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MDSW! I was finally close enough to go, and go I did. I left the house about nine aiming to arrive near ten. I was totally pumped: had my car jamming music, ready to spend all the money. Then a mile from the fairground, I got into a car accident. I was fine, the car got a little banged up. But it sort of ruined my zeal, y’know?

Anyway, after doing all the things you do after a collision, I continued on to the festival. I neglected to take pictures of any kind except for of what I bought, which I photographed later. I did go to the podcasters meet up and awkwardly introduced myself. Suffice it to say I was not feeling especially social after the trip up.

Anyway, here’s what you really came for: the pretties. I ended up under my budget, which is good. I’ll need the extra money for car stiff and stuff. But now, pictures.

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Avalon Spring Exotic Fibers Roving. Bump one is Warm Forge, a gorgeous sparkly red.

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A second Avalon Springs, this one in Merlin’s Cape. No glitz, but a lovely subtly colored black.

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4 oz. Wesleydale from Liberty Ridge. I’m trying to collect wools I haven’t spun before, and this one is one I haven’t spun yet.

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2 oz merino/silk. I haven’t spun silk yet, plus this is super dark and gothy. Love it.

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4 oz Jacob, another new to me fiber.

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A whole pound of Ramboilliet for only sixteen bucks! I’ll be dyeing this one in bits.

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I got a spectacular deal on the four bits above. The green was two lz for w bucks. The other three are between three and four oz and were about five bucks each. STEAL. They are from Cloverhill.

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These two are 4 oz each, ten bucks a piece. They are from Spinners.Hill and I adore them.  Look at that pink! So bright. And the orange is all sunset like. Joe says it reminds him of Thanksgiving, but I like sunset better.

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This is probably my favorite bit of fiber purchased Saturday. It’s Gale’s Art polworth silk in Emerald Hummingbird.

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I also bought this grey masham, also from Gale’s Art. I will probably dye.it.

And there you have it! I bought almost six pounds of spinning fiber. But fiber is not all I bought. I got some buttons:

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I didn’t buy the Knit Girllls button obviously, but I did purchase the other three, which I adore. I also bought a fiber tool:

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A pair of Strauch hand carders. I love them. I’ve been using them quite a bit since I got home on Saturday, but more of my playing with fiber later.

Did you go to MDSW? Did I see you and not register it? (probably.) Get anything good? If you have a MDSW post, please link it in the comments!

I have like, a ton of FOs and WIPs to post about but instead, I will show you the pretties I bought at the Uniquities Fiber Farmers’ Market today. Just a bit ago, actually. OH DAMN did I buy a lot of things. My bank account is weeping, especially since I won’t be working for like three weeks. But so many pretty things. So much new fiber.

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Solitude Leicester fiber in this COMPLETELY GORGEOUS emerald. 4 oz.

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Solitude art batt, 1.5 oz. I bought one of these at the last market and it spun up into a super fun yarn. Now I have more!

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8 oz. Romney wool. The vendor did not include a card and my memory sucks, but I’m pretty sure it’s from Wool N Quilts. There might be bamboo in here; I don’t recall.

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8 oz. Romney/bamboo, same vendor as above. GORG.

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4.5 oz. wool/mohair/glitz/other things maybe from Feederbrook Farms.

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4 oz. bfl/glitz/something else maybe? also from Feederbrook Farms. The glitz doesn’t really show up in the photo, but this is beautiful. I love grey and I adore BFL.

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Avalon Springs targhee/alpaca/mohair/glitz. I made a bee-line for the Avalon Springs booth. I bought some of this roving there last time and the prep is AMAZING. It spins like butter. And is gorgeous. Colorway’s called Dragon Scale.

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Same as above. This colorway is Spellbound. It’s so pretty.

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4 oz. merino from Dancing Leaf. I bought a batt from them last time but they didn’t have any this time. They did have gorgeous fiber. This chunk of gorgeous wool was only $12. For hand painted merino!

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4 oz. BFL, also from Dancing Leaf. God I love BFL.

So that’s my haul. I spent… um, a lot of money. And later tonight I’m going out with friends in Old Town Alexandria for some drinking/company. Truthfully though, this is a TON of fiber for the money I spent. The prices for what I bought were all SUPER reasonable. And this haul’s got nothing on what I’m going to spend at MDSW this year (cause I’m local and TOTALLY GOING). Oh my goodness, I’m going to spend SO MUCH MONEY there. Mostly fiber probably cause I’ve got a ton of yarn already.

