Monday, December 01, 2008

A couple months ago I received a lovely surprise gift from Norma (I know! Norma! Famous Norma! Sent something to me!), just because I was having a sleepless night, was up way late -- rather like tonight -- and found the typo she was wondering about in her Blog-365 post numbering.

This is a 1.9 oz wool-silk batt. I don't know where she got it, or the official colorway name, but Norma called it Strawberry Chiffon and that is perfect.

The wool (merino? something soft, anyway) is pale pink, and the silk is red. It's a carded batt, not top, and not thoroughly blended, and really didn't want to be superfine laceweight. It wanted to be thicker, so that's what I did. And just for kicks, I decided to spin this on the Schacht spindle, even though I was at home and standing four feet from my wheel. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

It was lovely, like gulping down a big bowl of strawberry ice cream. I couldn't stop once I got started, and it was nice to spin something other than laceweight for a change. I didn't worry about getting a perfectly even yarn, since the batt had some nepps and the silk was streaked throughout the batt instead of blended. I did split the batt into quarters and predraft a little to even out the silk just a bit, though.

This was not only spun on the spindle, but plied as well. It worked very well to wind the singles off into a ball, hold both ends of that ball together and wind it into another ball, and ply from that doubled ball. Much easier than plying on a spindle from bobbins.

Two ounces is apparently about the maximum that a 1.1 oz. Schacht Hi-Lo will hold. That spindle is stuffed! It wouldn't work as a top-whorl spindle after about an ounce was plied, because the yarn was too close to the edge of the whorl, so I just turned it over and used it as a bottom-whorl, with a half hitch. No biggie. Next time I will make an egg shaped cop so that there's still a space below the whorl to facilitate using the whorl notch and hook, without the yarn rolling along the edge.

It turned into 170 yards of puffy, lofty two-ply fingering weight, approximately 15 wpi.

That picture is actually taken after I washed the skein, but before I put it back on the spindle to add a bit of plying twist. If you click to enlarge, you may see some spots that are seriously underplied, but that has been fixed now. It was amazing how this fluffed up in the wash. It's incredibly soft. Yum.

Thanks, Norma! This was fun!


Caroline M said...

It is lovely isn't it?

Anonymous said...

One day do you think you might photo-document your explanation for plying off the spindle from a ball? I love your blog! Maggle

PJ said...

love the before and love the outcome! Suprises are great..yours is almost done it slipped through the cracks, but it's at the surface now ;)