Spinning Malabrigo Arco Iris

When this skein was freshly dry from its bath, it was my absolute favorite. One Tour de Fleece and a few more skeins of handspun later, it’s still my favorite. The colors are amazing, the yarn is ridiculously soft, and it has great density.

Way back in June, I was ready to spin Arco Iris but had no clear vision of how. So the fiber got to lead the way. Once I unbraided the bump, it was clear that was absolutely no chance of spinning identical singles. The colors were randomly dyed without a single discernible repeat. Spinning a 3-ply was out because it would muddy the colors. Chain-plying was out too because I wanted as much yardage as possible. Instead of going through some fiddly process, I decided to keep things simple since the colors were complicated enough all ready. Split the fiber in half lengthwise and spun the 2 pieces from opposite ends. Then I plied, let the yarn rest on the bobbin, and dunked it in the sink with some Eucalan. The only handling the wet skein got before hanging up to dry was a few pops over my hands. No thwacking against a shower wall or other stress relief.

The soak plumped up the yarn considerably. Before the bath, the yarn averaged 9 WPI, basically a worsted weight. The bath turned into an aran weight with an average of 8 WPI. It’s still a much denser yarn than I usually spin. The past few months have seen me trying to spin thinner and thinner yarns which usually meant double-drafted woolen creations. For whatever reason this bump of fiber wanted to be heavy and smooth. I’m not one to argue with wool so I went with it. Spun it inchworm style and went against every screaming urge I had to draft it finer. Sometimes I let to much twist into the fiber and snapped the single. Sometimes I had a good flow going. Drafting inch-worm is definitely something I still need to practice. The resulting yarn is a bit thick and thin but plying fixed many of its ills.

The yarn was content to sit on the shelf for the past few months but no longer. I might gotten a little distracted from writing the first draft of this post looking at cowl* patterns. After an exhaustive search through Ravelry and Pinterest, Present by Mademoiselle C wins by a landslide. The cowl looks like fun travel knitting and a great showcase for handspun. Not going to wait to get started.  

The Specs

Fiber: Malabrigo Nube - 4 oz Merino

Color: Arco Iris

Yardage: 202 + 29 yds

Dates: June 22- July 2014

 *I’m a little late joining the cowl party.