Friday, May 4, 2007

Rhonna's Questionnaire

* What do you use your fiber for? Felting, needle felting, knitting or crocheting, weaving? Spinning, and ultimately knitting or crochet. Some things can be felted (e.g., slippers and bags), but I'd rather use a cheaper commercial wool if I'm going to felt something.

* What kind of spinning do you do or what do you spin for? I started spinning because there were yarns I wanted to use which I couldn't get here, and even if I could find them, I wouldn't find them at a reasonable price. Those yarns are the really soft fibers, such as fine merino, and especially the blends, such as alpaca-silk, or merino-tencel, or simply silks, and anything laceweight. That means that while I'll spin a few things for clothing, most of my spinning goals are for knitting lace, fingering, and sport or DK weights, with heavy emphasis on the first two.

* If you knit, weave, spin, crochet, needle felt, or do other fibery pursuits, how long have you been doing those things? What level of expertise are you at? I grew up with crochet, and consider myself very advanced there. But, I've had to drop most of it because it's harder on my hands. I started knitting about 4 years ago, and consider myself in the intermediate range. I'm not afraid to try things, and I can follow instructions, so I'm fairly convinced that there's not much I cannot do. :-) I just started spinning over the Christmas break, so am totally a greenhorn at it--but it's not stopping me. :-)

* What fibers have you worked with? I've deliberately tried to sample a little of everything, so the list is a bit lengthy given that I've only been doing this for a bit over 4 months: Cormo, Corriedale, Merino, BFL, alpaca, Merino-tencel, Merino-silk, unknown blend (Sheep Shed Studio). In the wings I have: CVM, Falkland, Tussah, Bombyx silk bells, superwash (Sheep Shed), Shetland, Mohair (not kid), Merino-Mohair blend, and an Alpaca-Corriedale blend.

* Which fibers, fiber blends, and types of fibers do you prefer? Since I'm sensitive to wools and I'm spinning the yarns I can't get, I prefer the fine wools and softer blends. Any of the next-to-skin fibers, in other words. Some folks hate slippery fibers, but I'm finding that I actually like them.

* Are you interested in working with raw fleece? If so, what type? Actually, yes, but only if it's very very clean since I don't have facilities or a washing machine for handling it, and only if it's very very fine or soft. This, however, is something I'd like to try *eventually.* At the moment, I really am content to work with the commercial tops, particularly since I'll soon be able to do my own blends.

* What fibery tools do you currently have (e.g., spinning wheels, drop spindles, combs, cards, etc.)? A Majacraft Rose spinning wheel. Spindles include a .7 Bosworth mini, 1.8 Cascabeles, 2.1 plying spindle from Tracy Eichheim, plus a 1.0 from him enroute, and a 1.4 Turkish from Wanda and Ed Jenkins enroute. I cannot use hand cards or combs, so just splurged on a Strauch Petite drum carder, also enroute. I also have a ball winder and a skein winder.

* Do you crave any tools, books, or videos? I think I'm ok on this front. I have a fair amount of what I want, and I don't think I need any more tools.

* What fibers are you absolutely dying to get your hands on? Any of the fine fibers, or fibers under 25 microns. I'm easy here. And of course, since I'm a newbie, I'm interested in trying nearly everything just to see what it does or how it handles.

* Which fibers do you absolutely not want to work with? Not the coarse or medium-coarse fibers since I've no idea what I'd do with the final product. A good rule for me is to keep it under 25 microns.

* Do you prefer natural color fibers or pre-dyed fibers? Both. :-) I have some oatmeal BFL which is beautiful, and I like browns, but obviously whites and creams are more flexible and can be dyed. However, I love some of the vibrant space-dyed and multicolor fibers, and am experimenting with everything.

* What are your dye and color preferences? I'm happy with almost all colors, except large quantities of yellow and orange, but the reality is that most of what I spin isn't going to end up with me. :-) So, all colors are viable (except solid yellow/orange); it will eventually find a home. My own personal preferences are both earth and jewel tones, or colors that have depth. I've begun dyeing my own using Jacquard acid dyes and have a stock of the 6 basic colors.

* Any allergies or things your pal should be aware of? I can't handle smoke. I'm fine with the lavender and cedar many people and shops store with their fibers to keep away the moths. No worries.

I do blog my spinning efforts. There's a "Spinning Gallery" on the blog, as well as my own form of note-taking for each venture. If you're trying to figure out where I'm at in the process, that's a good starting place since it displays goofs as well as successes. :-)

*Do you have a blog? Yep. It's here:

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