Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spinning The Cat's Pyjamas

 I am so excited to start spinning my Into the Whirled club fiber!  I am going to start in order, even though I had received both January's and February's packages when I was ready to start.  January's fiber is called "The Cat's Pyjamas" and is 50% Merino, 25% Bamboo and 25% silk.  The fiber is a mix of a greyish purple and teal blue, a great mix of vibrancy and neutral.  I think these are very "Rebecca" colors and am really excited to start spinning. 


116 g to start.  There, I weighed the yarn BEFORE starting to spin.  This means that I should be able to create a 2 ply yarn since I did the planning in advance.  Since the fiber wasn't braided, I had to weigh it in the bag (but I zeroed out the scale first.) 

I divided the fiber into two ~58 g batches.   I didn't worry too much about where I divided the fiber.  I am not aiming for any particular color repeat.  My spinning isn't yet even enough that I could control the ways the colors come out in the end.  All I know is that I want to spin this yarn on the thinner side than I have for my last few projects.    

I'm spinning with the wheel going clockwise.  I will ply counterclockwise.  That is my plan.  Let's see if I can stick to it. 

Oh my goodness!  This is spinning like a DREAM.  It is so easy to draft and it is so nice and thin.  Wow I'm feeling more relaxed by the second and I'm probably 2 yards in.. tops! 

I think that the silk and bamboo make this sticky so it is really easy to attach new fibers to the wheel.  Oh man, I LOVE THIS BLEND, have I said that yet?  

  After one section, I must have gone a bit too thin because the yarn kept breaking and I couldn't keep it going.  A little more twist, a little more fiber.  This is my mantra. 

Half way there! 
Half way through I needed to tighten the screws on my wheel.  It seemed to be shaking a bit, but thankfully things tightened right up.  Surprisingly, I had kept the hex key in with my knitting supplies.  I'm not sure how thing loosened, but it seems a lot more stable now.

I have no idea if I'm keeping the same WPI for the second half, but if I'm consistent with each then the yarn should still be fairly balanced.  I LOVE how this is turning out, and I cannot wait to ply it.  

WPI Second Half - 31 wpi
WPI First Half -  27 wpi

Looks like I'm close to lace weight singles!!!   I'm sure that on average they are pretty similar.  I'm excited to see how the plying turns out.  

It is so fun to take pictures of my spinning progress.  I know that I should edit them down, but I can't help sharing them all.  

So despite evenly dividing the fiber, I had a quite uneven yardage on the two strands.  The first half of spinning split a few times, but this is around where I was having some trouble with my spinning.  I spit felted the yarn back together and continued on my plying way.    I guess the difference in WPI carried through. The first half was thicker, so it makes sense there is less yardage.  For the remainder, I will wind it into a center pull ball to make it 2 ply without waste.  

Cake of remaining wool = 20 g.  What?!?   Wow I must have been  WAY more efficient or way thinner with one half of the spinning.  (I think it is the second half.)  What a HUGE difference that is! 

Uneven spindles aside, the plying is going really well.  I keep checking the fiber to make sure that it is as soft and supple as it was when I was creating the singles, and it is a dream.  What will I make with it?  

big skein 17 wpi.  210 wraps * 4 ft/wrap = 840 ft = 280 yards.  97 g. 
little skein 14-17 wpi, depending on where measured..  50 wraps * 4 ft/wrap = 200 ft = 66 yards. 

The twist was set with warm water on the niddy noddy. 

  • Fiber arrived 1/22/14
  • Spinning started 2/25/14
  • First half completed 24 hours later on 2/26/14 
  • Resumed spinning 3/11/14 
  • Second half completed 3/13/14 
  • plying started 3/13/14
  • plying complete 3/15/14