Posts filed under 'Spin'
In our neck of the woods, optimistic gardeners plant their spring peas on Valentine’s day. It sounds crazy I know, but peas love soil that is moist and cool. With the lengthening days and increasing warmth, it is possible to get lucky with this earliest-of-early plantings.
I’m pretty sure that Valentine’s Day is not all that different from the extra-early-planting-of-peas. Optimistically sending cards, chocolates, and flowers, we hope that our expressions of love will bear fruit, bringing warmth and light to winter’s darkness.
With these musings in mind, I introduce Sweet Pea, my ode to love and to L. Odoratus, otherwise known as Sweet Peas, those graceful climbing flowers of early spring with pink, purple, and white flowers which possess an intoxicating and unforgettable scent.
Both of the wools this month are swirls of white and dark wool which add depth and complexity to finished yarn.
The wool this month is Mixed BFL, a swirl of ecru white and brown wool.
The wool/silk blend is Merino/Tussah Silk. The tussah silk in this blend has been dyed black.
The companion colorway is Bouquet of Tulips, which is available both through the secret link in your shipping notice and our Etsy shop. Bouquet of Tulips is a gradient colorway, dyed in thirds.
May the dark days of your winter be filled with color, light, and love!
Happy Spinning everyone!
With Love, Stephen & Mary Ann
February 12th, 2015
Winter is a time that I can sleep a little later without missing the sunrise, which is visible from the comfort of the kitchen window. The sun is now rising far to the southeast and before it clears the trees, the sky drifts from grey violet to pink, deepens to red and orange, and finally culminates in golden daylight, which erases the frozen white fields with a slow, effortless sweep. Hello, Frosted Daybreak!
The wool/silk blend this month is Merino/Bamboo/Tussah Silk, in a 50/25/25 combination.The wool and the silk take the color at different depths, and the bamboo doesn’t take the color at all. Instead, it shines with a glistening, frosty glow which will give your yarn great sheen.
The wool this month is Superfine Merino. At 19 microns, this wool is soft soft soft! I love the way the merino has an inner shine but a matte glow! I want you to move this braid to the top of your spinning queue, especially if you have not had luck spinning merino yet — I have a few techniques that might be helpful: let’s talk about this in our January Spin-Along thread!
January 1st, 2015
On the southwestern edge of our fenceline, the top branches of the Loblolly pine and the Sweet Gum tree come together to form a cup-shape; this time of year, the sunset is often framed by their branches.
We witnessed a spectacular sunset the other day. As the blue of the sky was shifting to violet and then to grey, the sky over the fenceline turned to plum and the cup between the Loblolly Pine and the Sweet Gum tree filled with brilliant scarlet-tinged orange sky. Introducing Burnished Sunset, December TOMC!
The wool this month is Targhee! Targhee is one of the newest sheep breeds. Developed in Idaho, the Targhee breed comes from crosses of Rambouillet (highly crimped, very soft,) Corriedale (moderately crimped and moderately soft,) and Lincoln (long, lustrous curls.) This US grown wool is very soft — a fabulous 23 microns — with lots of muted luster.
We are back to Merino/SuperwashMerino/Tussah silk for our wool/silk blend this month. I think I’ve already said all there is to say about this marvelous blend, with its three layers of color, its amazing softness, and its draft-ability.
I worked hard to come up with a companion tonal colorway for December TOMC, but in the end, I could finally see what Burnished Sunset had been telling me all along: it likes its own company and wants to be plied with itself! These intertwined braids are arranged A-B.
December 1st, 2014
Some of the red, yellow, and gold leaves linger on the trees and the cool weather grasses are still green and bright but it is the dazzling blue, ever-changing sky that is grabbing our attention now: welcome to November Morning!
The wool/silk blend this month is Polwarth/Mohair/Tussah Silk, in a 65/25/10 combination. The mohair and the silk add tremendous luster to this blend. Mohair has so much shine that it used to be known as “poor man’s silk” and when you spin this blend under a light, you can watch the mohair fibers reflecting light as they are captured by the twist, and you can see the amazing mohair halo take shape. This will certainly enhance the magic of your daily spinning!
The wool this month is Falkland wool, from the Falkland Islands. The Falkland Islands are home to a unique sheep breed which is a combination of Polwarth, Corriedale, and Merino sheep. These sheep are well adapted to their unique and particular climate and they are sustainably raised without chemicals. This Falkland wool measures 26 microns and the wool, though crimped, is open and easy to spin. Many of you will find this wool next-to-the-skin soft and it spins into a plump, resilient, bouncy yarn.
Greens at Dusk, this month’s companion colorway, is my song to November’s long shadows and lengthening nights.
Extras are available; the link to the hidden page is in your shipping notice.
To join of Top of the Month Club, go here!
To purchase a Three Waters Farm gift certificate or a gift subscription to TOMC, go here!
November 1st, 2014
For brazen, unrestrained color, FALL is hard to beat. The greens of summer are slipping into their party clothes and soon the whole landscape will be dressed in reds, golds, deep plums, stalwart greens, and an enormous mix of browns, for the last wild color party of the year.
Of course I couldn’t resist the temptation to party right along with the rest of October: introducing Fall Gathering.
The wool for this month’s club is Shetland, direct from the Shetland Islands. I am very lucky to have purchased this wool: it is from a small scale Shetland Island wool cooperative of 700 small farms and the amount of wool available in this color is limited. I should have enough wool for everyone’s reorders, but anyone wanting a large quantity should put in their reorder as soon as possible. The wool itself is a dusty red-brown-grey and this natural color breathes itself into Fall Gathering, producing a hue that can’t be gotten another way.
