Thursday, May 22, 2014

spinit swapit knitit swapit

I mentioned yesterday that I'm working on a project out of my friend femke's handspun.
And also that i spun something to send her to knit up for me.
It was actually a project that had been on me wheel for 2 or 3 years!
 It was hogging up two of my bobbins leaving me with only one extra that i had started another project on but was stuck to go further because i needed a second bobbin for that project too :/
I was very glad for the spinalong portion of this swap.  It was just the kick in the butt i needed to get my wheel cleared off and to finish off that ooooold ufo that was weighing down my spinning mojo.
The yarn is spun up from pretty little oh so fluffy batts swirled into cupcake form by Joan McGuire from The Cupcake Fiber Company on etsy.  I ordered Superwash Panda Fiber Sock Batts (Superwash Merino 60 %, Rayon from Bamboo 30% and Nylon 10% blend) in the colorway Waterfall.
The packaging is so cute (this is her pic from her etsy store)
Superwash Panda Fiber Sock Batts - Waterfall
As she mentions on the page, these 6 little one ounce cakes are "ideal for spinning 3 ply sock yarns. Simply spin each ounce before plying 3 together. You will end up with 2 skeins of soft durable yarn of equal weight."
Of course i had to try this!
I ended up with 6 bobbins that i weighed and estimated the length of thanks to my swift. It has a counter to tick off the number of revolutions, and yardage next to different pegs on crossarms so after finishing off a cake, you just multiply the number of revolutions by yardage according to pegs and you get an approximate yardage for your cake.

Each ply was different so i noted in the box under each skein's nest its characteristics and tried to harmonize the plies to make the two resulting skeins of yarn as close to one another as possible.
Here are my notes for the skeins :
skein 1 ply 1 this was a 270 yds for 29 g mildly overspun cake
            ply 2 this was 221 yards for 29 g and while i first thought it was fairly even and well-spun, it turned   out to be a crazy mess with many loosely spun (um, unspun even lol) spots mixed in with spots so tightly spun they corkscrewed and broke!
            ply 3 178 yards for 30 g - uneven spin with lots of kinks and many breaks
total 244 yards for 86 g 
skein 2 ply 1 262 yards for 30 g - quite overspun but evenly so throughout
            ply 2 279 yards for 29 g. medium spin with a few overspun spots and some very underspun parts that just flew apart during the plying
            ply 3 224 yards for 31 g. tight spin, loose spin, thick spin thin spin.  dr seuss material.  lots of breaks. very poorly spun.
total 302 yards for 93 g 
grand total 546 yards for 179 g. about sport weight i believe.

As you can imagine, the plying was a little tedious what with all the breakages and flyaways and having to overlap the strands back in. but all counterspun up together, well, it really didnt look quite that bad!  I did add in a new cake as each strand ran out and pull from both inside and outside of final cake to maximize ply usage. You can see in photo up top how little yarn i wasted in the end :D!

And once i got my bobbins cleared i was able to go ahead and finish off that other mini-skein i had been working on :D
i love it!
I was using a beautiful sample i got in a phat phiber box to practice fractal spinning on.  This is something i had been envisioning and then actually heard about the technique on ...a podcast or two... and found that it was an actual technique with anactual name and actual steps to it lol. So i did what they spoke of and love how it came out :D