Again with the Spinning (and a winner – or winners actually)

(And again with the technical difficulties, too – sorry for my delay in posting about the giveaway winner! I tried to post yesterday but failed).

We are deep into Tour de Fleece now, and I have been spending all my crafting time making yarn. My pile of knitting keeps staring at me sulkily, but I’m committed to doing as much spinning as possible during this three-week tour. I’ll be picking up th knitting needles again soon.

The Hello Yarn “Gobbler” on Cheviot was a delicious spin. I finished the final skein on Saturday:

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Which meant that, in one weeks’ time, I had completed an entire sweater spin:

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This was a feat I’d never have been able to accomplish without my new miniSpinner. So, thank you, miniSpinner!

There’s obvious variance from skein-to-skein with this spin, but I plan to alternate the skeins while knitting, so I think it will all even out. I have one more 4oz. bump of the fiber to spin up, in case this isn’t enough for the sweater I have in mind, but I think it will be. I can’t wait to cast on for this!!

But instead of casting on, I put more fiber on the spinner, and away I went:

action shot

action shot

This was the dreamiest of dreamy spins:

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This is Hello Yarn “Light as Feathers” on Romney Lambswool and it is AH-MA-ZING.

In almost no time, I had this:

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I have very special plans for this skein, but once I finished it I began dreaming of an entire sweater of this lusciousness. I’m very, very tempted to try to get my hands on more of it.

But for now, I put more Hello Yarn on the wheel, this time part of the MegaSAL I’ve been a part of this spring and summer:

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This is “Crivens!” on BFL/Silk – aren’t those colors just divine? I’ve finished chain-plying the first half and am now spinning up the second half, for a pair of yummy socks.

Okay, okay, I know you’re not really here to see the spinning – you want to know who won the giveaway, right? First, let me say, thank you, THANK YOU, for spreading the word about this. The best way I know to express my joy and gratitude for our son’s safe rescue is to do my best to prevent this kind of accident from happening to anyone else’s child. Thank you for helping me do that!

Secondly, I decided to pick two winners. There were lots of people who shared and posted on Facebook who didn’t comment on the blog post, and I wanted to include them all in the drawing, but I didn’t want to be unfair to those who had also taken the time to comment on the post. So I did one drawing just for the people who commented on the post, and that person will receive the original skein I posted:

Southern Cross Fibre "Nobby" South African Superfine

Southern Cross Fibre “Nobby” South African Superfine

The winner of that skein (or of something made from that skein if she isn’t a knitter) is Molly Gee – Molly, thank you for spreading the word. I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address and ship this off to you (or something made from it)!

I did a second drawing that included everyone who had commented on the original blog post and also those who only commented on Facebook, and that person will receive another handspun skein (something I’ll pick from my stash) or something made from it. The winner of that gift is Jessica Pressley – Jessica, thank you for spreading the word. I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address!

Thanks, y’all, for your very kind words, your ongoing help in raising awareness of this kind of accident and how to prevent it, and for your continued willingness to share in my joy!

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All the Spinning, All the Enthusiasm

Thank you, thank you, for your kind comments and your willingness to spread the word about how to prevent sand hole collapses. I’ll leave the comments on that post open until next Wednesday and then will use the Random Number Generator to see who will receive the handspun yarn (or something knit from it).

Now that I’ve started blogging again, I might as well continue, right? And while I do have some knitting to show you, I thought I’d instead show you what I’ve been obsessed with lately.

HansenCraft miniSpinner

HansenCraft miniSpinner

I got this beauty for my birthday last month. It’s a HansenCraft miniSpinner, in cherry wood, with a Woolee Winder. Oh mercy, y’all, I love this thing. I’d been kind of wanting one for awhile, and after doing some investigating and talking with some spinners who have them, I decided it would be the perfect addition to my spinning tool collection. I just didn’t realize how perfect.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the miniSpinner is an electric spinner – meaning it requires no foot power (treadling), leaving you free to focus entirely on drafting. It’s powered with a foot pedal and is plugged in to an outlet or car charger (it can also be plugged into a battery pack, which is my next hoped-for acquisition). The portability is unparalleled. In years past, I have frequently loaded one of my spinning wheels into our car for long trips. But this time, I was actually able to spin while en route!

spinning in the car

spinning in the car

I love treadling, so I wasn’t sure if I would really love spinning without treadling, but I do. It’s fantastic to be able to focus more completely on the drafting, and I feel like my spinning has already improved as a result. And my production has increased exponentially.

In the last month since I got the miniSpinner, I’ve spun the following:

Southern Cross Fibre,

Southern Cross Fibre, “Breeze” on Finn

Spunky Eclectic Wensleydale,

Spunky Eclectic  “Octarine” on Wensleydale

Southern Cross Fibre

Southern Cross Fibre “Nobby” South African Superfine

Hello Yarn

Hello Yarn “Gobbler” on Cheviot, skein 1

Hello Yarn

Hello Yarn “Gobbler” on Cheviot

I’m working on a sweater spin of the Hello Yarn “Gobbler” for this year’s Tour de Fleece. I think it will make a perfect fall sweater! And in the first six days of the tour I’ve already finished two skeins and gotten nearly halfway done with the third.

Hello Yarn

Hello Yarn “Gobbler” on Cheviot

Like I said, the increase in my productivity with this thing is pretty amazing. In all of last year, I spun up 40 oz. of yarn. In the month since I got my miniSpinner, I’ve already spun up 20 oz (and more than 1/3 of that month included zero spinning because of more intensive traveling) . I know I won’t keep that pace year-round, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Now if only I could figure out a way to make my knitting needles move as fast as my new spinner, I’d be set!