Friday, July 22, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Tour de Fleece - 2011, week 3

My Tour de Fleece installments for week one and two are linked and week three is below.  :-)

Friday, July 15th

No spinning today.  Which means I have skipped three days and made up one.  Therefore I have a deficit of two days and only one more opportunity to make it up.  :-(

Saturday, July 16th

Well, I was planning to return to spinning my Tibetan Mastiff Fur this week.  Instead, I took one of my Tibetan Mastiffs to the park with the drop spindle and paco-vicuna  roving.  :-)

This is Wonton, she is seven months old now and pushing 75 lbs.  It's crazy to go back to when she first came to live with us.  We thought she was big then.  ;-)

Sunday, July 17th

Well, I'm finally back to my wheel and Tibetan Mastiff Fur.  I added two half-batts this morning and have four to go.  So it will be a couple of days before both spindles are full and I can begin plying.  :-)

I think taking the photo outside shows the fiber color much better.

Monday, July 18th - Rest Day

I didn't spin today.  So I continue to have a spinning deficit of two days.  I did however, make it to knit night which was super fun.  :-)

Tuesday, July 19th

I finished the Tibetan Mastiff Singles! Tomorrow, I ply!!

Wednesday, July 20th

I plied!

It turns out that my (new and still unused) Lazy Kate is narrower than my bobbins, so I wound each bobbin into a ball prior to plying.  Which isn't terrible as it gave me the opportunity to evaluate my work.

The first bobbin was thinner at the front and had more over-spun areas than the second bobbin.  The second bobbin was a more consistent thickness through-out.  So I am improving on my goal of no over-spun yarn, but I am not there yet.  :-)

I really like the finished yarn.  It's quite balanced and nearly even weight throughout.

The lot weighs 6 5/8 ounces and measures 127.5 yards over two skeins at 8-10 wpi.

Regarding some questions on the Tibetan Mastiff Fur.

I think I should wash the fiber prior to carding next time. Also a third run through the carder or a pass through a diz would make the batt/roving a bit more homogeneous and therefore nicer to spin.

The unwashed TM Fur has a faint smell of stinky feet, but it's not overtly smelly.  It certainly is not wet-dog-like nor anywhere close to the one raw sheep's fleece I've had the pleasure of smelling and now that it's been washed, it has a faint smell of lavender and mint.  :-)

I don't know the diameter of the TM Fur, so I attempted a photo comparison.  The Paco-Vicuna fiber on the left measures 17.3 microns and TM Fur is on the right.  The TM fur is definitely more coarse but the character is similar with a subtle crimp in both fibers.

Both fibers also have a good staple length of about 2 inches.

Thursday, July 21st

(Finally) I am back to the Black Huacaya Batts of Wonder.  :-)

I've been saying I'm half-way complete with the lot for quite some time.  I started with 17 ounces and have about 12 ounces to go.  So that's a long way from half-way complete. ;-)

At my approximate spinning rate of one ounce per hour, that's 12 hours of spinning between now and Sunday or three hours of spinning each day between now and then.  I'm usually not a negative person, but I'm  pretty sure that is not going to happen, especially since I didn't spin for 3 hours today.  So, I'll do what I can and be happy with the result.  :-)

So that's it for week three.  Be sure to visit the Wonder Why Gal and everyone else participating in Fiber Arts Friday.  :-)


Spinster Beth said...

Wow you really worked hard during the TdF! I love the TM ... both the fiber and the doggie :)

Vivian said...

Love your Tibetan Mastiff yarn! I always try to photograph my yarn and knitware outdoors if I can, and early morning and evening light is best.

Happy spinning!

Heather Woollove said...

Kathryn--I think you did amazingly well during the TDF! With our weather in the 100+ degrees, the last thing on my mind is handling fiber! :)

Kelly said...

All your spinning looks fantastic!

Alittlebitsheepish said...

Super spinning and I always love a puppy picture (no so much puppynow!). The alpaca looks lovely, can't wait to see more of it

Loco Lindy said...

That is going to be some awesomely unique and beautiful yarn!!!

pinkundine said...

I saw an article about spinning with dog fur, I think they called it chiengora? Yours looks so soft and fluffy, I never realised you could get such beautiful yarn from a dog ;)

WonderWhyGal said...

The TM yarn is great. Everything you spin should be a learning experience and you definitely learned from this project. I do love the photo of your dog with the spindle.

Just remember to never look at spinning as a chore...because then it's not fun and you won't enjoy it. I spin so much because it's my relax time. I truly and happy behind my wheel so I get lots of yarn.

Linda said...

Beautiful spinning:)

Kathryn Ray said...

Thanks everyone.

@Pinkundine - I have heard Chiengora before, but completely forgot about the term. :-)

@WWG - you are so right. If you're not enjoying or loving what you're doing, the resulting product will not be as good.

Teje said...

Hi Kathryn! I love your dogs and the yarn you have made! With my mother we had Afgans and we collected all their hairs from brushing and made it yarn. Then the small 'factory' added 1/2 sheep wool and after it came back to us as yarn we needed to wash it many times. It was unbelievable warm. I made pullovers and my mother made blankets by waving.
Best wishes from Teje & Nero

Voie de Vie said...

I love the slightly thick and thin quality of the TM yarn - those yarn balls look awesome. Maybe a hat?

And I'm glad you took Wonton to the park - what a great photo!

AllyB said...

Wonton is huge! It's so fun to see her when she was "little". Seems like not so long ago either. Your Tour sounds like it's going a bit like mine. I was a spinning machine in the beginning and then this week I've totally run off the rails due to extra work duties. I believe I did accomplish more than I would have without the Tour going on so I'm happy with the result.There's always next year...Have a great weekend! Isn't it awesome to spin some Alpaca after spinning other things for awhile?

katie metzroth said...

I had no idea you could make yarn from their fur. fascinating!