It’s going to take ages to spin this up on my spindles. Which is AWESOME. Fiberrrrrrrrr. *pets*

The other dy I finished spinning the orange sparkly fiber I got at the Uniquities Fiber Festival. It was a super fun, fast spin, and I am thrilled with the resulting yarn.

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Fiber: Avalon Farms Targee/Mohair/Glitz in Avebury Circle, 4 oz.
Yardage: 208 yards
Weight: DKish

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I spun the singles on my .9 oz KnotMyDayJob spindle and plied with my big ass maple spindle. It’s my plying spindle. I currently only have three usable spindles (those two and my supported; my Schatt Hi-Lo had a bit of an accident) which seems like not enough, but then I don’t usually do more than one spinning project at once (though I am working on support spindling some merino which I started after I started the Avalon Farms).

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I have basically no idea what I’m going to make with this yarn. I love it and it’s super squooshy and springy but it’s not the softest. My singles were a bit overspun and I wouldn’t want the yarn next to my neck. I’m thinking hat for right now, but maybe not. Maybe it’ll just be pretty and sit in my stash. : )

So remember how I bought that supported spindle from the Uniquities Fiber Market? I have been practicing my butt off and I’ve finally got the hang of it. It took a couple weeks and some serious frustration, but I’ve found the key: a loose prep and fiber that’s not boring. I spun up this batt the other day:

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It was only about 1.5 oz so it took practically no time at all. Plus I stopped caring about evenness, which was pretty impossible considering the yarn/neps/bits content. I two-plied it and got this:

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It’s only about 50 yards of a dk-ish weight. Not sure I’ll ever knit it into anything (maybe a little stuffy). It’s kind of the ugliest yarn ever, but as my first supported spindle skein, it’s not bad.

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Having finished that, I spun up some leftover BFL I had hanging about:

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This one required a ton of predrafting because the fiber was so compacted, but it came out pretty nice. I navajo plied it. Not sure of the yardage but it’s a tiny tiny little skein. Mostly just decoration I think.

I then started a new supported spindle project:

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The fiber is the other half of a four oz braid I got somewhere online a while back. It’s merino in the color way “Storm Front Coming”. I bought it from LakeHouse Loft on Artfire I think. It’s pretty compacted from being smooshed in my stash, but it’s spinning up pretty evenly. So yay.

A note on the spindle bowl: I was previously using a tiny tea cup. When I was in the Outer Banks, I went to a store called Michael’s, where they sell all manner of fossils, shells, geodes, stones, etc. They had a bunch of stone mortar and pestle sets and I was going to get one to use as a spindle bowl. On the last day, I spotted one that had been marked down for its missing pestle. Perfect. So I got an amazing spindle bowl for $5. It’s stone, so it’s good and solid and won’t tip over. WHOOT.

I finished spinning the Romney I’d been working on. It was a fun, quick spin. The original roving looked like this:

And with my heavy spindle (I really only have two; I should get some more mid-weight ones) I turned it into this:

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Aww yeah. Here’s some specs:

Fiber: Romney
Weight: Sportish
Yardage: 176 yards
Ply: Two plies

I have honestly no idea what I’ll make with it.

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I love it though. It’s very well balanced after a soak and a good thwack. The good thing about the warm weather is that when I wash yarn and leave it outside to dry it’s done in a couple hours.

I like spinning. Must do more spinning.

I currently have three projects in the works plus another small one for Etsy. First up, the vanilla socks:

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I’m doing an afterthought heel which is why they look oddly long.

Next is a Bigger on the Inside shawl from the most recent Knitty:

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It’s a recycled wool/angora blend that I had dyed through WWFY. I love it.

And finally….

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OMG. Spinning. I know. If you’ve just started following the blog… any time in the last year, then you probably didn’t know I did that. BUT I DO. I was watching the Knit Girllls podcast and felt the urge to spin. I got out some Romney I got from an OWS swap a while ago. I’ve missed spinning. I really love it. Because I clearly don’t have enough yarn as it is.

