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131  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Switching from spindle to wheel on: April 18, 2008 03:11:54 PM
congratulations on your first wheel! how exciting!  you're lucky though, i never learned to master the spindle! so for me, it was easy transitioning to a wheel, i just got my fiber and started spinning! it was very natural for me, but that's not to say it is for everyone. now, of course, there are mistakes that every beginner is going to make! my biggest one was too much twist *and still is, really!* but there are ways to combat this, namely making a plied yarn. i had a very hard time treadling slowly, but if your wheel has a couple of different ratios, you can put your wheel on the lowest ratio (slowest speed), and then, treadling at your normal rate, you will still put less twist in your yarn than you would at a higher ratio speed. and don't forget that when you set the twist in your yarn, this will even out some of the twist, and sort of redistribute it. i'm not a scientific spinner, and while i was spinning, instead of being so stressed about making a perfect yarn, i just let the yarn let be what it wanted to be, and just focus on learning your wheel and all the hand movements and such. once you get all that down, you can refine your technique and start trying to make a more even yarn, once you let go a little, you will relax and learn faster! after all, the only way to learn is to make mistakes!

also, i just read an article in spin-off, saying that if you transfer your yarn to an empty paper towel roll *the cardboard thingy* before you ply it, not only will you free up more of your bobbins, but this will also redistribute some of the twist. i have tried this and found that if you put the tube into a laundry basket or large bowl when you ply, that instead of it rolling around the floor, it will stay nice and tidy in the basket! i hope some of these tips help you!
132  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: wool picker question on: April 18, 2008 01:28:56 PM
there is a website called www.woolpicker.net that sells pickers that are more affordable and also are little more space-saving for $200. i understand shipping a heavy item esp outside the us would be expensive, but for the money you would save on price, the shipping would be worth it in my opinion *considering other pickers go for $400- $500 us*! their customer reviews are all good to great, i'm going to buy one actually, in my opinion pickers are definately worth it, i buy pounds of raw fleece at a time, and the time saved by teasing is considerable, picking is so FAST! also, i had bought a washed fleece from a VERY reputable seller, and when i got it, it was felted and matted, very dissappointing, but i took it to a local shop, and they picked it SUPER fast, in one pass, so you can also salvage a fleece, that you would NEVER be able to put through a drum  carder! not to mention, that i don't even card after picking, you can spin straight from the "clouds" of picked fiber! there are also TONS of ways to do fiber blending and add-ins, as you would with a carder * such as, different fibers, angelina, bits of fabric, scraps of yarn, some of which I would never put through my carder for fear of ruining the quite expensive carding cloththe possibilities are endless!* in my opinion, pickers are just another option for fiber processing that gives you more freedom in the TYPES of yarn you can spin. i own a drum carder and though i love it, i will also be purchasing a picker soon because i like experience ALL the possibilities!
133  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning stuff from Africa! on: April 17, 2008 02:02:53 PM
how lucky you are! i have always had a love and fascination for africa, but receiving spinning stuff from africa, that's just amazing! that's a once in a lifetime opportunity to possess these cultural items, it's really just amazing!
134  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / HELP!!! raw fleece!!! on: April 16, 2008 10:28:54 AM
hello all-
i have been spinning for a little over a year and half, and i like to challenge myself and experience all facets of spinning. after long consideration, i decided to buy a raw fleece. it came from frene creek farms *a very reputable seller of raw fleece and many other things, they come highly recommended* they always are very honest about their fleeces and will tell you in the listing if they have alot of vm or are VERY dirty/muddy. i bought 1 lb 12 ounces of targhee fleece, with no idications of heavy dirt or vm. i used the washing machine method of scouring fleece, and after 5/6 washes, it has lost the yellow color and smells of my wool soap *no barn smell anymore* but upon inspection, it still has lots of TINY bits of grass or hay or something in it, and some spots of mud or small clumps of dirt. is that normal?? i have no idea what a finely washed is supposed to look like? should i wash it more? maybe in smaller batches to try to get the dirt out? it's mostly clean, and i have ordered wool combs that will get here in about a week, will the combs get all that out?

on a side note, i have heard people use the term *tog* (mostly in england or europe) is that what is in my fleece? they will say "i used my wool combs to remove the tog from my fleece"

the pics included are after 1 or 2 washes, click on links to see pics!

any help would be much appreciated!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!


135  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Labyrinth caterpillar on: April 11, 2008 09:53:47 AM
omg, i love this little guy! he's one of my son's favorite characters in the movie! great technique, but i can't believe nobody has mentioned your addition of the feathers! that's awesome! that's really the cherry on top, it just gives him so much more realism! great job!
136  Texas / Texas: Central / Re: I'm really mad at a local sewing machine shop on: April 11, 2008 12:15:35 AM
omg, where was this? can you at least say what town? i'm paranoid now! i don't like some of the stores here; kerrville/ ingram, no good customer service, things like that. they act like a young person sewing is illegal. or like i'm going to run out of the store with a bolt of fabric or something! i'm glad that didn't happen to me though, i would've been furious. my brain can't always moderate what comes out of my mouth!
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