Sunday, 20 January 2013

Spinning Saturday

I'm not sure where the idea of "Spinning Tuesday" started.  I've heard it on Knitty and I've heard it from the Yarn Harlot.  A Google search shows that loads of others are now taking part in Spinning Tuesdays - so many that it's actually becoming a 'thing'.

But Tuesday is a lousy day for me; I don't think my boss would take too kindly to me saying "Sorry - I'm not going to be at work today.  Today is Spinning Tuesday".  And by the time I get home, I'm not much interested in spinning.  Besides, I need better light for spinning than for knitting and it's dark when I get home.

But I want to spin.  I've got some big dreams for the roving piling up in the closet and I'm not going to become a better spinner simply by wishing I could participate in Spinning Tuesday.  So I am declaring Saturday to be "Spinning Saturday".  No, not every Saturday and I can assure you there will be weeks where for one reason or another it will slide to Spinning Sunday, but this is the goal - to do more spinning and actually knit something with my handspun.

So this is what I did today.  I had 40g (about 1.5 oz) of roving from Windblest Farms.  Windblest is a farm quite close to where I live that raises Leicester sheep.  I picked up this roving at the Almonte Fibre Festival last fall.  I tried to spin it a few weeks ago and had no luck with it - it was lumpy and kept breaking; a very frustrating experience.  But curiously, I could spin it on a spindle with no problems at all.  This lead me to realize that I'm not pre-drafting well enough.   You can see that its quite a dense roving.




I didn't get a good picture of the singles spun onto the bobbin but they looked really good.  It was a fine strand and was surprisingly even.  So I wound it off the bobbin into a center pull ball and plied it back onto the wheel.  Herein lies the problem - it was plied too tightly so now there is too much twist in the finished yarn.  I washed it, and hung it up with a weight (I used an old water jug) to see if I could get it to relax a bit.



I'm disappointed that there is so much twist, but the finished yarn is pretty even and about the gauge I was hoping to get.  I think now it's just a question of practice before I get it the way I want it.


In other knitting news, I continued work on the Semele scarf  today and finished the second chart.  Now, comes the real test - can I count to four consistently to ensure an even increase?

Stay tuned - I'll post more pictures of this as a work in progress.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, lovely post. I have always wanted to try spinning, but unfortunately I am quite allergic to wool. I can knit and crochet no problem as long as the wool content is not above approx 20%! Your scarf looks like it will be stunning!

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    1. Oh, a wool allergy is a pity - but lucky you there are so many other wonderful fibres available now. I have a bamboo/soy blend in the stash somewhere with the most wonderful sheen to it. I'll have to dig that out one of these days...thanks for the reminder!

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  2. Oh I do hope Saturdays are not just for spinning, the Saturday coffee group will miss you! The spinning and knitting are beautiful though!

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    1. Never fear Kelly, there will be lots of time for coffee too. I'm looking forward to seeing you all again next week.

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  3. Tuesday is and always will be for Ceramics, so it can't ever be my day for spinning either. But, I do want to spin much more. The yarn you made looks fine. Weight hanging was good for it. The scarf looks beautiful. I love the color of the fleece/roving. You are making art yarn. :-)

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  4. Hi there, thank you for your kind words. I can call it art yarn all I want, but we both know it was just a happy accident. ;)

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