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61  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Learn to Spin- Lesson 4: Plying on: July 12, 2013 08:36:40 AM
Lesson 4! Plying!

Alright!  so you have two singles and you are ready to ply!  but wait, what do we need to succesfully ply? at least 1 thing:
    A Lazy Kate.  Now there are several types. You can buy beautiful ones, made of wood and finish them up all pretty or you can go function over form and save yourself some $$ (sometimes lots of $$$$)
Fancy homemade wooden kate
Or you could make a really simple one out of a shoe box and a couple knitting needles or chopsticks.
Or yet another, and my first Kate, was a basket from the dollar store, and I have multiple toy wheel spindles, so I would just stick the spindles into the holes in the basket!



Now, you do have other options when plying, and I'll go into that at the end of this lesson.  Let's just stick with the idea that you wound off onto toilet paper rolls and are using a lazy kate.

Direction of spin
Direction of spin is really important.  Lets say you spun your singles clockwise.  You are going to want to ply OPPOSITE the way you spun, so counter clock wise.  Always opposite! if you ply the same way you spun, you would have quite a mess indeed.

Tension
tension is important too. Your yarn needs to be taught between your hand and the Kate, AND between your hand and the spindle.  Even tension between your hand and the spindle will insure an even ply.  This can be tricky, but with practice, you will get it!

Technique
Alright, we have all the tricks and the tools, but how?
-Set your Lazy Kate behind you.
-Bring your singles up over your shoulder and to your hand and attach them to your leader.*
-Spin your spindle. Opposite direction! Remember!
-Slowly let the spindles weight pull the yarn out of your hands and watch them twist together.
-When you've gotten your arms length, wind on.
-Lather, rinse, repeat, until you run out of singles.

Quick pic of how it starts:



* You can position yourself anyway you like, this is just easiest for me.  I was taking pics by myself, and I wanted you to see how the yarn runs.  I'd do it as I wrote normally.

The end results of plying on the spindle:



More ways to ply
While the technique would be the same, there are multiple ways to get ready for plying.  They include, but are not limited to:
Andean Plying - Wrapping your singles around your hand a certain way, so you can ply from either end of the single.
Center pull balls and upturned flower pots - requires two balls of singles, you bring the yarn through the holes in the bottoms of the pots.
Plying balls - Take a tennis ball, or felt a ball, and wrap two singles around it.  secure your ball in a flower pot, or bowl, and ply as you would.



Lesson 1 : Source your tools
Lesson 2 : Drafting
Lesson 3 : Spinning
Lesson 4 : Plying
Lesson 5 : Skeining and setting the twist
Lesson 6 : Yarn design[url]
62  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / I gave my Lady a makeover. on: July 08, 2013 07:08:01 PM
 Grin

It took a good solid 20 hours of sanding, and 4 coats of stain, and a tiny bit of black acrylic paint, but it was soooooo worth it.  I've gotten so many compliments on how regal and elegant she looks now!


My Lady by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

No the bestests before pic.... but here she is before

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Soooooo many pieces!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

One coat of stain. Still not dark enough

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The difference between 1 coat and 2:

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Last coat drying

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

best way to dry the drive wheel.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

It's all in the details.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


I'm really happy with how she turned out.  If you look REEEEEEALY closely, she's got her flaws.  But for a complete novice at this woodworking/refinishing stuff, it's pretty good!
63  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Nature Dyeing. 25 Colors, one Dyepot on: June 30, 2013 03:15:18 PM
Unfortunately I was to involved in the actual process to take pictures of it.  But here are the results!


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The basic over view goes like this: you have 4 pots of mordant, and 1 without.  You mordant 5 skeins as directed for that specific mordant, rinse and then stick them in the dye bath you've chosen (this one is Brazil Wood)  and then rinse, and then put different skeins in a different post mordant, or no mordant and watch them change colour.  Loads of fun!
64  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Tour de fleece 2013 on: May 31, 2013 06:49:58 AM
Lets do it again! Lets take over Rav! 

Our Rav thread : http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/tour-de-fleece/2590483/1-25

All discussions, posting yarns can go here or there.  Doesn't matter.  Lets keep it awesome.  We are spinning for fun, and maybe want to challenge ourselves?  Your goal is your own.  My goal is 2lbs of woollen Shetland 3ply.  Probably a DK or sport weight. What's yours?



More info on the TdF can be found here:  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/tour-de-fleece
65  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / a labour of love on: May 24, 2013 06:36:34 PM


My Level 2 Master Spinners Course Final Project

Started life like this, Icky yicky veg full but oh so soft Shetland Sheep wool

Combing short Shetland by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And then I combed it, and it went from 2oz of fluff and junk to less then 1oz of happy little poufs.

Combing short Shetland by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And then I blended it on the drum carder with silk.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And spun it real fine.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And Plied it up.

Fine Shetland and tussah silk by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And knit. And frogged. And knit again.

Terrible time by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

 And blocked it.

Level 2 final project by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And in the end it looks like this!

