Thanks for your enthusiasm over Hansel & Gretal! I plan to write up the pattern and post it soon.
Post MDS&W, I felt overwhelmed by my fiber options and had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to spin. So many great choices, but also so many not-to-be-wasted choices as well. I didn't want to fritter away the cormo/alpaca or merino/silk, or (gasp) the cashmere/silk, but I wasn't in the mood to be overly focused and attentive to do these fibers justice. In the end, a non MDS&W blended batt pulled me off the fence:
dyed mohair locks, dyed silk, dyed corriedale cross / silk
Pretty colors, no?
The batt (on the right) was a sample that came with my Forsyth combs that I ordered a few weeks ago from Heidi at The Artful Ewe:
Forsyth double row combs, purchased on June's recommendation
scary sharp combs + I'm a klutz = recipe for blood shed o.O
Heidi's prices on the combs and clamp are the best I've seen. The clamp was back ordered so I asked her to hold the order, and while waiting, I succumbed to several pounds of sale-priced natural blue faced leicester and corriedale cross. And cashmere:
And then forgot. Until I got back from MDS&W and got an email that my order was ready. Heh. I have a lot of fiber.
Heidi was great to work with, and included generous samples to accompany my generous order. :) In addition to the above, she sent:
alpaca, yak, camel and Eucalan in baggies; corriedale cross, merino/alpaca and alpaca/blue faced leicester sample card
Pima and Acaia cotton
West Texas cotton
She also tempted me with these photos of her hand dyed fibers:
woah, fiber does grow on trees!
hand dyed silk
And my jaw literally dropped to the floor when she told me this was the view out her front door:
Heidi has a workshop / dye studio and her shop reminded me of London-Wul in New Brunswick where another Heidi taught me to spin last fall. I wished I lived closer!
Incidentally, London-Wul Heidi has started a blog and is having an amazing contest. Go check it out! See, I'm sharing the love. It means less chance for me to win, so if you win, throw me a bone.
Speaking of new blogs, Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge started up a blog and etsy store. You might know Lucy from her appearance on the Harlots' blog. Last week I was in town for a doctor's appointment and decided to take advantage of city-proximity and stopped in for their weekly spin-in. I had a lovely time! It was my first time hanging out with my wheel. BASD meetings have always had some kind of workshop so it's never been just hanging out. I liked just hanging out.
So yeah, the spinning. A simple 2 ply with the corriedale cross/silk batt:
A little overplied, but pretty. I enjoyed drafting, and I enjoyed not worrying about what I was making. I also liked spinning semi-woollen from a batt. It was less work than spinning from top. It's fired up my enthusiasm for a drum carder.
After the batt, I sampled some rambouillet (at top):
from top to bottom: fiery rambouillet from Touch of Twist; dyed cormo from Winterhaven Fiber Farm, and Interlacements dyed silk
The rambouillet was soft as a 2 ply laceweight, but felt rougher as the weight increased. Surprised me.
The cormo has nice bounce and because of the neppiness is uneven. I still need to experiment to find the right grist.
The silk was spindle spun while at MDS&W. I think I want to spin up some fingering weight for a lace shawl. I'd also like to try some silk singles.
Post fiery rambouillet, I jumped on the rambouillet/silk, which was so much softer:
It's a joy to spin.