Wednesday, January 14, 2009

THIRD (interim) Spin: Trying for Slubby!

Okay, even at the beginning of this new spinning endeavor, I've found that when I look at a fiber in its braided, unspun state, it just seems to tell me that it would SING and ZING if it were to be spun in a certain way. This fiber... its colorway of golds and greys, from light to charcoal, along with its coarser (perhaps more kinky) texture... it just said, "Spin Me Slubby!"

Well, in the middle of Spin #2, I decided to load another spindle (Jenny loaned me her Kundert while a glitch was being remedied on the one she got me) with that fiber, and see if I could purposely spin thick-thin and slubby.
Man, did I EVER overdo it! I'd draft what I thought would be a slub, and it just spun quiet. A little thicker, of course, but no slub. And those really thin parts next to the thick parts... I didn't know how much spin to put in a combination like that, but those thick parts just didn't seem to take any spin, so I spun more. And more. And more! I decided I'd definitely stop after an ounce or thereabouts, and process it, then see what I got. So when I soaked it, I used HOT water for this because I'd read that you want to kind of slightly "felt" a slubby yarn so the slubs won't come apart. I also whacked the crap out of it. I mean, my dog ran for cover. Slam, slam, slam!! I then spun it dry in the salad spinner, and hung it to dry.
Oooomigod. It was a freaking kinking mess. I ran to Beginning Spinners Forum on Ravelry, and screamed HELP! I mean, I could practically hear this yarn screaming,
"Ouch! Argh, OUCH!!"
Well, in Beginning Spinners I asked if there was any way I could gently UNspin it to some extent. I had really processed it, I didn't think I still could.
They said I probably could, so that's what I tried. Now that was a neat learning experience, because it's a thing you do by feel. You just sense when to stop, and I mean for me, it came down to one revolution of the spindle.

Time Out for some drippy stuff: It seems to me that as ridiculous as this sounds, if you almost "listen" to your fiber or yarn in progress, it'll tell you exactly what to do. It's an instinct thing. It's not something that screams out at you, you have to listen for it. I've had just glimpses into this, and I'm sure it's commonplace with experienced spinners, but for other newbies, just be open to what the yarn is telling you.

Anyway, I did that unspinning in places, and not in others (that's fairly obvious EXCEPT that you have to mentally picture what's going to happen to the unspinning. Where will it gravitate? So I soaked it again, spun it in the salad spinner again, and this time I didn't whack it. I also didn't want to put a weight on the bottom of the skein loop because some of these slubs are damned long. I figured they could easily pull apart. So I looped just a dry wash cloth over the bottom of the loop. Not a lot of weight, true. But just enough to... well, it wouldn't hurt. It felt right to do. And this is how it came out. Still a little squiggly, but soooooo much better. And I didn't hear the yarn yelping anymore.

So what did I learn that I THINK will be the case?

When I draft thick and thin, I'm thinking that doing everything in more moderation is best. Things that looked like little slubs grew. If there was too much difference in yarn thickness, it invariably overspun the thin parts, and the bigger difference between thick and thin, the more that would happen.

With this spin, and this treatment (which is probably above my head at this point to be trying it), I'm going to do another ounce before proceeding, just to make sure these learned ("suspected") points are real.

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