Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Spinning Round-Up - February

I seem to have got my enthusiasm for spinning back - hurrah!

So, what have I been spinning during February?

Finished spins:

The green Exmoor Bluefaced has been finished:

98g, 263 metres, so enough for a pair of socks.  This yarn has a bit of a sheen and I'm rather pleased with it.

I continued spinning on my top-whorl wooden drop spindle, finishing off the dark red and then the light, bright green into three singles.  Each single got wound onto the inside of a loo roll and then I used a shoebox, two straight knitting needles and a paintbrush to cobble together a lazy kate before using my wheel to ply the three strands together into a skein of yarn:

This is only 81g (I think I weighed the grey fibre incorrectly as there was less of that than the other two colours), but is 288m in length so, again, is destined for socks.

I spun the yarn on the right using my wheel and, to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed in it.  My plan was to spin it into a sock yarn, so when I plyed the three strands together, I put quite a lot of twist into the yarn to make it harder-wearing.  The fibre is Teeswater, which is a longwool and I prefer a woolier-feeling, softer fibre to spin (at times, this felt like spinning hair) and, whilst I like the look of it and it's got a nice sheen, the 92g skein only measures 184 metres, so if I use it for socks, I might have to use a different yarn for the toes and cuffs and possibly the heel turn and flap as well.  I shall have a think.

Spins in progress:

Last week, I was looking in the cupboard I have in the garage for storing 'stuff' such as cleaning products and came across a plastic bag of ancient Kool Aid and old bottles of food colouring.  Promptly forgetting what I'd gone into the cupboard for, I brought them out, went into my fibre stash and pulled out the leftover cream/white merino roving from my Keith Moon sweater, some white/cream pencil roving from a World of Wool lapwaste bag I'd bought, plus some other random bits of white/cream fibre (that's probably merino as well), soaked them in white vinegar and water, gently squeezed them out and then laid them on a sheet of cling film.  I then randomly splattered the various food colourings and dissolved Kool Aid over the fibre, wrapped it up in cling film and microwaved it to set the colours and this is what I got:

As there's only 72g of fibre, I decided to split it in half, spin each half into one single using my spindle and then use a toning colour for a third strand (which, of course, involved a purchase of various colours of Corriedale from World of Wool - it hasn't arrived yet, so I haven't decided which colour to use yet).

The first half has been spun up and wound into a ball ready for plying:

I find it very easy to pick up my spindle and do a few metres when I've got a few minutes, waiting for DD2's taxi to arrive in the morning and afternoon, waiting for the washing machine to finish its cycle, etc, much like knitting a pair of socks, when a round only takes a minute or two.

I've also got another spindle project on the go because I discovered, via a Facebook spinning group, that one of the members (who trades as Cat and Sparrow) is the European distributor for Turtle Made Turkish spindles (she also has some nice-looking fibre, but I resisted temptation).  These are 3D printed spindles and, as well as the bright colours, I like the idea of making yarn in an ancient way, but using tools made from modern technology.  Here it is, with my first effort, which was a 4.5g, 9-metre micro-skein of yarn:

Isn't it cute?  I'm now using it to spin some fibre from a World of Wool lap waste bag that a bit of sleuthing on the WoW website leads me to believe is a mixture of merino and flax; probably the leftovers from someone's custom order:

I've no idea what this will become, but it's good fun.

I also started something new this morning, which I'll talk about in a standalone post, I think, but here's a teaser: