Fibery Goodness Module Six Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Six Yarn

I have had my Module Six yarn spun now for several weeks but hadn’t taken any photographs of it.  I know….I was slow.  It is a 2+ ply hand spun yarn of the 15.5 Micron Merino.  Natural white with a 3rd ply if you want to call it that which is a silk thread with garnet seed pearls strung on it.

Mod 6-3

I have spun some beaded spirals in the course but was having troubles with the merino shrinking and fulling a bit in the setting process with the silk thread staying the same.  The end result was that the thread hung loose with the beads on it and would get caught and break…. losing beads.  This made the yarn super fragile.  I wanted to make my usual go to yarn that is a medium weight 2 ply, mostly evenish.

Mod 6-1

I decided to spin the 2 singles a little bit finer and try for a much more even yarn with a tad bit more twist in the final plying to give it more strength than usual.  I trapped the silk thread with the garnet seed beads on it in between the two merino plys to give it some added strength.  I was going for a 2+ ply that was 2 plys for strength and softness, and 1 ply for bling and character.

Mod 6-2

I do not usually spin fine or even like this so this was rather outside my comfort zone.  Probably not even in the room where my box was….that is was soooo far out my box.  I am over the moon pleased with this yarn.  I really like it.  I spun the Mod 6 yarn in the morning and the Mod 7 yarn in the evening.  They are two very different-night and day yarns even though spun from the same white 15.5 micron merino wool.  Look for Mod 7 yarn coming soon.

Mod 6-4
Squeee….WoolWench blogged about Alba Ranch

Squeee….WoolWench blogged about Alba Ranch

Squee….yahoo!  WoolWench aka Suzy, blogs at various locations.  This time she was on the Fibery Goodness Blog and she did a posting about the various Fiber Sponsors for the Journey to the Golden Fleece Award online spinning course that both WoolWench (Suzy) and Spin Artiste (Arlene) have created and are currently teaching.  Alba Ranch was just added as one of the Fiber Sponsors and the discount code for course participants is in the members only forum.  Course participants get a 15% discount!!  AND  WoolWench blogged about ALBA RANCH.  Yayness!

Module 1 yarn panel woven and free form crochet

I love what she said about Alba Ranch as well as her feelings about one of my hands down favorite fibers to spin which is the 15.5 micron merino.  I consider this THE luxury fiber to spin as well, very classic, very luxury.  I have been selling this fiber for a while but never allowed myself the opportunity to spin it until I started this course.  Part way through Module One, I decided that ALL my modules would be created from this one special fiber left in its classic white color.  So my personal challenge has been all about using the same fiber, prepared as a commercial combed top, in its natural white and getting 7 very different yarns all down to the spinning and plying techniques.  Whew this has been a challenge. With them all being the same color and fiber, the only way to make them different is really to spin completely different yarns.  Some of these various structures have been super fun and the fiber has worked well with them.

Mod 5 panel woven and free form crochet

A few were more of a challenge and the resulting yarn has been great but I might choose a different fiber in the future for that specific yarn style.  It has been a serious learning challenge that I had no idea what I was getting into when I came up with this crazy brilliant plan.  HA!!

If you want to read the blog posting and see all the wonderful sponsors for the Journey to the Golden Fleece award go here to read all about us.

I am off out into the woods to sort out all the goats, dogs and cats along with various plants and trees.  a “ranch goddess” work is NEVER done.

Fibery Goodness Module Five Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Five Yarn

I have finished Module Five yarn, set the twist, photographed it and wove a circle weaving with it.  This module was supposed to focus on mastery.  Specifically mastering a spinning technique spun previously, showing several variations in small yardage skeins.  I did not find the module enjoyable because I personally hate doing small yardages, samples and other assorted test your technique stuff that many people do.  I personally find it annoying and a waste of time as I tend to want to just get on with a project and spin or weave.

Mod 5 yarn close up

Since I have been focusing a lot on Spiral techniques in this course, I decided to spin 4 variations of a spiral yarn.  In order to really show off the technique, I still followed my previous outline which was using the same commercial prepared combed top preparation of 15.5 Micron Merino wool in white.

All the photos have the basic spiral, extreme spiral, beaded spiral and super coil core spun style spiral in that order from left to right.

Module 5 yarn

 

I spun a basic spiral, a extreme spiral holding one ply with tighter tension to create more spiraling, a beaded spiral with a silk thread and freshwater pearls, and a super coil almost core spun version of a spiral.

Module 5 yarn

 

 

 

 

 

I accidentally did the super coil core spun sort in a different module but this time wanted to do it on purpose and see if I could over come the original design problem of so much twist that the yarn was coarse feeling and darker in color.  When I spun this super coil core spun sort of version this time, I did keep the softness and loftiness of the merino fiber as well as the white color and I just loved it.

