Like a Record, Baby

I am over-abundantly blessed with a husband who gets it. An extremely competent knitter with a stash of his own, Jared will find yarn stores for us to visit on vacation, and never complains if I make him sit in the car for a few minutes when we reach our destination so I can finish a row.

Last spring, when he went on a trip to Philadelphia without me, he popped by a yarn store quite of his own accord, to do a little anniversary shopping for me. He came back with this:

It’s lurvley. Quite possibly the softest 100% wool that I’ve handled, it’s a 50/50 Yale/Merino blend. I don’t know anything about Yale sheep – a quick Google search doesn’t even come up with anything – but I must assume they are very soft, and extremely short-stapled. This means that choosing this stuff as my first attempt at a consistent, 2-ply worsted weight might not have been the best plan, because it is very difficult to pre-draft it evenly.

From the little spinning knowledge I’ve picked-up through casual surfing of the interblags, a basic truth I have in my head is that the thicker you want your singles to be, the more you want to pre-draft. This is a little counter-intuitive, but it makes sense in my hands. If its super-pre-drafted, I can put all my focus on making sure to draft consistently, without worrying about pulling too much. Whereas all that laceweight I spun last year I spun right off the braid, because it was easy to pull impossibly small bits consistently. Does that kinda make sense? Any spinners out there care to corroborate?

Four states of fiber - what's left of the braid, some pre-drafted "nests," singles on the spindle, and the first half of finished singles in a crappy attempt at a hand-wound center-pull ball.

I’m not to optimistic about the final two-ply being a worsted-weight, but I don’t think there’s any way I’m not going to love it. I’ve seen a few rovings like this – they seem like they must have been black and white combed together before they were dyed. The black shows through both in the roving and in the final handspun, making it seem like the color glows out of this black background. Maybe not perfect for worsted weight because of the fiber, but perfect for spindling… you don’t want this stuff to go too fast.

Of course, now that I can knit again, and that I have… erm… *other spinning distractions that I’m not quite ready to discuss*… speed is no longer a problem. Aside from being my chosen spinning at the MD Sheep & Wool spin-in, this has been dropped faster than Krystal after we all got bored of Princess Diaries.

One thought on “Like a Record, Baby

  1. That’s really neat stuff!! Love the color. Since I can’t figure out my spinning wheel yet, I went back to the drop spindle. It was full and heavy so I transferred the spun yarn to a swift and have begun again to work with the gnome fleece. I’ve been lucky enough to have tons of time to knit AND make good progress on VBS so I’m a happy camper. Here’s to persistence!


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