This month’s wool/silk selection is Merino/Tussah Silk, in an 80/20 combination. This is a lovely blend that I have used a lot in the past: it has all the treasured qualities of Merino — softness, bounce, and muted luster — combined with the strength and shine of tussah silk.
There are two companion colorways this month. Fall Browns — an ode to the diversity of brown — bright and golden, dark and deep, and all the browns in between that fill the fall landscape — and Fall Violet, a bow to the wild range of complicated violets that continue to stimulate and amaze me through this incredible season.
To join our Top of the Month Club, go here!
To buy a gift certificate to our Etsy shop or to our Top of the Month Club, go here!
October 1st, 2014
I love how the summer begins to attenuate in August; there is less daylight and the constellation Orion is visible in the early morning sky. Leaves are beginning to show wear; the greens are deepening and the leaves on the black walnut trees have begun to turn yellow, already fluttering down in ones and twos. The hedgerows are getting an aged look, a quiet prelude to the raucous colors of Fall. The sun is still intense, heat emanating from everything the sun touches hours after the sunlight is gone. Things are drowsiest in mid-afternoon when there is a golden haze of heat shimmering over the yard and fields. It seems that only the grasshoppers and bees are busy working, tending to the clock of the season and not to the heat of the day.
I’ve worked to capture this song of late summer in our September Top of the Month colorway, Honey Meadow.
The wool this month (pictured above) is Organic Polwarth. Polwarth sheep originated in Australia from a cross of Lincoln (coarse long wool with luster and curl) and Merino (fine shorter wool, highly crimped.) At 22 microns, this Polwarth is AMAZINGLY soft; this wool is less crimped than Merino and thus more “open” and so is easier to spin. Polwarth is low on the luster scale, absorbing and muting color: very modest indeed!
The wool/silk blend (pictured above) this month is the much-beloved Polwarth/Silk, an 85/15 blend of Polwarth and Tussah Silk. This blend gives quite an instructive display on how a small bit of silk can really jazz up a blend: silk takes color deeply and adds reflective shine.
Instead of a companion tonal colorway for Honey Meadow, I decided to maximize the color instead! Introducing Coral Fields, which will be available by pre-order and in our Three Waters Farm Etsy shop. (Pictured below, Polwarth/Silk on the left, Organic Polwarth on the right.)
I couldn’t resist spinning Honey Meadow myself. In order to preserve the chunks of color, I decided to spin a bulky weight yarn. I split the fiber in half so I had two pieces of equal length. One of the pieces I split into 13 strips and the other into 8 strips. My goal was to have the color shifting in the final yarn at different speeds, one fast and one slow. Because I have a history of falling “asleep” at the wheel and shifting the grist of my yarn, I notched a sample of the yarn I was aiming for onto an index card and kept checking the yarn I was currently spinning against the card. I ended up with 161 yards.
I love the way this turned out: Polwarth has so much Poof and the yarn has lots of bounce and squish. I don’t know what its final shape will be but for now, I am quite happy to admire the yarn as it sits on my desk!
To join our Top of the Month Club, go here!
September 1st, 2014
The colors of the August harvest match August’s hot temperatures. The salmon pink of sweet tomatoes and the red-orange of acid tomatoes sing next to the bright deep yellows and yellow-oranges of the sweet cherry tomatoes. Add in the deep reds and chocolates of ripe chiles and sweet peppers, plus a bouquet of lilac zinnias under a blue sky and you get our colorway, Summer Heat.
The wool this month is Finn Top. For those of you who haven’t yet spun Finn, you are in for a treat! The micron count of this Finn is in the same 25 micron range as our BFL, so you can use it for both outer garments and garments that are going to be worn closer to the skin. Finn has a satiny luster that gives the yarn an inner glow. The fiber itself is open and easy to spin and makes yarn with lots of body, whether your yarn is thick, thin, or in-between.
The wool/silk this month is our best-beloved blend of Merino/SuperwashMerino/TussahSilk. As a dyer, I am wild about the 3 layers of color that this blend gives and as a spinner, I love how the Superwash Merino and silk helps the fibers slide past each other when drafting. Plenty of nuanced color plus easy drafting makes this blend delightful indeed!
The companion tonal colorways to combine with Summer Heat are August Violet and Goldenrod: you can find them in our Etsy shop.
To join our Top of the Month Club for September delivery, go here.
August 1st, 2014
Marin was an elementary school student of mine in days of yore, and she often comes to see me when she is in town — I think as a touchstone, to help her keep the pathways open to the untrained artist that she was before she ‘grew up.’
This one visit, I got out all the color pencils and we drew at the kitchen table — Marin, my husband Stephen, our daughter Liliana, and me.
After Marin left, I went outside to my studio and in my preferred medium made this colorway.
I love it — for what we all are, for what we once were, and for how we keep those pieces connected.
Marin’s Pencils, BFL
January 10th, 2013
Wool that is already prepared for spinning can be found either carded (roving) or combed (combed top.) To complicate things, these words are often used interchangeably. So what do those words mean and how can you tell the difference between roving and combed top?
Let me give a short, easy answer. Real roving — carded wool — looks fluffy, puffy, and wooly. Combed top, which is now often referred to as roving is sleek, perfect, and uniform.
- Merino Combed Top
November 22nd, 2012
We’ve had a lot of freezing weather here in the sunny Southeast. The wind has been cheerfully gusting along this freezing weather at 15 miles per hour. Not quite as cheerfully, I have invented a new method of unfreezing dye solution and a new method of unfreezing the dye artist.
When you get right down to it, there really isn’t too much to be uncheerful about!
January 4th, 2010