Wednesday, September 03, 2008

she's spinning out of control

My first handspun skein of yarn, from 2006, became my favorite neckwarmer in 2007. The spinning wheels around here belong to Scott and Leah, who have both spun plenty on them, but the wheels never really called my name, until last week, when suddenly it was unbearable to see that semi-full bobbin on Leah's wheel and I had to spin the rest. The roving is from Fleece Artist, 1 thick ply of Leah's and 1 slightly thinner ply by me.
I plied, washed, whacked, and dried the skein. And wore it around my neck and petted its fuzzy softness and gazed at it with glee. A thick and thin, loosely spun, but useable skein of yarn. Thank heavens for the pretty colors, as that's a skein only a newbie spinner could love. Plenty of room for improvement, but, whew, that was fun and now I'm done! Right?

Wrong. I knew the wheel had me under its spell when I woke up the next morning and couldn't wait to try spinning again, just to see if I could get finer and more consistent yarn. Luckily, it was a light workday and I had plenty of time to myself, so I dug out the very first bump of handpainted roving that I ever bought, back when I went to a Nutmeg Spinners Guild meeting in December 2005 to learn the most basic of spinning skills so I'd be able to help Leah get started when she rec'd her wheel for the upcoming Christmas.

Yup, definitely finer and more consistent. Worsted weight on this one. I had some trouble with plying and learned the value of a rubber band as a brake on the lazy kate spindles. Not half bad for my third skein, but still lots of room for improvement and experimentation.

Then I moved on to a merino/tencel blend from The Sheep Shed at Mountain View Farm. Here I discovered what spinners mean when they say the fiber wanted to be spun into a fine yarn. I was mesmerized by the drafting action of this fiber. It would magically draft to a consistent gauge and then hold there until I allowed the twist to move in.

It ended up being sport weight. Since it was finer, I knew it needed a lot more twist. I thought I way overspun the singles, but apparently still not enough, since plying takes out a lot of that twist and I think I still got an underplied yarn. Uh oh (and yahoo!), still room for improvement...

...To be continued, I'm sure!
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Blogger Donna said...

are you kidding me? That is only your third skein? You obviously caught on by association from Leah and Scott because it looks beautiful!

Can't wait to see what you spin up next. Great colors, by the way.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Delaney's Duds said...

my goodness, how lovely! is there a spin-a-holics group you can join? he he!

4:43 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I can't believe how beautiful those skeins are. Great work!

5:13 PM  

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