Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spinning for Baby Pod

Part 2 on the way to my Newborn Photoshoot Baby Pod!

In my last post I shared how I dyed some KnitPicks Full Circle Roving to a beautiful blue/purple colorway.  I dyed this fiber specifically to make a bulky yarn for a Newborn Cocoon for Chirphead's 2 week old photoshoot.  

The first thing I did was install the Jumbo Orifice Kit to the wheel.  This was really easy to to do with the included Allen wrench.  I'm happy I got this kit, as it should help things run smoothly, and it is easy enough to go back to the original wheel settings.  

I knew that I wanted to spin some kind of bulky weight yarn for this cocoon, or at least as bulky as I can.  This will eliminate a lot of drafting from the project, and I will need to take care to have minimal twist in the yarn.  I separated the yarn into ~1" thick pieces.  I'm not planning on plying the yarn, but if it isn't thick enough I could see myself doing that after that fact.  

The yarn is coming out a bit thick and thin, but I think this will have some good character.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!   I had trouble with some uptake of this yarn.  I should have watched some YouTube videos first.  I ended up needing to split the yarn onto two spindles.  

This is no where near the best spinning job I've ever done, but it only took about an hour for me to spin this all up.   I made a simple felted join to join the yarns from the two spindles together.

I wound the yarn onto my homemade niddy noddy and then set the twist with hot water.  I was very careful when washing the fibers because I knew that the sections with very little twist would felt easily.

21 wraps = 84 feet = 28 yards.   The WPI will vary a lot over the course of the yarn, but from a reasonable section I got a WPI of 5-6, this is DEFINITELY a bulky yarn!

Sometimes there was too much twist.  I do not really know how to control this better, because thinner sections of the wool will take a LOT of twist whereas the thicker sections take very little twist.  As I mentioned before, I had some issues with uptake which didn't help in preventing these over twisted sections. 

I have no idea if this is anywhere near enough yardage for this project.  I guess we'll find out when I try to start knitting it!    Backup Plan - I have some stunning thick and thin single ply yarn that I picked up in Chile that is green.  I have enough yardage of this for the main body of the cocoon.  I think this project is a fast enough knit that I will try to knit the body with this handspun bulky yarn as the MC, but if I run out way too short then I'll frog it and turn it into the CC instead so that you see these colors up around Chirphead's head in the photoshoot.

Stay tuned for the knitting of the Baby Pod in the next post!  

Spinning completed August 2013.