Thursday, February 27, 2014


I continue to explore my spinning tools...
The green apple (my name for the colour) merino did not love being spun on my support spindle (or, I didn't love it), but I did work on it for a while before plying on a Turkish. Finished 'turtle' is above.  The merino did love being spun on my new top whorl though.
I couldn't resist plying the top-whorl spun on my new wheel. Just because I could. It was fun.

My real explorations, however, were with 3 delicious red batts.
The first batt was spun and plied on my old familiar Turkish spindles.  All were spun woolen-ish from the fold of chunks I tore off the batt.
You've seen the pics before.

Finished Turkish hank. Rakestraw pre-plying. Topwhorl in progress.
Next I moved on to spinning on a Rakstraw spinner, but I was not liking that and discovered there is a small knick in the notch that was catching my fibre. I plied my wee bit of yarn and moved on to my homemade top whorl. Wow, was that a fast spin.

As I was working on the top whorl project I also started on my support spindle project with the third batt.
Both were plied on my larger top-whorl spindle.  I tried plying on the support spindle but what I should have done was make a plying ball first rather than try to control two bobbins of singles.

In the end I have 3 gorgeous and subtly different hanks plus 2 mini hanks.  From L-R are the Turkish-spun (87.8 m), Top-Whorl spun (117.5 m), and Support-spun (106 m) hanks.  Along the bottom are the Rakestraw mini hank and the leftover-singles hank.  Yardage also differed rather significantly. I am assuming each batt was an ounce (I had 3 batts in a 3oz bag) but I don't have a good scale to weigh them.  I will try to weigh the skeins before knitting.

I discovered I can do roughly the same yarns with each of my spindle tools. Turkish is probably my slowest tool. Top whorl I can make spin the fastest (of these 3). Support spindle allows me to spin while nursing as I can place it on the floor/bed in front of me, so that makes it easier for me to spin. This particular support spindle isn't as fast as my lighter Tibetan style, but I didn't want super-fine singles. I still got quite fine singles.
I think the Turkish is the most consistent. Perhaps because it's the most familiar to me but also because the slower spin allows me to better control my drafting.  I deliberately allowed myself to spin on each tool as felt most natural rather than try to make the exact same yarn.
If only I had one more batt to compare my wheel spinning - although it's too soon to expect a good consistent yarn for proper comparison.

My next challenge will be these batts on my wheel.  I am going to take advantage of my inconsistent wheel spinning for a thick-thin yarn.  I've never tried to spin a batt that wasn't thoroughly blended and with such divergent fibres.

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