Monday, January 31, 2005

I had an extremely productive weekend. I wanted to spin some of the Ramb x Cormo, but most of my bobbins had dribs and drabs of other fibers on them, plus I had several small balls of singles of alpaca and merino/silk kicking around. Basically, my spinning felt disorganized and scattered. So before I started in on the Ramb x Cormo, I decided to clean up a little. I plied up all the singles, and freed my bobbins. From the dribs and drabs, I got seven skeins. Here they are drying.

I was so ridiculously organized, that I even labeled each skein with fiber content, weight, and yardage! Left to right, they are:

  • 50:50 merino/tussah silk 1.2 oz, 383 yds
  • 50:50 merino/tussah silk 0.8 oz, 179 yds
  • alpaca 1.2 oz, 138 yds
  • scratchy mystery wool 1.7 oz, 169 yds
  • soy silk 1.4 oz, 132 yds
  • 1 ply cashmere/ 1 ply tussah silk 0.2 oz, 31 yds
  • tussah silk 0.1 oz, 25 yds

All this plying and washing took until the wee hours on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Once again the singles fooled me into thinking the plying would take a fraction of the time it actually took. Just plying the merino/silk took two and a half hours. And then, because I am obsessive, when I moved on to the alpaca, I decided to spin more singles instead of just plying what I had. You see, I discovered one last lonely handful (more like half a lapful) of unspun fiber when I was digging through the closet looking for bobbins. It really wouldn't have made sense to ply the existing singles and leave the unspun fiber until later. That's just making two little skeins instead of one medium skein. So I spun and plied the alpaca. That took another two and a half hours.

Then it was on to the soy silk, which I am glad to finally be done with. I hated spinning this fiber. It was slippery but didn't draft well, it was so fine and flyaway that it got everywhere, it squeaked and put my teeth on edge, and it was generally not fun. I did get a pretty good sized skein, though, so maybe I can knit a doily or something and salvage some good from the experience.

Plying the scratchy mystery wool went fast, though I don't know what I'll ever use this yarn for. It's not very nice wool, and there's not much of it. At least it's off the bobbin.

The little bit of cashmere and little bit of silk were a puzzle. These were samples from a workshop with Judith MacKenzie from two years ago, the first (only) time I've spun cashmere. I was going to ply each on itself, but that would have made the cashmere skein really really small. So I decided to ply the cashmere with the silk until the cashmere ran out, then make a second skein of the remaining silk. I'm pretty happy with the way the cashmere and silk go together. We spun the cashmere using long-draw, which I had never done before, so that singles was lumpy and uneven. Plied against the short-draw-spun silk and fulled vigorously when I washed it, the yarn is soft and yummy, if somewhat uneven.

By the time I was done emptying the bobbins, it was after midnight and I had watched three disks of Season Two of Alias , so I went to bed. I dreamed I was a spygirl looking for silkworms in Taipei. It was very strange.

Sunday I spun Ramb x Cormo. All day. It was great. I filled six bobbins and rewound them so they're all ready for plying. Each bobbin took two one-ounce balls of roving, so that's approximately 12 oz of wool, spun in one day.

Actually, I didn't spin all day. Emma and I went for a big long walk in the afternoon, to explore our new neighborhood. We were gone about two hours, but I had to carry her quite a bit on the way back. She was tuckered out when we got home, and went straight into a three hour nap.


waterlilysage said...

wow i'm a little bit exhausted just reading about this marathon...but you'll be pleased that thumbrings and i made some good headway through season one of Alias this weekend...i'm on disc 2, season 1. it's addictive, but i'm still bewildered how all these people keep track of each other...

Amie said...

LOL! It must be in the water! I love Alias, but have a hard time catching it each with with my schedule (and sharing a computer with a differently-minded-about-tv husband) I planned on getting season 1 at Blockbuster this weekend, but they didn't have it!!! Is that allowed?