Category Archives: spinning

Platelet Day With a Side of Yarn

Someone tell me what the heck is the point of fat free Half-n-Half?  For some reason, I need to see that creamy brown color to my coffee in the morning.  DH means well, but fat free just doesn’t cut it.  I seem to be using more of this stuff because the color is not there… no taste, either.  Sigh.

Well, on to today’s post which will just be a blurb.  I’m in a hurry and I do not have photoshop and I’m not sure which program out there will flip the photo so that ya’ll can read the card, but it says that I have my platelet donation appointment today.  I’m pretty excited because it’s been over a year since I last did this and it feels great to get back into the swing of things.  A little worried that my hemoglobin will be low because I’m not eating red meat a lot, but DH has been a blood donor like forever and he eats red meat even less than I do.  This morning will have scrambled eggs for breakfast and swiss cheese if we have any.  These eggs are fresh out of the hens and ducks, though I think the duck eggs are eaten.  Gotta be better than those that are mass produced.  We get them from my dad’s neighbor in PA.  Same guy that searches the woods for mushrooms.  He’s from an East European country, but I forget which one, and this guy has kept his traditions.  Amazing.  I’m not dead yet, so I feel comfortable saying that he knows what he’s doing.  The mushrooms have a really earthy taste… so different from the farmed ones.  I can’t eat a lot of fermented or fungus-y stuff; but every once in a while, I either saute them or make a soup.  The spouse skeeves (spell checker is no help) mushrooms, so all the more for me.

No spinning done yesterday.  I think I needed a rest since I spent the last few days spinning almost constantly, between daily tasks and whole nights.  In my former post, I said that the singles seem hard.  However, the possibility exists that once plied, the twist will relax and the yarn will feel softer.  Also, if it ply is not overly twisted, the finished yarn will be softer.  Do I have that right?  I’ll soon see because my bobbin is almost full, though I don’t see myself having the time to spin today because of my appointment.   WHICH brings me the idea that I can spend some time before my appointment at All About Ewe since it’s just two-three blocks away from there… woo hoo!  Missed going yesterday because of church commitments, but will be sure to get there today.  What I love about her website is that there is a page that lists her stock.  Very handy if you need something in particular, but that’s not to say that people don’t just mosey on over there.  It’s a very nicely put together store and very spacious as compared to a lot of other shops that I’ve been to.  Very nice situation, off street parking which is pretty convenient.

Okay, better get going I’m getting hungry and that means my day is starting with an nice eggs and toast breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day, you know!

Alpaca Project

Okay so after a whole day, I think I want to reference my first post on the subject:  here and here.

Spent a bit of time a lot of time yesterday spinning the reddish-brown alpaca fluff.  I’ve not gotten a proper comb yet, but been using this plastic pocket comb to flick the tips of the fleece that are stuck together.  It seems to be working out, but I’d love to properly comb this stuff out.  Oh, and why are only the tips stuck together?  If anyone knows, I’d really appreciate a comment to let me know.  Since I spun a lot of it, I’m going to keep going like this so that it’s all done the same way.  Not sure how much I’ll get, but I don’t really want to devote a lot of fleece to it, and I was thinking about doing a Navajo 3-ply.  This means I need to really stuff a lot of singles onto the one bobbin.  The texture is coarse and I’m thinking it could be because I didn’t comb it properly and that the fibers could have been lined up a lot better than I’ve been getting them.

I wasn’t going to say, but if you haven’t got a clue, I’m not a pro at this.  Big disclosure, right?  But you know, when I decided to do this, I decided to go on a journey, and part of that is committing to exploration.  I’ve never spun up alpaca and thought that I’d really love to try it.  In it’s natural state, the fiber is undyed, and not very bright or colorful.  I find that I do like the natural coloring and with working with this natural fiber, I find that I’m not distracted by ooogling and ahing at beautiful colors flying through my fingers.  I can concentrate more on the fiber itself and how it’s interacting with itself, my fingers, and the spinning wheel.

