Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Shh, I am supposed to be painting another ceiling...

...yup, I have my shower cap on and my rough surface roller at the ready. Well, we are behind plan and The Floor Guy arrives on Monday!

However, I just thought that I would pop by to sneak you a very amateur spinning update (which is the only craft related thing that I have managed to do between coats of paint and another course module in the past week).

Okay, I signed up for four evening spinning classes at Birkeland Bros. in Vancouver -do drop by their website as it has a lovely history! Here is my spinning tutor, U, whizzing her stuff on a drop spindle at the end of a class:


This is what I managed to produce on my wheel by the end of my second class. I am/was trying very hard to work on producing a more regular single, that was not as overspun as my first attempt and was thin enough for me to ply and end up with a finished yarn that is somewhere (anywhere) between 4 ply and aran weight:


*Cough* I have no idea what a single should look like for each weight of yarn yet. So I have no clue whether I am on track here or not. I guess that it will be trial and error until I've practised enough to understand what sort of single I should be aiming for. I will plod on with this bobbin, make a friend to go with it, ply them together, see how the yarn turns out and adjust things from there?

However, I came home to practice and this fibre kept winking at me:


So I put aside my class fibre and bobbin and I set to work on this instead. I really struggled too. This fibre behaves completely differently to the stuff that I am using in class. It is Louet, space dyed wool top. I am not sure but it seems that something has happened to the sections of fibre that were squashed against the outside of the plastic bag - it feels drier, more coarse and rougher than the fiber from the centre of the bag. It is a bit harder to work with, somehow. So on my first bobbin, I delved into the centre of the fibre and worked backwards, out towards the fibre that was on the outside of the bag - I have absolutely no idea if this makes any difference.


I also found that if I spun it in the way that I was spinning my class sliver, it would break easily from a lack of twist? So um, I have put more twist into it. It seemed like the logical thing to do but I am not sure it was the right solution. Actually, I am worried that I have completely overspun it - there are areas on the bobbin where it has twisted around itself as it went onto the bobbin and so, I am hoping that I will be able to even that out when I ply it...gulp.

I guess that I should have stopped when I only had a little bit on my bobbin and andean plied it, to see how it turned out? Nope, I did not - so instead, I have a bobbin full of very pretty but probably overspun fibre!


I know that I should wind some of this off, to test how it turns out. Except, I just want to get on, spin and ply another bobbin, so that I have enough of this very pretty coloured stuff by the end of this house reno work (DIY) for me to knit something lovely as a reward for all my hard work...

...is that so wrong?!

PS: I have just spotted that last Friday, Wye Sue Knits posted a really lovely post on her blog called, 'Down Alley Way' - it's about my mother's Textile and Artisan Yarns gallery in Hereford. If you take a closer look at the gallery window sign in Sue's post, it looks like my mother has been having some fun with her sewing machine!


Anonymous said...

That new yarn is LOVELY... great colours.

I know nothing of spinning, so I have no idea what the problem is with overspun... but it sure is pretty.

And while I totally understand the desire to be able to produce even, slim thread, I'm also a huge fan of textured, lumpy-bumpy yarn. So don't be too hard on yourself while you're learning!


PS - you really make me want to give it a try... must resist!

Anonymous said...

... er, I should add that this new yarn doesn't look lumpy-bumpy at all. That was meant to be a more general comment :)

yogicknitter said...

Wow the spinning really is coming on fabulously. I am still jealous that I don't get my wheel until January. You will be a total expert by then. I am still on the drop spindle. I love the colours in that second lot of fibre. Have you decided what you are going to knit it into yet?