Sunday, January 10, 2021

From Deep, Deep Stash

One of the items in my 21 in 2021 list was "Spin the oldest fiber in my stash." This week, I did just that.

I started spinning in 2008. At the time, there weren't a lot of indie fiber dyers -- even indie-dyed yarn was still a rarity. My first few spins were things that I found at my LYS at the time. It wasn't very long, though, before I started looking for dyed fiber on Etsy and found my first fiber love, AllSpunUp. I am linking to Kristin's shop not so that you can buy from her (because sadly she stopped dyeing -- or at least selling her dyed fiber online -- a while ago) but so that you can look at what she's sold and get a sense of her skill. If you look at the handspun section of my Ravelry notebook and scroll back toward the beginning, you'll see a lot of ASU spins. Most of what I bought was spun pretty quickly, though I have a number of braids still in the stash from after she got really popular and it became harder to get her fiber, thus making that stash precious. This braid, however, was purchased on December 13, 2008, and I'd never gotten around to it.

Once or twice I contemplated spinning it; at some point I'd divided it into thirds, and I guess I thought I would card it into rolags at one point, because I found two of them in the bag. I never got further than that, though, and I suppose because it was superwash BFL (not necessarily my favorite fiber to spin) and kind o of boring in its colors (just tones of one color), it wasn't a priority. But there wasn't anything wrong with it, and good fiber deserves to be spun! So my spinning this week was focused on doing just that.

I know that with BFL I tend to get lower yardage than with other wools (I suppose it's just denser), so even though the fiber had been split into thirds, I decided to spin a two-ply yarn to maximize the yardage. The easiest way to do that and to ensure zero waste was to spin all the singles onto a single bobbin, wind them off into a center-pull ball, and ply from both ends.

It ended up being a very quick spin -- I spun the singles on Tuesday and Wednesday and plied on Thursday, and then on Friday I skeined and washed the yarn. I'm very pleased with how well distributed the different shades of blue are throughout the skein.

As predicted, the yardage was a bit lower than I'd usually get for the amount of fiber, just 293 yards of two-ply fingering. But I'm still happy with how it looks and thrilled to have finally converted this very well-aged fiber into yarn!


  1. Absolutely beautiful! I say this often, but I think this yarn may be my favorite of your handspun (at least your handspun in 2021)!

  2. Oh I love this! It's so pretty!! I love plying balls although I haven't tried a centre-pull one yet; but when I did one I thought it was SO WORTH THE EFFORT!
    Congratulations, that is one thing off the list! And it would make a very pretty cowl!

  3. That yarn is so gorgeous. I don't think there is anything boring about it. Doesn't it feel good to use things from the bottom of the stash? January is my month to toss the stash and reorganize the yarn bins. I usually find an old friend or two.

  4. I love those blues! And excellent job checking off another item on your 21 in 2021 list!

  5. Lovely! I love those icy blue colors!

  6. Definitely my favorite of all the beautiful yarns I've seen you spin (recently). I just love those colors. So glad you dug it out of the depths, Sarah! XO

  7. What a great find from the depths of your stash! I love the colors and it just looks gorgeous. What do you plan to make with it?

  8. What a gorgeous treasure!! Can’t wait to see what you make with it. It must have fed your spirit to coax beauty out of an ugly week.

    1. You're absolutely right -- finding some beauty in that trash of a week was much appreciated!

  9. wow, another lovely skein ... and another word for my vocabulary - rolag :-) (also thinking this one would be really good for bananagrams) ... what an awesome start to your 2021 projects!