Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

All week I have been working to finish up my current spinning project and clear off my wheel before the start of Spinzilla. Although theoretically I could have put it aside and finished it up afterward, I really wanted a clean slate for the start of the week. For a while there it seemed like my fiber supply would never run out (I seemed to have the fiber equivalent of the Everlasting Gobstopper on my hands), but I did finally manage it and got the singles plied up this weekend.

This is the second half of the Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale in Silk Road; you may remember that I spun the first half earlier this month. I spun this second batch exactly the same way -- all the fiber went into one bobbin of singles, which were then chain plied. I stayed up a little late last night to finish plying, and the skein is still wet, but here it is freshly skeined on my niddy noddy:


I ended up with almost exactly the same number of wraps as I did with the first skein, so I anticipate that the finished yardage will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 525 yards. More than 1,000 yards from 8 oz. of fiber is pretty good!

I still have one more bump of CMF Corriedale in my stash, in a colorway called Shala:


I have no immediate plans to spin this, but I think when I do spin it, it might be interesting to split it in half (or even fourths) and do half as a chain ply and half as a traditional three ply in order to stripe the two treatments in socks.

I had one fiber-related acquisition this week, and that was this nifty doffer stick to use with my drum carder:


I realized when I was making my batt at the SCFC Spinzilla registration party that batt making is not as complicated as I made it out to be in my head and that I wanted to do more of it. In the few times that I've used my drum carder in the past, I've used an old aluminum straight knitting needle to help pull the batt off the drum, but that has resulted in the needle getting slightly bent. This tool is made for the job, so it should do a much better and more efficient job. Rainbow and I have already discussed dyeing some naturally colored fiber I have, so there will be some batts being made in the future.

While I am always happy to be spinning, I'm finding myself to be unusually excited for Spinzilla. You may remember that I've only participated once before, the first year, and managed to irritate my shoulder from doing too much long draw. That injury, combined with some issues I had with how the competition was set up, kept me from participating in subsequent years. This year, however, I am just in it to have fun, and I'm hoping it will be a good way to accomplish a fair amount of spinning in a short period of time. After much debating, I've decided to spin this FatCatKnits blended merino top in Blue-Faced Booby (named for the bird, of course):


The goal is to spin it into a two-ply fingering weight, with the hope that I'll have enough yardage to make myself an Andromeda. I have a full pound of the fiber, so if I can get about 450 yards for every 4 oz., I should have enough. I don't expect I'll spin all the fiber this coming week, but I can at least make a good dent in it. If I'm exceptionally fast, maybe I'll even get all the singles spun up.

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