The skies continue to mock me, but I did my best taking photos in the lunch room. Oh, and I found out I was hasty in blaming them for my missing drum carder. Turns out it's been delayed a few weeks. 6, to be precise. Man, I got my hopes up, too, got all excited. I suppose there's no harm in telling you it's a Patrick Green 2 speed Fancicard. It's not like I can keep the secret to myself another 6 weeks.

Alright, that out of the way, let's look at some handspun.


No seriously, gotta catch you up. But here's a preview so you don't think me too cheeky:

Spun yarns hanging out at work, waiting for their closeup
hanging out at work

Back in April, I did some random casserole dyeing. I soaked 8 oz BFL, layered it in 2 casserole dishes, added water and vinegar, and then added dyes. In one, I chose pink, purple and black. The dyes migrated more than I expected and it looked pretty dark:

Purples in the casserole

In the other, I chose brown, orange and blue. (Yeah, I know. What was I thinking? I think it I was inspired to add striking contrasts after reading Deb Menz' Color in Spinning.) The orange dye was gloopy and thick. It seemed to just sit on the surface. I wasn't sure what would happen. The brown looked murky and spread a lot, leaving very little white area. I added blue stripes, but screwed up the placement. It didn't look prety.

Calico Cat in the casserole

I added about an inch of water to the roaster, then stacked the casseroles so they were staggered and let it cook for an hour and cool overnight.

The purple/pink roving came out darker than I hoped, but interesting:

Purples and Calico Cat

Drafting didn't inspire me to spin it, though, too dark and flat:

Purples drafted

The other roving shocked me. All I could think was Calico Cat:

Purples and Calico Cat

Only the top half got any dyes, the rest stayed undyed. I was very disappointed. Enough so that I didn't want to post about it. I didn't want to draft it, let alone spin it. I knew I should just try it: you never know how it'll come out. But with so many other wonderful fibers around me (think MDSW), I hid it away.

A month ago, while dyeing the knitted blanks for Dye-O-Rama, I also soaked a pound of BFL. Dyeing Pink Panther wiped me out, so I left the BFL soaking. For a week. Before I finally realized it might have gone bad.

It had that funky smell that water has after flowers have been sitting too long. Stale and murky. A pound of BFL. Wasted. Ugh. So I washed it. Twice. And dyed it anyway.

Into the roaster with stripes of red, blue and yellow and enough water to just cover. Out of the roaster:

Primaries Luck of the Dyepot


Primaries Luck of the Dyepot

Not what I expected. I was somewhat curious to see how it would spin, but again, with so many wonderful fibers around me, it sat.

When packing for NC, I decided to take things to try out, that I wasn't worried about messing up, that wouldn't require the thought or care of a cormo laceweight or a merino/silk. Something I could spin while hanging out with my sister. I took Calico Cat and 4 oz of the primaries dyepot, as well as 4 oz of Ashland Bay merino in Cassis that I bought at Mind's Eye Yarns during their summer sale.

I spun Cassis in the Providence and Philadelphia airports while waiting, and was surprised that just as many guys were interested in the wheel as women. In fact, they were more likely to come up to talk to me. (By the way, the Ashford Joy fits very nicely in the overhead compartments.)

Cassis was spun from the fold without too much attention. I was spinning to be spinning, and to see how the colors would come out. I haven't done much spinning from the fold so it was good to get some practice.

Cassis was soft and fun to spin. The colors dancing were pleasant and vaguely hypnotic. The finished yarn is bouncy and soft:

Ashland Bay Cassis

I think I'm in love.

(Funny story: at the spinning demo, I passed around a small piece of Cassis so the kids could feel another type of fiber. They all remarked on how soft it was. One of the kids asked why I didn't give them all samples of that stuff. My reply: "Uh, 'cuz it costs a lot more?")

Next up, Calico Cat. I was more than surprised. The singles didn't look at all as I expected:

Calico Cat

It drafted nicely and I really enjoyed seeing how it developed. Plied it still has Calico Cat characteristics, but is much more interesting. I was very happy with my plying on this one, though after a bath it looks like it has a slight bit less twist.

Calico Cat

You can still see distinct bits of blue and orange:

Calico Cat

And the primaries dyepot, well, not as much fun to spin because all that handling did cause some felting. It was hard to get an even single and I didn't try too hard. I soldiered on and was surprised with how green it came out:

Primaries Luck of the Dyepot

Green with splashes of red and blue:

Primaries Luck of the Dyepot

I don't love it, but it's interesting enough that I'll tackle the remaining 12 oz.

All in all, I was very happy to bring home 3 skeins of spun yarn, and to use up some dyed fibers that had been sitting around. I hope I learned that, even if roving doesn't look attractive on its own, it might spin up in totally unexpected and cool ways. I suspect I'll have to learn it a few more times before it sinks in... I think I'll try the purples again, this time less dark; and Calico Cat as well, perhaps with other unexpected combos.