Shetland And Spindles

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Since washing takes huge amounts of time of me sitting around waiting, I’ve been doing that between homework. I even thought to take some pictures of things I’ve gotten done! (But the lighting sucks cause I didn’t think to turn on the other light in the front room till I finished the pictures)

Here’s the white, washed:

It’s really much whiter than that, but again poor lighting. I suppose I shall have to take proper pictures later on. I’m really pleased with this sample batch (just a little bit I took and skirted + shook the major vm out of), as it’s all very soft soft locks, roughly the same length. I’ll be combing them later on, to get the rest of the vm out, and may give a final wash and comb.

I also washed some of the gray locks up, and have prepped it into various states:

While I was combing out the longest lengths (about 1 foot long), I realized there was no way I was going to waste any of this. I really really love this fleece, and I’m looking forward to the different yarns I can spin. The top two little fluffy bits with teh nepps and noils are leftovers from combing, and are in rolags.

The centermost is the softest/fluffiest of all, with a roughly 3″ staple. It’s very downy, and feels lovely. I took a closer picture of it, though it doesn’t really show off the downiness:

The swirl to the left of that is stuff that’s about 9″ long, and the right side is the 11-12″ long staple. The longest staple feels very silky to me, and super strong–it’s by far my favourite of all the various stages.

Another picture:

See how silky smooth that is? Really lovely. My only fear is trying to spin it–I imagine I could use some of the advice on spinning flax for this, since it’s so long.

I finished another cop of the stuff I didn’t finish for Ravelympics:

I have no idea how much is on there, but it is perhaps one of the largest I’ve ever wound. I was really starting to worry I wouldn’t be able to get my plying ball on the way on, and I didn’t want to snip with only a yard or so left.

My newest spindle (from Strings and Things ) joined my company today:

It’s a lovely little thing, weighing in at .6 oz (17 grams) with a 3 inch center weight whorl and 12″ shaft. I was bit leery of it when I got it, as the whorl doesn’t go flat, but on spinning, it doesn’t wobble (or at least, it doesn’t wobble till I do what I do with all my spindles, which is swing them back and forth while drafting, and I’ve yet to meet a spindle that won’t wobble when I pull that nonsense) and spins FOREVER. Forever and super fast. It even has the decency to stop when there’s too much twist. The shaft ends in a not too pointy point, which is nice for getting it started with my feet.

Also, lady knows how to paint. This whorl is wonderful. and why I picked it over the other options I was looking at.

Sadly, I’m a silly and didn’t take pictures of the alpaca I spun on it to test it out. I learned a lot about spinning lace in that hour long period, and it can be summed up in a list.

1. If it snaps in the middle, just pull the long strand off the stuff being drafted from. It’s not worth trying to untwist and work with, and lace uses such small amounts it’s not really too bad.

2. Drafting triangle. Know it. Love it.

3. It’s amazingly scary in a good way to see only 12-16 hairs being pulled out at a time.

4. Alpaca is slippery.

5. True proper even lace is time-consuming. I only spun less than 1/2 ounce, which took me an hour. Take your time.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it though, and I’m going to card up a little more alpaca and have another go. Then I realized I have something like a teensy teensy 2 grams of fluff I didn’t spin–and that’ll likely get me another 5 yards. :O Crazy. My sub .5 ounces turned into 14 yards of the finest stuff I’ve ever spun.

Brilliant, like I said.

I’ll stop rambling and head off. Take care all!

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