My first skein from Tour de Fleece was spun from the first batts I made on a drum carder. The batts I made before I knew what I was doing. The ones that were kind of blended but mostly filled with lumps, bumps, and clumps. The ones that looked like an impressionist painting. Looking at them fresh of the drum carder, I knew that they weren’t going to be create a smooth yarn but whatever. I’d just made my first batts and they were awesome.
When Tour de Fleece rolled around, I was less excited and more annoyed that I hadn’t split the fiber evenly for 2 equal batts. So I tore them into strips and started one single that’d be plied with itself. Tried to aim for a 2-ply worsted weight but the fiber had other ideas. Sometimes the fiber wouldn’t take the twist or there was an un-draftable clump. The single came out thick and really thin and not just because I was drafting long draw. (Short forward draw was not an option thanks to the lumps.) So much for that worsted 2-ply idea.
At this point, I wanted to trash the single and move onto a different, less ugly project; however, plying solves many ills and I wanted to see if the plied yarn was any more appealing. Chain plying seemed like the best bet to get a worsted weight yarn and it was easy to find a rhythm once I got started. Where the single was thin, I got fingering weight. Where it was thick, I got bulky. The clumps just stood out like a sore thumb.
Plying fixed a lot but giving this yarn a bath and a good thwack made it so much better. Instead of throwing it out, I wanted to keep it for something good. The yarn, clumps and bumps included, plumped up into a unified whole. Every random bump seemed like it belonged right where it was. The skein definitely wouldn’t be as interesting without them. Maybe even boring. If I knew how to weave, that’s what I’d use this yarn for. Who knows? I may learn eventually.
Fiber: Mystery Wool from a Gwen Erin Grab Bag
Yardage: 86 yds
Weight: Fingering - Worsted - Bulky
Dates: July 7 - 9, 2014