Though I haven't made a real resolution about it, I've been trying to make an effort to spin through my fiber stash this year. It had gotten to the point where I had more fiber in the house (at least by volume) than yarn, so action needed to be taken. After finishing up the Bee Mice Elf yarn, I wandered into the stash room looking for the next thing to go on my wheel. I quickly settled on this batt, which I'd won during last year's Tour de Fleece and been too chicken to spin until now.
As you may be able to see from the label, there's a little bit of everything in there -- merino, cashmere, soysilk, tussah silk, young alpaca, colonial wool, mohair, and firestar. I was anxious about spinning this first and foremost because I had little experience spinning from batts, but the mohair in there worried me too. I don't think it's an official allergy, but I'm very sensitive to mohair; it makes me horribly itchy, even if I'm not touching it directly (like in a sweater with a shirt between me and the sweater). As it turns out, I needn't have worried. I did feel a little itchy at first, but I suspect that was more psychosomatic than anything. The bigger problem was the large quantities of sparkle -- I got up from each spinning session sparklier than a Vegas showgirl.
I decided to split off this batt in strips, from one end to the other, and spin them in order, then chain ply. It soon became clear that the batt was rather roughly blended, and you can see in the finished yarn where I hit a big chunk of silk, for instance. Nonetheless, I do like the texture that this rough blending created. There's a bit of thick and thin going on from the spots when I hit a clump of unblended fiber, and the sparkle ended up pretty well distributed by the end.
The finished skein is approximately worsted weight and roughly 170.5 yards. Although it didn't bother me too much to spin it, I think this skein will likely make its way into my for-sale-or-trade tab; I just can't see myself knitting this up into anything for me.
It feels really good to have this converted from fiber to yarn in the stash, and I've already started in on an 8 oz. bundle of Corriedale from Crown Mountain Farms -- something that's been in the stash for far longer.