New Toys!

So last week, I Instagram-ed this photograph of a delivery from Linda at Baynoddy:

Feb03SurpriseTwo different people guessed what was in one of the two boxes.  My mother in law had a bit of an advantage as she knew I was saving up money to buy something special.  It’s something I had wanted for several months, ever since Shireen had started me dyeing my own fibres.

I had been wanting to lay hands on a blending board ever since I realized that a drum carder was 1) expensive and 2) overkill for what I was trying to accomplish…unless First Light Handcrafts goes into the batt-making business. But I digress.

Feb03BoardI ordered it at the beginning of January and waited patiently (mostly) for it to arrive.  While I was waiting I did a few things including dye some fibre and make plans for some less than ideal fibre I had laying about.  For example, a few years ago I purchased some BFL in a destash and it was a nightmare to spin.  Night.  Mare.  It was clumpy, and would not draft.  To this day I am not sure if it was bad dyeing or bad storage so I won’t comment on the dyer.  I nearly tossed it out the window.  Then Mother Macrina over at Inglenook mentioned to me that that was how she got started….other Mothers in the convent brought her fibre that was mostly unusable and she put it through her drum carder.  So I held onto this gorgeous ultraviolet but unspinnable fibre and boy, am I glad I did!  (It’s the one on the right and looks far more blue here than violet, which is part of the reason I purchased it!)

Feb03fibreOn Sunday, I set up the board and located some fibre that I had dyed while I was still living in Toronto….some unidentified Minnesota wool and some undyed Tussah silk, both dyed using turquoise dye.  I also found some undyed bamboo.  Using the purple BFL as a base, I started…a layer of it, one of the bamboo, one of the water-y blue and one of the blue silk.  I then set to making my rolags.

My first pass looked perfect…until I realized that I was never going to get the rolag off the dowels in one piece.  The part of the instruction video that failed to stick in my head?  The part where she made three or four rolags from one board full of fibre…not just one.  Oops.  The fibre was so tight I was totally unable to even budge the rolag.  I had to tear it up to get it off.  Back to the drawing board.

Feb03RuinedTry number two went, I am happy to report, much better.

Feb03ProgressI deliberately made 4 per board and got 8 rolags done before I decided I had some other fibre-y tasks to get to.

Feb03All8I will be making a good many more of this colour set…I imagine until I run out of one of the components to make them.  I almost want to free up a bobbin and start spinning…I am so excited to see how they spin up!

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