Plying technique. For those who haven't tried it before, Navajo plying is a means of achieving a three ply yarn off a single bobbin by, in essence, working very long crochet chain stitches. It takes a touch of coordination, but with a little practice, it's actually quite fun. I started with some scrap yarn I had and got the motion down, before trying it with my new singles.

The results are nice; a nearly balanced 3 ply with lots of sheen and a soft hand.

There's a lot I'm going to miss while I'm away.

A lot indeed.

Went to OFFF today, will post about that soon.

October 1, 2008

Spindlicity is back

Hey, guess who's back and looking better than ever?

I even have a pattern in this edition.

I actually designed this way back when, right after I designed my Lake Park Hat and Gloves. In fact, I designed it so long ago, it was before we adopted Ms. Theano-Purl. (Excuse me while I get a little nostalgic for puppy cuteness and then remember what a huge pain in the keister she was and how much more delightful she is now.)

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to actually look through the whole site but what I've seen looks great. Yay for the return of Spindlicity.

About red maple (merino)

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marnie, speak! Good girl. in the red maple (merino) category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

red (wool/sari silk/sparkle) is the previous category.

red orange yellow (superwash merino) is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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