The most amazing thing is watching the loose, fluffy fibers attracting to each other to form an effortless twist and single strand of yarn.  They seem to almost magnetically seek each other out and twist into each other to form the single.  When I let it get pulled through my fingers, the strand is made smooth. When I let the twist travel into the draft zone, the natural twist forms a bit of a fuzzy halo around the strand.  Interesting.  The staple is not as long as other fibers I’ve worked with, so the twist seems tighter, or maybe that is how I’m working.  I’ve tried to slow down the wheel, but I don’t believe I’m getting a more relaxed strand.   Honestly, I can’t wait to “whack” this stuff.  I’ve never really done that before, but this time, I’m going to wash the finished hank and I’ve heard of people whacking a wet hank on the floor or somewhere and it’s supposed to “set the twist?”  Whatever.  I’ll ask someone.  The one thing that I’ve learned with spinning is to just relax and see what comes from your actions.  One time I made yarn that was way under twisted after plying.  It was so relaxed that it got me nervous.  The easy fix to that was to simply put it back onto the wheel and go another round of plying, but I did not unply it first.  All I did was run it through again, and it just twisted it a little bit more and that made a world of difference.

Okay, so the title of this post will also be what I am calling this Spinning Journey of mine.  “The Alpaca Project”

Deep Space #9 and Alpaca Stuff



Beautiful isn’t it?

This is Frabjous Fibers, Vegan “Wool”, 100% nylon, Deep Space, #9 colorway, 8oz. and it feels like freaking cashmere!  759 yards of lace weight yarn in breathtaking blues, lavenders, some deep reds and whites.  I’d really like to make the Holden Shawlette out of this lovely stuff, but my friend, Rabbitridge asked me how nylon blocks and I’ve got to say that I have no idea.  I’ll have to check around.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to use the Vegan Wool.  Incidentally, if you’re not on ravelry, you won’t be able to check out the shawlette.  Sorry, but while I can share my own personal project, I can’t share other ravelry pages and I have no progress going on with my project.  I’ve put out feelers in the ravelry yarn group, one of the six main boards, I’ve reached out to the Frabjous Fibers, and the LYS I purchased the fiber from will be reaching out, as well, because this is pretty much uncharted territory for me and I guess most of my friends.  HEY, everyone plays with the organic stuff and this is a little high tech for yarn, right?

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Okay, while I wait to find out something, and after a really good tomato and provolone cheese sandwich, this second part will be the official first post pertaining to my newest endeavor, spinning yarn as a donation.  Recently, I received alpaca fleece from Faerie Tale-Fiber Farm  and will be spinning it as a donation to the No-Kill Sanctuary.  I’ll have to come up with some catchy phrase/name for my personal project, but for now, it’s the brown fleece referred to in my post, “Spinning to Give Back,” and hopefully, I can add more to this in a couple of days.  This is alpaca fleece came to me from So far, I’ve spun up a few yards just right out of the bag.  I wanted to play around with it to see how would be the best way to proceed. I was advised to spin it up first, before washing it and that kinda makes sense as there is no lanolin in the fleece, so won’t be greasy to the touch.  The fleece came to me really clean, but it smells a bit and I’m sure that is normal because, well, it came off an animal.  I don’t have a comb yet, so if I do more before I get one, it won’t be that much because though I love to spin right out of the bag, the strand seems hard.  I really want to line up the fibers and make it as smooth as I can… or as smooth as alpaca can naturally get.

So, for now, this is fun and I’m getting my fingers used to this fiber.  In the mean time, I found Prince behind the couch (while looking for my niddy noddy).  This is fleece from a black sheep I got at the New Jersey Sheep and Wool Festival about two years ago.  I’ve learned since then to find out what kind of animal you’re getting the fleece from…. moving along……… His partner in crime was also hiding behind the couch, some really nice gray llama fleece I got from the same festival, sadly no name.  You know, it’s really nice to know the name of the animal you get your fleece from.  It makes it so personal.  No name came with the stuff from the sanctuary, but I’ll have to see if I can find out.  I missed the next two years of NJSW and hope I can get there this year since I don’t go to the NYSW or MDSW… Two somewhat close ones, but I’d really like to spend the weekend.  MDSW might be a good day trip, but never could plan it out.

Okay chickies… until next time.

