Sunday, 3 March 2013

The trouble with spinning

It's awesome really, transforming fluff into yarn. Unfortunately, it doesn't get anything out of my stash! All I do is move it from the fiber basket to the yarn basket.

Here are a couple of long-term pieces of fluff that have recently made the migration!

Up first, the orange merino that everyone in the local SCA has seen a dozen times. I won this fiber on Ravelry last April - one of the groups to which I belong has a monthly competition to set personal spinning goals and complete them. I started spinning this on my resin Wildcraft spindle during the Tour de Fleece, and it somehow became my event project. It's been all over the country, indoors and out, and I've used it as a demo tool for teaching spinning. In February I finally finished spinning it.

I spun it in thirds with the intention of doing a 3-ply on my wheel after it was all done. That meant winding it off the spindle and onto wheel bobbins, a task that took several hours for each third of the fiber. The plying itself only took about two hours. Ended up with 270 yards of yarn, 90g. Lost about 10g because the fiber wasn't perfectly divided into thirds. Oh well. It's still a usable amount. I'm planning to turn it into socks one of these days. I can always use more socks.

The second actually pre-dates the orange merino. (As an aside? The day I figured out that I could break off spinning-projects-in-progress was the day I stepped down the path of having WIPs take years instead of weeks. Fail.) This was a braid of merino/nylon I bought from Easy Knits a long, long time ago, at the first iKnit Day. I had planned to spin it up into a proper sock yarn, 4 yards to the gram, and actually started spinning it up the that spec. Unfortunately, it was taking absolutely bloody ages, and it was not a fun spin. Don't get me wrong, the fiber was absolutely amazing. The nylon was blended in beautifully and it drafted like butter. I just don't get on that well with merino.

I finally decided in the last few weeks that life is too short for a spinning project I wasn't enjoying. So, I took 20 minutes, plied that up, washed it, whacked it, and threw the rest of the fiber back on the wheel to turn into something heavier. Three days later I had 140 yards of a heavy worsted-weight yarn, and my yarn basket is a little bit more full.

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