Finished Firsts

Finally, that finished report on the first yarn spun and plied on the new Aura.  It also happens to be my first beaded yarn.

Step 1:  I spun up some laceweight singles in a Corridale (wool).

That was the easy, breezy part, especially with the Aura, the wool-eater.

Step 2 is where it got dicey.  I bought some size 10 crochet cotton in a pale blue, and strung three small tubes of beads on it.  The stringing alone took almost an hour.

There were FOUR knots like that before I finished plying all 350 yards.  I actually had about 400 yards of the wool, but after going back for two more tubes of beads (still not quite enough) and cutting and RE-stringing those beads so many times, I wasn’t about to go buy more cotton.

The beads are actually blue lined with silver, and none of these photos  accurately reflect their stand-alone color.

As seen here with my yarn-guard in the background, I did quickly and sloppily navajo ply the remaining wool at the end too.  It’s hard to navjo ply laceweight!  I don’t think I’ll do that again.

Because my new bobbins don’t fit on my beautiful lazy kate, the Knight and I fashioned a very basic model.

One box, one long, thin needle, and voila!  I’ve already put in a request for a proper Majacraft Universal Lazy Kate AND ordered the Knight to create an “adapter” rod that will allow my lovely Yarndemon Kate to continue to serve me well, regardless of what wheel/bobbins I use.

This was my first beaded yarn, and it could be my last.  That’s why when Ann begged me to make some for her, I told her this is hers.  I honestly don’t know if I’ll go to this much trouble again.  Although, I’ve since learned there are little spinny bead bowl thingees that literally spin the beads onto  the needle, onto the yarn for you… 

I love to ply, generally, but the knots and running out of beads twice sucked the joy right out of this for me.  It isn’t perfect, but I know Ann will love it anyway, so the yarn is getting a better home than it would have with me, I think.

Oh – and I’ve called it light fingering, but it’s a REALLY light fingering at 15 wraps per inch. 

I do want to try plying with metallic thread, and I would love to hear other ideas you have for blending handspun with something else (to take full advantage of the yardage).  I’m spinning that blue Fairy batt now, and it will be laceweight when plied.  I am leaning towards plying it with a metallic thread to keep it a true laceweight.  It does  have some slubs (chunks of fiber that simply do not want to yield and be spun into something smooth), and for a change, I’m leaving those slubs in the yarn.

I’ll be spinning that batt this weekend.  I’m also on Sissy watch.  You can read her blog to find out why, but so far, she hasn’t been sick, thankfully.  Y’all were quiet too yesterday, so catching up on my blog reading is already crossed off the to-do list.  I also want to figure out how and where to store my fiber stash, not to be confused with the yarn library.  The other spinners out there… how do you store your fiber?  In plastic tubs like the yarn, or ??

Oh – I also want new running shoes, and if Sis continues to keep those pills down, I might scoot in to Ragged Mountain Running Shop for a personalized fit and shoe recommendation.  I do realize running is high impact and thus, not ideal for my back, but I can’t just walk – seriously.   My body just sneaks into a jog when I’m not looking.   I’ve even tried race walking, and while I have been known to complain that I hate running, I ran track AND cross country in high school, and then would go run the stairs in the hose tower at the firehouse when I was working and couldn’t get to the gym.   I think I’m a runner, so I may as well buy shoes that will help protect my back as much as possible.  There’s also nothing like running to burn those calories which I must incinerate to lose this weight, which isn’t good for my back either…

What’s up for your weekend?

26 comments on “Finished Firsts

  1. Mary says:

    Congratulations on the beautiful yarn (even if adding beads sucks); it looks great. Since I know absolutely nothing about spinning, batts, fiber (other than the finished product), etc. I cannot provide any advice on ways to improve your technique.

    As for the wkend…well, it will be quiet and I could use quiet. DH is away for a car weekend in Carlisle, PA. so it is just me and the pups. Since no testosterone will be present, the dogs are content to sleep away the day (they have DH on a regular schedule…me, not so much).

    Have a good one. Good luck with the shoe shopping.

  2. kathy says:

    Beautiful beady yarn! You can add yarn-maker to your list of talents.

  3. Sue says:

    The yarn looks beautiful from here.

    Do you wear a back brace when you run? Rob thinks it gives him some relief when he mows and trims the yard.

  4. km says:

    That beaded yarn is beautiful. It sure sucks the fun out of it when you hit snags in what is supposed to be your ‘happy time’. I’m glad the yarn found a good home.

    You know I love shoes! I’m lovin’ my aetrex running shoes. They have a fancy little sensor bed you stand on before you buy your shoes to tell you what your foot needs. I know there’s probably not a place close to you, but check the link out just in case. The shoes I bought are running shoes…essentially with an orthotic.

