Only Fiber

Hi guys, I’ve been busy the past few days working on spinning fiber and haven’t had much time for touring around the island.  However, I went for a little jog yesterday morning and ended up following a trail into the woods that led me to a really cool little beach called Anse La Roche.  It was super serene and part of the national park system on the islands.  I learned that this beach is a popluar breeding grounds for the endangered sea turtle.  Hopefully in a few days I’ll get the chance to swim with the sea turtles via Nicol’s boat, he’s the water taxi guy for the Roundhouse.  So more on that later.  For now…Fiber…Fiber….and more Fiber. 

I brought a big bag of various fibers with me to the Roundhouse and I’ve been trying to spin a little sample of each of them to put in my notebook.  There are a lot of them so I will only show you a few of my favorites.

mohair

 

This is mohair, a type of wool that is super soft and shiny.  Its a fine fiber that’s easy to spin.  Mohair is one of the hottest fibers on the market in the US and Europe.

 

 

 

merino

 

 

This is Australian merino wool.  It was one of the easiest fibers for me to spin because of its long stable fibers. I like it because its super loafty.

 

 

organic cotton

 

 Uncarded organic cotton.  Sue say its best not to card the cotton because the fibers are short and pull apart easily.  Besides, when you spin it uncarded you get a cool lumpy and bumpy effect…I love it!!

 

 

 

The following two pictures are shots from the samples I put in my notebook.

notebook

My notebook, I made it.  I cut the pieces and covered them with this nice ocean blue handmade paper and used a fabric strip to connect the front two pieces for easy opening.  The fabric will also keep the front cover from tearing away from the binding through many openings and closings.  It wraps around the outside and inside seam.

 

 

 

binding

 

 

I used waxed thread to sew the book together using the noble binding method described in the following book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great book that explains many different ways to make books and sew them together.  Feelin’ crafty?  This book is probably available at your local library, so check it out and start cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay folks, time for some spinning wheel action.  I started using the wheel today and it took a bit to get the hang of how all the parts work, but eventually I figured it out. 

spinning wheel

 

 

This is one of Sue’s spinning wheels.  Her uncle made it for her a very long time ago.  The craftsmanship is amazing.  Even though this one is handmade, you can find similar ones on the market…refered to as castle wheels. 

 

 

 

 

sue spinning cotton

 

 

 

Sue spinning cotton.

 

 

 

 

technique

A helpful tip.  When spinning, hold the fiber in one palm and let it slide between your thumb and index finger while teasing (pulling) the fiber away with the other hand.  The key is not to pinch the fiber coming from your hand too tight.  Tease the fiber with the other hand and use the fiber holding fingers like a small venue to pull the fiber through.  Hold the fiber too tight and it will not tease…and you will get frustrated because your yarn will break again and again. 

 

 

me spinning

 

 

Me spinning wool. Weeee, look at me go!!!

 

 

 

my first wheel yarn

 

My first yarn on the bobbin.  The U-shaped piece with the hooks is called the flyer.  It spins with the yarn and guides it onto the bobbin.  And the tension, the tension is a whole other story I can’t even begin to explain yet.  But the tension determines how fast the yarn pulls through and onto the bobbin.  This, for me, is the trickiest part. 

 

 

And after a long day’s work….we watch a beautiful sunset.

sunset

 

 

And oddly enough, the sun sets just as beautifully on the Georgia coastline. 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shaun said,

    Maybe if you prick your finger on the spinning wheel you will fall in a deep sleep and your price charming will come to save you…..tee-hee. I find this information most fasinating…..I will have lots of questions later. Get a pic of the turtles for me — I hope you get to swim with them…be careful though!

  2. 2

    Judy Malins said,

    Looks like you have had a great week. I’m enjoying your blog.
    It looks beautiful. You will have to teach me to spin when you return.
    We are all missing you.


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