Things have been crazy since we moved to Dawson, and there’s been little time for blogging, but I have been doing lots of spinning lately, so thought I would start keeping a bit of a log here again. This first post will be a little picture heavy, as I’ll include some of my recent favourites.
This was the first major spinning project I was actually happy with. It’s just over 300 yards of chain plied natural Jacob. The “joins” of the n-ply are pretty visible, but less so than my previous attempts, so I was pretty pleased. I also learned that I really don’t love Jacob with this one, or at least not spun in this fashion. It did make a nice hat, though, and while it’s not soft at all, it’s not really scratchy either, so maybe I’ll make a pair of thrummed mitts with the remaining yarn.
This year’s Tour de Fleece was when I really got back to spinning, though. I finally fixed my wheel, and when I went back to it, was reminded how zen spinning can be for me.
I started out with these skeins, made from Louet Northern Lights wool top. I love the ease of drafting this stuff, and the colours look great, even just spinning end to end, with no colour management at all. The first skein ended up being just over 200 yards of sport weight, and the second one is about 370 yds of DK. Still waffling on whether to keep one of these for myself, gift it or bring it to the shop.
I’m really proud of this one. While I’ve dyed lots of yarn before, I was always afraid of dyeing fibre (either of felting it, or having it drift apart). A friend recently started crocheting, and just loves it, so I decided I wanted to spin something for her. She loves and appreciates handmade gifts, so I was thrilled to find something I could make that she would be able to use and enjoy. She can’t do wool at all, so I tried my hand at dyeing some faux cashmere I had on hand, then spinning it. I dyed one braid in a lighter blue with lots of white, and a second in a darker blue with a little white, then plied them together. At 140 yards for a 170 gram skein, it’s not nearly as much yardage as I had hoped. I guess I squished a lot of air out as I spun, so it’s super dense (170 grams, and 140 yards but it’s somewhere between aran and bulky weight). It turned out fairly well, though, so I think she’ll love it.
This fibre was a Ravelry destash purchase. I had wanted to try Polwarth, so jumped in despite the exchange rate. I was disappointed when I got the parcel, as the colour was quite different than the photo I had seen, but still was excited to try the Polwarth. Until I started trying to spin it. It was horribly compacted and hurt to spin. I was a little shocked given how wonderful everyone said it was. I kept working on it, and in the end. I’m pleased with the results. The colour has grown on me, and my spinning and plying are getting a bit better with each new skein. This ended up being about 180 yards of aran-weight, so definitely a useable skein. I even bought some more Polwarth (which is beautifully soft and uncompacted, to try again).
This one was supposed to be cheap learning fibre, just to learn a new technique with, but I liked it so much, I decided to keep the skein. I wanted to spin a less dense yarn, and decided to try spinning woolen (or as close as you can get when starting with top). This was Cheviot I got on sale (less than $1/oz)! Given how rough and wiry the fibre felt, I was shocked at how nice the end yarn was. Yay for semi-woolen spinning, and not overplying! It made a huge difference, so I’ll definitely be using this technique for other spinning projects, too. The yarn is a super squishy, and quite soft, bulky to super bulky yarn; it actually feels softer than it did as loose top/fibre. I’m thinking it may become a hat.
And this one is my absolute favourite. I just finished it tonight, and I’m in love. I won the fibre in a Ravelry spinalong challenge – a 5.4 oz braid of Targhee, which I had never tried before. I think it may be my new favourite. It’s as soft and drafts as easily as BFL, but has much more sproing to it. Soooo squoodgy! And I love the colours, both in the fibre itself, and how they play together in the yarn. It’s probably my best yet, so part of me wants to bring this one to the shop, but I kind of want to keep it all for myself!