Spinning is my new obsession since the summer.
Read a half dozen books and watched a few Craftsy spinning classes. Makes sense.
So far, I’ve spun four projects. Love the yarn. Was blissfully believing “It’s all good. I got this.” Spinning seemed natural and easy, until the fifth project.
The fifth project was a real struggle getting the smoothness and thickness right. I decided it was time to pay attention to every step of the process. I will follow ALL the steps from the classes and books. No skipping. I will test run the different processes, keep notes on thickness (wraps per inch), twist angle, general characteristics and knit a swatch. No big deal. Just follow the book and class examples.
The other motivator, the Wool n’ Spinning group is working on their default spin. Since I haven’t developed a default spin yet, I thought this is a good time to create one.
My ideal default spin is a 3 ply fingering weight yarn spun worsted for socks. Shouldn’t be hard, right?
It took five tries to get a yarn that MIGHT have worked. I learned a lot from the experience.
Lesson learned: don’t skip testing & swatching. I ignored that step in the first projects. Now, I’m afraid all of them are junk (not worth knitting).
Here’s the process I went through in project 5. The fiber is unknown wool, mixed coarse with fine, sticky and matted with neps and vegetable matter. It’s 15-20 years old stored in a ziplock bag with a handwritten card, 5 oz. $6.50. Each test is approximately one quarter to a half a bobbin. I didn’t weight them. I probably will for the next project.
Test 1: too thick single worsted spun and too twisted ply creates a hard heavy rope. (No picture)
Test 2: too lumpy single & ok 3 ply but it’s almost Aran weight yarn. Need to get thinner single.
Test 3-4: thinner but not thin enough single, 2 plied is good but still too large. 3 ply is ok until I knitted a swatch. LOOK AT THE SWATCH! The swatch shows I overtwisted the ply. If I had spun & plied the whole bag of fiber, it would have gone into the trash bin. Now, I’m worried about all the previous handspun. Can’t bring myself to swatch them quite yet.
Test 5: worsted spun, much better, but still too fluffyThe last lesson learned: Not all fiber is worth spinning. This one is destine for the center of dryer balls.
In order to get as nice a yarn as I could in test 5, I had to pull off every tedious and frustrating nep.