Saturday, October 08, 2005

We have achieved Yarn

Today, I flicked and spun the last of the natural-colored wool. The next step was to get the yarn off the spindle and into a skein. There is a tool for that, called a niddy-noddy, but I don't have one. Instead, I used one of the oldest tools known to man: my arm.

Here is my entire output, next to a standard 100 gram skein of commercial worsted yarn.

If you look closely, you will notice the thickness of my yarn varies quite a bit. In a couple of spots, the yarn is very thin and very much overtwisted, even doubling back on itself. Those parts, I'm happy to say, were from my first day's spinning. I got better at distributing the twist the more I practiced. Some of the later parts don't seem to be twisted enough, but I think that will all work out when I knit with it.

The skein is now hanging over a door knob with the spindle stuck through the bottom to provide a little weight. This is supposed to set the twist. Next I will wind it into a ball so it is ready for knitting. I bought a nostepinne at Stitches, so I may try to use that for winding.

I also washed a couple of handfuls of black wool.

Notice how there are some lighter bits? Even sheep go gray, it seems. This fiber is quite a different consistency from the first batch, which I believe was Lincoln. (You can see Lincoln sheep here.) I don't remember what variety the black wool is, but it shorter and less curly. It was also cleaner and less smelly. That's a mercy.

Need I mention that Katie loooooves all the wool? She loves it so much that there are two pictures today. She likes to attack her own slicker brush, but she especially loves the brush that has been into the wool.

Aser asked about the onion skin dying that was used on the golden fiber in this picture. Kay made up the dye pot before class, so I didn't see whether the onion skins were yellow or brown. (She said her husband is grateful when the dying class comes around, so they can get rid of all the skins that have been collecting in the refrigerator.) The dye bath was in a stock pot, and she said the onion skins filled maybe a fourth to a third of the pot. She added alum to the mix, but I forget why. Something about making the dye "take", I think. This fiber was in the dye for about an hour.

Katie also loves the plastic bags that hold, or have held, the wool. Today she was diving into them, looking for sweet wooly treasures. I explained to her that plastic bags were not good toys for kitties. She replied:

Devil eyes!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

This must be such a satisfying process for you.