Putting some spin on it

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Spinning, I've discovered, is one of life's greatest fibre pleasures. I quite quickly made my way through the Jacob (scratchy and hairy) and the Blue Faced Leicester (wonderful and soft), and am now onto Merino. It's soft and light, and spins up beautifully. It's like it just wants to be spun into yards and yards of gorgeous yarn.

I am, of course, happy to oblige.


My Kromski drop spindle is doing brilliantly, although I've discovered that it gets really full when plying. There must be a better solution (a bigger spindle? A spinning wheel?). I've started storing the already-spun fibre on a wood bobbin and then spinning the ends together when the spindle gets too full.

I've also discovered that a hairband wrapped around the end of the spindle will stop the fibre from slipping off when it gets really full!


This particular Merino is a blend of four colours (Petrol, Tanzanite, Hyacinth and Sky) so the actual colour of the yarn varies with each bit of fibre that makes it way through your fingers. Sometimes blue, sometimes purple, sometimes navy. When they blend, they make the most lovely barber-pole pattern. 

I bought the top pre-blended in the four colours and it looks like all the fibres have been carded together, so they appear in short bursts, like a suggestion of tanzanite in the midst of the sky, rather than long, repeating stripes. I'm definitely going to try mixing colours together from different tops so that they stripe up when you knit. 

I also bought a bag of "mystery fibres" in an attempt to become more familiar with the way that different fibres spin. Some of them smell really bad, some are dyed luminous orange. Some are black and dreadlock-y, some are beautifully soft silk. I've separated them all, weighed them and labelled them. Next step: start spinning and actually knit a swatch! Baby steps.

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