Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Fleece, Day 3

I gave core spinning another try today. In core spinning, fibers are pulled out and laid perpendicular floating on an inner core instead of being attenuated and twisted like traditional yarn. Spinning this way leaves the fiber as soft as possible, since no twist is introduced. It also allows the color transitions and fiber to be shown off to its best advantage. It also takes a crazy long time. I spun 68 yards in 4 hours.

It takes some practice to core spin without overspinning. My first two core spun yarns were a disaster. I feel like I really got the hang of it today. I practiced spinning in foreign objects, too. In this case, ribbon flowers.

I was curious as to how core spun yarn knitted up, so I knitted this first skein in to a garter rectangle large enough for a cowl. I like the way it spun up, although next time I will either use a lot more flowers or no flowers at all.

Tour de Fleece: Day 1 and 2

Day 1:  I spun 4 oz of thick and thin merino singles.
Day 2: I plied 2 bobbins, 8 ounces, of merino singles that I spun last week.
The resulting skein was huge and heavy at 444 yards of semiworsted DK weight.
 I broke the skein in to 4 110-yards skeins. I will have them for sale soon. I call this yarn "Brussels" after today's Tour stage.
I also plied the merino thick and thin singles from Day 1 with a thin cotton yarn.

I initially started plying with a new, less expensive binder thread than I have used in the past. The stuff I normally use is a clear metallic $3.50 a bobbin on sale and only gets me about 3.5oz of finished yarn. That's more than I want to spend.  The new binder is clear, but not metallic. It seemed strong enough when I did the break test, but it popped every few yards when I pulled it off the bobbin. Frustrating and unacceptable! I switched to some cotton I had on hand for another project and it worked great. It is a completely different look than I was going for, but not bad at all.  Plus, there is no chance of cotton popping.
I really love how the medium thick slubs coil around the cotton. 

All you art-yarn haterz are probably cringing right now. Wait until you see what I spin today. I'm corespinning a Sugarbee Studios batt and trying to spin in foreign objects.