Saturday, August 8, 2009

While The Kittens are Away, Mama Cat Will Play

This Mama took the Green Woman's advice, set aside her to-do list and proceeded to take joy in her spinning this week. It was a good thing. Do you remember the beautiful alpaca silk blend that was to be my first spindle spinning project? I received many compliments from the photos I posted, and it was indeed just the thing I needed to help my spindle and I become friends.

Sadly, it proved to be a fairly unpleasant fiber to work with. Further examination showed that the slight matting went all the way through the entire 8 oz., lending credence to the theory that the problem was really in the preparation. In addition, the fibers varied so much in length that further predrafting actually made it more difficult to work with.

On Tuesday - after spending some time with a friend of mine from the guild (more on that tomorrow!) - I decided I'd had it, and wound it off of the spindle. I'd spent too much money on that roving to throw it out, so I decided to make a thick-for-me / rustic yarn on the wheel. I finished the singles today, and they are now hanging out on my kate for further consideration. I actually think the finished yarn will be quite lovely, and should be a lot of fun!

Rather than start something else right away, I chose to work on fiber preparation for the rest of the afternoon.

First, I took another batch of suri roving and unwound it into the basket. While yes, it was also a bit matted in the outer layer or so*, the insides are gorgeous. There are 5 oz., and I'm honestly not sure yet of how I'm going to spin it.

Once I had taken care of the suri, I started in on the blue merino. I had already divided the roving into yard long pieces. (In fact, you don't want to know how long ago I did that....whoops.) Now I'm taking each section and stripping it down into 8-10 pieces/length. Once I have a pile ready on my lap, I predraft each piece and then wind it into a little nest. It sounds tedious, but I actually really enjoy this process. It's a time to relax and dream a bit as I enjoy the tactile pleasure of handling every single bit of the wool. Once it's done, I'll have a basket full of fiber ready to go.

Do you know, I think at heart I'm really more of a spinner than I am a knitter. It quiets my heart and my mind like nothing else, and it takes me to a place where I don't have to be perfect.

Now it's time to get back to my merino.....

*I would like to note that I've been super-careful with my alpaca. When I bought it, it came right home and went straight into my fiber bin. I put the alpaca on the very top, didn't squish it in at all, and haven't moved it around. I checked it over today, though, and ALL of it bears the signs of matting around the outside. Lesson to self- either find a different way to store it, or spin it as soon as it comes home.


A Day That is Dessert said...

Beautiful photos!

Angela said...

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! That's some lovely blue merino - Can't wait to see it all spun up!

I just bought a Louet s-10 on craigslist today - my first wheel! I can't wait to get started - I love spindle spinning, but it takes SO long to get enough for anything more than socks or baby hats. I may be in danger of falling in love with spinning to the neglect of my knitting...

Happy spinning!