Wednesday, 24 April, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Ness and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Spinning Day

It’s challenge weekend for my Tour de Fleece wildcard team, but if today is anything to go by, I should just be careful about touching my wheel for the next little while. Which is in part why I escaped off to the Enjoy Centre for lunch and knitting with friends, and then didn’t object when Mike asked if I wanted to go on a date with him to Teavana when I got home. I’ll settle back in at the wheel tomorrow and try to rectify the things that went wrong today.

Surely it can’t be all that bad, you say. No, it’s not all bad. I sat down this morning to make my final skeins of the blends that were dry. My mohair/wool blend is lovely, and my memory-to-inelastic-fibre blend of alpaca/Rambouillet is equally lovely. However, the two silk blends? Not so much.

Alpaca/silk at the top, mohair/silk at the bottom.
Alpaca/silk at the top, mohair/silk at the bottom.

Ugh. I had my qualms about the alpaca/silk even as I was spinning it. Let this be a lesson: free alpaca is probably not the best choice for your Master Spinner homework. Between fighting the knotted ends, the nepps that occurred in carding, and the struggle that spinning the skein was, it’s just ugly. I’m not even going to try and correct the balance. The mohair, on the other hand, deserves at least a fighting chance. Yes, there’s a little more vegetable matter in it than I would like, but the spinning is decently even, and it’s pretty and shiny, so I’ll try to correct the balance issue tomorrow and pick out more of the VM, and hopefully I won’t have to completely redo that one. The good news on the alpaca skein is that I still have to do the alpaca or alpaca-blend skein for a knitted shawl, so I’m just going to do a silk blend and use it for both. Is that cheating? I don’t think so!

Well, that little bit of fail made me grumpy, but I had some time before going out for lunch, so I went downstairs and rearranged my fibre storage, then sat down to do the textured mohair 10-yard skein. I’d done a lock sample on the last day of Level 3 class, since we were learning novelty yarns and I figured it was as good a time as any to get some pointers from people who know about such things. I got the hang of it, and it turned out pretty good. So when I sat down this morning, first I spun a fine singles using kid mohair roving, to act as a binder for the lock singles when I plied them together. Then I got on to the kid mohair locks, spun a bunch, and then plied them together. And you know what?

Textured mohair skein for module C1.
Textured mohair skein for module C1.

It’s perfect. It’s almost exactly what I hoped it would be. It’s kind of textured and floofy and curly and everything.

It’s also only five yards.

/head /desk

The good news is I still have a bunch of the binder left, so I’ll put this back on a bobbin, spin some more of the lock singles, and then splice it together in the ply, and hopefully (hopefully!) I can still come out of this with a ten-yard skein without having to redo the whole thing.

Today’s experiences make me leery of sitting down at the wheel to spin tonight, even though the test skein I spun yesterday for the final project yarn turned out great, and I have lots of rolags carded up and ready to go. Not that I don’t have lots more of either type of fleece in case things go south, but unfortunately, my time is a little more precious. Maybe it’s a better idea to do some more carding tonight. Nothing can go wrong with that, right?

2 comments on Ness and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Spinning Day

  • Sheila

    I like the floofy yarn! It’s pretty… And I can’t even imagine trying to work with something that comes from a worm. =D I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.

  • Frazzlehead

    If ya needs some GOOD alpaca, let me know. 🙂

    I have raw (but CLEAN) as well as some stuff that Jan-AlpacaYarns has combed with her awesome combing machine thingie.

    Cool mohair skein!

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