Progress and Surprise

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! Mine was very busy and full of sun, waves, and family (as it should be). It also involved a wonderful surprise as I found this little beauty waiting for me in the mail:

That’s a handwoven wool shawl that I had entered a raffle ticket to win way back in March when I went to Woolapalooza at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. To say that I was excited and that I love this thing are understatements. It’s fabulous! The tag doesn’t specify what breed of sheep the wool is from but it is bouncy, lightweight, a little bit ‘crunchy’, and warm. The woven pattern is just gorgeous, too.

It reminds me very much of the mitered squares that you see in sock blankets everywhere. I love it and wish very much that I could thank the weaver personally.

I’ve been doing more than just basking in the glow of unexpected woolen finery, however. I’ve been working on spinning up my own but of beauty, too:

I’m making steady progress on my June Pryce Fiber Arts gradient-dyed BFL kit for Tour de Fleece. I started with purple, have progressed through the purply blue, finished the blue, worked through the blue-ish green bits, and am now beginning the final solid green third of the braid. I am really loving working with BFL wool. It’s been light and lofty to spin and as a longwool has a nice silky hand while remaining very soft. It’s also the first fiber I’ve been able to spin worsted-style successfully, letting the twist pull just from one end of the top. I’ve always had to spin top over the fold to get a consistent single (not sure why, it always felt like it got ‘stuck’ in my hands any other way) but with the longer, silkier fibers of BFL I haven’t had any trouble drafting in the more controlled worsted style. I’ve found my spinning groove again and am excited to see how this plies up!

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