Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fiber Optic Handspun

This is another spinning project that I started within one week of owning the spinning wheel (started 12/18/12).  When I went to the fiber festival, I picked up the most stunning roving (top?)There are 4 oz, 114 g of fiber that is 85% Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and 15% silk.  I am in love with this colorway (Vineyard Batik) and went to the Fiber Optic Yarns website but I was disappointed to see that almost everything was out of stock!  I remember the booth at the fiber fair and it was alive with so many deep, vibrant colors.  I was saving this yarn to spin in case I ended up with a spinning wheel.

I cannot wait to start spinning this.  I have a big urge to try to big something thicker t han I've been spinning ~fingering weight singles, but when I plyed my last yarn, I did not end up with enough yardage for a big project.  Therefore, I am going to try to spin this as thin and evenly as I can so maybe it could end up a shawl... (Not likely I'd have enough yardage, so it will more likely end up a cowl.)

Just in case I change my mind about plying, I did divide the fiber in half into two 58 g bundles.  I was able to estimate it and get it almost exactly right just from the start!  I can always decide half way through to just make it all a single ply, but this gives me the chance to change my mind later on.

I am still spinning on the biggest whorl I have (lowest ratio?  I'm still learning the terminology.  The color changes are so subtle that this is a LOVELY purple yarn. I am having so much fun!

I'm still having some issues with over twisting.  Going from spinning silk to spinning wool again takes a little getting used to.  (The silk can take so much twist and it was so thin.)  I think I am likely treadling too fast, and not drafting quickly enough.  Hopefully some of this over-twisting will relax when I set the twsti.

Ahoramente, necesito hacer un decision.  (Glory, I'm thinking in Spanish!  My upcoming trip to Chile is on my brain.)  To ply or not to ply...   Turns out, I could just wind this directly into a center pull ball and ply from the inside and outside.  This way I would get no loss (like I did in this previous case where I had 20 yards extra.)  I'm not going to go to a separate spindle now, and just continue spinning.

I finished spinning on 12/18/2012 (but still needed to wrap and set the twist.)  Wrapping and wetting happened the next day.  211 wraps = 281 yards, 115 g, 17/18 wpi (sport weight)  I am so in love with this yarn!  I wish that my photographs could do the amazing color justice.

Navajo plying (where you start with one single and create a mulit-ply yarn) is something else I will need to explore in the future.  I should make a list!  Here are the things I want to learn off the top of my head.  What else should I add to my list?
  • bulky yarn
  • navajo plying
  • pllying from a center pull ball
  • spinning art batts
  • Spinning Indy's fur (after blending it with something)
My dear friend Laura is running the Boston Marathon for Zoo New England.  Please consider donating to support her run and a cause which cares for and rehabilitates animals, offers opportunities for early scientific education, and enriches our communities.