Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maybe I Should Have Called It Spintober?

For the past week I have been doing very little knitting, sock or otherwise, because I saw this fibre at the Red Purl and "couldn't resist."
It's Nube from Malabrigo and Amy assured me it would spin like butter. Although I enjoyed my last (and first) bit of spinning in February, I didn't really get the results I wanted. I'm just starting, so obviously I have a lot to learn. And not just mind-learning but also muscle-training learning.

I started on the small spindle I bought second-hand. But the hook kept coming out and when I mentioned to Troy that it was too small for thicker yarns, he immediately asked lots of questions about what would make a good one and jumped on the lathe (not literally) and made me one.
It was a good prototype but the next one will have a number of changes. :)

The spindle is too heavy to use it as a drop spindle (it pulls the strand apart if it's not twisted or is too thin) and I am still doing the "park and draft" style of spinning as I learn. That means you spin the spindle, then put it between your knees (or sometimes under your arm) as you draft the fibre and allow the twist to move up the strand.

Since I like to sit cross legged, I held the spindle in the crook of my knee and worked over my lap. It's not the fastest way to spin, but it was just the right speed for me. I enjoy pulling at the fibre and watching the colours blend as the fibre twists up.

Once the spindle was pretty full, I wound the yarn onto my niddy noddy until I needed it again.
Then I looked at the first bit I had done on the small spindle and decided I would try to re-spin it. It was not very even and I thought although the fibre may not be in the best shape after already being spun once, it was worth a try. So I un-twisted it all, then pulled it apart a little (with the grain and against the grain) and it spun up pretty well. Certainly better than the first time. I've never heard of people "tinking" their spinning (does that make it "nipsing"?) but maybe they just don't blog about it.
When I had to stop spinning (reluctantly),
I tucked the spindle in the couch beside me.
After I had all the yarn spun up into a single, which I think took most of the week I think, I wound it into a cake.
Then I took each end of the ball and twisted them together in the opposite direction onto the spindle. That way I plied the two strands together.
I thought I was going to have to cut the yarn, but I just worked carefully and managed to get it all on the spindle. :)

After a long soak and hanging to dry, I had this:
52.3 metres / 57.5 yards of bulky wool.
There are still some thicker parts and thinner parts, but it's pretty even. The next task will be to find a pattern I can make with that much yarn. (It's a tough job....)

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