Our Summer Spin In is underway and in this episode we answer listener questions on washing a fleece and drafting techniques.
Walk Along Tee by Ankestrick (Ravelry link) It has been slow going but the sleeves are done and I’ve started the bottom ribbing!
Halfway on the foot on the second sock of a pair of socks for myself using Drops Fabel Print that I bought in San Luis Obispo. My Barber Pole spinning project has hit a road bump. All the green and brown has been plied into a three-ply. I decided to spin a bobbin of just dark brown in Navajo (or chain) ply. This was not successful because I’m an uneven spinner and this technique emphasizes the variation. Back to the drawing board.
Faye’s Flower Blanket, a crochet project, is mostly sewn together. The triangles and corners need to be put on. I am using single crochet to attach them all. The pattern is Persian Tile Blanket (Ravelry link) by Jane Crowfoot. I am using Knit Picks Brava worsted.
Finished one charity hat. It’s a beanie style with a small 1” ribbing and the rest is just stockinette with two fingering yarns held together.
Dishcloths! I’ve made about 7 dishcloths out of some cotton spirit yarn that Marsha and I dyed about 4 years ago and never did anything with.
Spinning Questions We Answered:
What are the different drafting techniques and what are some tips?
How are you drafting? What hand is where? Short, medium, long… Forward, backward…
Drafting techniques: what have you used and what is your favourite?
What is the preparation?
Commercial preparation: top vs roving vs sliver vs batts
How to get started with long draw?
Here is a good article: Seven Drafting Techniques
How do you wash a fleece?
Here is a good article: Washing Grease Fleece and for further information you can listen to our episode on washing a fleece and read the show notes for lots of links!
The Intentional Spinner: A holistic approach to making yarn. Judith MacKenzie McCuin. 2009.
More cool info!
A Spinner’s Study Ravelry group. This month’s breeds (June 2021) are Finn and Teeswater. The spinning challenge for the month is “Spinning and Plying the Other Way.”
From SalPal, Sarah:
The Three Waters Farm Ravelry group maintains a bundle and thread of patterns that are good for handspun. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#pattern-topic=257…
Momdiggity--Jo Ann suggests that any pattern calling for Spin Cycle yarn would be a good pattern for handspun.
Spring Summer 2021 Knitty-Spin column by Jilian Moreno: Planning for a Project-The Beginning
Drafting from Worsted to Woolen, Craftsy class be Jacey Boggs Faulkner.
Summer Spin In
Memorial Day - Labor Day
May 31st - September 6th
Hi, this is Marsha and this is Kelly. We are the Two Ewes of Two Ewes Fiber Adventures. Thanks for stopping by.
You'll hear about knitting, spinning, dyeing, crocheting, and just about anything else we can think of as a way to play with string.
We blog and post show notes at Two Ewes Fiber Adventure dot com.
And we invite you to join our Two Ewes Fiber Adventures group on Ravelry. I'm 1hundredprojects,
and I am betterinmotion.
We are both on Instagram and Ravelry. And we look forward to meeting you there.
Enjoy the episode.
Good morning, Kelly.
Hi, Marsha. People will notice that we are not together. We're coming at you from separate microphones in separate states.
And yes, I think we have thought it would happen. But well, we should explain why we thought it was going to happen. Maybe people don't know that we were together over the Memorial Day weekend. That you and Robert drove up from California
It was a very exciting trip, for lots of reasons.
And well, so we should say that you brought the two dogs. You brought Bailey, who travels pretty well. She's gone camping with you hasn't she?
she's gone... Well, not too much because of the pandemic.
So she's gone on two camping trips. The first one was right before the pandemic started. And she was... she was just learning. You know, we had not had her all that long. And so she got a lot of walks. And she was-- we were really worried about, you know, leaving her in the crate when we had to leave the trailer and stuff like that, because she went crazy and broke crate doors and stuff. And then the last time we went camping was in November of 2020. So she's only been twice but she's pretty good. Yeah. I mean, at least she's, she's more experienced at living with us. Yeah. then then then Beary.
And then I'm sure this is Beary's first camping trip.
I would guess, yeah.
And he did great. They will both dogs did great
Well Beary came to us not even really knowing how to get into the car, and not liking getting into the car and he has a ramp that we use to get him in. And at the SPCA they were really, you know, really careful to tell us you, you can't push him up the ramp, and you have to lure him with food and toys and you know, get that cheese in the can and you can spray it on the ramp, get him up there. And anyway, we didn't do that. But we did use a lot of liver and we taught him to get up into the truck, which is much higher than a regular car, with the ramp. So we were practicing. We were practicing on the ramp for a couple of weeks before we left.
It's steep! That ramp is pretty steep The truck is really tall and the ramp is not that long, either. It's what, six feet maybe
unfolded. So it ends up being kind of a steep ramp. And I was watching and he does sort of have to get a running start.
And then don't stop. You don't want him to stop on that ramp.
He'll just start sliding back down. But, and when we're first practicing, he would get tired. Like he would go up it a couple times. You know, I could only do it, I can only practice with him a few times because maybe like by the fourth time it was too much work. Now he's in much better shape now.
Well, so we have to talk a little bit about well, there's so many things. I know that, but you guys, you basically arrived on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, which I don't know what the date is that like the 29th I think or something like that.
Something like that.
I don't remember, anyway. And you left Tuesday morning. So Memorial Day was Monday and you left Tuesday morning. And while you were here I think Saturday we just sat on the deck the whole day, didn't we?
And we took the... we took our dogs for walks through the neighborhood and then just sat on the deck and everything. And then both Sunday and Monday we took them to the dog park at Magnuson Park which is on... people who are not in Seattle that's on Lake Washington. It's a former, I believe, Navy base that's been converted to quite a nice park with all sorts of different activities there. Anyway, one part of it is a dog park where you can take your dogs off leash and you were, I think, a little worried about Beary at first, but you let him off and he did fine.
