Sunday, January 27, 2013

Long-term Spinning

Today's post really should have been published about six months ago. Let me explain the delay.

During the Tour de Fleece last summer, I decided that one of my challenges should be to spin up the yarn that I'd use for my Ravellenic Games project. I'd picked up this vibrant turquoise merino my LYS and also had some Louet silk sliver in the stash.

I used my handcards to very roughly blend the two fibers together (I realized fairly quickly into the process that it would take me hours and hours to get them truly evenly blended, so I went with the quick-and-dirty carding). The result was a fairly rustic looking bunch of fiber, but I figured that the finished yarn would have a really interesting tweedy texture to it.

I started spinning it up somewhere in the middle of the Tour and then had the brilliant idea that I should take my WooLee Winder apart and clean it. Unfortunately, that did not go so well, and I mucked something up sufficiently that the mechanism refused to work. I didn't spin on my miniSpinner for several months until I finally mustered up the courage to try to get it working again. Fortunately, I was able to get it back to (mostly) normal, and I've been spinning away happily on it ever since.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was high time that I finish this long-languishing project if only so I could get the bobbin back (the WW bobbins are significantly more expensive than those for my Lendrum, so I only have four of them). I got out the rest of the fiber, carded it up into little batts that I pulled into roving, and spun them up fairly quickly. I spent at least four spinning sessions (a total of about five or six hours) over the past week plying -- this was one long skein! The first bobbin's worth clearly had more silk in it, because the other one ran out first. I wound off what was left on the first bobbin, spliced in the end, and plied from both ends of a center-pull ball, so I used every last inch of singles.

The finished yarn is awesome, if I do say so myself.

Based on the amount of silk that's left, I used about 3/8 oz. in addition to the 4 oz. of merino. Although there are some thick bits and some thin bits (I let some silk slubs get in), it looks to be about heavy laceweight overall, and I have approximately 622 yards.

You can see in the close-up how the silk comes out here and there. I really do love the texture of this yarn. With this yardage, I have enough to knit a medium-sized shawl, but probably something simple so that a pattern doesn't get lost in the texture. For now, though, I'm just really happy to have this off the wheel finally. Considering this isn't even the largest skein I've ever spun, it really shouldn't have taken me six months to finish!


  1. That color is so pretty!!! And your finished yarn is gorgeous!!!! So happy you finally decided to get it off the wheel. I love the method you used to use up every bit. I'll have to give that a try.

  2. Lovely. The turquoise is gorgeous and the silk adds lovely texture and a little contrast. The yarn is gorgeous and will make a beautiful shawl. Congratulations.

  3. That colour screams summer to me. Hmm summer!