Today is challenge day of the Tour de Fleece (corresponding to the hardest stage of the Tour de France, in which the cyclists have to climb the Alpe-d'Huez twice -- ouch!), so I thought it would be a good idea to shake up my spinning a bit and work on something completely new to me: support spindling. You may recall that I bought a beautiful Bolivian rosewood Russian spindle at the Spanish Peacock booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year on a bit of a whim. It's been sitting untouched ever since, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
While it's clear I need a lot of practice, the brief bit of spinning I've done on it has been really fun, and I am starting to get the hang of it. It seems to work best for me if I spin the spindle and then use a long draw technique to draft -- sort of a park and draft method. Of course, I may be doing it all wrong, but it's resulting in yarn, so I must be doing something a little right. I suspect that some of my difficulties might be with the fiber. This is some undyed mixed BFL that I bought several years ago and has been sitting in my spinning basket for quite a while, and as a result, it's gotten a little felted. I think using some well-prepped fiber that drafts easily will make for an easier experience, so I might have to go digging through the stash for something else to practice.
Meanwhile, I have started the second bobbin of my Crown Mountain Farms corriedale on the miniSpinner and am hoping to have it all spun by Saturday so that I can ply on Sunday (or sooner). This second half of the fiber seems to be spinning faster, but of course that may be an illusion.
I'm also into ounce number four on my sock batts and am hoping to finish this one before the end of the Tour. Now that I've come this far, I'd like to finish spinning the rest of the fiber on my spindle, so I think I will continue to take it in to work with me so I can spin during my lunch break until I've gotten through all six ounces. Then, I'll ply on a wheel.
It's been wonderful to focus on spinning so much and to get so much done, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm starting to miss knitting! I have a pair of socks that are about half a foot away from being done, and I've also been thinking that I should get back to the baby doll I started for Rainbow months ago. Then, of course, there's the Tosh Merino Light that I bought at my LYS a few weeks ago that wants to become a light sweater ASAP, and I'll want to cast on for the shawl with the finished corriedale yarn as soon as it's done. Sounds like I'm going to be knitting just as furiously as I've been spinning!