Monday, April 28, 2008

ah, spinning

Last week was crazy. I'm Eastern Orthodox Christian, and for us, Easter can't fall before the start of Passover. Passover started on the 19th, so last week was Holy Week for us, which meant basically all church all the time. This is the most important and most joyous feast of the year, and I love it. I love all the services leading up to it, and I love the celebration.
On Sunday, after the festivities were over, I was back at my spinning wheel, and that felt incredibly good, too. It was like coming home. That seems outrageous considering that I've only been spinning on a wheel for about three weeks even if you include last week, but it really did feel that way. I have got to find a way to get more time to do this.
Anyway, I started with some of the gray fleece that my friend sent me. It's very grippy wool--the fibers are long and really like to stick to each other. It's not like any of the other things I've worked with so far. It's pretty easy to spin, and I suspect this yarn would felt like a maniac.

I also spun a little of the roving I bought in Asheville. I chose that particular one because its colors are very soft and subtle. I wanted to try one of the techniques from Lynne Vogel's class: splitting the roving lengthwise, spinning both halves the same, and plying them together so the colors line up. I tried this in class and made some gorgeous yarn in which the colors did not line up at all. I figured if I got some subtly colored roving and that happened, it would still make a beautiful, subtle yarn. Just not in the mood for anything resembling a barbershop pole right now.
Well, I spun two bobbins of singles, and when I plied them together, the ends were within six inches of each other! Holy cow! I have never achieved anything remotely close to that before.

The colors lined up pretty well, too. They're just different enough to be really interesting and nice. I am so pleased.
This roving is a dream to work with, too. It's a merino blend with some sparklies. I'm not sure if there is any other kind of wool in there or not; my guess is not.
I've heard opposing things about merino: some say it's the best thing ever and any beginner will be in love with it by the end of an hour, and some say it's the last thing you'd want to give a beginner because it's so fine and short-stapled and non-grippy. I wanted to try some myself before ordering a whole raft of it from Sheep Shed Studio next paycheck.
The verdict? It's like butter. It's so soft. I love it. More more more!


Phyllis said...

Hi Cara,
I'm trying to decide if I've met you. I live in Huntsville. Some of your projects ring a bell. I go to Knit Night at Yarn Expression on Thursday night. I'm also a member of a spinning group at Little Barn on Saturdays. Have you ever attended either of these? I like your blog. I'm always happy to see another spinner. I spin, knit, and blog also. . I found your blog through Ravelry. I was telling Meg how much I like her dyed Hoobody fiber but hadn't started spinning. It's too pretty to unwind. She suggested I look at your pics of the spun product on Ravelry. You have done a really nice job on spinning

Cara said...

Hi, Phyllis! I'm glad you like my blog and yarn--thank you! I've never been to the Thursday night Knit Night, and I've only been to the Little Barn Saturday thing once. Did you go to Useful Knowledge? Maybe we met there.
About the Hoobody fiber, unwind it! It's even prettier! (or at least mine was.) Meg does such a great job, doesn't she?