Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spinning thin

Christmas was warm and lovely and filled with lots of fibery gifts.

This is the first fiber I decided to spin up. It's a 75%/25% blue face Leicester/Tussah silk top and it's just the softest, most wonderful fiber ... mmm!

Now when I sit down to spin, I don't make any decisions in advance. When I want to spin, I spin. I take a zen approach to it and just live in the now, loving every minute.

I've had discussions with my father, an engineer, about spinning. In his mind, I should always spin with a particular project in mind. In my mind ... well ... is nothing. I spin without a care in the world. Once I'm done, I ply to match my mood (2-ply or Navajo ply [3-ply]). After plying, I skein, tie off, and wash the finished yarn. Only when it's all dry do I discover how many yards I have. With that information and the WPI (wraps per inch) of the finished yarn in hand, I sashay over to Ravelry and use the advanced search function to see what patterns match my two specs.

My father and I will never see eye to eye on the whole issue, and that's OK.

One of my tendencies is to spin thin -- really thin. This picture shows the thickness of a single ply of the luscious BFL/silk fiber.

I'm always kind of amazed at how consistent my yarn is. I'm self-taught, so I don't know how I'm able to do this. Interestingly, I spin fast -- really fast. It's like I'm in a race. Whatever the reason, it makes me happy.

When I was demonstrating at the Hale-Byrnes House in December, one of the other spinners commented on my speedy treadling. She then added that she spins slowly so that her yarn will be consistent. (I wish I had the exact phrasing, because it was one of those pointed remarks some women are skilled at making. There's a hidden sting, but if you comment on it, you just end up looking thin skinned. I once worked with a woman who had a black-belt in this kind of verbal combat. Let's just say that she and I weren't the best of friends.) But I digress...

So here is the finished yarn. I decided to Navajo ply this because it was just so thin that I thought that a two ply wouldn't be sturdy enough for whatever it will end up being used for. Besides, I find it hard to wait until I have two bobbins. Working from both ends of a cake (i.e., a puck-shaped "ball" of yarn) is fraught with danger. I can't tell you how many times I've tried plying using this technique and had it blow up in my face.

I'm not looking for any applause here. I'm as mystified as the next person how I'm able to 1) spin so fine a single and 2) end up with such a beautifully plied yarn. Whatever the reason -- and there really doesn't need to be one, right? -- I'm perfectly content to spin thin. (I predict, though, that I'll find spinning fat to be quite a challenge.)

1 comment:

  1. ummmm, not sure how I missed this entry! Lovely spin Laurel. I mean nice!