Thursday, June 27, 2013

Corriedale and Ashford

What's this, you say? A 1/2 lb. of Louet orange-dyed Corriedale roving and 0.5 oz. Ashford drop spindle?

This past Saturday, I travelled downtown to a LYS in hopes of purchasing another skein (or two, or three) of the beautiful Araucania Ranco in the pink I'm using to knit up my Diamond Rib Dress.

I had a plan. Get in, head straight down to the basement where the sale yarns are located, find my Ranco, and get out. Fortunately, that didn't work out quite so well as I'd hoped.

Soft tresses of roving
The spinning and weaving sections of the store are located downstairs too, you see. And some beautifully painted tresses of soft Bluefaced Leicester roving beckoned to me the moment I reached the bottom of those stairs. (That wasn't what I walked out with, though.) I asked for some help in deciding what to purchase to learn to spin on my own, and the sweet lady was so helpful and gave me all the information I needed to make my purchase. Before I knew it, I had paid and was leaving with this beautiful orange Corriedale roving and a small drop spindle nestled in my bag.

I watched a couple of Youtube videos to see how drop spindling is done, and thought to myself, "Oh hey, that looks really really simple! I bet I could start spinning out pretty thin and even singles tonight!" Note to self: Murphy's law. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Here's a small sample of the nightmare that followed: I didn't split the roving quite evenly when I got to eighths, and started ripping fiber from one eighth and trying to even it back out, but it kept falling apart; I couldn't for the life of me get the spindle spinning, probably because my hands kept getting caught on the fabric of my dress; the roving got caught in the spindle as it was spinning when I finally did get it spinning, etc. etc. I was ready to tear my hair out at this point!

And if that wasn't enough, when I finally got everything moving along, all I could spin out were thick singles with thick and thin spots that kept falling apart (not enough spin to hold it all together), and because I was spinning much thicker than the spindle was probably designed for, it got pretty hard to get the yarn to stay put in the notch when I placed it on the hook and spun. This was a pretty big blow to me with the mindset in which I started spinning. (Don't let me discourage you though! It is pretty easy once you start.) I don't have any pictures of the ensuing mess, but suffice it to say I was pretty discouraged.

Left to Right: first and second spinning attempts
While I don't have any pictures of my miserable first experience with spinning with a drop spindle, I do have pictures of the resulting yarn! Here they are, waiting to be dunked in warm water to set the twist. (I ended skeining and soaking both of them twice because some bits still had kinks and I wanted them pin straight). The first one is much more lumpy than the second, as I started to get the hang of it after a good night's sleep and much less cumbersome clothing.

I'm not quite sure what to do with my babies now that they're ready to be knit up, though. I get the feeling there isn't much yardage on them, so I was thinking maybe mittens or a hat, but the first handspun is sort of falling apart at some points and they're both so uneven I might end up just plying them together in the hopes that it'll even itself out a bit (I'm almost positive plying is supposed to take place before I set the twist, so I'm not sure how well that would work).
My 3 beautiful babies!
I have been practicing my spinning almost daily now, and am proud to say that I'm spinning out relatively consistent singles now! There's still some pretty dangerous thin spots every once in a while, and I tend to keep trying to spin thinner and thinner since I feel as though I'm not spinning thin enough, but all in all, it's coming together pretty well, I think! There's my third attempt (it's pretty obvious which) - isn't she beautiful?

The first two are each 1/8 of the roving (1 oz. each), and the third is 3/16 of the roving (1.5 oz.). I still have about a half of the entire bag left to spin, and I'm already contemplating whether I should purchase more of the same fiber so I'll have enough to make maybe a 3-ply yarn to make a sweater!

No comments:

Post a Comment