Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Better

... at spinning that is. I finished knitting my first handspun yarn (the blue and grey plied stuff from the last post) into a pillow for our family room. I was short a tiny bit so I spun a bit more so I could finish the pillow.

My second try at spinning was to spin up this 100% wool yarn that I bought from The Weaving Works in Seattle called Mojave. It was such a pretty red with orange, gold, and purple bits throughout. It is so soft that you can't even tell it is wool. At least compared to the first stuff I spun, which you couldn't use next to your skin. Very rough stuff, but easy to spin since it sticks together so well.

This is turning into Aibhlinn and is about 1/2 way finished. I can sure tell that I got better at spinning since the first ball was quite thick (probably bulky weight) and now this next ball has very thin areas that could be fingering weight and definitely sport weight. I started with 8oz of fiber and ended up with 378 yards of yarn.

A few weeks ago I went to St. Distaff's day in Lake Stevens, WA. There were lots of spinners there and vendors too. I bought two 4oz "hunks" (what do you call it anyway?) of roving that was hand dyed by Emma of DragonFibers.

The first is 100% BFL called Potluck. Very, very soft and squishy and the colours that I love. Teal, blue, green, and a bit of gold/yellow. My daughter wanted to keep it all braided up and use it as a scarf LOL!

The second is 60 merino 30 bamboo and 10 nylon and is specifically for socks. And ooohhhh so squishy, soft, and SLIPPERY - yikes! It was a challenge to spin, that's for sure!

After spinning 8oz of roving and only getting 378 yards I was thinking there was no way I was going to get enough yardage to make socks out of only 4oz. I ended up with two pretty full bobbins and I had a ray of hope that I would have enough.

Forging on, I plied the two bobbins together and at the end of it all ended up with 362 yards of sport weight (for the most part) yarn. Enough for a pair of socks.

Now I am wondering if the yarn is strong enough for socks. Looking at the singles, they looked like they had lots of twist - I tried to add extra because I knew the yarn needs to be sturdy for socks. After plying the singles seem to loose all their twist and the resulting yarn is fluffy. Logic says this is because you ply in the opposite direction to spinning the single, but I'm really not sure. Anyway, I'm chalking this all up to learning experience and will make Cable Twist Socks from the yarn and see how they wear.

I had some yarn left of one of the bobbins so I attempted to Navajo ply the rest of this yarn. That is definitely a challenge. But I loved how the yarn came out. It was plied much tighter than the 2 ply I did and would have made a much better yarn for the socks. The only problem is you use up more yarn because it ends up being 3ply rather than 2ply.

As you can see there is no knitting pictures, no charity pictures, nothing other than spinning! I'M ADDCITED!!! It really is fun and enjoyable!


Linda B. said...

Wow,l you are doing great with your spinning! I think we would have alot to talk about. I almost went as a vendor to St. Distaff's Day, but the spin in in Bellingham was such a bust, I decided it wasn't worth my time. Gulp. You will have to try alpaca. It drafts like a dream. Makes spinning easy.

HAINAngel2000 said...

Your about to talk me into this addiction too. BEAUTIFUL stuff. Just beautiful!

Sandy said...

I love the blue and green...looks like you're having fun.


Sandy said...

Hope you got to spin some this wkend.


Sandy said...

Me again...hoping you'll come and blog sometimes.