Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spinning progress

You'll have to forgive the poor photo quality. Hubby changed some of the camera settings and I can't seem to take decent photos anymore. I'll have to either learn how to change the settings on the camera myself or twist his arm until he sets it back to a higher resolution setting.

Anyway, here are three hanks of handspun yarns drying after a good bath. The dark gray is more of the same Coopworth I've been spinning since I received the wheel. I have actually started the Back-to-School vest from Fitted Knits with it and am trying to spin just enough to finish the project.

The white 2-ply is the practice yarn from the class at Shepherd's Harvest. It is an unknown breed but it seems to be a close match (in crimp and coarseness) to the two shades of Coopworth that I have on hand. I am planning on using it as an accent color with the other two Coopworth colors for a Fair Isle hat and perhaps matching mittens. The design is still in it's embryonic stage in the old brain pan, though.

The pale blue is an experiment in plying with a commercial yarn core. I took the blue batts from Fiberit and started a very slubby, unevenly spun single. Then I plied it with the over-twisted white wool cone yarn I've had in my stash for quite awhile. Unfortunately, I didn't look closely at it before beginning the plying process. The commercial yarn turned out to be Z-spun, which kinked up even more when I attempted to Z-ply it with the blue single. I ended up with a kinky, highly-energized yarn. I washed and rinsed it thoroughly and now am drying it under high tension to try and set the twist. I may even give it a quick steaming, just to see if I can unkink it enough knit with it. I have an idea to try a scarf from the Spring 2006 Spin Off Magazine article about knitting with energized singles. Hopefully the same principles will apply to energized 2-ply yarn as well. If not, it's been a successful spinning experiment in that I learned the value of checking the direction of the twist of commercial yarns before plying. Doh!

The next batch will probably be very different, as I want to reverse the direction I spin the blue single so that I can perhaps get a balanced yarn next time. Then I'll be ready to wash and perhaps dye the new white Coopworth that's waiting for it's turn to come out and play.

Oh, I have so many plans and ideas percolating in my head now. After all, dance recitals are over, homeschool is nearly done and summer is almost here and I'm SOOOoooooo ready to just play and play and play.


Guinifer said...

My admiration knows no bounds, I would never have the determination and persistence to become so accomplished!

Sheepish Annie said...

Playing and plying...does it get any better than that, really? Lovely yarn!