This is my blog to share my adventures, misadventures, exploration, and experimentation with fibre- and as it turns out, with life as well. There is some of both. One thing leads to another. Collecting, spinning, weaving, dying, learning, building a web of relationships. Here we are: welcome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More spinning fun

Well, I had some fun today.  Some frustration, too, though even at the time I kind of wish someone had been here with a video camera to catch the action. It is the kind of thing that could go viral on YouTube.  Instead, I'll have to make do with words, which at least will let me lie about the worst parts (which, if viewed, would also be the funniest).  I'll try to be honest. 

I ran out of spools. I have four, and had only one empty. You ALWAYS should leave one empty.  There are ways around it, but it's easier to just always have at least one empty so if you start a new fibre or kind of yarn, it's by itself.

Remember those spools of BFL singles I was so proud of?  Not perfect and not completely consistent, but usable. I decided to ply them, since they were pretty skinny and I couldn't see winding them off.  I plyed from the bobbins, using the Lazy Kate, feeling like a real spinner. The plying went pretty well, once I got the tension right, and figured out how to use my hands to keep the twist fairly consistant.

It came out okay, if a little twistier than I'd like. But not bad for the first skein I plyed on the wheel.  (The black is a piece of yarn I used to tie the two ends together.) 

After washing to set the twist, I got around 200 yards of yarn if you ignore the occasional lump or skinny spot, or unbalanced ply. My expectations are still pretty low.  Besides, this yarn will work up real pretty in a scarf.

Well, now I had three empty spools, and the last one is the one that should have been videotaped. I think it was the second one I'd done (after the one I dyed as a single, and watched turn into a curly donut). I decided I didn't want any more curly donuts, and was pondering how to ply it. I'd wound my spindle yarn on balls to ply, but this time I decided to try something I'd been told about: using my ball winder to make a ball, and then pull on both the inside end and the outside ends to ply.

Oh, I wish I had pictures of this, but the fact is, I didn't dare move to get my camera.  My singles were still a little overspun, and as I began to ply, the ball collapsed into a curly mass that came out in already twined ladders on either side of me, then grabbing the other side and making globs.  I was trapped, wrapped on both sides by yarn singly-mindedly trying to do what it does best: tangle. 

I shut my eyes, relaxed all but the fingers holding what little control there was over the yarn, and breathed, emptying my mind as much as possible. It is hard to tell what might have happened had I not done that. 

Then, I courageously took my scissors, cut off what was in front of me, and carefully and mindfully separated the two ends.  Then I did what I should have done in the first place, the hard way: holding the curly ball between my legs, I slowly wound each end onto one of my little green balls a little at a time, gently turning the curly ball every few inches, until nothing was left of it.  Then I cut the yarn, put one ball on one side and the other on the other, removed the twisted mass on the bobbin, and started over again.  This time it went easily. 

But it is still on the bobbin because I don't want to deal with it right now. 

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