Spinning Away

For my second handspun project I decided to try out a different breed of sheep for the fiber, try a dyed fiber, and to try to ply it.  Even with all of those firsts I think it came out really well.

The fiber brand I purchased was Malabrigo’s Nube. I was warned by an experienced drop spindler to no expect a very even thin yarn, which I am glad that I received that warning because I would have been very frustrated if I tried to produce a thin yarn. If you have ever worked with Malabrigos single ply you have probably have seen that the yarn in places is slightly felted together, that is also the case with their fiber. It isn’t necessarily felted together, but the fiber doesn’t want to draft out that much.

Here is the fiber before I went to spin it up.

Here is the fiber before I went to spin it up.

The fiber is a 100% merino wool which I found slightly more difficult to work with also because of its short staple. The color of this fiber is gorgeous though, the colorway is Arco Iris and totally made up for any difficulties I had with spinning it.

20140527-201056-72656612.jpgThis is a picture of the first half of the braid spun up.

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Here’s a picture of the two singles right before I went to ply them.

My twist direction for the singles was a S ply (meaning I spun it up clockwise) and then when I went to ply it I did Z ply (meaning when I plied it I spun the spindle counter-clockwise).

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Here is a picture of the yarn plied on my niddy noddy. Doesn’t it look pretty? It’s hard to believe, but before this picture was taken the freshly spun yarn looked like this:

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While I was taken the plied yarn and wrapping it on to the niddy noddy one of the pvc piping t-connectors snapped and all of the yarn flew off of the niddy noddy turning into the picture above (the t-connector is fixed in the picture above which is why the niddy noddy isn’t in pieces).

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Now here is the final product all washed and pretty.

I haven’t checked the yarn weight yet but there is 165 yards to 4oz.

Even with the issues I had with the fiber not wanting to draft out, I am really happy with the end result and I feel like I will probably get more Malabrigo fiber at some point.

Let’s Spin Part 1

Well as I have mentioned in past posts I have just started spinning with a drop spindle and so far it has been a rather fun experience this second time around and I feel like I may have fallen down the rabbit hole of spinning. I have always wanted a spinning wheel and spinning with my drop spindle has really cemented my desire for a spinning wheel.

My first experience with a drop spindle was in a class that I was taking my final semester in undergrad called The History of Textile and Design. It was a really interesting class where we started with the earliest artifacts and knowledge of clothing and finished a little bit after the Victorian period. We learned some about spindles, looms, natural dyes, carding fiber, and different fibers in that class besides fashion and design and we also had an assignment where we had to replicate an artifact using the technology of that period. My teacher who was also a knitter and a semi-decent drop spindler¬† had used grant money to purchase some cheap drop spindles for the class (along with other things, like different natural dyes that students got to try out also). I tried my hand at the spindle then and got frustrated because it wasn’t going fast enough for me , I also might have been kind of impatient (I was also working part-time, writing 4 multiple page research papers, doing research for those research papers, writing essays for grad school, and trying to find time to hang out with friends).

Here is a picture of my first attempt at the drop spindle while in that class, back then I thought it was horrible, now looking back I realize I really didn’t do that poor of a job.

IMG_5078Now these may look familiar because I have already posted these, but for those of you just tuning into the blog here is what I spun on my second try with my new spindle. The yarn is a wool Angora blend that came with the spindle.

IMG_5077Now in NO way am I claiming to be an expert with any thing involving spinning and fiber, but I hope to be able to chronicle my experiences and what I have learned along the way for future reference, but also for those of you who are intrigued by spinning, and the drop spindle.

Now I know that this post has gotten extremely long so just stick with me just a little bit longer and I will tell you about my spindle, and the rest can be saved for another post.

Meet my spindle

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She is 1.25 ounces Larvikite Crystal Stone Top Whorl Drop Spindle. She came from an Etsy shop called tinasangoras. I am really happy with her and the owners of the shop send out the spindles super quickly and always send sample fibers. Another plus are all the spindles are super pretty especially if you are like me and are a fan of semi-precious stones.

 

 

 

Start all of the crafts

There is just something about spring and summer time that makes me want to start all of the crafts. I just don’t know what it is but before I know it I have like a million different things started ranging from sewing, knitting, jewelry making, and now spinning. It’s taking every ounce of will power I have to not cast-on at least two summer sweaters right now.

The reason I am not starting any summer sweaters is because that is the thing I want to do so I’m making myself finish these two things first:

My follow your arrow mystery KAL that got put to the side because of the Olypmics.

My follow your arrow mystery KAL that got put to the side because of the Olypmics.

The Downeast sweater, which you heard about last post. Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture again.

The Downeast sweater, which you heard about last post. Sorry for the poor quality Iphone picture again.

Yep, remember those two things. They still aren’t finished. The NEED to be finished, if I don’t finish them now they probably won’t ever be finished.

Okay enough about those old things, here are all the things that I have been doing which is another reason why those old things haven’t been worked on.

I have been making stitch markers.

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I have been making bracelets.

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And I just got a spindle so I have been spinning!

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I will have a post about all of my spinning next week. So far I have been really enjoying it and I think so far I am doing decent.

Oh and to top it all off I have an urge to start sewing again so I picked up some fabric to make some project bags.

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What have you been doing lately? Does spring and summer have wanting to try and start all sorts of crafts?