You Spin Me Right Round

So, if you want to know  the truth of why I’ve lacked posting abilities lately, I will confess this…  I have been in a month-long spinning bender that shows no signs of stopping!  Seriously.  I think I may have neglected my spinning a bit over the winter. Not quite sure why, I love it and want to do it, I think sometimes I just get stuck in a knitting rut then others its spinning. Right now, I MUST.SPING.ALL.THE.THINGS!  Seriously.  Spin. I just want to spin.  Llama, wool, silk, blends, you name it, or better yet hand it to me, I’ll spin it!   So today I  present to you a spinning review…

There’s this

190 yards of 2 ply heavy fingering weight deliciousness.  It is the first time I’ve carded my own wool which I find rather entertaining. So much so that I’ve now acquired combs and a flick carder in addition to the used cards I bought last year. This one’s taken a trip through the dye cauldron since I spun it but I think I’ll save that for another post.

Then there’s this:

That would be my fist attempt at non-animal fiber. Flax, to be specific. I don’t think I love spinning flax, hence the rather small output.  There’s about 55 yards of finished yarn there, finished in 2 ways.  the smaller of the skeins is N-Plied.  Here’s a valuable tip, should you think you want to try this bit of insanity- overspun flax will NOT correct itself when you try to N ply it.  Don’t do it. Just don’t.  The slightly larger skein,  the one on the right, that one went a bit better.  That’s a standard 2 ply so it balanced out much nicer. But still, not really a huge fan.  Maybe I’ll try again another time, maybe not, who knows…

Next up, baby Llama. Seriously, this has to be some of the softest fiber I’ve ever spun!

And OOOOH the SHINY!!!  It’s around a worsted weight, again with the 2 ply because I seem to get impatient to start something new long before I ever get ’round to a third bobbin of somehting, but it’s so soft and shiny and bouncy and GOOD!  This was the first time I attempted to spin over the fold, too, which was an interesting experience. But it must have worked OK because I keep going all kinds of gropy hands on it!

Of course, it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything that I don’t hink I’ve shown off this:

Last term in the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House cup I dyed a 4 ounce bit of Shetland in a rainbow gradient. This month I spun it as part of my OWL project. It’s the 2nd or third time I’ve tried Fractal spinning and I won’t lie, I think this is about my favorite yarn to date! 360 yards of fingering weight that is going to be turned into something for next winter because it’s so bright and cheerful I think I couldn’t possibly have the winter blahs while wrapped in its happiness!

Then there’s the 2nd part of my OWL.  This one’s my first serious attempt at a 4 ply.  I dyed 2oz each of four different colors in a wool/silk blend roving, spun each color individually, plyed 2 colors together then cable plied the 2-ply yarns. the finished product is rather overspun which I need to decide how to fix or learn to live with, but the yarn itself continues to amaze me.  Maybe I’ll do a more indepth post on the process for this one because the one thing that continues to amaze me is how much things change from dyed fiber to finished yarn!  At any rate, 600 yards of fingering weight here

And since I’ve been on a quest to learn all the things and try all the wool, here’s another experiment.  Most of my spinning to this point has been a very straight forward short draw technique. I like it because the muscle memory is there and I don’t have to think a lot about what I’m doing, but sometimes it’s good to do something different, right? So for this one I pulled out a batt that I’d won in my first House Cup term and decided to long draw it.  The resulting skein is 75 yards  of bulky “art yarn”. It’s thick, it’s thin, it’s over spun, it’s underspun, but most importantly it’s soft and squishy and EXACTLY what I wanted out of the fiber when I started spinning it!

And I think I’m up to my last bit of show and tell for this post.  It would appear, at least according to Mr.Me, that I’ve gone slightly ’round the bend and decided to have at it with the drop spindle.  This is where I learned to spin and while it’s not totally made of the evil, it certainly never grabbed my attention quite the way wheel spinning has.  Until now.  One of my friends in the house cup convinced me to part with a sizable sum of my hard earned money in exchange for a “real” spindle. To date I’d not given a lot of consideration to weight or materials, thinking I was doing OK with my home made toy wheel & dowel spindles. Then this little beauty came into my life:

I used the excuse of “I might not be able to take my wheel to Gettysburg next month” in order to justify the purchase but it turns out I was silly to question it from the word go.  My friend was right- the right tool makes the job not just easier but thoroughly enjoyable!  So much so that in the 4 days since her arrival, I’ve learned I can spin in  restaurant while waiting for my food, I can spin in the truck while bouncing  down the highway and when asked how people made yarn before the wheel came to be, I can demonstrate that, too!  She needs a name but even without one, I think I can safely say we’re very happy together. This is the progress I’ve made on my Houndesign Dervish Spindle since Thursday:

Why do I have the feeling this is going to be another trip down the rabbit hole?  YIKES

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