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Mixing it up

Last evening was the last of the four-session learn to drop spindle class at Amazing Threads.  It is always fun to teach others the technique of spinning, whether with a spindle or wheel.  Observing how each student takes what they learned over the course and develop their own skills never gets old!  I was playing with the Blue Sky Alpacas Handspin, an alpaca/wool blend roving I received from them earlier this year.  It is a beautiful natural white and the perfect canvas for a bit of creativity.  A few years ago Joanne and I made art batts, which I wrote about in the Gone Batty post. I had some recycled sari silk, dyed fleece and a bit of natural gray Jacob wool to add to a batt I made a few months ago.  The wool/alpaca blend is beautifully soft and will work well with the add-ins.
Making a  sample art batt:
Bottom to top:  wool/alpaca, sari silk, dyed fleece, Jacob wool and the original batt
Sending the batt through a couple of times distributes the add-in fibers evenly.
I love how the silk colors pop through.

Flipping the fiber as I feed it through the carder helps with the blending process.

Using the small hand card held lightly packs the fiber

Pulling the batt off the carder--the reveal!

Pretty batt

A 25-gram batt ready to spin
Now the fun begins, spin the batt and then to extend the yardage I can ply it with thread, yarn, or spin another single of something else?  Endless possibilities!

Putting the Moosie to work


The wall o' wool

I finished carding the four pounds of Jacob wool Jim got me from The Kerry Woolen Mill in Ireland.  Mikey, Jim's colleague from Ireland,  brought it over when he came over on a business trip.  I have two more pounds of wool from him!  The wool came as roving of sorts, but I wanted to loosen the fibers and make it manageable to spin so I sent it through my Wild Carder to make small batts.  Test spinning, plying and knitting swatches from each color will reveal how the wool looks as fabric and the goal is to use some of it for slippers and filled mittens.  
A nice surprise prize from Spinzilla was a $25.00 gift certificate from Akerworks, based out of Tennessee.  I used it for a portable Trillium spindle in neon green.  The spindles can be found under Hand Crafts on their website.

The black piece attached to the tag fits over the hook and protects it from bending.
The shaft is carbon fiber, which is very lightweight.
Between spinning and teaching there has been some knitting of WIPs and UFOs.  I resurrected the Round Dance hat on Halloween night.  The skeletons remind me of the first Disney Silly Symphony, The Skeleton Dance from 1929.

The Lopi cardigan is getting a band makeover.  I was never really happy with the bands and will re-do the bottom, fronts and neckband/collar as I did on the Shwook hat band.  

Next is the first project from the Seven Skeins Club.  I passed on the slippers in favor of Cohal, a slip-stitch cowl.  It was an easy knit, instant gratification!
Cochal (Scottish Gaelic word for hood)
We have enjoyed a beautiful and unseasonably warm Autumn.  The small burning bush in front is pretty.

...and finally, Jim was at the Minnesota Wild (hockey) game last week and got a selfie stick.  I like the photo.