Spring Things

Days and weeks are flying by as we get the Captain and crew ready for the 2011 Hawaii Crossing.

In a way, that is GOOD… because it feels like Spring is refusing to sprung around here. Just today I finally found apple blossoms on the crooked little tree in our yard.

At long last *some* of the azaleas and rhododendrons have begun to bloom, but they are weeks behind the usual schedule.

A few posts ago, I wrote about spinning the Azure Sky corriedale roving from Crown Mountain Farms. It felt like the spinning was taking forever, so much longer than I remembered from the previous batch of the same stuff. Well, it turns out it was taking longer because I was spinning more than three times as fine! Wow! I spun over TWO AND A THIRD MILES to get this yarn, and it was totally worth it because it turned out exactly as I imagined.

But dudes – To get ~950 yards of light fingering weight yarn, I spun over 4000 yards of singles (and the final 3-ply) from 8 oz. of fiber… imagine stretching three cotton balls into 154 ft. of yarn!

Here are a few pictures from the plying and finishing process:

Singles on the Kate, tension band is set

Another picture of the Kate: full bobbins ready to ply

Gathering the singles, ready to wind on for final plying

This was a good sign… the 3-ply looked exactly as I’d planned

Started with three 76gram lumps of wool. Ended with three bobbins of singles. You can see how much was left on each when I was done plying – I *love* this picture because it shows how evenly I spun those super-thin singles across the entire 8 oz of fiber!

Here, the plied yarn’s been wound off the bobbins onto a niddy-noddy to make two skeins. Then the yarn is tied in 4 places to keep it from exploding into a rat’s nest, and gently pulled off the niddy-noddy. Small skein is about 320 yds, large about 690 yds, before soaking. The yarn will shorten a bit as the fibers contract during this process, called ‘blooming’.  Benny was fascinated by this, and sat right by the tub the whole time the yarn was soaking.

My finished yarn!

At first I’d planned to make socks with the handspun, but it so pretty and I love it so much (and there’s 3x too much yarn) that I decided it needed to be made into something on the outside of my clothes, not the inside. So, I am planning to turn my lovely yarn into an Obstacles shawl.

Just a few more weeks as we prepare for the sailing trip and get the crew on their way. After a bit of vegetating I expect to be back and posting more regularly.



3 thoughts on “Spring Things

  1. MOM says:

    Niddy Noddies, kates, and all that funny language. When did you learn those terms? Thought about you today as I went to Molbak’s to buy a red Astilbe as a thank you gift for a friend. M

  2. Michelle says:

    Oooo, I LOVE the Obstacles scarf!!! It’ll be so pretty!

    • Shawn says:

      Thanks Michelle! I hope so – it will be so cool to have something that I’ve made nearly from ‘scratch’. Maybe some day I may even start from a raw fleece, who knows!!!

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