I’ve also managed to finish a spinning project! I have a couple of bits in progress but these are very fine, lace projects that will take an age to finish. So I wanted to spin up something semi-quick and also get to use my new bottom-whorl spindle for plying.
So I took this super-squishy organic merino which was the Spunky Eclectic Fibre Club shipment from April last year and it’s called, Storms of Jupiter.
There are no words to express how soft this stuff is. I wanted to turn it into a very poofy, lofty DK weight yarn – so the plan was to spin it long draw, directly from the top as much as possible and turn it into a 2 ply yarn.
I got started back in January:
Using my Bosworth Midi Zebrawood I spun up the two singles, and then took them off the spindle, turning into them plying balls. These were then combined together to form one bigger plying ball (remind me to let the second ball rest before I attempt to combine it – would make it a lot less twisty and easy to manage).
From this giant ball, I then started to ply. This was an odd one – the spindle I used spins for a long time, but isn’t the quickest. Being a bottom-whorl with that unusual hook at the top meant that I couldn’t really thigh-roll it, so plying took a little while to get to grips with. I also need to practice how to wind my cops on here – concentrating on keeping the cop low down and wide, to improve stability and hopefully make it a bit quicker. Look at how untidy it is!
But it’s my first bottom whorl spindle and I’m sure it’s going to take a little while for me to get to know it and how it prefers to be spun.
After it was all skeined up, I threw it in a sink of warm water and let it sit for a while. Pre-bath, it was about 12 wpi – post bath, it came out at 10-11, so it poofed up a bit. In total I got between 185-195 yards from 119g of yarn and pictures do not show how SOFT it is:
Quite happy with the result – particularly in terms of yardage which is the closest I’ve gotten to more “commercial” yardages so far. Spinning this using a sort-of long draw will have helped with that, and also with the softness and fluffiness. I am not the biggest fan of yarns when they barberpole like this, although it can depend on the colors. As it stands, no idea what I’ll make from this whatsoever!
(For full notes on the handspun, check out the Rav page.)
We’ve been having further house-hassle this week – trying to get things resolved before we move. As a treat, I have ordered another couple of spindles from Grippingyarn and those will hopefully arrive just after we move house at the end of the month. I will also be sending off two of my other spindles for a facelift!
In final fibrery news, I got my first shipment from The Thylacine’s Fibre Club. It’s a year since I’ve been in a club and had mixed feelings about the two I’ve been in before. But I’ve been very struck by Megan’s choice of fibres and dyeing and thought that since I’m trying to get back into spinning that it would make sense. Then my fibre arrived and I was even more in love:
Sunlight Hits The Snow is a 70/30 merino/silk mix inspired by one of the last rounds of snow in Oxford before Megan moved back to Tasmania. I have no idea what to spin this into – it definitely needs to be thin, but I can’t decide between singles or 2-ply laceweight and whether to spin it as is, or split up the colours and spin from white through all the shades of purple, similar to what I did for my Pansy handspun.
But I am glad to be spinning again.