Level 2 final project by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I'm so happy with this project. I love the final outcome. I love that I have the ability to take this kind of junk and turn it into a treasure. I love that the yarn I spun could be knit and ripped and knit again, and still look great. There was frustration, but it was well worth it.
The pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ribbon-of-breeze
My rav project page with entertaining notes, if you are interested.

Thanks for looking!
66  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Spin spin spin! on: April 28, 2013 07:59:34 AM
I've completed these yarns in the past month or so. Probably past 2 months.  It's been a whorlwind year!  Not much time for spinning or creating, yet I feel like I've done a lot, craft wise. Maybe it's all the travelling in the van.  And getting a lot of knitting done.  Anyway, YARN!

"Bear Poop in the Blueberry Bush" - Core spun corridale with lumps of brown merino.  I'm not sure how I didn't see the poo factor until I pulled it off the bobbin, but ya know... it happens I guess?

Recent spins by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Long color runs. So pretty.  Not sure of content, but it's corespun, and sparkly!

Recent spins by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

take 2, so you can see how the colors will stripe. It's over spun, so I'm considering running back through the wheel to fix that so when knit it doesn't skew.  I thought about plying, but then that woudl muddy the striping I was going for.

Recent spins by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

This ones all natural. Shetland, Mohair and hemp! super squishy, spun woolen.

Recent spins by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And some Neked Yarn!  Shetland, not quite, but almost 250 yards, 8oz.  so it's squishy and thick.  Spun worsted, from a commercial top. So it's true worsted, technically speaking.

Neked Shetland by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Hope you enjoy! 

67  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Just some pillow cases on: April 06, 2013 06:42:49 PM
I didn't really need pillow cases....  Roll Eyes  But I made some anyway, because I do need to get rid of some fabric, and I'd way rather sew it then send it off to a thrift store!  And someone in the Destash Along made one, so I'm following suit Wink
I just traced a pillow case, and did some math to figure out how big to make the case part and how big to make the trim part.  Cut cut sew sew! simple, straight lines, and I guess I could always gift them... or keep them!  Cheesy

All 4, folded up pretty!  (I even ironed them!  It will be the only time they are ironed, I'm sure!)


2 of each, kind of matchy matchy, but not.




That's a good 2.5 or so yards (maybe even 3!) out of my craft closet, and into my linen closet! Cheesy
68  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / A blanket for seriously cold people on: April 06, 2013 06:31:13 PM
My sister is Seriously Cold.  I mean, she'll wrap up in a blanket with a sweater in 25'C weather.   She's Seriously Cold.  All.The.Time.  So I made her this!!


It's oddly shaped... in that it's more of a square, then a rectangle... I added a few extra stitches to the sides. Shouldn't have.


But it's okay, because she fits under it quite nicely!


Even if she flips it so the stripes run vertical, it will reach from her neck to her toes, because of the stretch of the 2x2 ribbing.  But this will be my last blanket for quite a while.... It was cumbersome to knit, and not being a seriously cold person, once the blanket gets long, it get's really hot to knit under....

I used Knit Picks Biggo, held double!  Knit on 17's.  This is the pattern I used (more or less)
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/a-blanket-for-seriously-cold-people

69  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Funky pants on: April 06, 2013 06:17:17 PM
I've really wanted to get rid of some of my stash lately, and I've also recently cleaned up my craft room, so I can actually use it!  It's far more functional then it has been in over a year.   It's also been ages since I drafted a pattern from scratch, but I did on these pants.  I hate buying patterns, since I know what I'm doing (or did know... )  My kids are nearly the same size, so I made the pattern to fit the bigger one.  Well, I'm glad I sewed the littler ones pair first, because they *just* fit her.  I added the strips to the legs on the bigger ones pants, and they fit him nicely!  Both pairs have an elastic in the back of the waist band to keep the pants up.

The littler one:



The bigger one:




I'm glad I did these pants before I went and drafted and cut the dress I may actually make myself this year...  I will remember to add a good amount of ease (since I didn't add enough obviously on these pants... I may even get some muslin and do a test cut and sew too... Don't want to screw up the dress! LOL
70  COOKING / Dessert / Gluten Free Muffin Top Cookies on: March 11, 2013 12:59:56 PM


Born out of the need (want) for baked goods, no desire to find a recipe and it has become a go to recipe when those bananas are ripe.

Gluten Free Muffin Top Cookies

2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/4c honey
1 1/2 c certified gluten free quick oats*
1/2 c  shredded coconut
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c cocoa nibs (you could use chocolate chips if you wanted to. I'm trying to avoid refined sugars)

Preheat oven to 350'F.  Mix wet ingredients, add the oats and coconut and then the arrowroot with the baking soda and powder and cinnamon mixed in. Then lastly add the cocoa nibs and mix just to incorporate.
Plop on a baking sheet by the heaping tablespoonful.  Bake for 12 minutes.

These are just sweet enough, tasty and awesomely quick.  I'd eaten 2 before taking the picture, so I got 10 large muffin top cookies.  They are much more muffin-ish then cookie like.  But they are filling and delicious.

*If you are making these for someone else, please check that you oats are GF, and please ask if them if GF oats are okay.  I know some people wont want to eat oats for fear of cross contamination and such.

Enjoy!!
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