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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sweet Spinning!

I'm really getting into spinning. Trying to do little and often. I decided to put the camel/silk fibre to one side. I like spinning it but it kind of goes everywhere which means that even if I wear an apron I get covered in fluff. I've been tempted by the March installment of teh Sweet Georgia Fiber club. It's a merino/bamboo/silk blend in lovely blues. I asked Em the other day if she'd like another knitted hat out of it and she said yes. My only other knitted handspun project is her old hat which she's wore for 2 years now. That's white and blue merino/bamboo.
Last night was a click flick night with lots of knitting and then spinning. I ended up watching the second film on my own with everyone else in bed. Here's what I spun. Doesn't look like a lot but I did spin for a while.
A quick spinning question for any experts who may be reading. I'm useless at ratios etc. Several people have told me to tie a colourful yarn to my wheel to count but with a Majacraft Little Gem there is nowhere on the wheel to tie anything.  I'm not fussed about ratios as such but I do wonder if I'm spinning at the right speed. So this is the question. On my Little Gem I have 5 grooves on my whorl. I use the 3 larger ones most of the time. Are the largest one the slowest speed and the smallest one the fastest speed? So if I wanted to try and spin a laceweight yarn would I spin on the smallest whorl?

Back to my Sweet Georgia fibre. I'm considering navajo plying this one. Have practiced and my last one was much better but I am worried about not being good enough at it yet and ruining the yarn. I did a 2ply and 3 ply plyback to get a rough idea of thickness.
The 2ply is on the left and 3ply on the right. The singles so far are a lot more uneven that I'd like them to be. I thought the 3ply may even them out more but it certainly hasn't on the plyback piece. I think I prefer the 2ply. It's fairly fine. I'm hoping it'll end up sock weight. I'm trying to consistently spin an even sock weight.

I want to get this batch of blue fibre spun up quickly as i've decided I ought to learn how to spin long draw. So far all my spinning has been my version of short draw spun from commercial or hand-dyed top. Long draw has always looked a bit scary to me plus i never spin from rolags. After watching some You Tube videos and getting some reassurances from the UK Spinners group on Ravelry, I've decided it's time to conquer my fear of hand-carders (mine are virtually unused and 2 years old) and get to grips with long draw. Then I might eventually be brave enough to spin that big bag of cashmere I have upstairs.

I washed and set my Feb Sweet Georgia club yarn this morning. I was worried I'd underplied it a bit but it's perfectly balanced. it has a lot less twist than most of my previous handspun but I normally end up with yarn that's has too much twist. This still feels nice and soft. It's a bit more uneven than I'd like. But then I suppose if I want perfectly even yarn I may as well buy commercial yarn. Handspun is supposed to be a bit uneven and rustic, isn't it?
I've not measured WPI or meterage yet.  I think it's a sock weight/fingering weight yarn. It may be slightly thicker. I'd like to try and work out how much I've got and cast on for something. Perhaps a simple shawlette? Maybe another 'Simplicity'.  Or perhaps design a small shawlette or cowl or scarf for handspun yarn. One that can be knit in different yarn weights and that suits the unevenness of handspun yarn but can also be knitted in commercial yarn. Something with just a touch of lace or some sort of other openwork. I've got a few ideas. Watch this space.

After having to abandon outside yarn drying yesterday when it started raining, we didn't have much in the end. I got my yarn hung out in the warm sunshine early this morning. And although it's been very warm, sunny and windy today the yarn is still not quiet dry. Because of that I've decided to postpone the shop update until Monday. I'm not doing any work tomorrow because it's Easter Sunday and it's Em's birthday. My youngest baby is 13. It's been a touch month with my big baby turning 16 a couple of weeks ago and now my little baby turning 13. Where has the time gone? I'm proud of the lovely young women they're turning into though. They're both doing really well at school, are polite and well behaved. Not always perfect at home (that's putting it mildly - Vanessa especially is prone to teenage temper tantrums - she takes after me!) but always nice and polite when out and about. We must have done something right I suppose although it often felt like we were failing. LOL.

Back to yarn. My washing line looked lovely today and here are a few high lights:

That last one shows my handspun in the fore ground. The yarns are all Dreamy Lace, Supreme Lace and Silken Lace. I'm expecting a delivery of sock yarns (and more lace) next week. I've got lots of undyed fibre too and with my current spinning obsession I may try dyeing some more fibre. I'm never 100% happy with my hand-dyed fibre but I ought to give it another try.

Don't forget my Easter pattern offer is still running. Buy 2 patterns, get 1 free by using code: easter 11. Only availabe in my Ravelry pattern shop until end of Monday 25 April.


Pixie said...

Ratios for your wheel can be found here and yes you would need to spin on the smallest for lace.. trying out the lace kit for Majacraft on mine now and wow that is tiny the whorl that is lol

Good luck learning long draw, not had much luck myself ;)

Your Feb club yarn looks gorgeous.

Loving your drying yarn.. bright and cheerful :)

Happy Easter and Happy Birthday to Emily x

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Denise.