Yeah, I wasn't sure. You know, we only had him a month. He doesn't really have much in the way of training. And you know, he recognizes his name, I think. And then he doesn't have a reliable, you know, come when called. But it was such a long walk from the parking lot to the dog park that he wasn't he wasn't fast enough to get away from me. If he wasn't coming. If he wasn't coming, I could have run over and gotten him and brought him back to where he needed to be so that...
Well, yeah, because I be parked at the southern end which then you have a long walk to the dog par. There's a parking lot that you just walk a few feet to the dog park but of course, I made them go on the long one, but it was better. It was funny though watching him because, and we've talked about this Kelly... I should also say too, that the three dogs Bailey and Beary and Enzo all got along pretty well. They--when you guys first arrived, we just took them for a walk. And Enzo was. really curious as to what who these dogs were and what was going on, but we didn't have any problems at all with them
No, they were fine. A little grumbling and raised lip
And hey, this is my space. But it wasn't bad. It was it was relatively easy. Also just so everyone knows, they were also very highly managed.
Yes, Yes, they were. Well, they were.
It felt easy, because we were doing a lot of work to make it that way.
Yes. Well, they were on leash a lot all three dogs were on leash. And I think Enza was on a leash the night you arrived. Yeah, Friday night and then a good part of Saturday. Yeah. And then I finally let him off leash it because he was pretty good. I mean, he was pretty good about leaving them alone once they all kind of lost interest in each other.
But your your dogs were on a leash a lot and then oh, at dinnertime you would put them, you know, put them in the truck. So...Yes, there was a lot of managing going on.
Yes, in their giant four wheel drive silver crate. [laughing]
Yeah. Just a side note about that truck. I've never seen such a big truck! I mean that it's...I hope Robert doesn't listen to this.
I'm sure it's lovely. But it's it's so big. And the... And I know Kelly, you're, you're shorter than I am. Right. And I'm not a giant but I'm also not really short either. I'm just average height. But I swear the hood of the truck is over my head or level with my head it'ss so tall.
That's ridiculous. And the key fob weighs about 17 pounds.
Because if you drive a big truck, you have to have a key fob with some heft to it.
Yeah, it's a it's a manly truck in the most ridiculous way. But I have to say it. It got us up there and got us back.
And filled with furniture
filled with furniture, filled with dogs. Yeah, it's gonna pull a bigger trailer because that's another part of the reason we went up there was to take a look at a trailer that we bought that we're having worked on. That will replace the little trailer. It'll be a little bit bigger. And so this truck will pull that bigger trailer. So you know, I can't laugh about it too much. But
yes, stop your complaining! It's funny, because I did think that your old truck was big. It seems small compared to this one.
Yeah, yeah. If they were sitting next to each other, it would look puny. Mm hmm. Yeah.
Anyway, but uh, yeah. So that so part of the trip was to go look at the trailer, which is in Bend Oregon, right. So you looked at that, and then you came up. And then the other part of the trip, besides seeing me and Ben and my brother in the dog thing was to pick up furniture.
That you and Mark had been very graciously storing for us throughout the pandemic. Yeah.
And I think the mirror was actually
a year before the pandemic.
I think it's more than that.
No, I mean, it was a year before the pandemic started.
Oh, yeah, I think we've had it two plus years. Yeah.
Cuz we were supposed to come pick it up. We were planning to come pick it up last year, but the pandemic happened so it had already been in your house, a year when we were, when the pandemic. At least a year when the pandemic started. So yeah,
you posted on Instagram about getting... like... something like getting your crap out of our house. And I didn't say this, but what I wanted to say is it didn't really make a dent. [laughing] Anyway, but it's very nice you have the mirror and then a secretary that my brother had found and Robert's using that, and he's very excited about it. He's been posting pictures of it on Instagram
Yeah, he's very excited. So yeah, he likes it.
And it's old.
And it's fancy, because Robert is fancy. [laughing]
So my brother says it's from 1790 to 1810. Something around that.
Kind of cool. I wish it could talk.
I know. But you know what I was thinking. It's a perfect place for you to write with your fountain pens. You need to use your antique fountain pens.
Oh, yeah. Well, I don't know that he's gonna let me near it. [laughing]
Well, it's very nice. Anyway, but the so the dogs were great. I was laughing though. When we were walking through the dog park, that Enzo and Bailey, were darting all around sniffing and you know how they run ahead and then they run behind you and they run ahead. And Beary reminds me of a container ship, you know that it takes three miles to stop. He doesn't... he just walks in a line. He doesn't veer off to the right or left like he, if he sniffs anything, he sniffs it because he is crossed his path, or his path has crossed it. Not that he's... you know, where the other dogs, ooh they smell something and they start off in another direction? He doesn't do that.
He conserves his energy.
He conserves his energy. And didn't we notice we think that he... we were laughing we thought he had a little bit of a waist. Yes.
Because I can almost feel a rib.
He is a very sweet dog.
He's very good. Yeah, I was very, very pleased with how well he did and when we... we camped in a tent. And it turned out to be a six person tent, which was perfect because there's me and there's Robert and there's Bailey and then there's Bearry who's like three people, so we fit perfectly. But when we blew up the air mattress inside of the tent and, you know, made the bed and he comes in and he immediately lays down on the air mattress like "Well, good god. Finally you got me the right size of dog pillow." He was just so funny. He cracks me up. He's a very, very goofy dog. And he just, he's a lot of fun. So he had a great time. Bailey worries a lot. But I think she had a good time too. And I had a great time. And we didn't have time to record.
We didn't have time to record. We didn't even really knit very much.
Not very. You were able to do some on your on your sweater. But yeah, I did a couple dishcloths.
A little bit and we were mostly just managing dogs, getting furniture, you know, walking dogs. Cooking, talking. Whatever. And the weather was gorgeous.