In unrelated fandom news, I’ve finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy and am going to see the movie this afternoon. If you’d like to hear my thoughts, hop on over to Twitter.

I know what you’re thinking. “I didn’t know Brinn was spinning anything. Does she even do that any more?” I know. It appears that yes, I do in fact do that anymore. And the reason I didn’t mention it was because there was no time. On Saturday afternoon I spent some time by myself and decided I wanted to do some spinning. And not the thin solid colored singles I have on my smallest spindle. No. Big singles. To make big yarn. Or at least biggish yarn.

I wanted color. I pulled out this fiber, 4 oz of corriedale from Lakehouse Loft (on Artfire):

I grabbed my giant spindle.

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I spun quickly, not paying attention to thickness or evenness. I just spun, figuring I’d ply it eventually. I spun for hours. I spun for like four hours. Then I took a brief break. Then I spun some more. I spun and spun. I went to bed. I woke up, ate lunch, and spun some more.

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And then I plied because I finished the singles in less then two days of more or less continuous spinning. I plied and plied. My shoulder was hurting and my boyfriend was off at a choir concert I didn’t go to (he tells me not to; it’s a class requirement for him anyway, and anyway I am Not a Fan of choir) but I watched several episodes of series E of QI and kept plying.

And then it was plied. I skeined it up, threw it in a bath with a little wool wash, and smacked it on the table a little. Then I hung it over a chair under a vent to dry.

On Monday, I took pictures.

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I spun four ounces of yarn to roughly worsted weight in two days. I made a two-ply yarn of about 140 yards in less than 12 hours. On my spindle. On my enormous spindle.

I think that’s quite an accomplishment.

Sneaking in a picture-less post under the wire to accomplish another day of NaBloPoMo.

Today was spent at the Manassas/Prince William County Fairgrounds for the Holiday Fair. There were lots of people dressed up in Renaissance garb (I was basically the only one NOT in garb; I was wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt), tons of vendors, and lots of lovely things to buy.

I was pleased that there were several fibery vendors, including Unplanned Peacock. They had a TON of yarn (almost all of which was basically out of my price range). I splurged on a nice skein of sock yarn (pictures tomorrow).

At a different both, I bought a hank of really nice alpaca yarn (sport weight two-ply for FIVE DOLLARS) and at another booth, I bought two silk caps to spin. I’ve never spun silk before so it should be… an experience. I also bought a floofy skirt and some knee socks (pictures of all these tomorrow, as I said).

I also got basically a bajillion orders for shark mittens over the last couple of days, so I’ll be knitting them until I die.

So I recently participated in a swap on Craftster wherein I swapped kits to make a craft with other people. It was sort of round-robin style. The kit I made (a drop spindling kit) went to sugaree. I included a how to spindle pamphlet, a little sample of my early handspun, a drop spindle, some fiber, and a drawstring bag to hold it all:

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The bag:

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and the fiber:

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I included about 30g of alpaca fiber and about 125g of domestic wool top (from the pound I ordered when I started spinning) that I dyed. I call the colorway “Ocean Madness (It’s No Excuse for Ocean Rudeness)”.

The kit I received in return was from ChrisSews and it was for making jewelry. She sent so much cool stuff!

Here’s everything:

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Tons of findings:

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Tons of beads:

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as well as instructions and materials to make these earrings, based off some on my wists:

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I can’t wait to make the second earring so I can wear them, but I don’t think I’ll really be able to until I go back to school. There’s a lot of little parts and I don’t want to lose anything, so I’ll wait until I’m settled in my apartment at school and have a work space that belongs to me.

So several months ago, I bought this merino fiber:

Pretty. I spun about half of it into this:

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Also pretty. : ) My first attempt at thick and thin, and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as you’d think. Spinning a single is hard enough (balance enough twist to keep it together with not overtwisting it) but also once you get used to spinning thin, it’s difficult to get back to spinning thick. Plus I always had the nagging feeling that it was too dense (so I wasn’t getting enough yardage for my dollar) so I had to deal with that also.

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I really love how it came out though. There’s not a lot of yardage (only about 60 yards) and the thickest bits are still only around worsted weight and I can’t imagine it’s very sturdy. It’s hella soft though, guys. It’s like a kitten. I love it.

PS: Don’t forget about the contest! Open until Friday! There’s not a lot of entries, so odds are good!