Is there anything quite like the energy of not only a new project, but a whole new hobby, complete with shiny new toys? My mind has been buzzing with that energy, itching for creative play time. The last couple of weeks have been busy, and my lovely new spinning wheel has remained tucked up cozy in it’s little bag, crying for want of attention. When I did have a free moment, the table was taken up but small boys and cardboard boxes and the construction of quite epic superhero costumes.
With my Saturday taken up with significant amounts of adulting, I woke Sunday determined to make the most of the day, including some quality time on the wheel. I set up my laptop, cued up Castle on Disney+, and got to work on the remainder of my first skein of fibre.
I improved slowly, but the fibre remained stubbornly hard to draft. The best results, I found, came when I spent the time to split the braid into strands of a vague approximation of the size of the ply I was aiming for. It made for a chunky, texture yarn of varying widths, not unlike a pretty art yarn I picked up in my last hurrah in the dying days of The Before. Far from perfect, but I think it will knit up nicely into a chunky funky scarf, possibly with some lacework to tizzy it up a bit.
My second braid was my favourite of the two, and while my original plan was sock yarn, I don’t think my drafting skills are neat enough yet. instead, I settled for consistent. This braid felt a lot looser from the start, so I decided to split it in half, to fill the two bobbins. Out came the scales, and I neatly split it into 2 smaller 50g bundles. The first half unwound, and I discovered it had almost like a seam down the middle of it. I was able to split it in half again, lengthways this time. I hooked up a bobbin, and got to spinning.
This braid was much easier to draft, and I ended up with a much more consistent yarn. The colour are absolutely stunning, and the texture has turned out amazingly. I think I still need to work on my plying technique, as it isn’t a totally smooth yarn, but I love it all the same. I could also tell I had problems getting some joins to draft properly in the second half – one bobbin still has yarn remaining while the second was emptied during plying. It always seems to be the second run that gives me problems, so I will use the empty bobbin for my first run, and the existing single to spin the second run on to.
I don’t yet have any of the fancy extras – no noddy noddy, no swift, no ball winder. Those are on my wishlist, to buy with my birthday money. Instead, I was super fancy, and wound the yarn palm to elbow before twisting it into a skein. It might have given me a tiny, funny looking skein, but it’s a tiny, funny looking skein of yarn I MADE MYSELF. I continue to remain convinced this is the closest thing to magic this side of Platform 9 3/4.
I have another half of this braid still to spin. Maybe this weekend? I need to test the sound on my machine also, to check how viable late night spinning is. Then I’m all out of fibre. That sounds like it’s time to go shopping, yes? I’m hoping the dyer of the second braid does another pre-Christmas drop, so I can grab a couple more pretties for my stash. My semi-local wool mill also offers fibres, including undyed. Maybe I should add “self dyed” into the self-spun equation?
And that, friends, is how my new craft spiral is going. How much DO alpacas cost, I wonder?