Monday, March 7, 2011

Marathon woman

In our "Biting Off More than We Can Chew" department, I give you my two latest spinning projects: an 8 oz. coil of blue Corriedale/silk, and two 4 oz. wine-coloured braids of local alpaca/bamboo.

The Corriedale/silk thing had me stumped for the longest time. I've already posted the story of how I circled it cautiously, trying to figure out how best to spin it, before finally hitting on the idea of drumcarding it into blended batts. That worked beautifully: the two-ply yarn has both drape and a bit of crunch, and the colours distributed themselves fairly evenly throughout. There are some shiny slubs, where the silk kind of bunched up as I drafted it, but I'm not unhappy with it—I'm fond of "character yarns" that show their roots a bit.Granted, it took for-freaking-ever to spin, and now I think I know why: having skeined it all and counted the yardage, it turns out I wrung about 1,200 yards of yarn out of that one long, heavy coil of fibre. And then there was the alpaca/bamboo mix, purchased from Turtlepurl Yarns and Notions. I dove into the first hank of fibre right after I got my wheel; mostly, I wanted to try out the smaller flyer, I think. But once I'd started spinning it up, I felt committed to finishing the lot. It was fun to spin, and although I found ample evidence that this fibre had once been worn by a living, breathing, hay-eating alpaca, it didn't bother me. As I say, I like a yarn that knows where it comes from.

Like the Corriedale/silk, the alpaca took a while; and again, when I tallied it up at the end, I discovered I'd spun about 1,000 yards.Of the two, the alpaca/bamboo is definitely the softer yarn, with a fuzzy halo; the Corriedale/silk has more heft and body, and will probably do very nicely in something that calls for a little shimmer. But I'm in no real rush to knit either of them up; for now, I'm content to sit back and contemplate the magic of twisting fibre into yarn.

3 comments:

Mary Keenan said...

I am totally packing my wheel next time I'm going to Ottawa - you gotta show me how to do this stuff!

Mary Wilson said...

They both look fabulous, Karen. And Ziggy, Santos and Raphael (aka Los Hombres, or the Men of the Meadow, or the 3 alpacas) would like you to know that everything is better with some hay mixed in.

Isabel said...

OH my goodness gracious, Karen! 2200m? Craziness! It's all beautiful, and looks scrumptious.