Wednesday, April 30, 2008

spinning pretties

I'm proud of myself. Last night, all I wanted to do was spin, but all these other priorities tried to interfere. I got home a little late, had to make dinner, husband and cat wanted attention, etc. This is the way things typically go when my husband is in town: I talk to him, I make dinner, we eat, and then it's bed time and I never get to crochet or spin. So last night I spun first! Not only that, I managed to make dinner quickly enough that we still had time to eat and get to bed early. Yeah!
I'm feeling really good about everything, so I decided to spin one of the treats from the gift fleece stash.

This is (half of) an ounce of combed shetland top. (I forgot to take a picture until I had already spun half of it.) It's very interesting wool. It seems to be medium staple length (at least relative to what I've been working with), and it's grippier than BFL or merino but less grippy than the gray mystery wool.
Instead of trying to do anything fancy, I decided to just split the top into two pieces of equal length, spin singles from each half, and then ply them. It seemed like the colors were very uniform throughout, so I figured this would make a yarn that was pretty uniform over its length. It was a little deceptive, though: one end had more white than the other. But it still made a really nice yarn.

It's a lot less consistent than my yarn has been lately, and it's not because this is bad fiber. It was a lot of fun to work with. Actually, I had been reading on Ravelry yesterday about long-draw drafting, and it seemed like this fiber really wanted to do that, so I decided to try it. I'm not sure if I was doing it right--when I've seen people do it, I was generally in the midst of such information overload that I really couldn't absorb anything beyond "Wow! That looks like magic!" But there were some points when it really seemed like it was working. Of course, there were other points when the twist just decided to travel up the whole big fat top and take over the entire thing, thank you very much. That was easier to undo than I expected: I just pinched the yarn at a point before everything went nuts, held it up and let the rest untwist (which it very obediently did), and then inchworm drafted that part into something more reasonable. I picked up again later with the attempted longdraw. There were several points when it seemed like it was really working. I definitely want to play with this more. I think my bobbin tension should have been tighter--as I went, I would get this long, twisted section of singles and then kind of shove it toward the wheel to get it to take up onto the bobbin. I want to try it with the gray wool, too--that stuff seemed like it really wanted to play this way.


~ P ~ said...

That's some nice looking fiber. Love the color.
I too have been working on the long draw but having some trouble. A friend is going to try to teach me tomorrow. Hope this brain of mine is on full function.

Cara said...

Lucky you! Having someone show you in person is worth a thousand books/internet posts!