Saturday, 22 May 2010

First handspun singles

Been doing some more spinning this week! Managed to complete another project in the space of two days - this time it was 4oz of Spunky Eclectic Club Fibre. It's the December shipment, which was Wensleydale in the colour way Cold Front:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front

Most people seemed to have more blues in theirs, particularly dark blue. Mine is a much lighter selections of greens and sea-blues.

There's been a lot of people spinning this up as singles - due to Wensleydale being a longer staple fibre, you don't need much twist to hold it together. It's also a heavier fibre, which means that you wouldn't get massive amounts of yardage if you plied it. So singles make sense.

I split my fibre into 3 bits, lengthwise, to try and give as many colour variations as possible. I was aiming for somewhere between laceweight and fingering weight, and wanted to try and fit it all on a single bobbin. Here's it while I was spinning:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

My concern with singles, is that when I took them off the bobbin, that they'd be a curly mess - all twisty and crazy. After I'd skeined it ready for it's bath, it did twist a bit, but the main thing that amazed me was the crimp:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

So it's more curly, rather than twisty - you can almost imagine the sheep, with loads of massive curly locks. The hope was that "finishing" the yarn would fix this. To finish it, I ran a sink of very hot water and a bowl of very cold. I then proceeded to dunk and swoosh the yarn around, alternately in each bowl, squeezing the water out before changing bowls and finishing with a hot bowl.

Put it in a towel and squeeze the water out, smack the wrapped yarn-towel against the bath, take it out, and then put my hands inside and snap the yarn tight, to even out the twist.

The result was a yarn that hung perfectly open in a loop - with a gorgeous fuzzy halo. Behold the finished skein:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

Pretty happy with this - they've got enough twist to hold together, and the yardage is reasonable. I've got approximately 440 yards of fingering-lace weight singles, which would be enough for a scarf or shawlette.

Full specs:

Singles: approx 16-20wpi
Spun: sort-of long draw
Plied yarn: not plied - kept as singles
Finishing: light fulling - hot/cold/hot/cold water shocking, whacking & snapping
Finished yarn: approx 16-20wpi, 440 yards, 116 grams

Spun on: Kromski Mazurka
Started: 17th May 2010
Finished: 18th May 2010

This is a skein that I think will go up for sale, rather than be kept - the colours aren't very me and it's a bit itchy for me personally. That makes 3 finished skeins ready to go up for sale - I'd better get a move on with the store!

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