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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More On Spinning....

I haven't knit a stitch for a couple of days which is quite unusual for me, but I do get times like this very occasionally. It's nice to be able to put things to one side and work on something different, a change is as good as a rest so they say.

I wanted to talk a little more about my spinning, I don't do any often enough. I don't even know if I do it 'right' because I'm self taught but the way I do it works for me.

I started out with a drop spindle - I just couldn't get the hang of it (then afterwards I wondered if it was because I was using combed top that I didn't like working with, it was like rope). I bought my first wheel, an Ashford Traditional and tried with that, I still couldn't do it properly. It was put it in a cupboard where it sat for over a year and one day whilst having a clear out my Hubby said that if I had no intention of using it then maybe I should think about getting rid of it. I decided then that I would try again. I bought a kilo of merino combed top and practiced until my knees hurt. I bought a couple of other fiber blends - merino/silk etc and tried those. I came to the conclusion that the combed top I had first started out with (I think it was Romney) was not my cup of tea and wasn't the easiest of fibers to work with (although I had been told that beginners should start with this). I had great success with the merino - it was like spinning butter after using the Romney.

I love preparing the combed tops ready for spinning, nice to do while watching tv. Last night I remembered I had a decent amount of Blue Faced Leicester so I sat and made these little clouds. This started off as a braid and weighed approx 125g.
I draft the fiber into very fine strips then draft the strips by gently pulling and letting the fibers glide over one another - working my way down the strips - then I loosely coil them up into little clouds. Doing it this way means that I don't have to mess around trying to draft it too much whilst I'm spinning. These are fairly big baskets in the photo so you can imagine how much volume there is. This is a lovely blend of pinks, purples and grey. I plan on spinning the singles as fine as I can get and then I will decide on how I will ply it.

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