I was surprised for that time of year. I was kind of surprised. And I felt really lucky that the weather was so good.
So we spent pretty much three full days on the deck.
Yeah, it was nice. It's very nice. Well, let's talk about what you were working on on the deck. Marsha?
Oh, yes. What was I working on? Oh, my projects. Oh, so my... Well, my sweater. And we had a some conversations about my sweater too. So the Walk Along tee by Anka Stricke. I have to tell you where I am now. I think actually, I can't remember, Kelly. I was working on the sleeves when you were here, wasn't I? Yes, it was my second sleeve. Anyway, I finished both sleeves.
And I was listening to our last episode. And I was talking about making them not three quarter length, but just to hit just above the elbow. We had that whole conversation about what's the right length. Anyway, and I ended up making them so they hit sort of, you know, halfway between the arm pit and the elbow. So they're not...they're not capped, So they're not capped sleeves, but they're not...They're definitely not three quarter and they're definitely not down to the elbow.
Yeah, they're like a regular sleeve, I think they're like a regular short sleeve. Yeah, that's like a regular --like a women's t shirt short sleeve?
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, and I'm gonna have plenty of yarn. I was worried about yarn. And we've had a lot of conversations about that. I'm fine. And I...
The dreaded yarn chicken is not on the table!
Yeah, yes. And I did. So the last episode, I think I was talking about how I had put the body on waste yarn and was gonna do the sleeves, and then go back to the body. So now I have gone back to the body. And when you were here, we I tried it on. You said I should make it an inch longer before I start the ribbing, which I've done. And now I've done... I've done two rows of the ribbing, and I have to do a total of five. And then I'll bind off. Now what I had talked about doing is putting... On the sleeves, you do the five rows of ribbing, and then you do reverse stockinette to make sort of this in the contrast in color. And we had a conversation about that we decided that it's probably best not to do that. So I'm not going to put that contrasting border on I'm just going to do the ribbing and bind off and call it good. So I'm getting close to being done.
I need to weave in the ends on that tee that I made. Because I think there is some time I could actually still wear it with the weather we've been having. I could actually. I don't have anywhere to wear it to but but I probably could with the weather I probably could still wear it. And same with you. Right? When you finish it. You'll still you'll still have plenty of weather you could still wear a wool tea. Yeah.
On Instagram, Kelly, I posted a picture of you sitting on the deck and you have your bare feet but you have a flannel on. Somebody, I remember somebody made a comment about your bare feet and the flannel. And it's like, yes, it's Seattle, you wear flannel in the summer. Maybe you don't have it on all day. But you probably have it on in the morning. And in the evening. Yeah. So I can wear too. I can definitely wear this, I can wear this during part of the summer, because it is not exactly hot here all the time. So anyway, but yeah. And then I'm still, you know, endlessly working on the pair of socks that I've been working on for months and months. There's really nothing to report. I'm still on the foot. I do, you know, three or four rows every so often when I pick it up. Yeah. And then I would continue to work on my spinning project. But I think, Kelly, why don't you talk about your projects, and then we'll talk about my spinning because we're gonna talk a little bit about spinning.
Does that make sense?
That does make sense. So I have some exciting news and then some really boring. Okay. So the most exciting thing is that since the last episode, I've actually put together the entire... all of the octagons and squares of the blanket that I'm making for my grandniece. I'm calling it Faye's flower blanket. It's a crochet project. I've been talking about it for a while. It's made of Knitpicks Brava sport. No, Knitpicks Brava worsted weight, is the yarn. So it's the Persian Tile Blanket by Jane Crowfoot. And I really love it, it looks great. It's all put together with you know, single crochet, I didn't sew it together, I single crocheted it together. And I was able to with the yarn, because you know, I talked about how much yarn was leftover. I was able with the yarn I had leftover to always be crocheting it together with a color that was on the edge of either the octagon or the square that I was putting together so that that was nice. I didn't have to... I didn't end up having to mix colors at all with the with yarn that I was, you know, that I was putting it together with and I just now have the triangles that go on the sides. It's the triangles have to go on it and then four corners. And then I'll be done.
Yeah, but I think she's gonna really like it. Because it's so colorful and it's turned, it's turned out really nice. And I might, I keep thinking maybe I'll make another one of these. I still do... once everything is put together. I still do need to do the edging as Marsha and I talked about Yeah. So it's not you know, it's not like it's gonna be done tomorrow
And have you thought more about how you'll do th edging?
I am probably just going to do the edging as the pattern calls for just four rows of it and that's not... nothing, nothing special. The real action is in all the flowers. So I think the border will just be kind of plain.
Yeah, it would distract.
I may, depending on how much yarn I have left, I may have to do like, not the same color all the way around the whole blanket. You know, for each round, I may not be able to use the same color. But I don't think that will be a problem. I think it will, it will go just fine. There won't even be noticeable with as much riot of color is going on in that. So that's really exciting. It went together a lot faster than I expected it to. And then I finished a charity hat, this little beanie with this... Usually I make you know enough ribbing that if you wanted to, you could fold it up when I make a hat. But this time I thought No, I'm just going to make it one inch or one and a half inch. I don't remember something like that. A ribbing and then the rest of it is just a little beanie. Not slouchy or anything like that. And it's made of, it's actually not... I don't think it's very pretty. I just made it with all the scraps I had left of sock yarn. And the colors. only marginally go together. So I'm not sure it's the best looking thing. But I said that to Robert and he said, Oh, I think it looks nice. So I guess you know, to my eye the colors don't go together but, but they do kind of. I started with the yellow and purple that I had used in one hat and then from that I went to just a purple and then I did purple and blue and I added in a pink stripe. And anyway, by the time you get from the bottom to the top, it's changed from this purple and gold. You know, purple and gold purple and yellow, to like a bright blue and greeny blue color. So, kind of a gradient but not really. It's a hat. It'll be warm. It's okay.
