Tuesday, May 13, 2008

spinning al fresco

Last night I went to Concerts by the River in Decatur--Meg from Yarn Expressions was there because her husband is in the band. We sat together and spun all evening. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the music was great. They played some of my favorite Big Band songs, including "Take the A Train" and some great Charlie Parker stuff. It was a wonderful evening.
On the other hand, the spinning was a disaster. Well, just my spinning--Meg was making some absolutely gorgeous yarn in shades of red. To die for. I, on the other hand, made a bunch of air yarn, had to find the broken end and start over about a hundred times, and generally got irritated. I finally switched back to 12:1 (I had been using 6:1 because I was inchworming) and removed almost all of the brake tension on the bobbin so that it had virtually no takeup. Finally, the yarn quit breaking--instead, I was making super-tight pigtail spaghetti. I have two bobbins of nightmare plying waiting for me, one of which has no end that I could find last night. I think this is the worst yarn I've made in a month. And what do you think the chances are that the overtwist parts will line up perfectly with the air yarn parts and form a strong, reasonable yarn? Yeah, me neither.

This is the overtwist stuff. It actually doesn't look bad on the bobbin, but the second it gets loose, watch out!
I've been asking myself why it went so badly last night. For one thing, it was new fiber that I'm not used to. I had gotten very accustomed to the vagaries of the merino, and this wool has a much longer staple length. I don't know what kind of wool it is; it's Brown Sheep mill ends from Sheep Shed Studio. It just came last night.

I was so excited to see it waiting for me when I got home! That's two pounds of the brown mix and a pound and a half of custom-dyed superwash, plus a little brown sample they added as a thank you gift. The dyed stuff is beautiful, and the brown mix is extremely soft and glorious.
Whatever kind of wool it is, it's very fine and will be great for something that's worn against the skin. But it's not very grippy, and I think that was part of my problem with the spinning last night. Also, that was my first time spinning outside--maybe the humidity had an effect, too. And between the music, an unfortunate train that kept making noise right next to the park, and the sound of Meg's wheel, I really couldn't hear my wheel at all. That seemed really strange--I must get more auditory cues from the wheel than I realized.
Anyway, since last night was such a disaster, I'm due for a really great spinning night tonight. Or maybe because Sunday was so great, I was due for a disaster last night. No, I like the first idea better.
I'm really excited to have this new mountain of fiber at home waiting for me, especially since the brown mix is so soft. Once I make friends with this fiber, I'm sure I'll be loving it and ordering more.

1 comment:

~ P ~ said...

That fiber is lovely. I have a friend that has ordered from Sheep Shed and really likes the fiber. I like your term "pigtail spaghetti". I've spun a good bit of that myself. It could have been that spinning in a different surrounding may have caused the problems. Plus spinning next to Meg can be very intimidating. She spins such wonderful yarn. She's pretty good at dyeing also.