I got back to spinning after several months, with a new spindle, and I just made my first usable yarn! Finally something that is soft and (mostly even) and on the thickness I was aiming at!
I used a superwash roving from Yarn Love on the Bayfield Apple colourway, and have a little less than 200m of fingering weight 3-ply. I am still spinning for the second skein but I couldn't wait more so I plied the singles I had already
I guess now I can say I finished a real lace project with all kinds of lacy things involved, including provisional cast on, grafting in garter stitch and knitted on border. Pattern: Estonian Lace Scarf http://entill.typepad.com/photos/klart06/estn_halsd.html Yarn: Alpaca Coproca (fingering weight) Needles: US5 (3.75mm) Modifications: I knit only chart 1 and 2 from the pattern and added the knitted on border from the Cap Shawl in Victorian Lace Today.
I don't have a real camera, and the best I could do with the webcam was on black and white, so I added a little sepia and got a mix of old grandma pics and vintage porn, I guess. It's still way better than the webcam standard settings for the complete shawl view. There are more pics on my blog (http://colorlessblue.blogspot.com/2008/06/estonian-lace-stole.html). Pics with stitch close-ups on older posts, too.
I ordered this 100% alpaca yarn (little more than $6/390m/ball) with socks in my mind, but when it arrived I realized I didn't have compatible sock needles. So while I waited for the needles to use on the black yarn, I took the pink (which is less pink and more red than it looks on the monitor) and made me a Wisp. The bad thing is that it's done already, and the needles probably weren't even shipped yet. Also, the thing grew and grew and grew. Pre-blocking = 1,05m x 0.32m. Pos-blocking = 1,47m x 0.45m. And I still have almost half a ball left:
The pic closest to the real colour is one iin progress shot:
Now I can't think of something to do with the left-overs, and I HAVE to keep my hands off the black yarn until I have my needles but it's sooo hard This is seriously as soft as the bamboo yarn that was my former favourite!
This is my 3rd yarn. It's corriedale that I bought white and dyed myself. While I was using the dyes, someone started using the stove, so I had to wait and wait to set them, and they mixed a bit on the bottom of the bowl. I had 3 1oz rovings, and I used the dyes randomly, and got even more randomness from this mixing. At the end, they looked like this:
I spun one of them from end to end, keeping the colour changes (that one only got blue and red; the mixing ate the green and turquoise). I spun the next one dividing in narrow stripes, getting repeats of the colour sequence, and the last one I started spinning from the fold, but it was too difficult. So I divided the roving in several parts and pre-drafted holding 2 pieces together, in opposite directions, to blend more the colours. Then I plied the 3 singles. I'm really proud of it, as it is my first 3-ply, and it's almost completely even. I plied only about half of the singles till now, and got 41m.
This is my second handspun, but it's just a little skein. I used some mystery fiber that came as a bonus with my bigger order from Miss Babs (soysilk and viscose). Looking at her site, I found the same colourway (Cleopatra) on merino batts (21microns), so I think this is it. I don't know the weight, or the yardage, but it's mostly fingering weight. The most gorgeous colourful singles:
And the not so gorgeous 2-ply:
Plying the way I did mixed the colours in a way that didn't please me much. I definitely want to learn navajo plying now. I'm starting the soysilk for next week, but I think I won't finish in time.
I'm so happy with the end of this! This was my impossible project: a 100% wool garment to wear in a place that knows no winter; using only 440 yards of fingering yarn (and I'm large). I had only a few inches left when I finished, and it was still too short for me. The few inches were gone with sewing in a bit of elastic tape to hold it up, and blocking made it the longest top I have!
I still need to find an undershirt to wear with it, you see. Oh, and I've worn this in my room with all doors closed and didn't die of heat. Yahoo Weather says it was 84 F ("feels like 94 F"), 79% humidity.
I bought fiber on ebay from Miss Babs (http://stores.ebay.com/missbabs-fibers) - 2oz of soysilk, 4oz of viscose - and she sent me some dyed fiber as a bonus - squeee! But I don't know what it is. I only tried wool (corriedale, 28 microns) and silk caps before, and I'm too busy staring at the beauty that are my new fibers to actually spin them. From the little experience I have, I can tell that: 1) this mistery fiber is much much thinner than the corriedale 2) it has a very long staple lenght, but not like the silk 3) it doesn't look like soysilk at all 4)it doesn't feel like the undyed viscose at all 5) it is incredibly easy to spin. The corriedale I had to predraft entirely and got singles that were DK-ish, but this dyed fiber is so easy to spin that I'm drafting from the roving without any pre-draft at all, and getting laceweight singles. It was also a little compact at first, but once i started drafting it was easy. This is it:
The only reason I'm asking is because something this easy to spin is surely something I'd want to buy later, but if I can't identify it I'll still be very very happy with just the fun I'm having
Woo, my first fiber friday AND my first handspun yarn! I give you Kinky: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2087/2383925968_4f0c1ecc1f.jpg?v=0 No, I'm kidding. Those were only the first yards, I cut them out when I started getting better. Here's my baby, Dreadunzel, named by my friend because it looks so much like hair braids or dreadlocks, we couldn't decide:
The colour is exact in the pic of the singles and roving:
It's a chocolate brown corriedale, undyed, bought from My Special Tea on ebay. I got 3 oz, but because I cut out a little, I think i have 2,5oz. 73 meters after plying. I have mixed feelings about it. On one side, it's mine! I did it! And it isn't horribly misshapen, in fact it's almost even, and perfectly balanced (beats me, I don't know how I did that). On the other side, I hate brown. And it's bulky, when all I knit with is fingering and DK. And it doesn't have the pretty colours of brooklyntweed's yarns (http://www.flickr.com/photos/68971937@N00/1224862982/in/set-72157600481884907/) or the awesomeness of luffah's (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yarnzombie/2315953917/. Yeah, talk about high expectations...
I just remembered I have a 6 hours long appointment on the beauty salon tomorrow, and I wouldn't be able to wait that long to get started. I'm way way way more proud than I was for anything else. It's thick and thin and not as consistent as I want, but on the very first try I got something on the right stringy shape and in average it's the exact thickness that I always wanted. It really is softer than my smells wonderfully too, but I can only blame Doxie from http://stores.ebay.com/THE-SPECIAL-TEA-SHOP for that.