Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Spinning: cluck handspun.
I was drawn to this Falkland fiber from Spun Right Round (in the Cluck colorway), even though these aren't really colors that I would wear. Since I wanted to spin it but not necessarily knit it for myself, I knew I would try to sell the finished yarn.
(It was interesting because all along, I was thinking of these colors as very summer-ish. They reminded me of watermelon and fruit. But then while I was spinning it, there was a point where the light blue color was covered up on my bobbin with the other colors, and I was shocked to realize how fall-like the yarn looked then! Isn't it funny how adding one color can change the whole look?)
But I wanted to use it as an experiment, too. First, I wanted to see if I could spin fine enough to end up with 3 ply fingering weight yarn for socks (and also to see if I could get enough yardage for socks from 4 ounces of fiber). Also, I wanted to divide the fiber up into quite a few thinner sections before chain plying it, to see if I could get a variegated look instead of thicker stripes.
Well, I ended up with 432 yards, which is enough for socks. I even spun a little thinner than I had to (the finished yarn was about 16-17 wpi)...so I need to spin slightly thicker when I really spin for socks. I tried to add plenty of twist, but somehow my spinning wheel tension got off at one point and I wasn't putting enough twist in, so when it came time to ply I had trouble with the single trying to drift apart at that point.
I had every intention of knitting up a sample of this yarn in the round, on size 2 needles, with 64 stitches (which is my basic sock recipe), to see how the colors worked out. I took this skein and two others of my handspun to the craft fair I went to over the weekend (more on that soon), mostly just to have some handspun on display because I was sure that it wouldn't sell. (Especially with the price I put on this skein...the fiber itself cost me $16 and I worked on spinning it off and on for a month and a half.) I ran out of time before the festival to knit the sample, so I figured I'd just do it afterwards and then list the skein in my Etsy shop. I was so (pleasantly) surprised that all three of my handspun yarns sold at the craft fair! :) Of course that means I didn't get to knit that sample, but oh well...
I think I'm going to spin some fall-colored Cheviot wool next. It'll be a quick spin, probably 2 ply worsted weight, and I think I'll use the yarn for a hat. Maybe after that I'll try spinning more sock-weight yarn. I'd love to knit up some handspun socks this winter!