The Spinning Roving Swap is in full swing now. Since it's been a little while since I've worked on my "100 Things About Me" sort of entries, I thought this might be a fun thing to do as a blog post rather than just sending the answers to my pal. So without further ado...
1) How long have you been spinning?
I started spinning on a drop spindle in May of 2005. In the fall of 2005, with the help of Toni Neil at the Fold, I got my mom's old Ashford Traditional into good enough shape to try out a wheel. In January of 2006 I bought my Lendrum DT -- so only about a year and a couple of months at this point.
2) Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?
I think I would consider myself a novice spinner. I can spin fairly evenly and consistently, I'm comfortable with longer and shorter staple fibers, I've made 2-ply and 3-ply yarns. I'm developing a good sense for when to use the different ratios on my wheel. However, I've never spun anything extremely fine, Navajo plied, or tried any interesting techniques like creating boucle yarns. Clearly I have lots to learn.
3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?
The first 6 months or so I was dedicated to my drop spindle and I currently have 5 of those. But since I bought my wheel, I have to admit that I really haven't been interested in my spindles at all. So I think it's fair to say that any spinning I do, I want to do on my wheel, even though I know how to use both.
4) What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?
I own 5 drop spindles -- 2 Bosworth spindles, the heavier one is close to 2 ounces, the lighter one is around 1.5 ounces. I also own a Charis spindle. a Kundert spindle and a Golding Ring Spindle. The Charis and the Kundert are on the lighter side of things, the Golding is closer to the lighter weight Bosworth.
My wheel is a Lendrum DT with the deluxe package -- so I have the normal flyer, fast flyer and plying flyer head. I recently invested in a WooLee Winder for my wheel, which I absolutely love and now can't imagine spinning without.
5) What type of fibers have you spun with before?
I've spun solid wools (merino, cormo, corriedale, coopworth, blue faced leicester, wensleydale and CVM), I've also spun solid silk and some silk blends (cormo & silk, merino & silk) and some alpaca blends (cormo & alpaca & silk).
6) What fibers do you prefer to spin with?
So far my favorites are cormo, CVM and corriedale and cormo blended with silk. I really like how these fibers have a nice balance of softness and springiness and a reasonable staple length. I love wools with a significant amount of natural elasticity like CVM and Targhee. And silk and silk blends just generally make me happy. That said, I currently am working on a 2 lb bale of CVM roving and have beautiful chocolate brown CVM fleece on order for the spring, so I'd prefer not to add any more CVM to my stash for a while. I also have about 2 lbs of hand-dyed merino/silk blend coming my way soon as well, and a pretty solid stash of superwash merino for socks.
7) What fibers do you dislike?
Not a big fan of the long wools. I'm happy I got to try spinning coopworth and wensleydale, but I can't see knitting anything out of those yarns and longwools don't fit my spinning style very well. I don't dislike cotton or flax, but, to be honest, I'm not really interested in them because I don't really much like to knit with those kinds of yarns, either. I'm also not really interested in synthetics or the corn or soy silks.
8) Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?
I like both. But when it comes to hand painted/dyed fibers, I really prefer semi-solids or rovings where the colors have been prepared vertically rather than horizontally -- in other words, I really don't want any more rovings where I am going to get a lot of striping, although I love blends that give me subtle color variations and depth.
9) Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?
I like to have enough of anything to do a project. While I love the little test skeins, they don't end up doing much except sitting around my fiber room. I'd much rather have all of one type of something, or a small collection of fibers meant to be in the same project.
10) What are you favorite colors?
Jewel tones. I am very much a "winter" when it comes to colors that I can wear. I like my colors to have cooler/bluer undertones, and blues and teals are my favorite colors over all (that said, the 2 lbs of merino silk I mentioned earlier is going to be a teal color, so I don't really want any more of that kind of color right now). I also love deep rich purples, burgandies, and emerald greens. I've even been known to gravitate towards the occasional fuschia.
11) What colors do you dislike?
Not a big fan of pastels, and while I like yellow and orange, they don't really look good on me, except as socks. So any color that has a serious yellow undertone is probably not a good idea.
12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it? (pattern clarification here)
I'd really like to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves with long cuffs to wear in the winter (it gets cold in my office and when I'm using my computer my hands get pretty frigid). I'm also open to lovely lacy scarves and shawls when it comes to my handspun. Socks, are also a possibility, but only if the fiber is machine washable.
13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?
Right now I am currently spinning up 2 lbs of moorit CVM roving that I am going to 3-ply and and make into a cardigan sweater. I am also working on spinning some superwash merino for socks for myself and my husband.
14) Do you have a wishlist?
I do have an Amazon wishlist. But it's probably not very useful for a spinning swap. But if my Pal should want to find it, it's there.
15) What are your other favorite hobbies?
I'm a geek toy junkie -- I love my iPod, RAZR, digital camera, laptop computer and my Palm device. I've been known to indulge in the occasional RPG. I like to do the occasional bit of gardening, I enjoy reading, traveling, most any fiber-related art that I've tried. My husband and I are having a lot of fun homebrewing beer and I think it's pretty fair to say that I am a bit of a foodie and never say no to an exotic chocolate or the chance to try out a new good wine or beer.
16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)?
I'm latex, smoke, pollen and mold sensitive, but don't have any severe allergies to anything that I know of.
17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?
Any of the above are fine with me. But if you want to send something that requires that I sign for it, I'd prefer UPS or FedEx. It's a lot harder for me to get to the post office.
I'm off to Michigan for the weekend -- hopefully even a little end of summer beach time will happen. May it be a good one for everyone!