Here I am jumping both feet in to my first ever attempt at chain ply. I have my Tequila Sunrise Singles all rested up and in my homemade lazy kate (aka box with knitting needle poked through). And I clearly have no idea what I’m doing…but that is what the internet is for!
I watched roughly 10 videos on chain plying a three ply and just jumped right in. I started with my all yellow singles and moved to the orange/yellow next and finally added the pink. My hands understood the motion pretty well but my feet wanted to add a lot of twist. This may end up being a very ropey yarn. But my brain was happy being challenged with new movements and new skills.
For now, I have the finished yarn resting on a bobbin and when I have the gumption, I will wash and whack it to se what I ended up with.
The spring sunshine and warmer temperatures has brought my family outside more. I have been making myself bring my spindle spinning outside to finish off my Tequila Sunrise Singles.
Turns out when you work on something, it gets done! I have managed to spin up ALL the pink singles. You can tell that this braid of fiber had more pink than yellow or orange. I’m okay with that. I really really want to try and chain ply this yarn. This will truly push my spinning skills. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
This started as 4 ounces of Corriedale roving from BlueBerryChick etsy shop. It was from the Down Cellar Studio’s 2020 Splash Pad Party KAL. Feels good to get this fiber worked up before the next one starts, lol.
My Kiwi 3 has been sitting in my house all ready to go. The hubby even got it all oiled and ready for me to use. I read the source material from Ashford and pulled the prepped fiber from my Hitchhiker wheel and got to spinning.
First blush, this wheel is MUCH easier to control than the hitchhiker. I have managed to spin some very thick but lovely singles on this wheel. I’m still working on my hand control of the fiber but that will come with time. And the wheel is whisper quiet which is a plus for this overstimulated working mother.
My only hurdle now is to get my kids not to touch the peddles when i’m not using it, lol.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! I got the best gift (that I got myself) in the mail today. I have been saving my pennies all winter and then the virtual yarn show I had planned to attend in January got cancelled. Bummer. But I had some funds saved up and I decided to save a little more and splurge on an Ashfor spinning wheel. I ended up choosing Kiwi 3 and I can’t hardly wait!
It came “some assembly required” but the husband told me “challenge accepted” and took it to the work bench in the garage.
I bought the wheel from a local US shop but they were on back order so I got it straight from New Zealand complete with two tiny fluffs of New Zealand wool.
In the end….it’s beautiful and the hubby did a great job. So far I just sit down at night and just treadle making sure to practice going both directions. This is a double treadle wheel and so far MUCH easier to control than the single treadle Hitchhiker wheel my mom got me two christmas’s ago. I think this feels like a much better beginner wheel and when I have better skills I am going to be able to kick but on the Hitchhiker as well.
Now I just need to train PB and Jellybean to NOT TOUCH OR RUN MOMMY’S SPINNING WHEEL. It is a tool and not a toy…
Spring reared her head temporarily and early here in Kansas. So I took advantage and kicked the kids into the back yarn and grabbed my spinning. I have long neglected my Tequila Sunrise Singles on my top whorl drop spindle.
This was a braid of fiber from Blueberry Chick Yarns back from the 2020 Splashpad Party KAL from the Down Cellar Studio podcast. Last year I had spun all the yellows and oranges so only the pink is left. After about an hour of play with the kids I have about half the pinks spun onto my spindle. My work is getting heavy and lopsided so I need to wind off my singles and finish the last half of the pink.
It felt good to pick up a dormant project and make some progress. And I think this will be a really good finished yarn. I want to three ply the yarn to maintain the color progression. But honestly…I have no idea how to three ply and not enough hours in the day right now. It’s audit season and year end close for this accountant. These singles might need to rest for a bit, lol.
The first bobbin on the left is all pure yellow and the bobbin on the right is the where the pink and yellows mixed and it is more orange. I figure I have spun roughly half the braid. A large portion of this braid is all pink.
I think my plan is to spin the pile in the top right first as it is the lighter pink and then spin the ball of darkest pink last. I would hope to teach myself how to andean ply so I can make a gradient of all this yarn. But that might necessitate more brain power and mojo than I can seem to muster right now. Time will tell!
I have done a major pivot on my Tequila Sunrise spinning project. I initially split the braid in half by weight and then started big thick singles. But I kinda hated it. So I redesigned my spin.
I took both of my halves and pulled out all the yellow sections and put them in a ball. Then I pulled out all the yellow-orange and orange fiber and made that a ball. And finally I grouped all the pink. I’m spinning each color section on to it’s own bobbin.
Then I have big dreams of learning how to andean 3-ply on my spinning wheel. I have kid free weekend coming up and this feels like the right space to learn that. But first I need to spin up all this fiber!!
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.
I was flying on the high of successfully plying on my spinning wheel that I decided to attempt to now spin on it. I pulled out some 100% BFL from Jakira Farms from my recently updated stash and pre-drafted the roving.
I fared much better this time than my first few attempts. I did actually succeed at getting the yarn spun on to the wheel. I’m still struggling to figure out the treadling and drafting motion of my hands all as once coherent movement. This first little bit spun VERY thick and mostly over spun. I think I needed to perhaps pre-draft the roving a little more aggressively? I weighed the braid and split it in the middle. Then I took each half and drafted out the fibers to loosen them up.
Both my frustration and the ambient temperature quickly heated up so I put it aside for the time being. I know learning is an uphill curve for awhile when doing a new skill. I’m just ready to be “good” so I can find the zen of it and make usable and pretty yarn. I honestly just need more patience and more practice, both of which are in short supply here lately. Time to give myself a literal and metaphorical break!
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!