Thursday, January 07, 2010

Enjoyment is not a goal, it is a feeling that accompanies important ongoing activity. (Paul Goodman)

Since Wednesdays are reserved for my knitting updates, I've decided that Thursdays will be for spinning updates. Of course, "Thursday Fiber" doesn't have the same ring to it as "Wedneday's WIPs" but I think I can manage to get by with it.

One of the reasons I want to separate the knitting and spinning is because I want to do more with my spinning this year. Currently, I can produce a fairly decent, even skein of yarn. I'm even almost able to purposely decide the finished weight of the yarn I make. I know, that sounds a bit wimpy. If I want to be more purposeful in my spinning, I need to practice on a regular basis.

It's going to take a lot of time spent spinning to master some of the techniques I'd like to be able to do. My brain is still spinning (almost five months later) from everything I learned at Jacey Bogg's workshop. I want to be proficient in the wonderful art yarns she taught us. I want to learn to three-ply. I want to be able to produce a good sock yarn, and to produce it so matter-of-factly that I don't mind knitting socks from it. I also want to talk spin ratios and WPIs and micron-counts without resorting to cheat sheets.

So how do you get to Carnegie Hall? You practice. And that's what I intend for the new year. I've already taken my first steps. I joined a fiber club. Crown Mountain Farms offered a chance to get a different type of fiber every month. January's shipment was Falkland Top, which I'll probably talk about next week after I've had a chance to start spinning it.

This week I finally spun up some fiber for a friend. I had offered to spin it for her several months ago, but I've been ignoring my wheel. I think it was a corriedale, but I lost the label so I'm not completely sure. It just felt like a corriedale. I do know that the colorway was called "Boca Raton" because that was why she bought it, for the name. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks will buy fiber/yarn based on just the name alone.

I spun it up into a 2 ply worsted weight. It's mostly 12 wpi, although there are a few thicker spots. I got 153 yards, which isn't too bad since it was just under 4 oz of fiber (worsted weight yarn is usually 500 to 1200 yards per pound, which would be between 125 and 300 yards for the 4 oz). I split the roving lengthwise, then spun each ply. I must have gotten it almost exactly in half, because the two plies matched almost perfectly; there is very little barber poling.

I hope my friend likes it. She also gave me some BFL to spin, so that will be next on my wheel. But I think I'm going to try to do that a bit thinner weight. We'll see.

By the way, Happy St. Distaff Day!

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