Spinning to Give Back

Woo hoo… A new post!  I should be writing this in my knitting blog, but I’ve just not had any inclination to write for that blog in a long time.  In total, I have three blogs now, and it’s a bit overwhelming for me right now.

This one is about a unique way to make a donation, spending little to no actual money…. my most favorite kind.  For one thing, even if I had the luxury of having extra cash to spend, I’m a believer in stewardship.  Time, Talent, Treasure.  Where I can sometimes abound in the first two, I am sorely lacking in the third.  My Time is my treasure.  I value that, above all else; and if I am giving you my time, it means that I value YOU.

I have skills and I have talent.  I will be shortly giving my time and talent to Faerie-Tale Fiber Farm/Faerie-Tale Alpacas, a NO-KILL sanctuary for rescued alpacas.  Go on over to her facebook page and check them out.  Linda and her daughter, Lisa, had brought their alpacas to the Grand Opening Weekend at All About Ewe a couple of months ago.  I took a pamphlet, and to be honest, stayed AWAY from her table of alpaca yarn and knitted goods… sigh.  Anyway, I found out that one of the ways you can donate to the sanctuary is to agree to prepare, and spin up alpaca fleece, then send it back to them so they can sell it.  All proceeds go right back into the animals and their upkeep, and medical expenses.   As a bonus, she will send you some for your own use.  My spinning friends, you can’t beat that deal because you’re getting at least as much as what you’re sending back to them.  It’s a great way to practice and fine tune your craft, while not actually using your own fiber.  For myself, I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to help out these animals we love so much for their fleece, while getting the opportunity to spin stuff I never did before.  My intention with this blog is to document my progress and the creation of whatever yarn which chooses to reveal itself.  This is what I received in the mail.  The brown bag for them, the black bag for me:

You can be sure that next time I will see if I can get this beautiful reddish-brown….

I’m working diligently to finish up what I’m working on right now, and you can be sure that I’ll not wait to start on this.  The weather hasn’t been all that great lately anyway, so just as well.

I’m just a couple of days away from completing the spinning of eight ounces of Vegan “Wool”, colorway “Deep Space #9, (love it) from Frabjous Fibers, found it at All About Ewe.  It’s 100% nylon and has the most vibrant colors I’ve ever seen and the softest fluff I’ve ever felt.  Oh, and hand-dyed in Vermont, USA.  The colors permeate the whole hunk of it, through and through.  If you’re like me, and prefer colors that really saturate the fluff, you will fall in love this half-pound of hand-dyed fiber.

Very smooth…. This is what I’m talking about:

You know, it’s so easy to get caught up in spinning for ourselves.  This craft is not appreciated across the board for the skill, time and talent it takes to create something beautiful from almost nothing, fluffy stuff.  You cannot place a monetary price, that people will pay, for a hand knitted item, let alone created with yarn that was handspun.  You just cannot possibly be justly compensated.  So we either create for ourselves or for others, but those “others” really must pass the grade to be judged worthy to accept something that is created with love, if even just a love for the craft.  We love what we do, but that doesn’t mean that we should be loose with it… humph~!  With that said, I love that I am able to give my time, talent and love for these animals and combine all that into something that can benefit them.

So if you’ve managed to get down to this place, I would put the question to you.  Do you spin?  Do you knit?  Have you given back lately, using your preferred craft?  I’ve love to hear what people out there are doing.

Floating on a Cloud

It’s hard to separate what posts belong here or at my other blogs. Dragonmommie’s World is my personal blog, so I figure everything can come here.

Colors of the Dragon

I don’t write a lot about spinning here at Colors of the Dragon, but I am today. I am motivated. Pulled out my spinning wheel today, cleaned and polished her up, figuring that I’d need to get on her good side before beginning. She is tempramental and seems like she just wants to be loved… and she is. I’ve tried to name her but I’m not good at that. I know that while I did name her last year, I’ve since forgotten, though her last momma named her Brun Hilda.. or something like that. I just think of her as “baby” and that’s what she’ll be in my mind as I’m not prone to talking to her unless I’m cursing, of course. She knows I love her.

I recently purchased the beautiful and luxuriously soft Frabjous Fibers, Vegan “Wool” and this was my first spin in months and months. It’s…

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