My Day Of Rest

Today the riders in the Tour de France are resting, so it’s also a rest day for the spinners of the Tour de Fleece. And since today is a rest day, I decided to do a little spinning maintenance.

First off, I moved my wheels and fiber out of my spinning corner and gave the area a thorough vacuuming.

Then I decided to set up my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel in double drive. Double drive is when the drive band goes around both the flyer pulley and the bobbin, and you brake the bobbin by adjusting the drive band. Let’s just say that I found double drive to be way too fiddly for my taste and leave it at that. I’ll stick with Scotch tension, thank you very much.

Next, I skeined up the sample of chain-plied blue Merino I plied yesterday and set the twist.

 

I’m very happy with how the sample turned out and I really think that I will be able to master chain-plying with a little more practice.

And finally, last but not least, I took a picture of my finished, first ever cable yarn.

My first ever cable yarn spun from Sunset Fibers BFL

I love this yarn. Love. It

TdF Day #8

I’m still spinning away. I skeined up my cable yarn

 

My first-ever cable yarn on the niddy noddy

My first-ever cable yarn on the niddy noddy

 

and it is now hanging in the shower to dry. It turned out much better than I had expected. I read a lot about how to spin for a cable yarn before starting the project, and I think the information I gleaned from what I read really helped me end up with a nice, balanced yarn.

I spun the singles as I normally would, but when I plied the singles, I over-plied them. That’s not difficult for me because I have a tendency to over-ply everything and have had to make a concerted effort to put a little less twist into my plying. When I did the second plying, i.e. when I plied the two strands of 2-ply yarn together to make the cable yarn, I used a larger pulley than I normally use for plying and treadled slowly because the second plying is supposed to be done with less twist than one usually uses.

I checked the yarn frequently by pulling it back off the bobbin and letting it hang slack. If the yarn jumped to twist back on itself, I knew I was putting in too much twist. I got a really good feel very early on for how many treadles produced the effect I wanted. When I took the skein off the niddy noddy, and let it hang, it made a half-twist to the right (looking at the skein) so I was pretty confident that after I set the twist I would have a balanced yarn. I wasn’t disappointed. When I hung the yarn on the shower head to dry, it hung straight. I’ve never knitted with a cable yarn, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will knit up.

Of course, winding yarn from a bobbin to a niddy noddy isn’t spinning. I did do some spinning today. I added more to the purplish-gray alpaca/Merino, but I didn’t bother with a picture because, really, the bobbin doesn’t look any different except that it’s a little closer to being full.

But I did finish up the first bobbin of the Berry Crumble Polwarth.

Sunset Fibers Polwarth on the bobbin

Sunset Fibers Polwarth on the bobbin

I think I am going to make a 2-ply, but I’m still thinking about chain-plying the singles. I don’t have to make up my mind right this minute. 🙂