Sunday, June 1, 2008

Spinning Update

Whew! I leave for Germany in two days' time, and I am ashamed to say that I've barely touched my German tapes since I discovered the CraftLit podcast. I will make up for it, I promise! After all, I can listen on the plane while I knit, right? (Reminder to self: must take a mindless enough knitting project on the plane so I can concentrate a little bit on the language tapes.)

Anywho, let's get on to the spinning. Since I last talked about spinning, I've finished the Blackberry laceweight:

Blackberry Laceweight

This was spun from Lorna's Laces superwash merino top, roughly 5 ounces in the blackberry colorway. I've got a little more than 900 yards in that skein. Originally, my plan was to spin the whole shebang on my tiny Ethan Jakob drop spindle, but I must confess I got impatient and only did about 1/4 of the top on the spindle, and the other 3/4 was done on my ladybug. I spun this with the wheel in double drive, and it was a mixed experience. In double drive mode, one drive band goes around both the whorl (controlling how much twist goes into the yarn) AND around the bobbin (controlling how fast yarn winds onto the bobbin). Scotch tension, which I normally use, has separate bands for the whorl and the bobbin, so you can adjust the two controls independently of each other. Throughout this whole process I felt as though I couldn't get enough take-up going (this was probably compounded by my attempting to spin very even laceweight singles for the first time as well). On the other hand, I had expected to get frustrated and have to switch back to Scotch tension, so it was gratifying that I could do it all while using double drive. Not gratified enough to not switch immediately back to Scotch tension when I wanted to spin this:

Yarn Wench Apricot Orchid Romney/Merino

This is 3 ounces of Romney/Merino locks dyed by the Yarn Wench in the colorway Apricot Orchid. I took the locks and kind of teased out the fibers with my hands by taking chunks and pulling them apart over and over again, kind of hand carding without cards. The locks were still a teensy bit greasy, but I didn't mind because it kept my hands soft after spinning! I put the whole three ounces on one bobbin, wound the singles into a center-pull ball with my ball winder, and did a two-ply from both ends of the ball. The result is 130 yards of squishy DK weight yarn (man I really need to get myself a wraps per inch tool):

Apricot Orchid 2-ply

Finally, I did my last act of fiber stashing before I leave. I managed to stalk Numma Numma's Etsy shop last Sunday, when she introduced her new spinning fibers. I love drooling over her sock yarn colors, and have some Toasty sock yarn stashed away from the Loopy Ewe, so I was really excited when I saw a preview of her new "ToastyTops" and "BabyTops" on Ravelry. I snagged 3.6 ounces of superwash BFL in the Pumpkin Butter colorway.

Numma Numma Superwash BFL Pumpkin Butter

Now comes the hard part. I have to decide which projects will come with me on my travels. I have a few ideas in mind, but I'm going to reveal them as I start knitting/spinning them. I'm hoping that I will post a little more often while I'm away, since I won't have to work much during the daytime. And then, at the end of the trip, we can take stock of all my newly acquired yarn and the extent of my paranoia regarding not having any knitting projects when I show you all the yarn that I took with me and never even wound into balls. Sheesh!

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