Waking up the turtles.

Yesterday I woke up the handspun turtles and made them into a plying “ball”. That’s when you prewind the two (or three) threads you want to ply unto a nostepinne.
It makes plying much easier then trying to ply directly from loose turtles that will bounce around and divert your attention, as I once discovered:

Plying from the plying ball went easy:

Poor woman’s nostepinne: carton roll from kitchen towels.

Yes, I’m wearing my bright red Deer Bleuet Dress. And my handspun green legwarmers.

During the winding onto the nostepinne one turtle would run out of yarn sooner than the other. But it’s easy to attach the new yarn to the ply:

Now I have 177,5 m of lovely purple lace. In 100% silk. The mulberry kind, my favourite.

Later today we’re travelling back to the city. I’m bringing wool!

Blue Art Deco Cardi is coming. Wollmeise is coming. Green spinning fluff is coming.
The little turkish spindle is coming too, in it’s own darling tin. With some more Mulberry silk. Doesn’t this speak of early Spring?


while turtles sleep…

All the silk is spindle spun into turtles.
Now they need to rest for a while, while the twist sets.

Not one to twiddle my thumbs idly, I delved into a dreamy misty green elfenbatt:

Soft, silken, sparkly.
It’s the prize I won at the last Tour de Fleece. It’s a custom made batt by the fantastic Cjadam:

Spinning it is a delight. It made me hungry for more meters so I grabbed a wheel and had a fantastic evening:

Spinning and purring

We’ve all arrived at the cabin and we are all purring and spinning and relaxing and leaving all the stresses behind us.


I made the cat on the mug in the background, do you like it? I don’t but I’ve come to accept that feeling as a natural companion to anything I draw. I do see that it’s a nice start however. And I’ve got more mugs!

Lillepoes has gotten grey on her nose and chin in the previous two weeks…


She’s still weak and sleeps a lot. This episode has taken one of her nine lives I think.

I’ve fallen ill too, in the good tradition that owners should resemble their pets. Grey, weak, sleeping? Check, check, check.
For me it’s back to only doing two things a day, with an inflamed liver. It’s a classic after-stress-reaction, as described by dr. Selye.
There’s nothing I can do except rest and heal. But I’m pretty annoyed because of all the plans I cannot execute at the moment. One of them drawing cats on mugs. But again, there’s nothing to be done. Eat, sleep, spin.

Poekie is a big help and advocates snacks to help counter the stress:


Turtles having the last laugh

I put the skein of gold spindlespun silk through the spinning wheel, to add a bit more twist. Here you see at the top the original yarn and at the bottom the one with added twist. My fingers keep the twist from travelling into the top part.

I hope you can see it, it’s not easy making the iPad focus when you hold it with one hand and hold thread with the other. (I used my nose to tell it where to focus.)(I had a hard time convincing it that the radiator isn’t nearly as interesting as string)

But it worked. The extra twist now makes this yarn more like stringed pearls. Just the way I like it. It will wear well, pill less and withstand extreme blocking.
Great for a lace shawl!

However, putting in the extra twist didn’t go without trouble…

The skein was on my skeinwinder, on top of my Louet, and it got caught in the hooks of the flyer and then it went “Wieeeeew!” wrssswfrrrtblb!

Of course I couldn’t let go of the yarn (on the left, outside of frame) to stop it quickly. Then I had to keep hold of the twist while untangling all this. Which took quite a bit. (and this wasn’t the first time either but I didn’t take a picture the first time because, you know, these things happen)

Then 5 minutes later…. it happened again:

Those blasted turtles fighting me for the very last meter!
They sure got the last laugh.

How come I never see these kind of things on other blogs?

Well, since sealife mocks my spinning, I might as well end this post with a seal that hiccups.

Please know that when I laugh too much I get hiccups.
This seal makes me laugh.
Too much.

plying gold

Plied on the wheel those turtles still had a chuckle:

After a day I took the yarn of and made it into a skein, unfinished (i.e. I haven’t given the yarn a bath yet).
I’ve put it next to the skein I spun from this silk a few years back, on my wheel:

The Turkish spindle turtle plied skein is at the top.
I like the twist better in the lower skein…

I’m thinking about running the turtle skein once more through the wheel, adding a bit more twist.
As a spinner you have some room to play in and make a yarn to your own specifications. As twist does relax a bit after the yarn has had its bath (and silk has no elasticity, it won’t “spring back” like wool does) I could give it quite a bit of extra twist before I turn it into a wire (which means: too much twist)
I may do this, I love the sheen of the smooth silk in the lower skein.

The top skein shows that one of the singles had more twist than the other: the threads are not evenly twisted around each other. One, the one with the less twist, dances a bit more loosely around the other.

Weird Wool Wednesday: two turtles misbehaving

Indeed when you pull out the wooden bits from the little ball you just spun on your turkle spindle, it is called a turtle. Or a cob.

Two turtles plied together will get you yarn.
For this, just stick them in a tin and start plying.

This is the way you rig up a Louet if it pulls too much:

Some Louets are bobbin driven and this causes pull. Sometimes more than you need. By “lacing” the leader through the hooks you reduce the pull. Now you can spin lace on a Louet. (just lace it a bit more than I did)
Or ply silk that otherwise would cut into my fingers while I treadle just a little longer to get it more twist.

Let’s go turtles!


Those darn turtles!
They bounce out of the tin, dance around each other or release bundles of yarn all curled up.

I’m on a steep learning curve here: like any freshly woven single turtles like to rest for a bit before you ply them. Otherwise the twist is still so active on the thread that they all bundle up.
Also: I obviously didn’t spin consistently. There are pieces with more and less twist. Considerable amounts.

Stupid turtle humour

It took me hours to untangle this.
That silk is sticky!

Fellow spinners taught me about a plying ball, where you first roll up the thread of the two turtles into one ball, without twisting them intentionally.
Then you ply from that ball.

Ahh, it’s a steep learning curve.