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.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Spinning challenge Day 2 and 3

In all honesty, I didn't do anything on the fleece on day 2. The weather here was perfect, and we were in the mood to play hookey. You know, take the day off, go somewhere together and ignore all the yard and garden work that needed done. It was a great day. We visited a part of the 'world's longest yardsale'. This is one specific highway that starts in Ohio and ends in Alabama, and along the entire length you can find yardsales, on the second weekend in Aug. I saw two spinning wheels for sale. Neither had any markings on them and both had had the fliers redone with modern wood. But they were functional and in good shape, just small.

So on Sunday I got back into the challenge by carding about half of the washed fleece. I ended up with 12 big fluffy batts, totally over 10 oz. Here's a photo:

I am disappointed in the batts though, because the vegetable matter is just not falling out while I am carding the fiber. Often when I card wool most of the VM drops out between the small and big drums, or pops off the big drum as it goes around. But these batts have a high amount of VM still in them. You can see it in the photo. Maybe it's because the fiber is white, and I am use to working with a dark fiber, and just don't see the VM in the dark fiber.

Since I am working this fleece up for the breed notebook, I went ahead and combed a 1/4 oz of it to test spin. I shouldn't have done that, if you have listened to my podcasts you know I love combed top, and it was proven to me once again. There was _no_ VM in the top and the spinning was smooth and easy, since I didn't have to stop and pull out nubs and VM. I should comb the entire fleece, but if I truly want to do this over the Olympics, I need the faster processing of drum carding.

I spun up three sample skeins for the breed notebook, as well as to decide what size I wanted to spin for my Olympic challenge knitting. This is a photo of three of the skeins:

In the photo, there's an obvious difference in the color between the combed top on the far left, and the two carded samples. The combed top is whiter than the carded yarn proving once again it pulls out all the junk when you comb. It measured a 16 WPI but it doesn't look that thin in the photo. I think it may have relaxed some and bounced into a thicker yarn. The two carded skeins were done to see just how thick I could spin the yarn and still get a reasonably non slubby yarn. The answer is the middle yarn, around 9 WPI. The bulkier is just not that nice, because the slubs were not pulled out. So middle of the road yarn it will be, for the knitted project.

One other thing I did was browse through some of my knitting pattern books looking for ideas of what to knit with the yarn. Now some will be determined by just how many yards I finally end up with. I found several afghan ideas, like I originally thought about doing, but I also found two other ideas. Both are from the Folk Knitting books. One is a stole with pockets, and the other is a garter stitch vest. I like both because I could start knitting while still spinning more yarn.

But enough of all of this warm up work. It's time to get my nose to the wheel, so to speak, and get spinning.


1 comment:

cyndy said...

you are off to a good start!