Thank you for visiting my blog. If you have a question about a pattern or any other query, please e-mail me on I'm not able to answer patterns questions via blog comments.

You may also find my tutorials helpful.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spinning Round Up

My aim for this year's Tour de Fleece which runs alongside Tour de France was to spin for an hour every night while watching the Tour highlights. I missed the first couple of days because we were away at Woolfest and there was the other odd night I missed, but I did spin longer than the daily hour on some days too. My main goal was to get back into regular spinning and it reminded me of how much I enjoy spinning and that I do improve if I do it regularly but if I don't spin for months, that progress is quickly lost.
The skein above is merino/tencel from Sweet Georgia. I spun it last year but never got around to plying it. I decided to navajo ply it to try to keep the colours separated. But it kept breaking and I've no idea how to correctly join while navajo plying. I can't find any resources on this topic in my 'The Gentle Art of Plying' dvd or spinning books. I ended up not plying the whole skein because i got so fed up. And there are several knots in the stuff I did ply. I was happy with the result though.
The braid above is another Sweet Georgia Fiber Club merino/tencel shipment. I had 200gr of this and had decided to spin each braid separately for a 2ply yarn. But after spinning up one 100gr braid I was getting a bit bored. The problem was I had it all on one bobbin and didn't want to navajo ply this. So after a couple of weeks of letting the singles rest, I re-wound it on to 2 bobbins using my electric ball winder. 
Last night I plied dicrectly from my two ball winder bobbins.  The singles weren't as even as i thought they were and I'm not 1005 happy with this yarn. I also got in a bit of a tangle when I tried to split the singles on to 2 bobbins so don't have a full 100gr skein. It looks like a heavy laceweight but I still need to wash it and take final meausurements. Em wound it into a hank for me last night and asked if I could knit her something with it as she loves the colour. I knitted her a blue handspun hat last winter so I suggested she have something else. She asked for gloves. The yarn is quite fine though so i'm thinking about spinning the second braid into a slightly thicker 2 or 3 ply yarn for gloves instead.
One of my challenges this year was to try to spin fibres I haven't spun before. Another Sweet Georgia club shipment was this Polwarth Silk blend which felt lovely. I'm not too keen on the orange/gold half of the braid and wish there was more plum and pink in it but i spun it into singles from one end to the other to keep the colour progression.
 I tren navajo plied it. My focus for the last 2 years have been to spin as fine a yarn as possible but this time I deliberately tried to spin the singles a bit thicker. I wanted to end up with a 4ply weight yarn. I ended up with 24 wpi which is about a sportsweight/thick 4ply. And according to my rough calculations I should have about 300-340m.
 I immediately wound it into a yarn cake as I love seeing the colour progression. I do want to knit this up. I'm thinking of doing an infinity scarf for myself. My plan was to knit this while we're on holiday for the first 2 weeks in August but I've got 2 crochet deadines and the September Club shawl to do so that's unlikely to happen. It's still sitting on the coffee table, just in case.
Towards the end of the Tour I pulled out another Sweet Georgia club fibre (I do have other fibre too). This is BFL/Silk.  I love BFL yarn but I've never been that keen on BFL fibre. I don't know why but as this had silk in it, I thought I'd give it a try. I love the colours. I've wanted to try fractal spinning for a while so I split the braid lengthwise in half. I'm spinning one half from end to end. The second half will be split into several (2 or 3) thinner lengths which will then be spun end to end. I'm spinning this fairly fine and hoping for a laceweight yarn.
I'm about halfway through the first bobbin and I'm enjoying spinning this but it does feel a little bit wiry when spinning but the singles feel soft. 

The challenge now Tour de France is over is to keep up my daily spinning habit. I'm trying to find a daily TV programme I watch to use as my spinning time. I do usually watch the evening news but not always. If I'm home I do watch 'The real housewives of....' in the afternoon for an hour before I start dinner. It's my guilty pleasure. Kind of like 'switching off' after work before cooking dinner/evening stuff starts. So I think I'm going to make this my daily spinning hour. The challenge will be when I've got a lot of deadlines on. It's easy to devote all my 'TV watching' time to deadline knitting. But almost every time i sit down I know or crochet and the majority of it is for work and I do deserve to have a hobby so I will try to make time for spinning daily.

I have also been thinking about challening myself to self-publish some patterns specifically designed for my handspun yarn, so it is kind of work.

No comments: