Thursday, May 02, 2013

Spinning Tale

Hi, Knitters,
It's been a long time since I have finished a spinning project. Months after starting the Dyeabolical Corriedale Wool roving in the Sweetheart colorway, I have finally finished the yarn. I am pleased with the outcome to say the least.

I weighed and divided the Sweetheart roving in half, a little over 2 ounces in each section. I pre-drafted it and wound the soft fiber into these fluffy roving balls. They looked so pretty.

Last summer I picked up some natural wool roving at the farmers market. I bought two wound balls of roving, each 3 oz. and $6.75 apiece. The label doesn't say what type of wool this is, whatever the breed it smelled very sheep-y or farm-like. While spinning I felt like I was at the farm. It was very natural and unprocessed compared to the slick hand dyed rovings I am used to spinning. I don't mind picking out twigs at all, in fact, I find it kind of fun. I love everything about this local wool and I appreciate it being local. It felt good.

The farm doesn't have a website but here is some of the information on the label:

Wisconsin Highland Farms, LTD.
Ann & Steve Herr- Owners (I bought the roving from Ann at the market.)
Broadhead, WI

I enjoyed spinning this Wisconsin wool roving more than I imagined I would. It was easy and fun and it really turned out beautiful and even.

My plan all along was to spin three singles, two in the Sweetheart and one in the natural local wool, and then to ply them all together to get a round, bouncy 3-ply yarn. 

That's exactly what I did! I put the three loaded bobbins on my Schact Lazy Kate and plying away I went.

Plying is the most exciting part of spinning to me. I love to ply. I like a nicely twisted yarn, nothing too loosely plied. I new this 3-ply would turn out beautifully because the colors were gorgeous and adding the ply of natural wool worked out so well.

I was able to get 424 yards of a heavy fingering weight yarn!

It's perfection in my eyes. 

The barber-poling throughout is so pretty and effective. 

I wish you could feel how soft and squishy and bouncy this huge hank of handspun is in your hands. It smells so good now. I soaked the yarn in Soak Wash in the Aquae scent. I am not sure what to make with it yet. Maybe a shawl of some sort. Yes, a shawl would be lovely. For now I will be admiring it in yarn form. Due to the long duration of this spinning project it feels like an accomplishment of sorts.

(photo from Unwind Yarn Company)

Next, I wanted a quick, quick, quick spin. I remembered that I had ordered some rolags from Unwind Yarn Company on etsy. I was ready for something new.

I was anxious to try spinning from the rolags as I hadn't done that before. These are hand-carded blended tubes of fiber. You spin from the end of the rolag. The blend of fibers was interesting. Here is the description of this particular set from the shop:

1.6oz/44g (6 rolags/punis)
Contains: merino, moorit shetland, alpaca, recycled sari silk, firestar

I used a larger whorl setting to spin these because I really wanted it to go quickly and with such a small amount to start with I knew I wouldn't yield much yardage. I spun 2 singles, didn't let them rest for more than a minute, and then plied them together. In total it took me less than an hour to complete this yarn. 

I got a bulky, rustic yarn that I love. I think I have about 50 yards. This was quite fun and satisfying especially after having one project on the wheel for months. 

Next up, I pulled out this interesting gradient blend. It's 50% merino, 50% bamboo. It goes from a fresh minty green to a gray to a gold. When I ordered this roving from Dyeabolical, I didn't see that it was half bamboo. If I had noticed the high bamboo content I probably would not have ordered it. I have nothing against bamboo but I am more of a wool-type spinner. 

One time I spun with a tencel and wool blend and I did not enjoy it at all. In fact, to me, the tencel was awful to work with. I think this is the reason I now stick to wool for my spinning of choice. However, that being said, I am glad I accidentally got the bamboo/wool blend because it is always good to try new things.

This roving definitely needed pre-drafting. I worked hard to get the minty green section into these light and fluffy roving balls. The bamboo is really soft which is nice.

Here is the start. It is spinning up very smoothly. I think I will spin all of the 4 oz. roving on one bobbin and then I will Navajo ply it. We'll see what happens and how long this one will take. That's what I like about the spinning, I have no deadlines and it is pure leisure for me. It's good to have something like that around.

Have a great weekend! I am leaving for Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA tomorrow, May 3rd. I will be having a reversible toy workshop from 5-7pm and a book signing/meet and greet from 7-9pm. I hope to see you there if you are in the area. I hear wonderful things about Fibre Space so I can't wait to see it for myself! Call the shop for more information.

Fibre Space
102 N. Fayette Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 664-0344

best, susie