February 8, 2010
Here's one spinning project, from fiber to yarn. This is only my second project on the new wheel, so I am by no means an expert. Anything in my process seems wrong, do let me know in the comments..
I started with a braid of combed top from JulieSpins. Its 5.4 ounces of Falkland, in the colorway "Cornucopia." (this is her photo)
It turns out that braids are not braids at all. They are one length of roving, crocheted into a chain! I unraveled the chain and thought about how to spin this. There was an area of yellow on one end, and an area of darker colors on the other, with some reds in between. In the finished yarn, I wanted the colors to be distributed throughout the yarn, so it wouldn't pool when knit up.
I decided to do a 2-ply yarn and split the top lengthwise, into about equal amounts. Then I pulled off even skinnier lengths and pre-drafted them, creating little balls of fluffy fiber like these. I kept the balls of fiber from each of the original two halves separate, creating two equal piles, one per bobbin.
Spinning begins! I enjoyed watching the colors change and create stripes on the bobbin. and falkland wool was terrific to work with.. it is smooth and elastic. I spun it as thin as I comfortably could.. need to work on even skinnier spinning!
Spin, spin, spin. I decided to try scotch tension because I've only used double drive up until now.
Below is the plying in progress. The yarn looks fuzzy in this image, I think its because of the direct sunlight. In real life its a smooth yarn. Plying took a surprising long time.. well I don't really know how long it typical; this took me about 3 hours.
I plied until one bobbin ran out. Then I made a center-pull ball from the remaining single on the other bobbin, and asked Brian to be a "lazy husband" (like a lazy kate, get it?) and monitor the last of the yarn for tangles while I spun a two-ply from both ends of the ball.
The finished yarn: 452 yards of about dk-weight, maybe worsted. so many yards! What to knit with this, hmmm.. maybe legwarmers?
This just in: When the two bobbins ended up at uneven weights after spinning, even though I'd divided the fiber equally beforehand, I figured I must have spun extra fiber on the first bobbin. Then, a week later, Brian found a ball of fiber under the bed. It turns out that Gus (our little fiber-loving cat) had taken it to his hiding spot! Got to keep an eye on that one..