But this post is for spinning, not knitting. I wasn't able to bring my wonderful wheel with me to Minnesota for my Winter break, but during the last few days I spent in Pittsburgh in December I got back into spinning and was enjoying it immensely.
This summer, perhaps back in May or June, my friend sent me some fiber that she picked up at a Farmer's Market in Connecticut. The fiber came from Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm and was a blend of natural-colored alpaca and lamb's wool. It was wonderfully rustic and a joy to spin up. The fiber was carded, not combed, so I turned my spinning time into a long-draw exercise. The point was to create a lofty, airy yarn and for the most part I think I succeeded.
I really don't think I could be happier with this yarn. It is the exact kind of yarn I love to work with and I am overjoyed that I was able to make it myself. Typically the bobbins on my wheel can hold about 4oz. of fiber. As you can see, however, I had to split this batch in half because the loft factor was so high that there was no way I could cram the whole shebang onto one bobbin. I ended up with about 260 yards of a heavy worsted yarn and my mind is full of possibilities for what I can do with it. (Thanks, Kate!)
Once I got that off the wheel (really, from start to finish, it only took about two days), I threw on a completely different spinning experience in the form of some superwash BFL from Anne at Wooly Wonka Fibers. I didn't get a picture of the fiber before I started spinning, but it was in the "Wood Duck" colorway and, really, it was right up my alley. I know I've made my love for birds quite apparent in the past, but you guys - BFL dyed in colors inspired by a bird, which I can then spin up and knit into something unique and wonderful? I was over-the-top in love and I personally believe that my finished results do not disappoint.
I was actually quite shocked by how it turned out. Not because I thought it would end up as a lumpy pile of crap, but because I was expecting something thicker with less yardage. I'm not sure why I thought that's how it would be because I kept checking my singles by letting them twist up on themselves to see what the finished yarn would look like, but still... I was surprised. What I have now is a 4oz. skein with 780 yards of light fingering-weight yarn. And it's purty, too.
Overall it's pretty consistent, but clearly each of the plies has, well, character. They play well together, though.
And lest you think that I have completely forgotten about the wonderful Cupcake batts that I was working on this summer, I have slowly been spinning my way through those as well. (If by slowly you understand that I mean at a glacial pace. Not even a fast glacier. More like a glacier that goes nowhere for months at a time.) I have spun up three of the six ounces now and have just begun working on the fourth. I have been very tempted to ply the first three together first, but I can't allow myself to do that. Instead I'm going to spin them all up, then ply 1, 3, 5 and 2, 4, 6 together (that makes sense in my head, does it make sense in yours, too?). I think this will help keep things as consistent and mixed up as possible considering the fact that I have been spinning this fiber up over the course of months and months.
It's gonna be really nice, though. I can tell.