Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SECOND Spin and notes

This is the fiber I bought on New Year's Eve in the snow storm, fearing I'd run out of my first dwindling "stash" on New Year's Day when ALL stores are closed, and when I thought I'd want to spin while watching the parade and pondering New Year's Resolutions. Besides, I had made a mini-breakthrough on the drafting. The safest textured fiber, and in a colorway I thought I'd like, I bought Louet Northern Lights wool blend that came in an 8-oz. bag of what the store owner told me was a little thicker than pencil roving. I later learned that this form is called a "sliver" (pronounced sly-ver).

Here's my best photo of what I was now able to get in terms of even thickness. I was now just getting the hang of the FEEL of how much fiber I was releasing into the draft zone. Still slow process of park-and-draft, and still holding my drafting and pinching hands too close together (for some reason terrified the fiber would drift apart... I was not good at joining, and still have a little trouble with it. I understand the tendency is too close together. More about that later.

Well, as Jenny put this yarn on her niddy noddy, she said that it was actually pretty tightly spun. But then she also said she thought this yarn would be great if I plyed it. She thought I'd see a whole lot less purple, to boot. So she put it on her umbrella swift and split it into two equal lengths, for two equal sized balls. And showed me how to ply yarn on the drop spindle.
ET VOILA!!! My first plyed yarn!

Gee, for first photos on a first blog, these just don't look as clear as they do elsewhere. If anyone knows some setting to get them clearer, please let me know!
Anyway, I didn't have wool wash yet, or a niddy noddy, so just wrapped it around the bottom of a plastic storage box and soaked the yarn in pretty hot water, then stuck it in a salad spinner which works amaaaaaazingly well. Hanging on a hook, it dried in just a few hours! Way faster than when we squeezed it dry. I did whack it, but not that much. There was some clockwise twist still in it after it dried. I guess I plied it even tighter than I spun it!
So I am now spinning up the rest, planning to ply it and hopefully the two shall be the same. What spinning a sample did teach me is to make a control card! One that shows the singles and the ply. I can't remember at this point how thickly I spun the single originally, so no clue if it'll come out looking the same as the ounce I have here.
I'm still in the process of spinning up the rest of this fiber. I don't yet know what I'll make out of it. I'm going to knit a swatch with this sample, and see if any ideas come to mind.

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