I am finding that with each module I have a large amount of yarn spun up that I don’t use in the final project weaving.  I think that I will be weaving some circular and square wall hangings as I have had requests for more baby room wall art, as well as some scarves and maybe shawls.  You will find those on my shop on Etsy.com so keep an eye out for Alba Ranch’s shop and some new projects.

Fibery Goodness Module Four Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Four Yarn

Module Four Yarn.  Another spiral yarn with some added construction.

Mod 4 yarn beaded spiral

I chose freshwater pearls strung on a silk thread plied with the hand spun 15.5 micron merino single that I have used in similar construction spiral yarns.

I have never spun a yarn with beads before so it was interesting even learning how to string the beads, let alone how to spin with them as well.

Mod 4 yarn beaded Spiral

 

 

This yarn is so very pretty, elegant and super soft.  I am really pleased with it and can’t wait to make more beaded spiral yarns.

I was up late about 1:30 am spinning this yarn.  I could hear the goats starting to call me in the baby monitor as I hadn’t been out to throw them any hay that evening as I was way too immersed in spinning with these pearls.  I decided to run out quick and throw the hay, check on Bernie an expectant goat mom who was pregnatn for her first time, and come back in to string the last of the beads on and finish the spinning.  Out I went, threw the hay, checked on everyone, locked up the kids that I am starting to wean, checked on Bernie and there were no babies.  Came back inside and started to string the beads on.  Was only in for a few minutes and Bernie started to scream.  Now mind you, this goat screams all the time.

Bernie and 10 hour old twins

I don’t pay attention most times as she always screams.  But this was definitely different.  Her tail tendons and ligaments had loosened off completely and she had been super quiet which for her was an out of body experience, so the screaming I took as she was in labor.  I only had about 30 beads to string so I calmly threaded them on and put the beads up high and walked out to the barn just in time for the arrival of twin does.  One had the sack off her head and was already crying and trying to stand.  The other was stuck with the sack on her head, and Bernie standing at the other end of the pen looking at me in terror.  I am evil.  She appears to be terrified of me for some reason although I told her yesterday we WILL be friends and she gave me that wide eyed you have got to be joking look again!!  I grabbed a towel and went in the pen to get the sack off the babies head as I could hear her sucking it in and about suffocating.  Once it was off and she was breathing and crying normal like, I stepped back and Bernie ran past me to attend to her new babies. I helped her dry them off a bit more, checked and saw that I had two girls and left them alone since it was a nice warm evening and both kids were trying to stand already.  I have included a photo of Bernie with the twins at 10 hours old.

I would have finished the yarn before bed but by that time it was 2 am.  I opted to finish the spinning and setting the yarn the next morning….or should I say later that same morning.

Yes.  From merino, fresh water pearls and silk out to the barn to hay, dirt, amniotic fluid and blood.  This is my life.

 

Fibery Goodness Module Three Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Three Yarn

Mod 3 yarn. Hmmmm… What can I say? I was on a roll and spun up mod 2 and rolled right into Mod 3. Module 2 was about Trials and Tribulations but I swear Mod 3 should have been the trials and tribulations!!

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2

I was going for a gimp spiral yarn as on page 118 of the Spinners book of yarn designs by Sarah Anderson. Did I succeed? You tell me.

 

Same commercial prep combed top 15.5 micron merino. Pure white. Yarn on left is first attempt. Yarn on right second attempt.

 

I spun a super fine single. More fine than I have ever done in my life. Probably not terribly even and too much twist as I wasn’t even in the ballpark of comfort zone!! Spun a bobbin of single that was supposed to be twice as thick probably was more like 3-4 times. Had way too much twist in it. Bobbin wasn’t taking up properly. Thought it might be OK when I plied.

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2

Tried plying on my new CS2. Didn’t go well. Came off bobbin like a rubber band hung around the door knob and snapping back in your face!! That’s the left yarn. It seems like a cross between a super coil and a core spun and an angry rubber band. And it feel like I spun it out of a Brillo pad. Looks cool. Not even close to what I was going for.

 

Attempt 2: When my big single bobbin ran out, my thin single bobbin was still half there so went and spun up a new thick single with very little twist in it but again probably a whole lot more than just half bigger than thin one. Tried to keep it even. I plied on my CS2 again. Got half way through the 2 bobbins when I realized I was plying to the right the same way both singles had been spun. Crap!!! Cut the yarn and wound off bobbin back onto my left hand until I got to beginning. Had a lot there and being over energized it was tight as well as unruly. Thought if I just started it back at beginning and doubled plyed to left it would untwist the wrong bit and re twist it up right. It did. Sort of. Tangled it in knots. Had yarn everywhere. Had hubby waiting on me to do something but me not able to put ti down as it was a tangled mess on my left hand when trying to re ply and untangle with both hands at same time. I obviously didn’t think this one through!!! Eventually got it sorted. Than joined on with the last half of bobbins, join didn’t take the best so will have to be careful of that bit when I weave with it but got it going.

