Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to Spinning

First skein of plied Cotswald
I had some time off this week, and I decided to do some spinning.  Picking up where I left off at the Tour De Fleece last summer, I did some combing of the dyed Cotswald.  It was nice combing the pretty colors together to make a nice purple blend.  My favorite color.

First skein of Merino
Then, I had to get some of the problematic Merino off the bobbins to make room for more Cotswald, since it has to be plied and I have various different yarns on all 4 bobbins.  I had Merino on 2 bobbins, but not in equal amounts, and it definitely needs to be plied, so I decided to spin a bit more of the Merino so that I could ply those 2 together to free up bobbins.  I still had some Merino left that was already combed, so away I went.  I am trying not to be too much of a perfectionist this time.  The Merino has some nepps in it, because I processed it myself, which I have mentioned in previous posts.  But when spun up, it really isn't too bad and it is fun to spin.  It spins very fine, and is super-soft.  I would stop from time to time to let it ply back on itself, and it looks pretty good plied, so I was hoping it would encourage me to ply it and see the results.

When I had roughly equivalent amounts on 2 bobbins, I began plying.  I found that some of the plied sections looked very good, and others did not.  Being still new at Merino spinning, which is kind of an "advanced" wool, some sections were thinner than others.  Some sections did not have enough twist to really ply together well.  I also think that this is one yarn that really would be better as a 4 ply, since it is so thin, and in 4 plies the inconsistencies might even themselves out a bit more.  But it might not be so bad.  It has been resting on the bobbin for a couple of days, and I will probably wind it off with the niddy-noddy today and see how it looks relaxed, plus how many yards I have so far.
I weighed the combed Cotswald before spinning, which I plan to do from now on, to increase the chances of having equal lengths on 2 bobbins for plying.  I normally just eyeball it, and they are never equal.  I was surprised to see that one combed "nest" is about .25 oz.  I spun 4 of them, and it didn't even half fill the bobbin, so my plan is to do 2 oz. per bobbin, then ply.  I am trying to be consistent, as I have a lot of the Cotswald left to spin.  I still have no idea what I will make with it.  I will have to see how much I have in the end.  It's very glossy.  Right now I am just enjoying the process, and glad I finally got back to spinning again.

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