Sunday, March 19, 2017

There's Always a Learning Curve

After neglecting my spinning for most of last week, I spend a fairly good amount of time at the wheel Friday night, yesterday, and today. I'm trying really hard to get through my unspun FatCatKnits club shipments, and I've been working on the last remaining one for the most recent round of the club (I still have a couple I haven't spun from one of the rounds last year, but as those are packed away in the stash, I'm not thinking of them for the time being).

The fiber blend this time was something really interesting and unlike anything I've spun before -- 80% Polwarth, 20% bleached flax -- so it's taken some adjusting to in order to get into the groove of spinning it. The flax seems to be in two main forms: soft clumps of fiber that seem more like silk or bamboo and wiry fibers that feel more like kemp. I've been resisting the urge to pull out every little bit of it, though I have tossed the stray fiber that didn't want to get twisted in with the rest and some slubs here and there. Here's a photo of the first bobbin, which gives a good idea of the texture I'm getting.


The flax occasionally gets doubled up on itself and pokes out a bit (you can see one bit of it just below the end of the singles in the middle of the bobbin above), so these singles definitely aren't as smooth or even as I'm accustomed to spinning them. They are more or less my default singles, though they do have thicker spots, and I think that with the poof that Polwarth tends to have when it's washed, the finished two-ply yarn will be fingering weight or so.

Ready to be plied
I've decided to once again spin this shipment up as two separate two-ply skeins, one for each colorway. This one is called Coral Reef, and though it looks like a fairly consistent green on the bobbin, there is more green at the beginning and a blend of blue and purple in the middle. If you don't believe me, take a look at what my hand looked like after I finished spinning that section:


The tips of my left thumb and index finger were also a rather alarming purple. This isn't typical for Ginny's fibers, so I suspect that the dye was coming off of the flax, which doesn't take dye the same way wool does. I'll just have to keep an eye on the finished skein when I wash it now that I know that there may be some excess purple in it. I'm interested to see what happens to the flax content of the yarn after it's washed and knit, particularly if it softens up.

The week ahead should be an interesting one, though I'm hoping to find some time to ply up this skein and perhaps make a good start on the other. Rainbow is on spring break and the Mister is traveling for work, so our schedule should be a bit odd. On the plus side, our mornings won't be as hectic, as I won't be rushing her to get out the door, but I will be on bedtime duty every night (though that means bonus knitting and reading time). We are leaving next Saturday for a week down in Florida with my parents, so I'll also have to find time to pack and plan the knitting projects. And my main goal for the week is to finish the Outlander book I've been reading so I can start something new on the way down.

1 comment:

AsKatKnits said...

I have had that issue with fibers with Flax in it also, however, it did not impact the final garment.