A Little Bit of Success

AKQGuy's picture

This is my best handspun yet. Despite it being a shorter staple fiber I returned to the brown fiber that came with the wheel (I was out of the peruvian highland wool) and concentrated on keeping it as smooth as possible. And it worked to a degree. The above is what I spun up yesterday and proceeded to ply it. The better quality first spin along with how firmly I spun it allowed the ply to go much better. It's even better than the white peruvian wool I had worked up the day prior. It's still not where I want to be, but a solid week into my playing with the wheel again I can't complain. It's a perfectly workable yarn, and wonderfully soft after the wash to set the twist. And even better, after I washed it, it didn't twist in on itself! Which means it's also the most balanced yarn I've made to date.

I even have a plan for this 75yards of wonderfulness. As I was spinning it up, a darker strand of color started to appear. The darker fibers were a bit longer than the lighter and stayed near the core of the yarn as the lighter fibers fluffed around them giving it a little bit of extra character and reminding me of something. There is a beautiful brown standard poodle that I occasionally share a morning walk with him, his sister and human mom with that is almost this exact hue and color combination. Brown poodles as they age go kind of brown/silver and the more I play with this yarn, the more it looks just like Jonah. And before you get ideas of the big poof ball haircut, I have to tell you his owner has taste and keeps her kids trimmed in a short single length coat. And this is a BIG poodle. He's big boned and tall, and with his little mustache of sorts kind of distinguished looking. But don't worry, I won't be getting a poodle of any size.

As chance would have it, Jonah's moms birthday is approaching and being the big 70 they are planning on having a surprise birthday party where you bring things of 70 or the date. I'm thinking a present with 70 yards of Jonah colored yarn will be fantastic. Any ideas? She's a very young 70. If I hadn't had been told which birthday this was I would have gone a decade younger, and that's only due to her being retired from her original job. Now she fly's all over the country doing education consultations. So much for enjoying her retirement by playing with her art crafts, eh?

As for the rose colored yarn I had dyed up for my nieces 8th birthday, I combined it with the previous yarn I had made from the brown fiber to make this.

She's a bit of a girly girl, and has outgrown the hat I made for her last year for Christmas. I think she's going to like it. I'm considering getting her an IPod for her birthday as well. In fact, I was considering IPod's for her and both her older brothers for all their birthdays this year. They're all starting to form their listening preferences and I figure Mom and Dad would probably enjoy their kids growing music interests a little more if they had headphones. It would also make Christmas a little easier with Apple ITunes gift cards. Does that make me a bad uncle?

Well, I guess I'm going to go up and get the spinning wheel and pull it downstairs so I can get a couple of hours of spinning in before bed. I return to work tomorrow night so this is my back to night shift flip around night. Really, it's just an excuse to play with yarn while listening to an audiobook on my own IPod in the man-cave downstairs. If man-caves have sewing machines, ball winders, yarn swifts as well as the flat screen TV exercise equipment and what not. It's an eclectic man-cave.


docs1's picture

Great job on the handspun

Great job on the handspun progress. It just takes practice and motivation!

superi's picture

Wooo hoo! Quinton, your yarn

Wooo hoo! Quinton, your yarn looks great! Keep at it and it'll just keep getting better from here. Your niece's hat is also really cute.

AKQGuy's picture

Thanks. She's kind of a funky

Thanks. She's kind of a funky girl and I think she'll love this. As for spinning, I think I'm hooked.

davidUK's picture

Are there no end to your

Are there no end to your talents? It looks great - and some unevenness is so interesting when you're knitting. I'm nearly at the end of my north ronaldsay handspan and knitted a bit in some Ronan merino which seemed very neat and a bit dull by comparison. Have a good weekend x

AKQGuy's picture

You as well, I hope this week

You as well, I hope this week was better. I'm not a thick and thin fan but I got it down a bit and think it's going to be quite nice to work with. I've been told several time to enjoy making the bumps and what not now because as I get more consistent I will have to work at them.

Bill Carl's picture

Just Beautiful. Make a

Just Beautiful. Make a person feel so good to make something out of nothing. Just think that hat was running in the field a few weeks ago. Such great work. Even if I do this it still fascinates me to what people do. I am so glad I found this group. It really inspire and give me a push to try new things. You my friend have done a GREAT JOB !!!!

AKQGuy's picture

We're glad you found us too!

We're glad you found us too! Thanks for the support and I have to admit, seeing some of your stuff makes my fingers itch to be able to afford things like triangle looms. I just have ti add it to my monthly budget. Have a great weekend.

Tallguy's picture

Oooooo, Poodle!!! That is

Oooooo, Poodle!!! That is great to spin! Think you can convince Jonah to not get a haircut until the hair can get long enough to spin, and then can you collect it all? Make a hat of THAT -- now that would make a great gift. Maybe make mittens to match the hat.

