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).

malabrigo handspun

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.

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My first Handspun

Well I have done it, I have spun up my first large quantity of handspun yarn and surprisingly I didn’t lose interest with it. I mean it is 100% undyed wool, it had nothing interesting or pretty to keep me going. What kept me going was my desire to learn, to get better, and to produce a finished item that I would be proud of.

For my first handspun I decided to leave them singles so I could get the most yardage for the amount of time put in.

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Here’s a picture of it before it’s bath. As you can see it is very kinky and in places over spun. So from reading different things I decided that I was going to shock the wool by washing it in hot, then cold, then hot and then cold water, thwacking it against the porch railings outside, and then hung them weighed them down with hangers. The end result looks a lot more like yarn.

The yarn hanging from the porch.

The yarn hanging from the porch.

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Doesn’t it look pretty! The end result is  695 yards single ply lace/fingering weight 100% cheviot yarn.

The comparison between the two is crazy. It's hard to believe that the yarn on the left turned into the yarn on the right.

The comparison between the two is crazy. It’s hard to believe that the yarn on the left turned into the yarn on the right.

Now I am now where close to being done with this yarn because I plan to dye it (I’m still unsure of what color) and then knit it up (still unsure of that too). Besides that I am contemplating getting more fiber so I can have more like 800-1000 yards to play with. 800-1000 yards has a lot more possibilities over 695 yards. So this isn’t the last that you have seen of this yarn.

In the next post I will talk about the latest yarn that I just spun up, it is colorful and pretty and I tried some new things!