Monday, February 1, 2016

Spinning to Knit

Every now and then I find myself racing to spin a new yarn, even if I'm in the middle of another spinning project (or two or three).

Interrupted the blue batt spinning to spin up the alpaca blend light brown, but then I *had* to spin the purple.

This time it was because one of my favourite designers, AnimaKnits on Ravelry, had inquired if I'd want to test another of her amazing new shawls. Of course I do!  Alas, I didn't seem to have the appropriate yarn in my stash.  The obvious solution was to look in my other stash - the fibre stash - where I found 8oz of this gorgeous purple merino-silk top from several years ago.  The design features tulip flowers, so it seemed a great colour choice.  (The listed colourway on this purple is "garnet", which I think is a misnomer, except for the occasional red fluff in the top.)

Thus began the race to spin up two bobbins and ply them together on my quill so that I could cast on.  Then, as I was knitting (not simultaneously), I started on filling those bobbins again for a second skein which I finished just in time as the first ball of yarn ran out. Repeated this again for a third skein with the remaining fibre.

While I was spinning I decided it could be fun to record a video about this process, especially for my non-spinning friends who are interested in my hand-spun yarns.  In the video below I finish a second bobbin of singles and then switch to plying on my quill/wheel-spindle.  My spinning/tea room is quite cool (cold), which is why I am wearing a hat and cowl (also knit from hand-spun).  It took me far too long, I sheepishly admit, to realize that my foot on the floor would be much warmer if I placed the wheel on top of one of the blocking foam boards sitting right behind the shelving.  I'd been thinking of making a carpet for in front of the wheel. (I will, eventually.)  I also feel obliged to add that the wheel is not normally this noisy but my treadle doesn't like how I am repeatedly trying to start treadling from a near-stop while I'm talking/distracted and because I am twisting my body a lot while I talk my foot isn't resting in the correct position. One of my bobbins also just turned chatty in the cold dry weather as I started the project. I normally enjoy near-silent spinning.

Coming soon - finished shawl photos. (As soon as I finish, that is. There are a couple of bobbins being plied right now before I can wrap this project up.)

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