Thanks for your enthusiasm over Hansel & Gretal! I plan to write up the pattern and post it soon.

Post MDS&W, I felt overwhelmed by my fiber options and had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to spin. So many great choices, but also so many not-to-be-wasted choices as well. I didn't want to fritter away the cormo/alpaca or merino/silk, or (gasp) the cashmere/silk, but I wasn't in the mood to be overly focused and attentive to do these fibers justice. In the end, a non MDS&W blended batt pulled me off the fence:

Samples from The Artful Ewe
dyed mohair locks, dyed silk, dyed corriedale cross / silk

Pretty colors, no?

The batt (on the right) was a sample that came with my Forsyth combs that I ordered a few weeks ago from Heidi at The Artful Ewe:

Forsth combs
Forsyth double row combs, purchased on June's recommendation

scary sharp combs + I'm a klutz = recipe for blood shed   o.O

Heidi's prices on the combs and clamp are the best I've seen. The clamp was back ordered so I asked her to hold the order, and while waiting, I succumbed to several pounds of sale-priced natural blue faced leicester and corriedale cross. And cashmere:

Cashmere from The Artful Ewe
sooo soooft

And then forgot. Until I got back from MDS&W and got an email that my order was ready. Heh. I have a lot of fiber.

Heidi was great to work with, and included generous samples to accompany my generous order. :) In addition to the above, she sent:

Samples from The Artful Ewe
alpaca, yak, camel and Eucalan in baggies; corriedale cross, merino/alpaca and alpaca/blue faced leicester sample card

Cotton samples from The Artful Ewe
Pima and Acaia cotton

Cotton from The Artful Ewe
West Texas cotton

She also tempted me with these photos of her hand dyed fibers:

Handdyed fibers, The Artful Ewe
woah, fiber does grow on trees!

Handdyed silk, The Artful Ewe
hand dyed silk

And my jaw literally dropped to the floor when she told me this was the view out her front door:

Gorgeous view, The Artful Ewe

Sooo jealous.

Heidi has a workshop / dye studio and her shop reminded me of London-Wul in New Brunswick where another Heidi taught me to spin last fall. I wished I lived closer!

Incidentally, London-Wul Heidi has started a blog and is having an amazing contest. Go check it out! See, I'm sharing the love. It means less chance for me to win, so if you win, throw me a bone.

Speaking of new blogs, Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge started up a blog and etsy store. You might know Lucy from her appearance on the Harlots' blog. Last week I was in town for a doctor's appointment and decided to take advantage of city-proximity and stopped in for their weekly spin-in. I had a lovely time! It was my first time hanging out with my wheel. BASD meetings have always had some kind of workshop so it's never been just hanging out. I liked just hanging out.

So yeah, the spinning. A simple 2 ply with the corriedale cross/silk batt:

Dyed Corriedale X and silk, 2ply

A little overplied, but pretty. I enjoyed drafting, and I enjoyed not worrying about what I was making. I also liked spinning semi-woollen from a batt. It was less work than spinning from top. It's fired up my enthusiasm for a drum carder.

After the batt, I sampled some rambouillet (at top):

sampling silk, cormo, rambouillet
from top to bottom: fiery rambouillet from Touch of Twist; dyed cormo from Winterhaven Fiber Farm, and Interlacements dyed silk

The rambouillet was soft as a 2 ply laceweight, but felt rougher as the weight increased. Surprised me.

The cormo has nice bounce and because of the neppiness is uneven. I still need to experiment to find the right grist.

The silk was spindle spun while at MDS&W. I think I want to spin up some fingering weight for a lace shawl. I'd also like to try some silk singles.

Post fiery rambouillet, I jumped on the rambouillet/silk, which was so much softer:


It's a joy to spin.