Stash Documentation

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In February, I signed up for the Spun Right Round Fiber club as soon as it popped up in the Etsy shop. Doesn’t hurt to obsessively stalk a shop’s RSS feed, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one that does this. Joining the club was a consolation prize, albeit an awesome one, for not being able to make the trip to Stitches West. Eventually, the shipping notification arrived in my inbox and I waited none too patiently for March’s shipment to show up in my mailbox. The fiber is soft and the colors are definitely outside of my usual color spectrum. Riotous neon pink doesn’t often make it into my stash but this bump makes it look fun. Can’t wait to start spinning it up. 

When I went to add the fiber, appropriately named Color Bot, to my Ravelry stash, it looked it was the only fiber I’ve bought in months. Definitely not true. I was also pretty sure that I’ve made more than 21 skeins of handspun. Oh, Ravelry, I have not forsaken you! I’ve just been a little distracted by spinning and writing and websites and knitting and video games and…you get the point. Over the past few days I’ve been adding to, photographing for, and updating the stash catalog. The whole process can be slow going but it’s worth it and I recommend it. A happy, up to date Ravelry stash let’s you see all your fiber at the click of a finger. Makes it easier to decide what to spin next. No need to drag it all unless you want to. Plus, it’s a great reference when you’re trying to decide how to further enhance the stash. 

I almost forgot I had some this stuff. Shame on me. 

Malabrigo Nube - Glitter Colorway. This Merino is ridiculously soft and the colors are everything you’d expect from Malabrigo. 

CosyMakes Falkland - Flight of Fancy

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More CosyMakes Falkland in Honey Bear. Before and After.

Gale’s Art Corriedale Top - Limited Edition Color

6 oz of un-dyed Corriedale Cross. Sometimes you just need a few neutrals to balance out all the color. Thinking about about pairing it with the purples, greens, and blues of the Corriedale from Gale’s Art. Maybe I’ll try spinning my first skein of sock yarn. 

From Fiber to Yarn

I’m still fighting the good fight against the first and, hopefully, last cold of the season. So much for going for a run or even standing up for long periods of time. Thankfully, handspun yarn doesn’t need me to stand vigil while it dries or my latest skein would still be wet. Since it’s all new, fresh, and pretty, it gets to do the talking today. Take it from the top...

4 oz of Gale’s Art Polworth 85/Silk 15 (Indian Corn)

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Split into quarters

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Spun into 2 long singles

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Wound into a plying ball

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Plied on a drop spindle

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In the bath

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Almost dry

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Glamour Shots!

All finished, the yarn weighs in at 396 yards and about 11 wraps per inch. It’s also wonderfully soft and bouncy. The colors are amazing and didn’t spin up anything like I thought they would. When I split the fiber lengthwise, the color repeats seemed really short so I expected to see short bursts of color. I was so wrong and could not be happier about it. The yarn has long dark, muted sections and long, bright, perky sections. I can’t wait to see what how it knits up. 

While I was spinning this, the plan was to knit the finished yarn into a hat for a christmas present but 400 yards is a bit of overkill for a hat. Even for a giant, extra long stocking cap. Any suggestions for 400 yds of 2-ply goodness? 

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Getting To Know Each Other

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Now that the commission yarn is finished, I’m taking the time for a little selfish spinning. I raided the stash and pitted the fiber against each other until there was a clear winner. I pulled them apart just short of felting. What came out on top was a lovely polworth/silk blend from Gale’s Art appropriately named Indian Corn. I had the loose idea of spinning a worsted weight 2-ply yarn. The colors get to do their own thing since the real purpose of this yarn is for me and my Jenkins Swan spindle to get to know each other. I’ve only spun a tiny little mini skein so far and it’s time that changed.

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When I started spinning this single, my hands were still in lace weight mode and it took me a while to reset my fingers, so to speak. The spindle kept dropping but at least the singles were getting a decent thickness. As I was working and adding more singles to the arms, the spindle started to spin differently. It would still spin for a long time but at a much slower speed than when the cop (Is the collected yarn on a turkish drop spindle still called a cop or is that just on whorled drop spindles?) was smaller. I’m going to chalk this phenomenon up to the extra weight on the spindle from the singles and physics. Blast you, you increasing moment of inertia!

I really need to figure out how to build a cop upward on a turkish spindle instead of just outward. Any pointers?

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A turkish spindle is comprised of 3 separate parts: the shaft and 2 arms. I knew this and, yet, didn’t expect the arms to get stuck on the shaft because of how many times I dropped it. A high number that. Anyway, when I was unwrapping the spindle for the first time, there was a little slip of paper from Jenkins Woodworking that came to my rescue:

Ed’s Unique Compression Fit Shaft: Vertical slits for releasing pressure if the shaft becomes stuck when dropped. If the shaft seems impossible to remove, place the entire spindle in a plastic bag and place in freezer about 30 minutes. 

So, that’s what I did except I was distracted by the internet and left if in for another 15 minutes. The spindle still popped apart without any difficulty and none the worse for wear. 

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Compression slits, you are both gentlemen and scholars.

I’ve only just started spinning the second half of my fiber but I’ve already learned so much. How building a cop affects rotation and speed. How much fiber I can comfortably pack on. How to rescue my singles if the spindle ever acts stubborn. What might be most important is that the pair of us will be spinning yarn together for a long time. Hmm, I think he needs a name now.