Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Study in Contrasts

Even though my knitting mojo has returned, my spinning productivity really hasn't suffered, and so I'm sure it will come to no surprise to you that I have another finished skein of handspun to share this week. You didn't even see it in progress, as I started spinning it on Tuesday. It took me about a day to finish each bobbin, and I plied the entire skein yesterday.

Here's what the fiber looked like before I started, Falkland from Fibernymph Dye Works in a colorway called Cosmic Vertigo:

I spun my usual three-ply fingering with this, splitting the fiber into thirds and just letting the colors fall where they did. The skein was just washed this morning and is a bit damp still, so I don't have final yardage yet, though I'm hoping it'll be about 350 yards.

I'm quite pleased with how this turned out. I didn't expect the colors to get as mixed as they did, but I'm liking the blending that happened.

The ply and the fiber make this skein rather suited for socks, but I'm not sure if I can justify another pair of socks for myself right now, so this might go into the stash for the time being.

I couldn't let my wheel sit empty for too long, so I reached deep into my stash for the next project. I may have mentioned once or twice that I have a problem with fleeces -- namely that I seem to keep falling in love with and buying them but rarely actually spinning them. I really want to work on rectifying that situation this year, so I pulled out a fleece that I bought back at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2012 and split with another spinner. It was a gorgeous gray/brown Rambouillet from Roclans Farm that I ended up shipping out to a mill to have it carded. When it came back, I measured out 2 oz. balls of the roving, and it has been waiting to be spun ever since. Today, I finally started spinning it. Here's the fiber beforehand:

And here are some of the singles on the bobbin, which I really wish you could pet because it's so soft!

Because the fiber was carded into roving (and not combed into top, which is what I usually spin), I'm spinning this woolen, allowing the twist to enter the fiber supply and determine the grist of the singles. They're definitely uneven, and there are some lumps and bumps in there because no doubt the carding caused some nepps. I was very new to dealing with fleece when I got this one, so I have no idea if the mill I chose was really outfitted to card fine fleeces, but it's too late to worry about that now. I'm letting the fiber do what it wants, and I'll figure out what to do with the resulting yarn once it's finished and I know what weight it is and how much of it I have. That's quite a bit outside my comfort zone, but I think it's helping me to be a better spinner!


  1. whoa, Sarah - this latest spinning is ... awesome/fun/intriguing/educational/all of the above. I LOVE knitting woolen spun yarns and I'm looking forward to following along (yet again) as you lead us through the process of actually MAKING the yarn!

  2. The Cosmic Vertigo is simply beautiful! When I scrolled down to the brown/gray Rambouillet, initially I was underwhelmed, but it's really lovely. I like those lumps and bumps!

  3. How long have you been spinning, Sarah? I can't get over how consistent your work turns out! To say nothing of speedy:) I can imagine the satisfaction it must bring to complete a handknit from wheel to off the needles.

  4. You are on fire! I love how that yarn turned out and can't wait to see your next finished project!

  5. Woolen spun yarn is my favorite (and it seems to just be so fast!)

  6. I love the finished yarn so much - it reminds me a bit of rainy days, when you have time to drink tea and read.

  7. Beautiful spinning as always. It's so interesting that the colors in the fiber meld together so well and differently than what I would have expected, said she who doesn't yet spin. I'd like to pet that soft brown yarn. The texture will be interesting and make something special.