Well I have the new rovings listed, but no rest for the weary as I need to dye many, many more. Please let me know which ones you all love, hate, etc etc.
I did finally get a few spare second to dive into my Phat Fiber sampler and got up the courage to begin spinning samples (I have this irrational fear of ruining them, and then remembered I am actually a very competent spinner :)
The hunter/gold sample is Shady Glade from Abstract Fiber and the pink/brown sample is leftover from one of my own sampler offerings in February, Raspberry Truffle. Shade Glade is sadly a bit overspun as a single (the plying is fine) and thus feels a bit more harsh than I'd like it to, but still very workable. It is fingering to sport weight. Raspberry Truffle is perfectly spun and plied for my tastes, and any extra twist relaxed and set upon finishing the yarn with some good old fashioned water and thwacking against a countertop. It falls into the sport weight and light worsted category.
I have several more beauties to go, and then I will be awaiting this month's samples (any day now!) and hope to eventually make a cohesive project or two out of them. I have enough yarn and roving from February that I could make stripy gauntlets, but some of those colors would fit better in the greenish shades of March's Celtic-themed box, so we'll see.
Some of the samples, like this amazing, buttery soft angora rabbit fur or beautiful alpaca roving, I can hardly bring myself to spin. It's just too soft and perfect and the quantity is so tiny, I know I'd never do it justice as I often take a yard or two to ease into a rhythm and feel with any given fiber. Still, I do plan on working up the cajones to spin those someday, I just need some bravery.
A good contrast to how far my spinning has progressed is a hank of bluish toned yarn I spun my mother back when I was in Juneau and spinning for Skeins. It's decent enough, but my drafting was thicker than I currently like and in the effort of creating a 'balanced' yarn that didn't back twist upon plying, I ended up underspinning both my singles and my plies even moreso. I spun fairly textbook, albeit with a slower technique than most production spinners, but I wasn't aware that a 'balanced' yarn is subjective and changes with application, and that having it be slightly overspun when freshly off the wheel makes it just perfect once it has been steamed and set.
Live and learn, right?
I'd have honestly never known that without the help of some online spinning gurus like Abby or other amazing members of the Yahoo Spinning group. Since I am self-taught out of a book for the most part (the spinning demos I saw were in the days before I had either wheel or spindle) I just had to synthesize knowledge and see 'what worked'. Unless I happened across a trick by accident I never learned it, and so having access to the knowledge, wisdom, and lovely yarn of other experienced spinners has helped fill in the holes in my previous working knowledge and vastly improve my product on the wheel.
Oh yeah, and having a nicer wheel helps, too!
Speaking of Suzie, I do love her dearly! My only qualm right now is not really her fault - I desperately need a lazy kate for plying yarn, as the pegs on Suzie are really only good for storing bobbins. I am having a much bigger problem with backwinding and out and out breakage with these pegs than I did with my Traveller, probably because I am spinning more finely and finer spinning snaps easier.
The wheel is supposed to have a standalone Kate and I cannot fudge by any longer with much satisfaction. Sometime in the near future, if I am to complete any of the commissioned spinning I have been approached with at all, I have to invest in a Woolee Winder or something of that nature. They're not too expensive, we're just on a tight budget and all the yarn and roving profit goes right back into acquiring more product, there's not really a decent enough cushion that I can skim off the top for a new piece of equipment just yet.
More spinning will commence upon receipt of a Lazy Kate, but until then the tales from the wheel will remain limited - due to little girls as much as a general lack of ANY free time! Still, as with knitting I had forgotten what sheer pleasure working with fiber really is. I miss spinning, and knitting, and wish I had more time for both.
Good night and God Bless.
taryl | | 19 March, 10:03am
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