It will fit someone's head.
Yeah, it's not ugly. It's just not.... it's just not the prettiest thing I've ever made. So yeah, and then dish cloths. I've been making dish cloths. That was my travel project. I did work on the hat while we traveled but mostly I worked on dish cloths. I worked on dish cloths a little bit on your deck. So I've made about seven dish cloths out of I think it's well,... It turned out to be four skeins of yarn... so I guess, no three skeins it's three skeins of yarn that we had dyed. Some cotton yarn, 100 gram skeins that we had dyed. I think it was originally on cones.
Were they cones or ball? Well you know those balls that are wrapped around cardboard centers you know
Yes, it's nice cotton. Yeah, I don't know. It's thicker than crochet cotton.
So yeah, I don't remember what it came on but it came from the... it came from a weaving stash so
Isn't it the stuff I brought down that I got at the goodwill?
Oh, yes. Yes, it was you who'd gotten it. That's right. Yeah.
I went there...that was the days when... in those days when I used to go to the Goodwill. I don't go there anymore except to drop stuff off.
She's leaving the yarn for the rest of you who are in the Seattle area! [laughing]
Yeah, really go to the Goodwill and find treasures.
So yeah, we got dyes for cotton yarns, and we had dyed all of these. This was maybe four years ago, maybe five years ago. It was very early in the podcast that we dyed this and then we just never did anything. We were going to do something with it. And we were going to have it as a show topic, dyeing cotton, and we never did that. But anyway, it's making nice dish cloths. I guess. I haven't used one yet.
But well, and I haven't either because I would go out in the kitchen and there would be a dishcloth sitting by the sink. And then I go out to the kitchen a couple days later. Well, I was back and forth in between two days by go a couple days later I go out there and there was another dish plot that you had made. I've not used them. I promise I'm going to use them because I am under strict orders to use them But yeah,
I just threw one away. The last one that was in my drawer, I just threw away with a hole in it. So actually, I've put it in the compost with a hole in it. So I need to, I need to get the ends woven in and get a couple of these in my, in my drawer. So yeah, it's my standard dish cloth pattern it's, I think it's called the triple L tweed stitch. And it's, I just, I borrowed it from a pattern that was on Purl Soho. And I really like it. So I use it to make dish cloths all the time. And that's it. That's the sum total of my knitting and crocheting. So crocheting the blanket together, knit one hat, knit seven dish cloths. In what, three weeks? Because we were late, this episode is late. That's a lot of time for very little amount of production.
Yeah, yeah. Well, we got the rest of the summer.
Yep. Yeah, true.
So I have not gotten very much done either. But because I've been very busy with projects around here. But anyway, um, so let's just talk a little bit about--we had some topics. Well, let's talk about our spinning projects now together. And then we can talk because we had some questions from listeners. So spinning projects, let's talk about that. I, as everyone knows, I've been working on a green and dark brown, three ply. And the last time we talked, I think, I don't remember now where I was, but I have finished plying all of the green. And so all I have left is the brown. And this is a Merino. And what I decided to do is just to spin one bobbin of the dark brown, and I want a three ply. So I decided to do a Navajo ply. And the the upside of a Navajo ply is you just need one, bobbin, and you don't need to spin three bobbins of yarn. And which I learned too is that the whatever was on the bobbin, that singles on the bobbin ends up on... all of that yarn ends up on another bobbin Do you know what I'm saying? It's if you have three bobbins you can't fill a bobbin with three bobbins.
Right, right, right.
But the Navajo ply, you just know that it's all going to fit on that bobbin. And the downside of a Navajo ply, is, if you are spinning like me a bit unevenly, is you don't have two other plies that might fill in if it's if you're in a thin section, it won't be paired with a thick section necessarily. So because you're you're doing... the Navajo ply is basically like a crochet chain stitch.
In fact, it's also called the chain ply. Yeah.
Okay. So, which is great if you're doing like... if you want to, you want to keep the color order in your roving, keep that color order in your final yarn is great. But you then have it spinning in order. So if you have a thick section, it's all going to be thick. And if you have a thin section, it's gonna be thin. Because you don't have your two other bobbins of yarn that are randomly being placed together. And so three singles are...at some point, it's all going to be... the chance of having three thick pieces and three thin pieces ply together are greatly reduced, right. So I spun an entire bobbin and plied it. And it's it's nice yarn, but it's not going to... it doesn't match with the three ply that I did with the two colors. So that's going to become something else. And I have more roving, which I'm going to just spin three bobbins and ply it the way I did the other.
Do the traditional three ply.
yeah, in the same way that it keeps... in the same way that using that chain ply technique keeps all the colors together, right? It preserves your color order. It also preserves your thickness. So the thin parts stay really thin and the thick parts get really thick. And yeah.
And what I would say is I don't, I'm not such a.... I'm not such a perfectionist that I think that that yarn is now bad yarn, right, though. It's not bad yarn, because I think it looks good. It's just that it doesn't match the yarn that I have, which is a problem if you're going to use use it together in a project.
Yeah, I mean, it's not even really that thick and thin. It's just that it's, it's different when you put it next to the other yarn that you've made. it is very different.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So yeah, that is that is true that is not, you know, when you're seeing the yarn thick and thin, it's not like night and day. It's not really dramatically different. But it's different enough that I don't want to use them together with, you know, in a project.
Yeah, and I have a feeling that even if your yarn was totally consistent, that just the texture or the feel of the, of that chain ply technique is different than a traditional, a traditional three ply. I mean, if you're making socks, and you know, you've done a traditional three ply, and then you have one bobbi left and you just chain ply it and use that. You know, in case you have yarn chicken issues, you're not going to notice,
okay, maybe I'm not thinking of this the right way. But if you have three bobbins, you're pulling the single off the same direction, right? So the way you spun it is all coming off the same direction. But with a chain ply, because you're making a loop is one half of the loop going back the other direction. It's the opposite direction. So it's like, like... I always when I spin a single the, the bobbin is turning... I say it's turning to the right. Yes, it's turning to the right. So is that an S?
