Spinning

Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:20 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (spinning)
In an effort to relax and just slow down a little bit I actually did some spinning last night. I managed to finish another skein/bobbin worth of yarn for Roger's mittens. I am not sure exactly how much I will need, but I think it will be about 3 skeins. While I was spinning Roger turned on Geek Farm Life Podcast, a podcast I only discovered recently.

Somehow I had fogotten how much I like spinning. As I don't really enjoy working on a drop spindle, this isn't an incredibly portable hobby, but it is so soothing in its smooth repetition.

spinning wool for Roger's mittens
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So I found this lovely cream silk extra large sweater. Well the silk was lovely anyways, 100% smooth silk. The gauge was small enough to make me stop and think about whether this was a good idea or not, but armed with my new spinning wheel I had a few ideas.

The first surprise was that the silk was actually knit with 2 strands of thread held together. Through some trial and error I discovered that skeining it with a niddy noddy and washing led to incredibly tangled skeins when I tried to later wind them into balls. I am not sure why, other than that the thread was so fine and the two strands would get wrapped funny. They also had a tendency to snap if pulled with any degree of force.

What actaually ended up working best* was to wind directly into a center pull ball from the unraveling sweater. Then I twisted 4 strands (2 from each end of the ball) in the S direction. This was rewound into a center pull ball and then plyed in the Z direction onto itself. The important part of this was to hold the tension to smooth out the "crimpiness" of the thread. Only after it had been plied, did I wind it onto a pvc niddy noddy and steam it to remove the crimp.

Below is the finished result with a strand of the starting material for reference. The final yarn is about sock weight and feels pleasant in your hand. I have just over 300 yards of the finished yarn and a bunch of the skeined thread (which I am not sure if I am brave enough to try again right now), but I am not sure what I will do with it. Originally I thought to dye the cream, but I don't want to until I pick a project.
pictures )

*I also tried plying 8 strands in the Z direction at once, but I was unhappy with the result. Not only was it unbalanced but the strands separated very easily.

Baa

Mar. 8th, 2006 11:42 am
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I started on the huge bag of roving the wheel seller included. Baaaa, sheepy! There is much more lanolin than in the wool I was spinning before, which actually made it significantly harder to spin at times. I got a lot more of a "thick and thin" consistency due to the way it would draft, even when I tried pre-drafting first. I am much less happy with how it spun up than the other stuff. We will see how it looks after I ply it. On the plus side though, my hands are so soft. Who needs stinking hand lotion?
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So my spinning wheel arrived on wednesday, although I didn't get to put it together until thursday. It is beautiful, but we had a few problems with it. After an appointment made with Lucy at Mind's Eye, I now have a beautifully running wheel. It needed much oil, realigning, and eventually the leather flexible joint to be replaced. I spun 2 bobbins of corriedale wool tonight, and if I get motivated will take pictures later after I dye it (undecided on method/color). The first bobbin seems slightly underspun, but I am fairly pleased by how much more even it looks.

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omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
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