AKQGuy's picture

No, she keeps them fairly

No, she keeps them fairly short. She's got to much on her plate with two fairly young large dogs and a full travel schedule to deal with combing out long haired poodles. Besides, i haven't dived in far enough to own cards or combs yet. Soon, I'm sure.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very nice hat, Q. And that

Very nice hat, Q. And that yarn looks better than it did in person. Keep up the good work.

AKQGuy's picture

Thanks Joe

Thanks Joe

Kerry's picture

I love those "old-fashioned"

I love those "old-fashioned" colours.

AKQGuy's picture

Old fashioned colors? I like

Old fashioned colors? I like a lot of natural toned wools, but then I love grays and browns and am enjoying seeing the subtle differences in shadings as I work through a batch of roving. Those hue shifts are probably also why I prefer kettle dyed yarns over bright primary colors. Perhaps i'm just a bit old fashioned myself.

scottly's picture

Are you Lutheran by any

Are you Lutheran by any chance - hearty earth tones, colors found in nature? Those are my tastes too. My wardrobe is mostly OD and various shades of brown and gray. Those chemical primary colors hurt my eyes.

Your spinning is comming along famously - do me a favor and estimate how many hours of spinning got you to the quality you're showing here. I really want to spin but I think it may have to wait until post retirement.

AKQGuy's picture

Bwahahaha.... Oops, sorry

Bwahahaha.... Oops, sorry about that. No, no, nothing that structured for me. My mothers callsherself lutheran but the closest I've ever seen to a lutheran church was dropping me off for a rehearsal of Handel's Messiah when or organist guild hired me when I was a teen. I was raised Catholic and I saved them the trouble of excommunication. As for the hours, in that week U probably put 15hrs to it but that was sheer stubborness and neurosis powered.

Crafty Andy's picture

Congratulations. It is all

Congratulations. It is all about spending time with the wheel and choosing the fiber as well. There are some fibers I really enjoy spinning, but I enjoy spending couple of hours everyday whenever I can with the wheel. Great you with the yarn!

AKQGuy's picture

Thank you sir! I plan on

Thank you sir! I plan on following your advice and making some time daily to spin for the foreseeable future. I'm loving it almost as much as knitting.

sundazzed's picture

Quinton, Yarn really looks

Quinton, Yarn really looks good! Love the color......I really love the garter stitch knitted piece in the background..What is it?

AKQGuy's picture

Oh my... That was supposes to

Oh my... That was supposes to have been the Ruana from Cheryl Oberle's book Folk Shawls. It is a massive piece of garter stitch that you continually change colors every row. I only got about a third of the way done before becoming very bored with 400+ stitches one way of garter so it became table runner. I require a bit more happening in my knitting to keep my interest. I think that is why I love cables, lace and other texture creating stitch work.

sundazzed's picture

Quinton, Yarn really looks

Quinton, Yarn really looks good! Love the color......I really love the garter stitch knitted piece in the background..What is it?

Bill's picture

Hooray for Quinton! You are

Hooray for Quinton!
You are getting better and better...and getting so much pleasure from your new skills!
Love it!

AKQGuy's picture

Thank you Bill! I do have to

Thank you Bill! I do have to say that since I threw myself upon my wheel, I am enjoying creating yarn very much. I still don't know why I didn't stay at it this last spring. Thanks for the encouragement and enabling.

twistknit's picture

Your man cave sounds like

Your man cave sounds like mine! I love it when I tell people I spin they think its's at a gym.
Your yarn looks great! I think balancing and keeping a consistant size single can be tough but I can't get enoug of it.

AKQGuy's picture

I'm right there with you. I

I'm right there with you. I do take a break when I feel my eyes droop and run through a workout routine but have to admit, the exercise bike is my partners. I love running and biking, but I have to have scenery change and theredore try to do those things outside with the mutts.

ronhuber's picture

I guess when they say

I guess when they say "practice makes perfect" they know what they are talking about. Well done. I really like the colour and have knit myself a sweater with almost the same colour. Good idea with the IPods and gift cards. I do it for all my young friends. The little hat is perfect. You are so creative.

AKQGuy's picture

I think creativity is all

I think creativity is all about knowing the gift receiver well enough to creat something they'll like. And which colour are you referring to? The rose, the brown, or the combo? I have to say, the black cherry Kool Aid with about 10 drops of added blue food coloring did make a stunning dye.

ronhuber's picture

I was referring to the brown

I was referring to the brown skein you have pictured. It is a lovely shade.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

So that's the reason the rose

So that's the reason the rose pink was so vivid! I'd never have guessed the addition of blue food coloring. I guess I should've sat in on Brady's dye workshop after all.

AKQGuy's picture

I just added the blue because

I just added the blue because I prefer my pinks and purples to carry a bit of blue to their color. Makes them richer in my opinion and therefore more pleasing to my eye. And old hold over from what little painting I used to do.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I never knew you painted. I

I never knew you painted. I studied it for years but never pick up a brush anymore. Does wonders for the sense of color style and combinations, though.