I bought a couple bundles of very nice raw Australian merino from a farm in eastern Australia (RaniSmithDesigns on Etsy. Highly recommended.). For this first little trial skein I used two 1 gram bunches from Ewe #71. The fiber thickness on this fleece was measured at 17.4 microns. This is beautiful wool, with gorgeous luster, crimp, and softness, and hardly any vegetable matter.
I washed the 1 gram bundles individually, in boiling water and dish soap. Each lock lost about 0.17 gram during washing- mostly lanolin, because there was hardly any dirt. Here's what they looked like before and after.
I flicked them with a dog slicker to get the tips open and the shorter fibers out. Then I spun and spun and spun, about four hours for each bundle.
This is the first spindleful done. The wool spun like a dream, it just flowed and drafted out thinner and thinner. It was delightful.
I spun each bundle as a separate spindleful, then wound them onto storage bobbins.
I didn't make a plying ball, but just plied from the bobbins. In retrospect I'm not sure why I thought that would be a good idea, because it never has been in the past, but I guess I thought minimal handling of the singles would be better since they were so very very fine.
It was not a good idea, and made plying much more frustrating than it should have been. The singles were fairly strong, considering, and a plying ball would have been fine. As it was, I lost 0.38 gram of singles (which equates to a fair amount of yardage!) to a massive tangle that I couldn't get undone. Ah well, lesson learned.
Anyway, I got the rest of it safely plied.
This skein is 1.28 grams and 73 yards of 2-ply. It's a little underplied, but I'm quite pleased with myself.
So do you want to know a secret? One reason that I'm excited about this tiny spindle and this little test skein of ultra-cobweb weight yarn is that there's a spinning contest in
This skein is a good first attempt. My goal is to get the yarn to half this thickness and I need to work on my plying joins. With yarn this thin there is no margin for error.