Since the stashdown finished up, I have been spending a lot of time knitting, and not so much spinning. But, I have finished up two spinning projects. Check them out.
The first project that I finished up is in one of my favorite fibers, Polworth. This was dyed up by Chelsey at The Spinning Loft up in Howell, MI. Chelsey is a great dyer and I'm always happy with how her colorways come together.
You're Turning Violet, Violet! is a reference to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory if you're being old school). The colorway is pure purple. Here's my favorite part. Not only is it a semi splotchy hand paint with two great shades of purple, but it's a semi splotchy hand paint progression with two great shades of purple.
I don't often end up getting progression colorways so, when I do, I get kind of excited about them. For this, I spun one bump from start to finish as is. for the second, I split it into 4 along the length and spun those end to end. This way, when I plied the two together, I end up with a self striping colorway.
The 8oz of this great spin turned out to be a total of 440 yards and 9 wpi. No plans for this yet, so into the stash it goes.
The second spin that I finished up is the April club fiber from Spunky Eclectic.
This colorway is called Robin Red Breast and is in a fiber that I've never worked with before, Gotland. Gotland is a long wool and, as a result, is a perfect choice for spinning as a single. Since I've never done a single before and I had absolutely no idea what else to do with this, I figured that this was as good of a time as any to try it out.
In spinning a single for the first time, I learned something kind of important. When spinning a single, drafting consistently is key. When plying a yarn like I normally do, any imperfections in my drafting are covered up in the ply. The areas that are thin in one ply are balanced out by areas that are thicker in the other ply. With a single, you don't have that luxury. What you spin is what you get.
Along with having to pay close attention to drafting, I also got to try out a finishing technique that's new to me, fulling. There's a risk that you run into when spinning singles. Let me explain the problem.
The primary reason that we ply yarn is to balance it. When spinning a single, you only apply twist in one direction. This tends to make the yarn want to curl up upon itself. To counter this, multiple singles can be combined in plying to balance the yarn. You do this by plying in the opposite direction that the singles were spun in. When spinning something that you want to keep as a single, you can try and minimize the twisting up upon itself by adding a minimal amount of twist. This is why a long wool is perfect for a single. Since the staple length is long, you can get away with less twist. However, low twist singles tend to be weak. This is another reason why we ply. So, to counter this weakness, we can full the yarn, which is to partially felt it. Working carefully, you can felt the yarn in a controlled manner so that the individual fibers join together, but the strands of the single do not. This also creates a kind of cool looking halo on the yarn.
I'm not completely satisfied with the results of this single experiment, but I'm a perfectionist, so I'm never quite happy with results. In all, the Robin Red Breast came out to be 158 yds and 16wpi out of 4 oz. I'm thinking that I may, at some point in the future, make a shawl from it, but there's not much yardage.
What type of spinning experiment do you think I should try next?