I finished spinning two bobbins of undyed singles last Sunday, and plied them together this week.
Here’s the fiber I started with (not this exact roll, but several very similar ones.) It was given to me by the woman who sold me my spinning wheel. “Romney” refers to the breed of sheep. She told me it was Romney. I’ll take her word for it, but the individual fibers are much shorter than I would expect from Romney, so it may be from some other breed, or possibly it’s from a lamb.
See the dark bits? That’s called “vegetable matter,” or VM for short. Some commercial preps remove it altogether, but whoever prepped this fiber (washed and carded it for spinning) didn’t process it that much. I just pick it out with tweezers before I start spinning, and try to catch any bits I missed while I’m spinning.
Here’s the wool after I fluff it up and remove as much VM as I can. I’ve been spinning directly from wool like this, but I could separate it into long, thinner sections if I wanted to. Again, this is wool I haven’t spun yet, because I didn’t think to take photos before I spun up the two bobbins I had.
Here’s what it looks like as I’m spinning it onto a bobbin. One “thread” of twisted wool is called a single or singles. Once the bobbin is full, I remove it and put in a new bobbin. It takes me several hours to fill a bobbin. When I have two (or three) full bobbins, it’s time to ply the singles together. To do that, I put the full bobbins on a device called a Lazy Kate that lets the bobbins rotate freely. I spin the two (or three) singles together so they twist around each other; the plied yarn is spun onto a bobbin just like the singles were.
These are the skeins I plied this week. Together it’s about 3.5 ounces of yarn. I have no idea how many yards it is, because I don’t have an easy way to measure that. I think I need to get a yardage meter.
Here’s a closeup of the plied yarn. You can see that I don’t spin completely evenly yet; the yarn is a little thicker in some places than in others. Experienced spinners can spin much more evenly than this, when they want to. (Some art yarns are deliberately spun thick-and-thin, with more variation than you see here.) I am still really pleased, though, because this is more even than any of the yarns I’ve spun to date. I also avoided overspinning (spinning the singles too tightly), which makes the finished yarn softer and fluffier.
I haven’t yet decided what I will do with this yarn. It would make a nice warm hat, but I’m also debating a tea cozy, maybe with a cable up the middle.
The feather-and-fan scarf I was working on in March is done, except for weaving in the ends and blocking. I will get a photo of it before I ship it off to the person I’m giving it to.
I started a Kalasi cowl for a knitalong (KAL) this month. It’s a quick and easy-to-remember pattern, and should look really pretty when it’s finished. I knit tighter than Skeinwalker, the pattern designer, so even with blocking, I don’t think this is going to be 30 inches around as the pattern suggests. But cowls are forgiving; as long as it goes over your head, it’s fine! I haven’t decided whether to keep this one or give it to someone for Christmas. The first photo is closer to the actual yarn in color. It’s KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in a dark burgundy color tending toward brown/purple; the colorway is Currant. The second photo shows the lace and texture patterns in the cowl. Once I block it (wet it and stretch it to the correct shape and width), the patterns will open up and be easier to see.
Ravelry: I’ve linked patterns and projects to their respective Ravelry pages. If you’re a knitter or crocheter and want to connect with me on Ravelry, you can find me there as “Lady-Lark.” And send me a PM on Ravelry to let me know your Rav-name and that you read this blog, so I can friend you back!