Monday, April 21, 2008

Yin & Yarn

So after a long hiatus away from Ewan, I dusted him off and gave him a good work-out this weekend. It was evident from his creaking on Sunday evening that he was a little out of shape. But what a productive weekend we had getting reacquainted with our beloved Radio 4 murmuring in the background.

A better student spinner would read all her books thoroughly, take careful notes and remember general guidelines. Yours truly here however, in her impatience to get on with it flicked through her manuals with a desultory glance at diagrams. This disregard for proper preparation thereby resulted in unnecessary mistakes and learning the hard way. Oh well, it was ever thus and ever will be - it's far too late for me to change.

So; lesson 1- move the yarn from one hook to the other gradually so that you get an even spread. I was building it up on each section of the bobbin which caused a whole heap of trouble when it came to plying. This is when it all collapsed into each other making a bit of a tangled mess on the bobbin... and far too much stopping and starting…and some weird protrusions from said yarn causing it to look like insects' feelers.

You are not supposed to leave singles on the bobbins for 6 weeks either as it releases the twists. I'm not entirely sure how long twists can keep but I'm sure someone on Ravelry will be able to tell me.

It had been quite a long time since our lesson with Nancy and I couldn't really remember the lesson on plying. Nonetheless, I rushed on paying scant attention to my spinning manual or online tutorials of which there are plenty. I managed to ply it all somehow, transferred it onto the swift to make skeins and soaked it in cold water to remove the sheepy aroma of the Brown Falkland. It now appears that one should soak it in warm water so that the fiber 'relaxes' - would scented candles and soothing music add ambience to the cause? I didn't 'whack' it or hang it up with weights to 'set the twist' but rather, had it 'sunbathing' by the window on our radiator…

Measured my 2 skeins and it's a total of 218 yards for 100g - didn't really bother counting the wpi as the twists weren't evenly spread out. It looks as if it has fluffed out a little and all my worries about over twisting seem to be a little unfounded. It will therefore be a miracle if my yarn attains any semblance of 'balance', the desired nirvarna of yin and yang.

Undeterred in the face of sloppy yarn, our eager student pushed on and has started spinning with the white Blue-faced Leicester which is currently producing pretty thin yarn.

Great stuff but I have no intention of knitting with size 0 needles so this may involve quite a bit of plying… oh dear. I initially started on the 6.7 ratio but the fast take-up meant my fingers almost got sucked into the orifice (hee hee). So I moved it up a ratio and pedaled slower which is somehow doing the trick. I'm sure it goes against every spinning rule so we shall have to see what transpires.

The one lesson I did learn was the coin thing for photos so people can see how thick or thin your yarn is...

and also that you should keep away from Merino until you're a tad more experienced.

On top of all my spinning, I actually got off my arse this weekend to go to Knitflicks , sherman heeled the second Flutter-by sock and got some reading done. So I haven't been glued to Ewan the whole time,.. Honest!

1 comment:

Loba said...

Lov your socks - the yarn really complement the pattern :)