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.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Official spinning olympic challenge totals

In this post, a picture really is worth a thousand words. This picture shows all of the skeins I spun during my self challenge olympic spinning. I got a rubbermaid tub of fiber and only spun it while watching the olympics. With the miracle of DVD recording, I just finished the last of the fiber and the last of the recordings today.

I strongly encourage anyone that does even a moderate amount of spinning, to set an extended period of time and keep track of time, yardage and ounces of fiber spun. I did just that for this challenge and found the statistics interesting. First of all, I did not set out to make a specific type of yarn wtih any of the fibers I chose during the challenge. I just let the fiber go to the type of yarn that flowed easiest from the drafting. I ended up with a wide range of WPI, but that's because I had a wide range of types of fiber. I make this point because I did not fiddly much with any of the fiber other than a bit more pre drafting. So there is no prep time in these figures, only spinning. They are also estimates, especially the time. I tried to keep good track of the total time, that was the hardest to remember to record. The fiber weight was easy to get with my scales, and the yardage came from my winding on my one yard niddy noddy.

Total time: 66.5 hours
Total weight: 66.75 oz
Total yards: 6739 (as singles, but the time included plying time)

Based on those figures, I can now say I spin on the average an ounce an hour, and produce around 100 yards.

I have photos of each of the skeins below, with more specific details for each fiber type.

Fiber: 75% merino 25% angora dyed and then drum carded by me. Two skeins of 230 yards and 85 yards of 2 ply spun at 12 WPI. Total time 6 hours. This is a blend I have made over and over again to sell, and have several skeins of this blend in this batch. This was what I call a blueberry color and both the merino and angora are dyed the same color.

This is also a 75/25 merino angora blend. The merino was white and the angora was dyed aqua. These were carded together and spun into a 2 ply yarn at 12 WPI. There are two skeins one 280 yds and one 103 yds. Total time was 7.5 hours.

The base fiber here is Rambouilette. It was washed when I purchased it and was slightly felted. I dyed it with several colors to make a color I call Seas. Because it was so thik and thin, I decided to spin it all as a single and then navajo ply it into a 3 ply. There was 6.75 oz of fiber and one skein of 103 yards in a bulky 8 WPI yarn. Total time was 3.5 hours.

These beautiful skeins earn a silver medal from me: they are my second favorite of all I spun. The fiber is a merino/silk blend that I purchased when I went to SOAR in 2004. The color is a blue/gray blend. Total fiber was 12 oz and it spun into a smooth 16 WPI 2 ply yarn. There are three skeins, 333 yds, 317 yds and 132 yds. Total spinning time was 20 hours.

The base fiber on this is just called lambswool roving in a lovely gray color. I overdyed it in blues and greens to make this yarn. It spun up at 10 WPI and there are two skeins of 2 ply yarn, 152 yds and 67 yds. Not much yardage here, but I think there is enough for a pair of slippers for me. Fiber weight was 5 oz and total time was 4.5 hours.

Here's more 75/25 merino/angora blend, this time with white merino and pink angora carded together. There was only 2 oz of this fiber and it spun into one skein of 2 ply at 14 WPI. Total time was 2 hours.

And another merino/angora blend, done in blue. There was 4 oz of fiber and it spun up at 12 WPI into one skein of 235 yards. Total time was 4 hours.

This is a very unusual blend, sort of the Jamaican bobsled team of the fiber world. It was labelled simply wool/linen and was a buy one get one special from a vendor. I shrugged and decided I would try spinning any blend at least once. I expected problems with it, but really it spun very easily. There was 16 oz of this dyed a lilac gray/silver color that had streaks of the off white linen in it. I have four skeins of the 10 WPI 2 ply yarn in 105 yds, 112 yds, 112 yds, and 115 yds. Total spinning time was 8 hours. I have no idea what I will do with this yarn, probably use it in a triangle loom shawl. It's a lovely spring color and should go well with other natural wool colors.

Here it is: The Gold medal winner. This yarn is absolutely beautiful, and the fiber was pure pleasure to spin. It is a merino/tencel blend commercially processed and dyed. The color is listed as coal. There was only 4 oz of this wonderful stuff and yet spinning at 20 WPI it gave me 440 yards. Total spinning time was 5 hours.

Finally the bronze medal winner, this lovely fiber was processed by someone else and is a natural colored lincoln wool with tussah silk blended in. There's an amazing shine to this wool, and I think most is coming from the lincoln. 8 oz of this fiber was all I could get at the time (another SOAR purchase and it was all she had left). It spun into two skeins of 2 ply for 112 yds and 164 yds spinning at 14 WPI. Total spinning time was 6 hours.


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