You spin z and ply s.
Okay, so but with the chain stitch ply or Navajo ply isn't one of the singles is going to be z or S or what? I'm now... I'm getting confused, but they're not going to be all... you said. What did you say that you spin singles Z and ply S? So if you are ... if you have three bobbins, you would be plying all of this three z singles. s ply, right. But with the Navajo ply, the at least one of them is going to be s and the two zs. Is that?
I think if you turn it upside down, you know, if you turn it back the other way, it's still it's still spun the same direction.
Oh, it is.
Yeah, but but you're right, there's something about making that loop. There's something about making that loop that makes it a slightly different texture, I think it feels different. Or maybe it's the twist, the amount of twist you put in. That might be part of it too. Because it's easier to get too much twist or to get more twist when you're trying to manipulate that, you know, making the crochet chain loop.
And it could be me just being tense. Well, yeah, I mean, when was the last time I did this type of plying it was years ago. And so I thought, Oh, it's gonna be exactly the same. Well, it's not going to be, it's never gonna be exactly the same, because it's a completely different vibe. It's a different technique.
Yeah, it's a different technique.
So it was it was an idea I had, but it was not... Yeah, it didn't work. And
and yeah, and it's like you said it's not bad yarn. It's just not the same as it's not the same as the other ones. And when you do it more... When you use the same technique, you'll get something that's closer.
Yeah, yeah. So that's where I am, back to that. But anyway,
All right. Well, I am I just finished spinning. I had about I had about 20 grams of Santa Cruz Island fleece left, had 20 grams unspun. And then I had tiny little, maybe like one gram amounts on two different bobbins. And so I thought, Oh, I know I need to get this off my bobbins and I don't want to throw it away because that was a really nice fleece. So since I had some ready to spin, I just spun all that up onto those two bobbins plus another bobbin. Split it up to make it even as I could. And then I three plyed it. So I have a traditional three ply of the Santa Cruz Island, which is the same fleece that I used when I made I made the sock yarn that I put in the fair years ago. And I had this... I think it was 2018 when I did it, and so I had this leftover from then so it's been sitting on my bobbins since then. So I wanted to clear them off for the summer spin in. But while I was spinning, I was thinking about how different this spinning that I was doing was from what you were doing. And then also thinking about the questions, some of the questions that we gotten in the thread about drafting techniques and fiber preparation. And so let's just talk a little bit about drafting. So how do you draft Marsha, when you're spinning this yarn that you're spinning right now, how are you drafting? How do you hold your hands? And what do you do?
Well, it's sort of depends upon the hour and the day of the week, because I have to admit, I'm not consistent, I keep changing a little bit I normally do. Yeah, I keep changing a little bit. And I don't know, it's not even about whether that's right or wrong. That's just how I am because we're human, and we need to move our bodies and sometimes my hands get tired, so I have to change a little bit. And, and sometimes, depending, like when I first start a bobbin, I am a little, it's a little it's different than when I'm just getting into the rhythm. So I typically I hold the fiber in my left hand. And I always think of what you said, you know, you have to put, like you're holding a baby bird, or a butterfly or something in your hands and not like, grasp it really, really tight. I always sort of pre draft my fiber, let me just say that what I'm spending is, most of what I've been spinning recently is just roving that I've purchased. Which is different than something that you've carded yourself, it's a little bit, you know...
You have a lot more choices. I'm that's what I think about a commercial roving, I think you have a lot more choices in how you can draft and what kind of techniques you can use.
Also, I'd say to just about I keep sort of changing throughout the spin, especially when I've done the combo spins, because if you're using different fibers, like sometimes I have, you know, Merino in there and targhee and corriedale, and then silk thrown in there. So that, and sometimes the mohair too. So that changes, you're going to have to change how you draft depending on what fiber you're actually spinning.
But typically, like just now what I was just doing, you know, 100% Merino, I hold the fiber in my left hand. I've pre drafted it. So it's fluffy and kind of light and open. And then I try not to do that, that...what do you call it? Pinch an inch or whatever?
And that's where you know, you hold the where the twist is going in. Just before that twist, you hold it with your thumb and forefinger and pull out the yarn, I find that I get more cramps in my hand. That's how I started spinning, because I felt like I had more control. But now that I've gotten more comfortable, I find that I get more cramps in my thumb, if I hold it that way. So what I do is I, a lot of times, I don't even use my right hand, I don't, like I'm just holding it in my left hand. And then every so often, if it starts getting a little thick, then maybe this is why I have thick and thin bits too. And if it starts getting a little thick, then I just take my right hand and pinch. So it doesn't... it stops putting that twist into the thing and maybe unroll it a little bit and pull it out. You know, but I did sort of, and sometimes I get a long, I get a long piece with a twist in it that's maybe 12 inches long. And then I just sort of pinch both ends and sort of pull it apart a little bit to get it to the thickness I want. Does that make sense?
You know, I don't know what you call that.
Well, there's a lot of different names for the different techniques and it sounds like what you're doing is...
I'm doing chaos. Chaos, the technique!
No, I mean, I think you're doing a lot of the things that happen in a long draw. Right, because you're using only one hand and then your other hand is helping when you need to, to kind of pull it out a little bit more and make it a little bit thinner. Are you pulling back with your left hand very much or mostly just holding it straight?
Yes, I'm pulling back.
