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:

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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:

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*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:

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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.

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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!

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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!

3 comments:

bitchnstitches 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!

bitchnstitches 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?