The Neverending Spinning

I finally finished the yarn I have been spinning that is made from one ply of pin-drafted undyed cream-colored wool from Ohio Valley Fibers and one ply of an undyed brown 50% Shetland / 50% Mohair blend from Psalm 23 Farm.  I bought both fibers in April at The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana and started the spinning for this yarn at the beginning of May.  I finished plying on July 29, but got so much yardage that it took a while to wrap it on to my niddy noddy so I could set the twist.  I just finished setting the twist yesterday.

Official Stats

  • Spinning Twist: S (clockwise)
  • Plying Twist: Z (counter-clockwise)
  • Ratio: 5:1
  • Fibers
    • Ohio Valley pin-drafted medium wool
    • Psalm 23 Farms 50% Shetland / 50% Merino combed top
  • Finished skeins
    • 34 yards, 11 grams
    • 300 yards, 109 grams
    • 418 yards, 149 grams
    • 510 yards, 153 grams
    • 104 yards, 45 grams n-plied Ohio Valley wool that was leftover after plying the two fibers together
  • Ravelry Stash page

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Project Notes

This yarn took a lot longer to finish than I expected.  It was part of my OWL proposal for this term of HPKCHC.  I was going for a Care of Magical Creatures: Bowtruckles Option OWL, which requires you to craft with a new-to-you skill.  Since I got my wheel only 10 days before the start of the term, I proposed wheel spinning for my OWL.  I practiced on the wheel, first with 2 ounces of superwash merino (see blog post, Only a Mama), then spun the first 8 ounces of the Ohio Valley pin-drafted wool (blog post, Getting Better).  It took me about an hour to spin an ounce of fiber.  I looked at the COMC: Bowtruckles OWL proposals of the other two HPKCHC students who had wheel spun for this OWL and both of them proposed spinning a pound of fiber.  But since the pin-drafted wool spun up so quickly, and 8 ounces of my OWL proposal was that same fiber, I thought 16 ounces would not be OWL-worthy (3 months worth of crafting) and proposed a total of 24 ounces.  I was wrong; since I was wrong, I did not complete my OWL this term.

I lost track of how long it took me to spin the second 8 ounces of the Ohio Valley pin-drafted wool, but it was certainly more than an hour an ounce.  This was mostly because I spun much thinner singles with the second 8 ounces than I did with the first 8 ounces.  The Psalm 23 Fiber took longer still.  In addition to spinning finely, I had to stop regularly to pick out vegetable matter.  The vegetable matter was fairly small and not visible when I purchased the fiber.  As I spun, it stuck out from the single and became glaringly obvious.  This may not annoy anyone else, but it bothered me.  I picked out as much as I could as I was predrafting, but did not get it all, so regularly had to stop spinning to pick out what I had missed.

 

The colored cotton helps me differentiate the three large skeins.  The red skein is the 418 yards, the green skein is the 510 yards, and the white skein is the 300 yards.

The colored cotton helps me differentiate the three large skeins. The red skein is the 418 yards, the green skein is the 510 yards, and the white skein is the 300 yards.

Plying also took a really long time.  The 34 yard skein is the beginning of my plying.  The singles kept breaking on me and those 34 yards have 5 or 6 knots.  I was frustrated and set the plying aside for awhile.  My friend Stacy suggested that the singles were breaking because I had underspun them.  I looked at them carefully and decided that the Ohio Valley wool was underspun, but the Psalm 23 Fiber was fine.  I respun all the Ohio Valley Fiber, which took me about 6 hours.  After that, I had no problem with plying, but it still took a long time.  I had a lot of yards of singles to ply together!  It took about 12 hours to do all the plying.

I should also note that when I first started plying, I was using my tensioned lazy Kate.  After I respun the Ohio Valley Fiber, I did not use the tensioned lazy Kate.  Instead, I used the lazy Kate that is built in to my spinning wheel.  It is probable that the tension on my lazy Kate was not appropriately adjusted when I was plying, and this was part of my problem.

I am pleased with how the yarn came out.  It is still a bit thick and thin, but it is much more consistent than before.  I am most interested in spinning fingeringweight and laceweight yarns as these are the weights I most often use for knitting.  The thinnest parts of this yarn came out at laceweight, though it is mostly thicker than that, averaging about a sportweight yarn.  I am thinking I am going to try dyeing it.  I have not dyed anything other than a naturally cream-colored yarn and I am curious to see how a naturally dark-colored yarn takes dye.  I am keeping the 34 yard knotted mess of my initial plying to use for a dyeing swatch.  I have not decided what I will knit with this fiber, but I’m thinking a shawl if I can find one that will work with a thick and thin yarn.

Three pennies in different parts of the same skein, so you can see the thick & thin.

Three pennies in different parts of the same skein, so you can see the thick & thin.

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