Spinning is such a, I mean, it's such an old form of creation, that I think every person who who's ever spun has spun slightly differently. And you know, there's categories of techniques, but within that there really is a lot of variation. So, but like that inchworm technique is called a short forward draw, because you're taking out a little bit and you're pulling it a short ways. You're drafting it a very short ways and then you're letting the twist into a very short little segment. So short forward draw because you're pulling forward. I typically don't pull forward with my right hand most of my spinning is happening with my left hand, that's where I hold the fiber, too. And so I usually do backward draw, maybe not short, backward draw, but maybe a longer backward draw using my right hand... I probably use my right hand more than you do. If I were spinning like a commercial roving, not trying to spin long draw, I probably use my right hand, it sounds like I use my right hand a little bit more than, than you do. But mostly I, I, you know, pull backwards with my left hand. And my right hand is helping things along, as opposed to actually doing the work of the spinning. But it's interesting. So the commercial preparation that you have, you know, the commercial roving or commercial top allows you to do a lot of different things with it. Right, you can do all those. What I was spinning the Santa Cruz Island, I was spinning punis, which are like a roll of fiber off the drum carder... or the not the drum carder, the hand cards. And really, because the fiber is so short, they're really tiny, thin, you know. The reason I'm calling them punis and not rolags, it's just the size of them. You normally when you roll it off of the hand cards, you have this like sausage shaped thing of fiber, it's called a rolag, the ones that they make with cotton, are much smaller, you know, and thinner diameter, and they call them punis.
And because cotton doesn't stick to itself, they kind of roll them, we kind of you know, smash them a little bit to make them stick to each other better and not come apart. But with wool, you don't need to do that. And especially with this Santa Cruz Island, you don't need to do this because it is so crimpy that it's it really sticks to itself. So with these tight little...and the tightness of the of the roll that comes off of the handcard wasn't because I made it to be super tight. It's because of the crimp of the fiber. And what that fiber just wanted to do, it's not going to make a loose kind of loose sausage shape. It just had to come off in this little tiny, narrow diameter roll. Anyway, it's so clingy to itself, that really the only way that I could spin it was with either short forward or short backward draw, which is not my favorite. But it's a nice fiber. And I really enjoyed spinning it because it's an unusual breed. And it's one of the endangered breeds. So I'm happy to spin it the way it wants to be spun. But this is a good example of a fleece is going to tell you how it wants to be spun. Because I couldn't do... I could not do a long draw with it, that fiber just clings to itself way too much. Yeah, I couldn't do my normal kind of relaxed, backward draw spinning because the fiber just clings to itself so much. Sometimes you can use whatever you want. And sometimes you have to go with the with what the fiber is telling you to do right. Yeah.
I don't know that you have to start and go oh, and think to yourself, oh, this is the technique. This is the typical, or this is the technique that I need to use, or the draw that I need to use. You just organically do it because you have no choice. But to just to do it because of the fiber will tell you.
Yeah, that's right, I didn't sit down and say this is what I'm going to do to spin this fiber, it just, that's what I had to do to make to make it, you know, to make it work. And because the fiber is so short and so crimpy, in my carding I've created, I've created neps, you know, little tangled balls of fiber. And so I'm also I was also constantly picking off as I was going along, constantly picking off those little neps where I could, to make the yarn a little bit smoother. And I was only doing that because that's what I did for the skein that I entered into the fair because I wanted, I was hoping I would get a ribbon for it. And I did. So I was being really careful when I spun that. So I was trying to at least marginally make it match that yarn that I spun, because I want to make a pair of socks. And so this will give me a little bit more flexibility, you know, when I'm knitting it, into how long to make the top part of the socks because I'll have a little extra about 20 more, it turned out to be about 20 more grams. You know, by the time I had a little bit of waste at the end and everything. I got about 20 more grams of yarn out of it. So that was kind of nice, but I thought it was a good contrast between a carded preparation on my part and a commercially combed, or you know, mill carded preparation on your end. And then the two different techniques that we're using. Interesting, though, we both-- and maybe because you talked to me when you got your spinning wheel, but it's interesting that we both hold the fiber in our same hand. All the fiber with our left and a lot of people who are right handed do it the other way.
Hmm. It's interesting. Maybe it's because I, the first time I spun I spun on your wheel. And you showed me how to spin and you probably said, put it, put it in your left hand and I follow orders, you know,
yeah, I probably, I probably did! I switch sometimes and spin the other hand again, if I'm spinning for a long time, and I think oh, my hands getting a little tired. But that's...my typical is to put the fiber in my left hand.
I did some research. And I did find an article and this was on spinning daily.com. There's an article by Janine. I don't know how to pronounce this. It looks like back ridges, ba k r i g e s. And it's seven drafting techniques. And she has the names of the seven and descriptions and photographs. So I'll put a link to that because that was actually pretty interesting.
There's another really good resource for people, Oh, I thought I linked it and I didn't, I'll have to grab the link for you to put in the show notes. There's a craftsy class that I took from JC Boggs Faulkner, called Drafting: From Worsted to Woolen. And it was really good. I enjoyed that class. And she had swatches made out of all the different drafting styles. And some of them, I thought, Wow, you can really tell the difference between those. And some of them, I thought, okay, there's barely a difference. And so it's not going to matter in to my, for my purposes. It wouldn't matter whether I used one drafting, you know, one of the two drafting techniques or the other. And so, you know, it's like, Okay, well, I could just choose whichever one I liked, the better, whichever one I like better, because it looks like you get the same thing when you knit it up. So that was an interesting course, too, that I'll make sure is linked in the in the show notes in case someone wants to take that Craftsy class. It's still available. I checked it this morning.
Any more to add to about drafting.
I have a link in the show notes about the different names of the different preparations and you know, what is top versus what is roving versus what is sliver versus a batt of fiber. And so I have a link from Abby Franquemont's website that that I thought was a good kind of a primer on, you know, what are the... what do the different terms? What do the different terms mean?