Mod 3 Yarn Attempt 1 and 2 Close Up

 

It is easy enough to do when you do it right from the start!!! I believe it is a nice soft relatively even medium weight spiral, but is it a gimp spiral???

 

I do love my second version even if it is not a gimp spiral yarn and may have a new best favorite yarn. Thoughts??

Fibery Goodness Module Two Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Two Yarn

My Module Two Yarn was a bit slow in completion.  I had a month of super heavy snow on almost a daily basis, sub zero temperatures and wind chills up to -25F, and doing all the chores on my own because Charlie was offshore.  I didn’t spin at all during that time he was gone.  Our Module Three Yarn came out around Valentine’s day and I had only a little of the spinning for Module Two completed.

Module 2 Classic Cable Yarn

 

 

I chose to spin a Classic Cable Yarn.  I had never spun a Cable yarn before so this was brand new territory for me.  I used the same fiber that I did for Module One.  15.5 Micron Merino commercially prepared in a combed top. Pure white with no added blings or extra fibers and natural with no dyes.  I will be spinning each module of this same fiber and prep so my focus is on the various yarn structures in the 7 yarns required for the course.

Module 2 Yarn close up

 

 

A Classic Cable yarn is constructed of 4 singles spun evenly.  I chose to spin the four singles to the Right.  I took 2 of the singles and plied them to the left to make a 2 ply yarn.  After that I took that 2 ply yarn and ran it through and plied it a second time to the left so that it was double over plied.  I took the remaining two singles and plied them to the left twice in the same manner.  This left me with 2 2 ply yarns over spun to the left.

Module 2 Yarn

 

I got to use my brand new Country Spinner 2 for the first time to cable those 2 2 ply yarns back together going to the right.  It was fun watching them POP into that cable as I spun along.  I set the twist by washing in a warm water with a bit of liquid soap and swished them around a little to felt them just a touch into their chain structure well.  They are soft and squishy and oh so much fun.

Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn

Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn

I got my Fibery Goodness Module One Yarn done quite a while ago but never managed to post it or photos up here.  I used a 15.5 micron combed top of white merino.  I have it for sale in the shop in 2, 4, 8 and 16 ounce lots.  I included a link above directly to the 8 ounce listing.  It was a pure dream to spin and I have not allowed myself to spin it until this course.

Mod 1 Yarn with twist set

 

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to spin all the modules using the same combed prepared top and see how it goes doing 7 different yarns with the same fiber and prep.  I am going out of my comfort zone on this particular course to spin with direction and precision and learn new techniques rather than spin my easy go to yarns.

 

 

Mod 1 Yarn with twist NOT set

Having said all that, the first module’s task was to spin your “go to yarn,” so I did.  For me that “go to yarn” is a 2 ply that has some thick and thin qualities but is mostly balanced.  I pre draft the combed top into manageable lengths and widths by separating the combed top.  I spin it in a short forward draw on my Majacraft Little Gem 1.  I don’t ply too heavily with my Country Spinner 2 and still managed to give it some woolen characteristics instead of it being a straight worsted yarn.  The prep is worsted and supposedly short forward draw is a worsted spinning technique but my yarn always comes out semi woolen.  I have no idea how I do it but there you go.

The resulting yarn is very soft, squishy and a joy to touch.  I think that I will be weaving a scarf, hat and maybe shawl for myself out of these module yarns as I no longer have anything that is pure white.  Everything I made from white fiber in the past has sold in the shop.

Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate

Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate

I just signed up to take a new course.  Journey for the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity Certificate.  I haven’t done any recent schooling as with the move and all been way to busy.  This course will take about 10 months to finish and will be focused on Fiber and Weaving and everything fuzzy and fun.

Majacraft Course Loom

I will get a cool new loom designed by Majacraft specially for this course and a neat coloring book as well as the 8 different Modules.

Images of the Journey Coloring Book

 

I am excited as I haven’t done anything like this for a while.  I am also worried that it might be one to many To Do things, but at least it will be an enjoyable To Do thing.

 

We get our first module on November 15th and will have 6 weeks to complete each module.  It will involve spinning and weaving and probably other fiber art things as well as reflection and thinking.  Are you going to expand your creativity and take this course?