    We’ve got cool mornings and hot afternoons. Summer is here. I’ll spend today cleaning up the house, then I’ve got a date with my fitness ball. I’ve got to keep on working out even when I don’t feel like it.

  5. gMarie says:

    Love that purdy yarn. I can’t wait to see what Ann does with it. Also – I’m always amazed at how generous you are, but I understand it. The “hobby” is making the yarn currently, not necessarily knitting with it.

    I’ll keep you and your lazy weekend in my thoughts. I’m hoping to have a bit of the same. Going to look for some fabric for knitting bags, maybe try to get the paypal account set up finally, and snuggle with my Old Man. g

  6. Walden says:

    The yarn looks lovely! I don’t think I will ever have enough patience to make yarn with beads. Can’t wait to see how the next spinning progresses, the batts look so lovely!

  7. Bubblesknits says:

    That yarn looks fabulous! You have a lot more patience than me. I’d have tossed those beads into the lake. LOL

  8. AlisonH says:

    Beads me how those bead bowls work. Lucky Ann to get that!

  9. Amy Darsie says:

    I love your lazy Kate … I have one very similar, made from a shoe box. I noticed you only have one bobbin in there though – are you Navajo plying? If you are, will you teach me? I just ply from two bobbins and while it works fine, I know that there must be a better way.

    Squee — see you next Sunday at the Spin In!

  10. Marjie says:

    I’d be fed up with beaded yarn, too! It’s pretty, but the work seems, well, horrible! Hope you’re enjoying fun in the sun. As for me, well, the sewing machines call…

  11. Well, as usual, you have more fortitude that I would in the same circumstances!(I just don’t know about stringing all those tiny beads) Your new batt looks beaut-i-ful to me! My weekend…bake, clean, pack, make lists, and church picnic and Dessert Auction tomorrow. (explains the baking on hot, humid day, blech)

  12. Anita says:

    The yarn is gorgeous!! I’m seriously thinking about one of those bead bowl thingys too. 🙂 The few slubs I got on my Narcissus yarn I plucked off, I can’t wait to see yours! And a silver metallic thread would be lovely with that blue. Remind me to send you a link for less expensive high yardage metallic thread…

    And hold off on the dang kate will ya?! Poo on you for spoiling the surprise! Impatient girl. LOL

    I’m sooooo glad that Sissy hasn’t been sick yet! How did the rest of the day go? And speaking of shoes, I just posted about my new flip flops!

  13. Barbara says:

    Gosh, Chan, the yarn is beautiful! I know the effort you put into it, but how can you bear to give it up?

    Running is not good for your back, but you already know that. Did you know you’re suppposed to replace your shoes every 3 months? I know it, but don’t do it.

    Emailing in a bit.

  14. Kristin says:

    I miss running so much. Bum knees make it impossible now. The elliptical’s just not the same!

  15. anniebananie says:

    I’m honored and thrilled to be able to give your beaded yarn a home. It’s beautiful yarn, and I can’t wait to find the best project for it.

    I’ve never liked running and never been good at it.

  16. Julie says:

    Oh my goodness, that is quite beautiful beaded yarn. Husband and I have been on a pre~vacation, a little testing of the waters before retirement. It is good! We had so much fun! I say just do what you like.

  17. Dianne says:

    That yarn is sooo lovely. Sorry it was such a pain to ply. I agree with you, though… if it’s not fun, don’t do it again!

  18. Kathy says:

    That yarn is just gorgeous. You did a beautiful job in spite of all the little hitches along the way.
    Slubs had character to the yarn…well, that’s my stance…er….excuse ;).

  19. Natalie says:

    Wow…so pretty! Can’t wait to see what you knit with it.

  20. Cat says:

    Wow! I hope I can spin so fine one day… (cross fingers, folks). The yarn turned out lovely!

  21. AllyB says:

    Ooo, shiney! I love that color blue. Sorry you had to deal with a power outage. Ours was on Memorial Day – 5 hours – we do have a generator for just such an occasion though so we had refrigeration and tv.

  22. Blond Duck says:

    Go to a specialty running store! Seriously. I just always bought shoes and have had toenails turn black, fall off, callouses, pulled calfs, sprained ankles, tight hips….after my last injury that didn’t let me run for three weeks, Ben took me to a specialty store and they scanned my feet and fitted me. MAGIC SHOES. MAGIC.

    When it comes to running, don’t screw around with cheap shoes.

  23. Nichole says:

    I’m sure it was a lot of trouble, but boy is it PURDY!!!!!

  24. All that blue is dead gorgeous!!

  25. Terrie says:

    Your beaded yarn looks beautiful! Bummer the beads were such a hassle, but it’s always nice to know you did it anyway 🙂 I’ve been thinking about running lately. I really need to get some aerobic exercise!!

  26. Robin says:

    Love the beaded yarn. May just have to try that. Beads would look great on some purple roving I have.

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