One thing I’ve been doing a lot more of lately is spinning! I thought I’d share some photos of my handspun yarn.
My husband bought me the 2nd and 3rd shipments from the brand-new Rockin’ Whorl Club (by Blue Moon Fiber Arts). My friend Jen got the first shipment, so I was able to see the roving and read the dyers notes for that as well.
The 2nd shipment had two braids of dyed-to-match roving. The bigger one was 5 oz of 100% BFL mix; the smaller, 3 oz of 50/50 merino and mulberry silk.
The notes suggested that we spin the BFL fluffy, and the merino/silk skinny, and then ply them holding the skinny ply a bit tighter so that the fluffy ply to make the fluffy ply stand out and spiral around. I put in my best effort, and got about 324 yards of 2-ply, in a heavy worsted weight. I had some of the merino/silk skinny single leftover, so I plied it back to itself and got about 64 yards of sport-weight 2-ply.
This one is the all-skinny 2-ply:
Last May I bought two pounds of super-soft blue-black roving at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, with plans to spin a sweater’s worth of yarn. It is a 65% wool, 25% alpaca, 13% silk blend from Gurdy Run Woolen Mill.
I’d spun a bit of it using my old (only) style, and the resulting yarn was skinny and harsh. After a lesson from spinning friends, I’m able to spin a loftier/softer yarn — I’ve finished two big skeins of it so far — it’s turning out as a heavy DK/light worsted. I plan to use Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit application to design the perfect sweater for my non-standardized handspun yarn.
Another purchase from NHSW: a braid of roving from Mad Color Fiber Arts. The “cowgirl” colorway seemed like it might be suited to some gradient spinning … something I really wanted to try.
I split the entire braid in half, then split each half lengthwise. I spin white to black to white for each half, then plied them together. While plying the color changes were staggered a bit, so there is some barber-pole effect at the transitions. I kinda like how it helps the colors blend. I ended up with about 280 yards of roughly sport-weight yarn.
It’s pretty skeined, but it’s even better caked!
Last but not Least: Re-Plies
One important bit of feedback from the spinning circle was that my yarn was “overspun and underplied.” I decided to run several skeins through the wheel again, just to ply them a bit more. I was happily surprised that the resulting yarn was MUCH MORE like real yarn — plush instead of harsh, coherent instead of stringy. Here are some “before and after” shots…