Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Can It Be 'Almost" Froghair?

Last Tues it was so lovely, and I wanted to spend some time spinning on my front porch. I was so anxious to try spinning the washed cormo locks on my Ashford traditional. I have put a lace flyer on it, and have tried merino roving, but was not happy with the yarn I was getting. And the wheel seemed to be fighting me, like the flyer was just a tad too big. So I took the wheel out on the porch and oiled every moving part I could find. Treadling without spinning for a while seemed to loosen the movement alot. So I bravely took a lock and attached it to the leader and started spinning. And it drafted just fine. After I got a couple of yards of my regular type of yarn, I did the criss cross on the flyer hooks, and started getting serious about watching the drafting zone, and going with fewer and fewer fibers.

And the yarn got thinner and thinner :)

I was surprised at how nicely a lock would spin. When you are only pulling out a few fibers at a time, it really doesn't matter too much what the rest of the fiber is looking like or doing in your hand. And when you are only letter a few fibers go into the drafting triangle, ALL of the trash falls out as you spin and your yarn is very smooth. I am totally hooked now on spinning thin from a lock of wool.

It was at this point I realized that the lock I had tried was from the nylon net washing experiment, and not from the batch where I had actually hand washed the lock. And the nylon net locks were definately more messy than the others, and it still spun a lovely yarn. I did go ahead and comb a couple of those messy locks with my small 2 pitch combs, although I didn't try and diz it off. I can not figure out how to do that and hold the comb and pull it through. The combs have to be clamped and my small ones are not set up to do that. However the resulting top was still lovely. I just could not get as thin a drafting zone with the top, as I was in the uncombed lock.

I only spun enough to cover my bobbin. I wanted to ply that, and check the WPI before plunging into spinning a major amount. And I didn't want to spin two bobbins, for the plying, so I let the bobbin sit for a week, and then made a center pull ball for plying. Not the wisest thing to do, as it still wanted to snarl. I did the plying on my roberta electric. I still need to learn how to handle the finer yarn on the electric, I got too much twist in the ply because of the speed of the roberta. I can slow that down, and ply from two bobbins in the future and probably end up with a better balanced yarn.

Oh, I am so proud of the yarn. It is still on my niddy noddy, being admired. And it is a 35 WPI 2 ply! Now I am in pursuit of a suitable shawl pattern.


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