1.11.2009

Pretty Bird

I frequently miss my New England home, especially in the winter when the news reports are rife with blizzards, ice storms, and power outages. (And if you think I'm not being serious, believe me, I'm serious. I have a serious sense of nostalgia for winter.) One of my favorite aspects of winter are the colorful winged denizens of the forest that visit the feeder on my parent's back deck on those cold, crisp mornings. What they lack in song they make up for in spades with their beautiful plumage: the blue and white Blue Jay, with his striking black bands and royal crest, bossiest of the backyard birds; the Tufted Titmouse, steely blue-grey above and pure white below with a little blush under the wings and also a tiny crest to top it all off; the Black-capped Chickadee with his distinctive black hat and familiar chickadee-dee-dee call that echoes thorough the still winter forest; and of course the Northern Cardinal, regal, brilliant, and a shocking splash of red in the midst of that most colorless of seasons in the northeast.

Wax nostalgic much?

Anyway, it was more than fitting that my first delivery from the Butterfly Girl Designs fiber & spindle club was this pretty bird:

2009-01-10_cardinal.jpg

"Cardinal", a 60-30-10 blend of merino, bamboo, and firestar (in that order) along with a 0.8 oz Italian resin spindle. (I love the colors of the "Blackbird" batt too.)

2009-01-10_italian_resin_BGD.jpg

The spindle itself is nice, light and sweet, and the whorl reminds me of fudge swirled ice cream. I especially like the little bit of carving detail on the shaft. But the star here is the fiber. I love it. It is so pretty and shiny and soft and red. I would never have thought I would have been a huge fan of the sparkle, but even that (which is not nearly as purple as the photos would have you believe) I love.

Of course I had to take it for a little test spin, even though I promised myself I would not start a new spindling project until I finished my first batch of test fiber (the BFL. That fiber is actually almost all spun up, it might be done in a day or two, and will be plied soon I hope.)

2009-01-10_merino_silk.jpg

This spindle allows me to spin far, far finer than anything I can do on the Golding (as much as I truly love it) and with less effort to go so small. The fiber is a little odd so spin with, and will take a little getting used to I think. This little test spin ended up being mostly bamboo with a bit of the firestar and only a tiny bit of merino. While the batt is super soft, when drafting out the fibers they are kind of squeaky-sticky - just a little. I think it must be the bamboo. The staple length of the fiber seems quite a bit shorter than the BFL as well, though it isn't anything I couldn't handle. All in all a very interesting fiber. I can't wait to see how it looks spun up.

I wonder what it will be when it grows up?

2 Comments:

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Opal said...

whoa. that is some kind of froghair you're spinning up! it looks awesome!

the fiber is gorgeous. the spindle is gorgeous. i'm waxing jealous. :)

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Wow, your single is looking fantastic! Great fibre and great spindle. :-)

I just started spinning my first butterflygirl batt, and I'm finding the same thing. The bamboo has a squeek and drafts differently, but it's also very easy to thin out, if need be. It's interesting drafting the fibres when they have different staple lengths -- keeps you on your toes - LOL!

 

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