We do have a question about how to get started with long draw from howmanystitches Liz, who's in Scotland. Did you want to touch on that?
Sure. I just want to thank prairie poet and supercut. For the other questions about what kind of drafting techniques we use and what our favorite drafting techniques are. We kind of got into earlier long draw is, you kind of just have to have a, well have a carded preparation, first of all, would be my suggestion, have a carded preparation of fiber, and then just be willing to make a lot of mistakes and have the yarn break, and then you just start again. Because you, you have to try not to touch it with your right hand and let the fiber come out of your left hand.
I think what we said is, you know, not only do you pretend you have a baby bird in your left hand, but you have a glass of wine in your hand. So you can't touch your left hand.
Yeah, yeah. And, and it works. I mean, and it's gonna be lumpy when you first start and you have to be, you have to be prepared to have lumpy yarn when you first start because you're--you have to just get the feel of it. And you have to be prepared to have it sometimes stretched out too fine and break. You know, slip apart, drift apart. It doesn't really break, but like you know, drift apart. And then you have to start again and pull out your end and start again. But you eventually do get the feel of it. And, and it is pretty amazing that it works. And you can also there's like a something called a double draw where you where you draw it back. And you let some twist get into it. And then once the twist is in it, you can you can pull it even pinch it off, you know, don't let any more fiber come out of your hand and pull it back even more and get it to be finer and like the lumps come out. Any lumps, you can get those lumps to come out by pulling a little bit more. It takes, it just takes experience and willingness to be wrong.
Again, that's my opinion and my experience. If you get frustrated by having it drift apart, or frustrated that you can't make consistent yarn, then it's just going to be an unpleasant learning experience. But if you just know that you're going to make lumpy yarn and get better the more you do it, then it will be... it will be a great experience. It's a fun way to spin I think. And it's pretty fast.
If you've ever used a supported spindle, that's another way that you could kind of get started. Not a drop spindle where you're using both your hands, but a supported spindle where one of your hands is having to spin the spindle and the other hand is drafting. That gives you a good... I think gives you a good feel of what that is like. So yeah, let us know, if you want more information, we can do a little bit more research.
I have a question. Just as we're talking about this, what is the best drafting technique to use when you have those long wools, you know, like a Lincoln?
Typically, people say, you know, with a long wool, you can comb it and keep all the fibers in order, you know, all parallel and spin worsted. So a worsted spinning would be where you don't let the twist get into your fiber hand, you keep all the twists in front of your, for us, it will be our right hand, keep all the twist in front of our right hand. And then be able to draft the fiber in your left hand. So you could do a short forward or, or short backward or you know, kind of go back farther because it's a long fiber, so you keep your hands further apart. Right here, your inchworm would not be an inchworm it might be like a, I don't know, a five inch worm. Because you want it you know, you need to keep your hands further apart. So you're not pulling on the same piece of hair.
I don't typically do a worsted technique, even with long wool. I'm... my tendency, when I'm just spinning for like, relaxing pleasure, I let the twist back into my into my left hand. I'm not, I'm not real good about keeping that twist out of my fiber hand, you get a little hairier yarn that way, you know more halo, less smooth. But that doesn't bother me. But if I wanted a really smooth long wool I would make sure I didn't let the twist get back into my back into my fiber hand. Okay, I wanted to just give a couple of other resources that I think are really good for people who are just beginning. Or if you have some resources, but you haven't really built a spinning library or ,you know, done more than just looking up a few things in Ravelry groups. There's one book that I have, called The Intentional Spinner: A Holistic Approach to Making Yarn. And that's Judith Mackenzie McCuin. And it's a 2009 book, I would really highly recommend it. And then the other one I have is the Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning. And I love this title: "Being a Compendium of Information, Advice and Opinions on the Noble Art and Craft." And this is by Alden Amos and it was in 2001. And he has since passed away but he was a very opinionated guy. Lots of spinning knowledge from you know, hand spinning to machine spinning. And so there's a lot of historical knowledge in that book and a lot of other things. So those two books I think are really a lot of information in them. And then I also wanted to mention the Spinner's Study Ravelry group. This month they're spinning, they pick a couple of different types of fleece each month and this month they're spinning Finn and Teeswater. And the spinning challenge for the month is called spinning and plying the other way. So we were talking about spinning z and plying s. So I think what they're doing is doing the opposite of that and looking at what that what that does to the yarn. I also wanted to mention that we've been talking about knitting with your handspun and Salpal had mentioned to me, sent me a message, to say that the Three Waters Farm Ravelry group has a bundle and a thread of patterns that are good for handspun.
And so we'll link to that in the show notes. And then Joanne, momdiggity, she suggested any pattern calling for Spincycle yarn would be a good pattern for handspun.
And then the other thing that I found is this month just by coincidence, the Spring/Summer 2021 Knitty Spin column in Knitty magazine. It's written, it's a column by jillian Moreno, is "Planning for Your Project, the Beginning." So she's talking about how do you, you know, if you're going to knit something, and you're going to spin for that particular project, what kind of things do you have to think about? And so all of those resources will be in the show notes. And then we had Marsha one more question, and that was about how to wash a fleece.
I'm haven't washed a fleece in a while.
I know I haven't either,
But superkip that's Natalie. She asks, How do you wash a fleece? This is what she says. "For the washing bit. I usually do a cold soak or two and then wash my fleece with really hot water. And in the second hot water wash, I add dishwashing soap. It works to get it clean. But I do have a lot of lanolin left in my fleeces" and then she says, "I was recently advised to use colder water or wash with soda. However, the soda felted my fleece, I might have used too much soda. And the colder water seems counterintuitive. Although I have not tried it." This was a couple of weeks ago. But I hope that we can give some advice to Natalie on this.
