Friday, September 9, 2011

Spinning new wools

Right, it's Friday, which must mean it's time for some fiber, right? We've successfully arrived back in the UK, and have had a lovely week getting over jet lag and getting back to the Real Life (TM) schedule. I now have not one, but two English schoolgirls, who are pretty thrilled to be back in academia.

I've spun two yarns in the 6 days we've been back (hooray for the wheel!), both of which are destined to be turned in to socks for the school girls. I ordered a bunch of different wools that I've never spun before we left, and have been happily working my way through dyeing and spinning them. First up is for Devil - some Lincoln Longwool dyed in blues.

Handspun Lincoln

Handspun Lincoln

This was dyed to give a specific stripe pattern, so I split it in half and spun each half separately, then chain plied. Since Lincoln is a longwool, and I tend to overspin, I spun and plied at much lower ratios then I usually do, hoping to avoid ending up with wire (spun at 6:1, plied at 7.5:1). The fiber was fairly slippery, surprisingly so, and it took a bit for me to figure out the right amount of twist to keep the single together without overspinning. I ended up with 114 yds of bulky chain ply, which I'll knit up into some quick, cosy socks for her. It's not terribly tightly plied, but I'm hoping a small needle size and the durability of the fiber itself means they won't wear out by Christmas.

The second yarn is for Boo Boo, dyed by herself:

Boo-dyed Cheviot

Cheviot fiber, spun/plied at 12:1, 2-ply.

Boo-dyed Cheviot

I spun this one as a quick wheel fix right after we got home. I think I did the entire 100 gr in a day and a half. I've never spun Cheviot before, but I now consider myself a huge fan. It's not a soft as some fibers, but it has such a great toothy feel while spinning - it would be great for sturdy mittens or outerwear sweaters. Plied up, it's a lot softer then I was expecting from feeling it in top form. I'm not terribly sensitive to wool prickle, but I'm not sure I could wear a Cheviot sweater without a layer underneath, but that may just be this batch. I plied fairly tightly for durability, and I think these socks will be a huge hit.

To be handspun socks for girls

There they are, all balled up and ready to go. Time to bust out the bigger needles and get started!

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