Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two Weekends of Spinning

So last weekend and this weekend I was pretty much on my own, and got to spend some quality time with the wheel. Earlier in the month, I got a little fed up with the fleece spinning and decided to ply the two bobbins of singles together instead of waiting for a third bobbin and doing a 3-ply. That turned out to be a good instinct, because the resulting yarn is delightful!

Gray Cormo Yarn Closeup
Two skeins, one 330 yards and one 285 yards, 2-ply from my cormo fleece. I managed to have a very nearly equal amount of singles on each bobbin (probably just luck, I don't own a scale so I didn't weight the bobbins or anything like that!).

It's not as even as I could hope, but I think it's some of my favorite handspun yet. As I knit with more and more handspun, I'm beginning to see how much the needle size choice determines how nice the yarn feels. The yarn I spun for my sister's Broad Street Mittens, for example, was spun rather haphazardly and without much effort on my part to keep even. I just spun it for fun, letting it turn out whatever weight it wanted to be. The resulting fabric looks much more even and smooth than I would have anticipated, so there's hope for this future cabled sweater to not be too lumpy and bumpy. It's really fun and gratifying to look at the photos of the dirty fleece and all the different stages of the process. If I thought it would keep and not get funky/nasty, I would totally have kept a few dirty locks to show my non-fibery friends the entire transition from just-off-the-sheep to clothing.

I wanted to get the fleece singles off my bobbins so I could do some non-gray spinning, and I blasted through a lot of fiber last weekend. I did a few Hello Yarn offerings, some Mollusc Wensleydale I acquired from another Raveler:

Wensleydale Mollusc
300 yards of a low-twist single, about DK weight.

And my first fiber club shipment (marinating since November... bad spinner!), Buckland in Finn:

Buckland 3-ply
175 yards of n-plied worsted weight.

I also spun up some old fiber, stashed a long time ago at the first Color festival last spring:

Merino/Silk/Angora Supernova
About 115 yards of bulky Merino/Silk/Angora, loosely spun and 2-plied in the Supernova colorway.

I think this yarn is destined to become another cowl, perhaps as a gift. I love the idea of using these luxurious fibers as something you can really snuggle your chin into! I have no idea what I want to do with the Buckland or the Mollusc, I really just wanted some color on the wheel. I spun all three of these as singles last weekend, and had a ply party yesterday. It was good to have a little break, and accomplished just what I hoped it would. By the time I was finished with these three skeins of yarn, I was itching for my handcards and reaching for my fleece pillowcase. I've got a new pile of brushed-out locks waiting to get on the wheel again today (as a reward after I finish a little laundry and grading). I figure I can safely start swatching after another two skeins, and will have enough yarn for my (as yet imaginary) cable sweater after I have 6!

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