Well, first I think we have to discern, differentiate what the soda is. Explain that when it says soda it's not baking soda she's talking about it's soda ash right or, or washing soda, which is different. And I I had to look this up. So it's... baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. And soda ash or washing soda is sodium carbonate. And it sounds like from what I'm reading, it's a bit more caustic. And can be an irritant to your eyes, nose, throat. And looking at Wikipedia it's used as a sweetener in soft drinks. Think about that.
That sounds odd.
I know. And I also didn't realize what it is and that it is used a lot because it changes the pH. So it's used also for dyeing non protein fibers. like cotton or
Yeah, we used it when we dyed this yarn that I'm knitting right now the dish cloths,
right. So it changes the pH, I guess and so then the the dye can attach to the fibers is my understanding. So I don't and I was trying to get what does it actually do? How does it separate the lanolin from the wool?
But I know it's a washing aid. I mean, just in general, you can buy washing soda and you put it in for especially if you have hard water it it makes your laundry detergent work better. So from that standpoint, I guess. I guess that might be why she was advised to use it. I don't ever use that on wool. Yeah. I it it's wool likes an acid Ph. And it's too basic. And so I I know people do use it, but you are limited to how long you should keep the wool in contact with it.
Yeah, the article I was reading it says not to use more or leave it to soak any longer than 20 minutes and I wonder she doesn't say how long she left it. But she she says here she thinks she may have used too much. But I wonder if maybe it was in there too long.
Yeah. Either one of those things could have done damage--could damage your wool. Make it really harsh. And kind of I want to say crispy or crinkly.
So it was the the washing soda or soda ash. Was that something that was probably developed before we had detergents.
I would say yes to that, Yeah.
Because when I see people use different things like a lot of times they're using that wool wash you can get anywhere with Eucalyptus in it.
Eucalan. There's also another one. There's a scour there's a Unicorn Scour. That's actually not for washing garments but for washing fleeces.
But I just I use what you taught me to use, which is I use Dawn and I don't know.... I know SuperKip is in Europe. So I don't know if Dawn is available. I think she's in Holland I believe. I don't
Dish detergent. I think a dish detergent is-- for me that that works really well. And if you use that I would use dishwashing soap in both of those washes. Mm hmm and And make sure the water is really hot and that it doesn't cool off, you know before you drain the water, because the lanolin can reattach to the fleece. It's basically you know, it's like it's like grease. And so if you think about your dishes, even if you put detergent in dishwater if you then go to bed and leave them in the dishwater overnight and it cools, that grease will be redeposited on your dishes. I prefer to use dishwashing detergent and really hot water. And we do have an episode where we talk about washing fleece it's Episode 27B, Fiber Mythbusting Bonus Episode, where we talk about washing, washing fleeces and there's some links in that show, 27B. In that show's show notes there are also some links to some resources about detergents and how detergents work. And
Well, I was going to say we didn't even talk, we're just talking about washing it with detergents and hot water. We didn't even talk about the washing with the fermentation process. That's another whole episode about that. But that's where you basically, you let it just kind of for lack of a better word ferment in it. The suint, which is the sweat from the sheep.
And I've never I've never tried that you've tried it
Oh, I didn't do it the true way. But I did let it sit in water and get very smelly for about a month before I washed it. I ended up going ahead and using soap to wash it too. But I did have to use less. And it washed up faster. Yeah, but but I don't know that I actually got fermentation happening. Hmm. It just was very smelly.
Yeah. So, but I have a question about that--when, after you took the wool out the fiber out and washed it It didn't smell, right? It's just while sitting the it's the water that it's sitting in that's so bad.
Right. Yes. Okay, one thing that that that I think sometimes people don't do when they wash wooll is one, use enough water and the other, use enough soap or detergent. And it depends on the fleece too, you know. Is it a super super greasy fleece or is it a not so greasy fleece? Different breeds have different amounts of lanolin. But anyway, yeah, good. Great question. Lots of opinions about that question. If you go out and look. Look around for you know, advice about how to wash a fleece. The Alden Amos book talks a lot about using soda to wash fleeces and soap instead of detergent, which I think if you're using soap, maybe the the washing soda helps not create the scum that soap and hard water would create. Lots of methods have been used over the years. And maybe the washing soda is an older method too like you said. Before detergents were widely available when people did use soap more.
Yeah. So anything else we need to say about it?
I don't think so. I think that's it.
We'll talk more about spinning over the summer during the summer spin in. And if people have questions they want us to answer or try to answer. Just put them in the in the forum, the discussion thread.
Yeah, or email us.Two Ewes at Two Ewes Fiber Adventures dot com.
And since we are talking about the summer spin in we should just remind people that it started Memorial Day, which was May 31. And it ends September 6. We will talk more about washing fleece because I I have--someone gave me a alpaca fleece. And we've been talking about sheep's wool. But now it'd be interesting to talk about how you wash alpaca, but that'll be another time. I have questions about that. I have questions for you about that. So
I don't think I've ever washed alpaca. Oh, well, maybe you'll have questions for someone else.
Or maybe I'll just have to answer the questions and answer my own questions. Right. Well, the last thing I was going to just say is that we had such a great time on our visit and it didn't really hit me until after. Well, when you walked up on the front porch. It kind of hit me as like this is the first time we've seen each other since February 2020. It was last time you saw us when we went to Stitches.
And it was kind of like and then when you left I felt like wow, we just saw each other It's been so long since
Yeah, face to face.
It was really kind of remarkable. And I we have to thank science right?
Yeah that we were able to...you were able to drive up here and visit. So thank you to scientists.
Yes. Thank you for that vaccine!
Alright with that, I guess we should say goodbye. All right. We'll see you in two weeks.
All right. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening. To subscribe to the podcast visit Two Ewes Fiber Adventures dot com.
Join us on our adventures on Ravelry and Instagram. I am betterinmotion and Kelly is
1hundredprojects. Until next time, were the Two Ewes, doing our part for world fleece.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai