Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spinning "Prance"

July 2014 Into the Whirled's colorway is called "Prance."  The fiber is Falkland and it is another fiber I've never tried before.  I recently joined the Into the Whirled Ravelry group and there you get a little extra because you get to see the inspiration photo for the monthly colorway.  Awesome!  I'm finding myself tempted to join the luxury club, but I should probably wait until after we've moved.  Maybe I need to take a break for a while until the move, even though I've been keeping up with working through my stash.  

I really like this colorway.  The colors are really deep and saturated, full of (mostly) blues, greens and purples.  

I realized that if I divided the fiber in half, then I could spin a gradient directly from the braid.  It would require predrafting, but it would basically be ready to go.  (Unlike my previous handspun gradient which took a lot more planning.)  

I divided the fiber into two 56 g sections and removed the green bit from the end of the red/pink section.  Wahoo, I'm ready to go.  Two spools of singles starting with green and heading to red.  

I've been saying this a lot recently, but I want to try to spin this thin.  I'm going to predraft, spin on the faster whorl and really try to make my singles nice and thin.  We'll see how this goes.  As always I'm spinning clockwise and plying counterclockwise. 

So far so good!  I'm maybe half a gram into the fiber and I think I have multiple yards.  Woot woot!  I think the staple length is lending itself well to a really thin spin.  

Eek my hands are turning blue again!

So the spinning was going really well, and then as I approached the end of the first bobbin I got a little over confident and starting putting too little twist in the yarn.  How do I know?  It broke multiple times and I had to pull out almost a few YARDS to get to a place where I could start spinning again.  I really REALLY hope I won't have trouble when it is time to ply, I'm feeling a little nervous.  

The second bobbin filled really easily.  The singles are around 25 wpi.  Maybe on the way to lace weight?  It was hard to wrap without worrying about untwisting the singles.  

Plying is slow going, but that is because this is really thin yarn!  I had a few breaks in the red section, but I just laid end over end and continued iwth the plying.  Thankfully it hasn't been a huge problem yet.  

During the plying, I started to worry that the green/blue sections of the yarn would be much smaller than the red.  It could be really unbalanced and strange.  

I LOVE this yarn, it is so fuzzy and soft!  It is not too tightly twisted at all.  The yarn is soft and has a good bounce to it.  Maybe my intuition is just getting better.  This is the most yardage I've gotten out of a project in a while, so I'm excited about that, too.  I'm still not sure how I feel about the gradient, but it was a fun thing to experiment with.  

People often have varied reactions when I mention that I own a spinning wheel.  Knitters and other crafters tend to think it is cool, whereas non-fiber folk think it is a little strange.  I once had someone tell me that she could never have the patience to do it.  I explained that it is relaxing and soothing.  Unlike many other crafts I do, spinning can be very mindless and requires little to no thought once you start going.  You are creating something beautiful with little effort, just some time.  If you're going to be sitting around anyway, you have nothing to lose!  

13 wpi, 2 ply.  DK weight.  
large skein - 214 wraps * 4 ft/wrap = 856 ft = 285 yards; 105 g
small skein - 22 wraps * 2 ft/wrap = 44 feet = 14.6 yards; 6 g

While I was plying the yarn it felt like there was a LOT more red than there turned out to be.  The color gradient is nicely balanced, with some great barber pole sections where the colors transitioned.  

300 is a really good yardage to get out of 100 g of fiber, at least for me.  I can't believe that I had 600 yards of singles!  No wonder it too me a while to ply.  I will have to think of the right project for this yarn, but I would be happy to use it as a cowl or shawlette of some type.  Do you have any suggestions for me?  

Spinning started 2/18/2015
First half completed 2/19/2015
Second spindle finished 2/20/2015