Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The zen of spinning

Warning! I took these pictures on BF's camera, and his setting takes a picture as big as a house. Bigger than real life! So unless you want to count my wraps per inch, and really check out spinning errors, don't click! Or.. click to enHUGEen.

Flickr isn't flickring tonight.. so this is gonna take a while. You've got the time, don't you? Me? I'm up at 2am, tho I'm totally exhausted, because Roxy had a bath tonight and she feels it is imperative to nibble her feet all night. I cannot get her to stop. If she's not asleep when I go back upstairs, I'm going to find alternate sleeping arrangements that does not include dogs on the bed.

Anyway.. you might know that things have been a bit stressful for me lately, plus I have strep and an ear infection again. I think I'm wrung out. The solution? Spin. And spin. And spin.

I had 6 bobbins of a jacketed hogget cormo that just needed to be plied, so I dragged them out and gave them a whirl. Now, here's what I have.

1. Skein of scoured, unprepared in any other way... just spun from the locks.

2. Skein of scoured, hand carded locks.

3. Skein of scoured, flick carded locks.

All three skeins have been spun thick and thin, finished, and tho there is still minimal VM (especially in the natural locks), they are a pretty cream colour, and I'm very happy. I won't dye any of it. This yarn is so soft and bouncy I don't have words to describe it.

What I learned is:

- I am a pretty lousy hand carder. Must practice that.
- It's hard for me to spin art-type yarn... If I lose concentration, my spinning reverts to consistent fingering weight. Then.. ooops!.. back to art yarn.
- A dog comb used as a flick carder will go straight through your jeans. It won't take long either.
- I absolutely adore cormo. It might be my favorite fleece ever.
- I learned a lot about how NOT to wash a fleece. I basically have a cloud the size of a laundry basket, but, it's not a total loss, and in fact it hasn't been a loss at all, I just altered my spinning.
- I think i'm going to flick card the rest, and I think I'm going to force myself to start throwing out short and really dirty parts. We have a compost. I can use it. The world won't end if I don't spin every single inch.
- I think it might be ok to cut off the tips of a hogget fleece sometimes. They are too little to be jacketed at first, so the tips are a bit frazzed.
- Starting from a fleece is hard, but worth it. Times a thousand.

OK.. moving on.

2 skeins of Llama-down, purchased carded from Lars of West Mountain Farm, Inc., Stamford, Vermont. I met Lars Garrison and his wife Gaye at Rhinebeck. They have decided to sell off their animals. If you can get your hands on any of this fleece, do so. It is amazing, and I could just kick myself for not buying more. This is my first real attempt at unsupported long draw. I'm very happy with my initial results. The takeup on my wheel isn't strong enough, so it's kind of a tough go... but I did as well as I could. The yarn is soft and very springy.

Coils! It's my first try, and the skein is loaded with errors.. I did everything wrong I think, but I'm still stupid thrilled with the results. I think the singles needed to be spun tighter and I need to figure out how to do this without coiling up the core thread so bad that it breaks. Technique = 0. Pretty = 10.

I picked the roving because I thought the dye job sucked. In reality, it kicks butt.

Now. Can somebody tell me what the heck one does with a coiled skein???


indigirl said...

I LOVE the coiled skein. How cool is that? And kudos to you for spinning it. I've tried but it feels too fussy for what I prefer, I suppose.

OK, now... what to do with it? How much do you have? I could see this as being a kick-ass scarf if you alternated with something simple and solid and non-textured.

Gale said...

If not a scarf, some sort of trim around the collar and cuffs of a plain sweater. Love it.

Cindy said...

How cool is that coiled stuff? I have no idea what you do with it. It looks like great doll hair for a "when I am old" doll! Or couch it down to a plain knit something in one of the colors like the light green. It could be a worm wiggling across the grass!