In The Works–WIP Wednesday

Today’s WIP Wednesday WIP are all spinning projects. I have been spinning up some of the undyed BFL I bought as practice fiber back in July. I’ve already spun up a good bit of this fiber on various spindles, so now I’m seeing what it’s like on the wheel.

Blue Faced Leicester top from The Woolery spun on my Ladybug

It’s nice fiber to work with, and I love the color variation in the spun wool. That came as a surprise to me when I first started spinning the fiber because the top looks uniformly snow white. But when it is spun up, there are hints of pink, gray, beige, and green.

I also finished spinning the lovely BFL/silk blend top in the Peacock colorway that I bought from Greenwood Fiberworks. I originally intended to do a 2-ply yarn with this fiber, so I divided the top in half and spun each half onto a different bobbin. But once I had the singles spun,

A bobbin full of colorful singles

I knew I just had to keep the gorgeous colors separated, so I’m chain-plying it.

A bobbin full of colorful chain-plied BFL/silk

Don’t look to closely at my chain plying. It still leaves a lot to be desired, but it is definitely improving. I’m much more comfortable now chain-plying on my wheel, and it didn’t hurt that the singles from the first bobbin I plied didn’t break at any point during the plying. I am hopeful that the second bobbin will turn out even better.

Don’t fret. I haven’t forsaken knitting. I do have a knitting WIP, a pair of sock knitted from some of my handspun, but I don’t have any pictures of it yet, so you will have to wait for another day to see them. Think of it this way. You now have something to really look forward to. 😀

Another WIP Wednesday–Part 2

Here’s the spinning portion of our program. I’m starting with the lovely pin-drafted Corriedale beautifully dyed by Sunset Fibers for the November Fiber of the Month selection. I’m still a spinning newbie, so I’m always experimenting. I took this fiber and split it in half length-wise. Then I spun each half onto a separate bobbin, keeping the colors in the same order. I planned to ply the singles together to make a 2-ply and I was hoping that there would be large sections of yarn where the colors would line up. I knew there would be sections where they wouldn’t because I couldn’t be absolutely precise in dividing the yarn, and my spinning isn’t absolutely precise, either, so the length of each color section naturally varies. Sometimes it varies a lot. But I was hoping to get a yarn in which the solid colors transition one to the next through marled sections.

Sunset Fibers November 2012 FOTM in the process of becoming a 2-ply yarn

And that’s exactly what I got.

Plied yarn waiting to be wound onto the niddy noddy

On the finished bobbin, you can see only marled sections, but there are large sections where the colors lined up just right, and also sections where the marling is very subtle because the colors that came together are just lighter and darker shades of the same color. I think I am going to chalk this experiment up as a success.

So what’s next on my wheel? Well, I decided to start spinning up a lovely BFL/Tussah silk blend I bought from Greenwood Fiberworks through Etsy.

Greenwood Fiberworks 85% BFL/15% Tussah Silk in Peacock

This is my first try at spinning fiber with silk content, and it is definitely different from spinning pure BFL. I’ve had to play around a bit with the ratios on my wheel, but I’m starting to get a feel for the fiber. The first bobbin is almost done.

“Peacock” BFL/Silk single

I’m debating whether to make this yarn a 2-ply or chain-ply it. I know that a lot of spinners/knitters don’t like the barber pole effect, but I’m not one of them. But the colors of this yarn are intense jewel tones, and it might be nice to keep them separate. My singles are thicker than usual, so if I chain-ply the yarn, it will be pretty thick, and I really don’t like yarns that are thicker than Aran weight (and Aran weight is pushing it). I’ll probably do a chain-ply sample and see how it turns out. If it isn’t too thick, I will probably chain-ply the fiber. If it’s thicker than I like, I’ll probably 2-ply it. Decisions, decisions! 😀

If you are wondering whether I have thrown over my spindles for my wheel, the answer is a resounding NO! I’ve been working on the 3rd spindle of the Northern Lights Cotton Candy fiber, but I must admit my progress has slowed down a bit lately. It’s not that I don’t love spindling, and it’s not that I don’t love this particular fiber. The problem has been that my back has been a bit unhappy and has forced me to curtail my spindling. I stand and walk while spindling, and standing and walking are just what my back didn’t want. But all is well now, so I’m back on track to finish this project before the month is out.

Cotton Candy on the spindles