Thursday, January 3, 2008

4 oz. is a lot of fiber!

Back when I first decided to learn to spin, I bought eight ounces of Ashland Bay merino in a heathered grey and four ounces in carbon. I knew merino wasn't recommended for beginning spinners, but I was hardheaded and bought it anyway. And for a while, I practiced with my heavy spindle and my fine fiber and made craptacular little skeins every day, worrying more about figuring things out than making good yarn.

Handspun Improvement

Then we got Bruneaux and, fiber dog that he is, he interfered with the spinning. Since I could only spin if I locked myself in the 'yarn room,' I spun less frequently. Eventually I got some different spindles that I liked better, and some easier-to-spin Shetland wool, and I felt less like a klutz.


When I got my wheel for Christmas, I decided to spin up the rest of that original grey fiber. Since I had practiced with it a lot, I knew what I could do with it on a spindle, and I figured that it would give me a good idea what I could do on a wheel. I spun up two singles and plied them together, then fulled the yarn a little by dunking it in hot then cold water, which made it go from a fingering to more of a sport weight. It's tied with Knit Picks Palette, if that gives you a point of reference.

Ashland Bay Merino Multicolor Grey 2-ply
mmm... smooshy

I thought, since I had started with eight ounces, that I might have enough for socks, especially if I used the carbon color for heels and toes. I weighed the skein. Two ounces. 69 grams. Possibly enough for socks, especially with contrast heels and toes, but way less than I had expected. Who knew that I had spun six ounces already?

I pulled out the carbon merino, which was under four ounces since I had played with it some, too, and split it down the middle and spun half of it up onto a bobbin. I did spin it a little finer and a little more consistently than the heathered grey, but it felt like it took forever!

Ashland Bay Merino singles (carbon)

Four ounces is a lot of fiber! This late realization meant that I had greatly underestimated the amount of fiber I had ordered during The Great New Years Eve Etsy Raid of 2007. I got my first package today. Four four-ounce handpainted rovings from FatCatKnits. They're huge. And pretty. Good combo.

I started spinning up the Elfin Magic superwash merino already.

Elfin Magic

Elfen Magic on the bobbin

Isn't it delightful?

I had kind of intended to make a Baby Surprise Jacket with it, but I also wanted to try out the small whorl on my wheel, so, not surprisingly, it's coming out rather thin. Probably too thin for the BSJ. I'm thinking I'll Navaho ply it and make a stripy stockinette baby sweater. There are a couple of babies expected in February.

Considering I have 5 more 4 oz. rovings on the way, and new memberships to a couple of fiber clubs, I think I can hold off on the fiber consumption -- at least until shearing season at the ranch!


Lori said...

Heehee, I used to think four ounces was a lot too, then I ordered a whole pound of roving... It is a sweet but slippery slope, my friend.

Your spinning looks great. You can test out your baby-sweater yarn by pulling out a length of single and letting it twist back on itself. Often I find that my wheel keeps the single under more tension and makes it look thinner; once plied, I get a bouncier, thicker yarn. Whatever you make with it is sure to be pretty - those colors are coming out gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

You've spun so much already! And it is lookin' so good! I think that "The Great New Years Eve Etsy Raid of 2007" should become an annual affair, and a national holiday while we're at it!

Bea said...

Ooooo...all your spinning looks great but I especially love the blue/green/yellow. SO so pretty.

Ami said...

Neato! You've already spun so much!My yarn is never as thing as I think it's going to be- so far the most I've gotten out four ounces two plied is 200 yards. I think I put too much twist in my yarn though.