Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spin! Spin! Spin!

So I've been spinning up a storm the last few days.

I've finished up the last of my white Corriedale. About a pound of it still needs to be plied, but the singles are spun at least. No more Corriedale roving... both happy and sad...

And I've started in on my purple/pink Corriedale/Mohair blend from Yarns, Etc. It seems to be felted ever so slightly... And it's kinda full of noils too... Is this a typical characteristic of dyed roving, I wonder? But it's spinning... and it's pretty... and I think it's just adding to the character of the yarn, making it kind of tweedy, so it's all good. I'll take a picture once it's plied and can really be seen as it will be. But because of how difficult it is, I'm certainly not going to end up with anywhere near the right gauge for Palette... However, I think that it might just work great for http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTknucks.html, so even better! I'll have to do up a swatch as soon as I've got enough plied and set.

And I've discovered something else that I find interesting. I have 6 ounces of the Corriedale/Mohair blend... The Corriedale that I have been spinning has been going 2 ounces per full bobbin. I've found that the 20% Mohair in the blend must be enough to offset the weight of the fiber significantly because I can only get about an ounce of the blend on the same bobbins... Interesting... This makes sense that the mohair would weigh less than wool, but I hadn't realized just what the difference in weight would make to the spinning...

And next, I'll be getting into the alpaca that Ilana sent me all those months ago. Do you have any recommendations/advice as to how to clean and comb it, Ilana?

6 comments:

ilana said...

Wellll.. it has got an awful lot of vegetable material. Have you got hand cards? That will help you get some of it out, but the rest can be picked out when you start spinning it.
Alpaca is lovely, but it's so grubby! It may not look like it, but once you start spinning it, you'll notice your fingers getting black marks from the invisible dirt. It comes out in the wash, though; a couple people have told me that you don't want to wash it until it's spun, otherwise it matts horribly and becomes unusable. Probably want to wash it the same way you'd wash yarn you've dyed yourself: soak in warm, soapy water, then spin cycle and rinse without agitation. I'd love to see pictures of what you're working on! Keep me posted. :)

Rachael said...

Yeah, I've noticed that there's a lot of veggie material. Hmmm... I have soaked a little bit, to get some of the dirt out. I was going to set it out to dry tonight. We'll see if it matts horribly. It's only a little bit, so if it is unusable, at least it's not a whole bag. I'm going to get some pet combs to comb it because I don't have any handcards (yet). They're so expensive! ::sad face:: Thank you for the warning about it being really dirty, and how best to clean it. That will help.

I will most definitely keep you posted! ;D

ilana said...

Um.. do you have any suggestions on how to get rid of a whole bunch of acryllic yarn? I amassed quite a bit of it before I discovered the joys of natural fiber... and it needs a good home.

I know! The only reason I was able to get hand cards was because Mom got them for me for Christmas.. *Sigh* Crafting is such an expensive... hobby/occupation/whatever/thingy.

Rachael said...

Hmm... I'm in the same boat as you are about the acrylic yarn. I've got about ten skeins of Caron Simply Soft and some baby yarn too. I'm making a Shaker style rug out of some of the baby yarn because I have one of those little turn-the-crank-and-get-an-i-cord machines. I made a super long i-cord out of an entire skein of it and now I'm sewing it into a spiral with the other. It is destined to be a gift for my niece (did I mention that my sister was mistaken about her baby being a boy? She will in fact be having a girl in mid-August. I have so many more cute patterns for little girl things, so I'm quite happy about it). But I'm still looking for ways to get rid of the rest. I tried making the "Tri-aran-gle" shawl at knitty.com, which calls for Caron Simply Soft, but the cables weren't coming out very flat, kind of curling in on themselves, and there's really no way of making them flatten without melting the plastic yarn, so I scrapped that idea.

Yeah... As you can see somewhere to the right side of the screen on my blog, hand cards are on my list and Viking combs too, but so far, no takers. I did get a lovely antique darning egg and a newly made darning egg last Christmas, but that was the only fiber related gift. (Although my mom told me yesterday that my dad and she finally remembered that they had not gotten me anything for my last birthday or Chanukah [I had reminded them months ago, but they had forgotten again before they actually purchased anything], so they are getting me a Hitchhiker! ::joyful squeal:: I am so happy about that!). They came in very handy when sewing up the seams on the baby booties I made. Mostly, I make do with what I have on hand. Instead of a lazy kate, I use a cardboard box with bamboo skewers stuck through it. It isn't tensioned, but it holds the bobbins enough to work.

ilana said...

My Ashford Traditional came with a lazy cate. It's not tensioned, either, but I think I could tie a piece of string around the bobbins to correct that. I like my hand cards.. I think they're Strauch. Mom got them from The Woolery.

I asked on the fibernuts forum, and people suggested donating it to places like an elementary school, or a senior center, or even a women's shelter. I called my old elementary school this morning, and the art teacher was absolutely thrilled. He's going to do some weaving projects with the 5th graders in the late spring. I'm glad it went to a good home. Alternatively, I probably would have split it into bags and taken some to the senior center and women's shelter, too. *sigh* Oh, well.

Rachael said...

Donating it! That's such a great idea and I had never thought of it! I'll have to look into that...