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Progress with spinning and knitting

February 24, 2008

I have been doing a lot of spinning lately. I finally feel like my handspun looks like yarn. I really have to stop comparing my handspun with what you buy in the store. It is not the same. I want my product to be something that others would want to knit with. I washed a few skeins today, when they are dry I’ll post pictures.

I am also doing some drum carding, blending alpaca and wool. It is fun to see the final batt. I will need to spin some up to see what kind of yarn it will make. Here is a picture of one of the batts, it reminds me of pumpkin pie:

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I have figured out how to make a heavier batt with my drum carder, I have a Strauch’s Finest. I can make a 1 1/2 oz batt, which is a small batt but I am making more than one batt of each color combination. I weigh the fibers and write down how they are put through the drum carder, the resulting batts are very similar. (Nothing handcrafted is ever exactly the same). Maybe someday I will be able to afford to buy a Pat Greene Carder!

David and I drove up to Freeport, Maine yesterday to check out the Spin and Spa. This is an annual event sponsored by The New England Textile Arts (as far as I can determine, a group that only exists through a Yahoo group and at this retreat). It was hard to find out information about the spa but I had some yarn spun at a Maine fiber processor and met them there to pick it up. I went through the exhibit hall and, of course, bought some yarn and spinning fiber. The majority of vendors were local farms and artisans. Overall, it was a productive day.

I have been knitting. I finished my thrumbed mittens and the Woodlands Tunic. Both came out beautiful. I am now working on a scarf from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 – the Montego Bay Scarf by Amy Singer.  I am using this:

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It is a handpainted yarn from Seacoast Handpainted Yarns in New Hampshire. It is a silk and merino blend in a fingering weight, colorway Sugar Plum. I love knitting with it . The scarf is going to look great.

It is almost the end of February. Winter still has a firm grip on New England, more snow fell on Friday. I looked over my list of goals for 2008 and here is where I stand. I am spinning more and enjoying it more. I have opened an Etsy shop! Please go and check it out: www.nightingalefibers.etsy.com. Let me know what you think. I will continue to put up different produts to see what will sell. There is so much great stuff on Etsy, some of the shops are very successful, but have also been there a while and probably have a following. I’ll just have to see how it goes for me.

I will continue to review my “list”. There are a few goals I have this year that are not on the list – more about those in future posts.

Cynthia

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

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