Thursday, June 9, 2011

Live and Learn

I've been on a roll this week. I spun up Beesybee's 100% merino Fossil colorway and Fiber Fancy's 100% Falkland in Tiger Swallow Tail colorway.

I had a high learning curve. I'd never drafted and spun 100% merino before, I learned a new way of plying, and I've never INTENTIONALLY spun a chunky yarn.

I took this fiber (shown half spun and half waiting)
divided it in half, and spun each half on a drop spindle (Ashford student spindles), then I wound them together into a plying ball (thank you Abby Franquemont of Respect the Spindle), and plied them together into 174 yards that falls around the DK/light worsted and sport weight.

I knew it would barber pole but I thought I could manage that much better than I was able to. Most of the lavender color is solid while the rest of the colors poled. I love the lavender color but in hind sight I'd rather have pulled that color out to spin by itself because I also love the poling colors, just not with the lavender. What I really should have done was to wait until I'd learned how to Navajo ply this. Live and learn.

What I did learn though, was that I want to get some of this blue and some green and spin them separately with white. I love that look. Also, this is the most uniform spinning I've gotten so far, as sad as it is to say that. It's over spun in places but I can forgive that since I learned a new trick. Usually when I ply, I let the spindles roll around on the floor as I ply them together, using my feet to keep them from tangling. The cats just LOVE days like this. I've tried using the lazy kate that came with my spinning wheel, but quickly found that that is only good for holding yarn. I've also tried making my own out of Kleenex boxes and that never really worked well either. My plying has always been uneven and nothing to write home about. While it's still nothing to write home about, it's much more even this time using the plying ball method.
It's over plied but, as mangled as this yarn looks, I'm pretty proud of it. Live and learn.

While I was drafting this fiber out (and I wish I had taken a picture of it first because it was yummy), it told me it wanted to be spun chunky. I agreed since I really don't have any chunky yarns. I tend to spin as finely as I can. I divided the fiber in half and lightly drafted it out and spun it and plied it up in one evening. I didn't even try to keep the colors together, just let them fall where they may. This yarn is soft and squishy and yummy. I have no idea what I'll do with it. I didn't measure it, but there's not much there since it's chunky. I love to play with it though because it's so squooshy.

The only thing I'm disappointed in is that the red ran when I washed it. Oh well, live and learn.

I think I've decided what I want to do with my phat phiber samples. I love the idea some people have of spinning them up and making a samples blanket. I think I've said this before but, I'm really not so much in love with knitting, so I've decided to use my small wooden hand looms and weave a samples blanket.

Here are two squares of North Star Alpacas 25% suri, 75% Huacaya in the April phat fiber color Scarab. I've said before how much I love this yarn. It's so soft and the colors are gorgeous. She gave a generous 20 yards sample so I still have enough left to make the 3rd sized square too. Not much with the learning on this one, just the living.