I wrote this post yesterday, on a sleepy Sunday morning so I can only hope it makes sense when you all read it come Monday morning. If anything is vaguely incoherent, I apologise now 🙂
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for spinning in this house. Because I’ve been finishing up older, mostly completely projects, it looks like I’ve been super productive when in fact all I’ve done is just pull my finger out and get on with it. Such is the case with this project.
Behold beautiful fibre received 18 months ago as part of The Thylacine’s fibre club. Tasmanian Merino “Ringrove Cross” in a lovely colour called Wilderness:
I love the subtle muted colours and while it’s probably not something I would have chosen myself, that’s why a fibre club is so good – great for challenging yourself and trying fibre/colour combos that you don’t naturally gravitate to.
I started off this project after completing my skein of Copperhead Optim. As my only other spinning WIP was on a supported spindle, I wanted to have something on the go on my drop spindles so I could switch between projects as needed.
The plan was to try for a fractal 2 ply – meaning that the yarn would softly stripe against itself – leading to more subtle stripes than you get from chain-plying, but still showing the range of colours without getting muddied. I did this by dividing the top into two matching pieces, where the colours start and end in the same place – then dividing one of those pieces into two and the other into four.
I’d spun up most of the first half of the fibre very early on and then got distracted with other knitting projects, so in January when I took this picture there was only a fraction of the first half still left to spin:
That got completed and wound into a plying balls before I started the plying of the Scorched and Ribbons projects in the last couple of posts:
I do love how tiny 50g of wound yarn looks compared to 50g of fibre. The difference is all air, I suppose.
So after finishing the other two projects a week ago, I cracked on spinning up the second half of the fibre. I was spinning it with a bit more of a woollen approach, pulling the fibre supply back from the approaching twist, rather than drafting forwards. This made for a hairier, fluffier product but was also quicker. Amazingly, when you’re not spinning in fits and starts it’s actually possible to get 50g of fibre spun up in a couple of days. Who knew!
Started plying, and this too was completed in a couple of days – taking half hour chunks here and there. Probably didn’t take much more than a solid hour to 90 minutes to get the skein plied.
I do wish I’d taken a picture of the yarn all skeined up on the chair I used, as it showed off the soft stripes beautifully. This is actually the first time I’ve done a 2-ply fractal yarn and it’s so nice to see it come out how it was supposed to. A wash and finish later…
209 yards of DK weight (around 11wpi), weighing in at 95g total. As always, I wish it was a bit more consistent in places but the finished skein is very soft and well balanced. I’ve also managed to achieve results close to commercial yardage, which I’m pretty pleased with. Using more of a long-draw approach really does make a difference.
I do like the really subtle, muted colours. It’s funny how the skeins you’re often not as keen on yourself, turn out to be everyone else’s favourites – such is the case with this one.
This means I have quite a nice finished collection of yarn, that’s completed in the last couple of weeks. Time for a nice gratuitous family shot:
Of them all I’m probably most pleased with the Ribbons skeins – which are very squishy and round and probably the most approaching perfection of anything I’ve spun to date.
So now it’s on to the next project! I will probably be a while before I return with a finished product as this one has to be spun entirely from nothing:
As I’m planning to spin a very fine single to then chain-ply into sock yarn, I’m under no illusions that this will probably take a while. I may also kick this project back off, which is only 25% completed:
That was started in January 2010 – making it three years old and my longest WIP ever. That’s rather embarrassing. But I know it will look fabulous when finished! Let’s aim to get it finished before it hits its fourth birthday. I reckon I can manage that. 🙂