Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spindlers July Challenge

I decided to take the July theme, Adventures & Discoveries, as an invitation to challenge myself to use the same fiber and spindle to experiment with making different kinds of yarn. I have plenty of variegated grey mill ends wool for this challenge. My “default” yarn seems to be emerging as a light fingering weight 2-ply yarn, which I really love, but I don’t want to fall into a rut with my spinning. Challenge is good for the brain and the fingers!

My materials:

I purchased the fiber from Detta, and the spindle comes from zebisis.

I spun three different kinds of singles - very thin with high twist, thick with low twist, and I tried thick-and-thin drafting, too. Here is a close-up of the different singles texture:

I decided that I liked the thicker single as it was, as well as the thick-and-thin single. I plied the thin single in two different ways - first in a 2-ply and then I tried Navajo (or chain) plying it for a 3-ply. The finished yarns:

So, what discoveries did I make with this challenge? I discovered that I really need to practice Navajo plying, because wow, it's hard to smoothly handle the yarn and keep the spindle turning during plying. I discovered that I have a pretty nice "default" yarn. And lastly, I discovered that I really like making a thicker, low-twist single yarn. It's very soft and it doesn't take much time to create a lot of yarn!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pretty Thin Yarn

My latest spinning project uses my mossy green Colonial wool (dyed the fiber myself in that awesome Custom Fibers class) and my cherry wood spindle to see how thin & consistent I can spin right now. I'm feeling pretty sassy about it - I'm definitely improving my drafting skills. Plied back on itself, the yarn is still lace weight!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Victory over the Hound

It took time and patience, but I managed to save my yarn after Oliver stripped the plied yarn off the spindle and mangled, er, played with it.

Vital Statistics: 1.75 ounces; 80% Merino (red) and 20% mixed (green) blend; avg 18 - 20 WPI or light fingering weight; 204 yards

I punished this yarn pretty hard during the finishing process, shocking it with hot and cold water and agitating it a bit. I had used more of a semi-woolen drafting style, and I wanted to make sure the plies clung together. The yarn is nicely rustic and very soft. I predict a pretty lace scarf will come from this yarn.

As for naming this yarn, perhaps I'm inspired by the season and our vegetable garden, but the color suggests Vine-Ripe Tomatoes to me. Maybe the yarn will help the tomato in the photo ripen as fast as possible!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bad Dog. Very Bad Dog.

As I told Oliver, when I caught him enjoying this great "toy" he found this morning, it's a good thing he's already neutered.

To give credit where it's due, I'm reluctantly impressed that a creature without opposable thumbs can manage to strip the cop off a spindle so neatly.