I did it!! I produced a usable skein of yarn! My 70s Kitchen hand spun is washed, whacked and skein-ed up ready for a project.
I started with four ounces of 100% alpaca and ended up with 88 grams and 56 yards of a bulky yarn. It might be super bulky in some spots. It is a little ropey and still has some twist to the finished skein but I’m super proud.
I am pretty sure I want to knit with this right away. I did some Ravelry searching and found the Alpakka Har by Cait St. George that the toddler size would be just perfect for my yardage. As long as I hit gauge that is. But it’s a basic beanie so I think I can fudge it as needed.
The day came this weekend for me to have been couped up in my house with littles just a teeny bit too long and it made me brave enough to attempt plying on my spinning wheel. I pulled out my well rested 70s kitchen themed singles and made a spinning oasis on my back patio sans kids.
I made a couple of lazy kates out of some amazon boxes and two wooden straigh knitting needles. I made sure to load my biggest bobbin and practiced treadling in the correct direction. Mind you I spun these counter clockwise on my drop spindle so I was plying the clockwise on my spinning wheel.
I also took a minute to enjoy the kid free silence and salute my heat wilted garden with a cup of hot coffee. I’m Scandinavian and we like our coffee hot and strong all year round. It’s genetic I think…we can down hot coffee on a 98 degree day and not miss a beat!
After a few false starts/stops and some occasional over plying….I made a successful two-ply yarn!! It’s thick and thing and all over the place with how I plied it. But dang it….it’s yarn and it holds together. I might even be able to knit something from this yarn!
My bobbin has been set aside to rest for 24 hours and which I will wash and whack the skein. I’m really interested to see how many yards I got out of 4 ounces of alpaca!
I had split the 4 ounces of fiber into two halves and spun two sets of singles. I have now wound both of them onto bobbins from my spinning wheel to rest. How long they will rest….probably until I’m brave enough and have the brain space to watch plying tutorials.
The world is chaotic right now and my heart aches for all the pain that exists. I have been taking time to reflect, read and educate myself. I have found this to be taking up some of my crafting time, and I’m okay with it because it’s important. So these singles may have a good long nap ahead of them. But that is okay too.
I hope you all are safe and honestly doing the best you can. Virtual hugs to you all!!
Summer is heating up here in Kansas and I’m finding myself outside a lot more with the kiddos. We stick pretty close to home these days and are finding new ways to use the spaces and in and around our house.
I got a few moments this past weekend to sip my favorite beer and do some spinning on the back patio. The kids managed to entertained themselves nicely and for long enough I added a decent amount of alpaca spinning project. I’m still practicing my drafting with the park and draft method.
I’m found myself staring at these colors and thinking “these look like a 1970s kitchen”. There is a lot of gold, orange, yellow with tiny amounts of blue and avocado green.The yarn is getting easier to make consistent. Prepping the roving into thin strips really helped me draft in a continuous and even manner.
This represents about half of the 4 ounces of roving that I started with. I think I’ll wind this off onto a spinning wheel bobbin so that I can start spinning the other half. I’m still working up the nerve to take some YouTube lessons on how to ply yarn on a wheel. For now I’m content with just making pretty singles and letting them rest.
Happy Memorial Day to all! I hope everyone is safe and happy today.
I decided to start something new today. After finishing off some small handspun recently, I felt the itch to start a larger spinning project. Perhaps even one I would try to make as a 2-ply yarn?
This is 4 ounces of alpaca roving in kind of rusty oranges and browns. It’s a little compact from long term storage but I think it’s workable. I’m going to use my larger/heavier drop spindle and then perhaps my wheel to ply? I don’t care for the colors so it seems perfect to practice new things on because I won’t care if it gets messed up!
I split the roving in half by weight and then stripped the roving into smaller and thinner strips to pre-draft it and take some the compression out. I then wound that first half (lightly) into a ball and put in a project bag. I’m hoping that this improved fiber prep will help me make thinner yarn and more consistent yarn.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a knowledgeable spinner. I have no idea what I’m doing or what most things are called. I’m just amusing my self during social distancing by bumbling my way through some fiber.
I completed the set up and two pattern repeats. The patter is pretty straight forward and should be easy to memorize. The problem is that this yarn doesn’t sing to me. Therefore the project as a whole doesn’t get my mojo going. I don’t hate it….but given other options I always pick something else. I have a car trip coming up and the short back and forth rows should be good car knitting. I may just pack this project and only this project to get it off the needles.
This is definitely a case where I want the FO but I’m struggling with the actually knitting if it, lol.
I love the softness but the drape the yarn has sort of limits its use for me. And I only had one skein of worsted weight in a pink/green colorway. I did some Ravelry perusing through my queue and a quick pattern search and I found the Casu Cowl by Galia Lael. A lovely worsted weight grafted cowl.
When I caked up this skein of yarn I found a lot of veg matter as that something accompanies small batch milled yarn such as this. I also found the yarn to be very loosely plied and quite a bit thinner than worsted weight in my opinion. In a fit of productivity I had this yarn paired with printed pattern and needles in a project bag ready to go a few weeks back.
I cast on according to the instruction and knit one pattern repeat. But it was looking nothing like the pattern page…and then it hit me. I had put the wrong printed instructions in this project bag and was in fact knitting an entirely different project…the The Darn Kinetic Cowl. Insert forehead smack here….
In a way I’m a little glad I found this mistake because I hated the yarn/pattern combo with the Kinetic cowl. So now I need to rip this out, print the correct instructions, and start knitting again.