Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mermaid's Hair Yarn

May I present my latest spinnings (we are glossing over the fact that my second-to-latest spinnings have still not materialised on this blog).

(we are also glossing over the streaks on the glass shower wall)

When I first dyed this top, I thought the resulting fibre looked like a mermaid's hair - hence the name. Originally it was a dark grey, and the resulting dyed fibre is nicely varigated. It's not candy pale blue either but a muddy turquoise. There are parts where the blue has really taken, and parts where it really hasn't. None of these photos quite capture the real colour - it's duller in real life (sadly).

This was my attempt at spinning as fine as I could, and I'm pleased to report that it is also rather consistent. I did struggle a lot with overtwist, due to my new whorl, drive band and bobbins. I usually have the odd bit of kinky-overtwistiness that I just deal with. I don't block yarn straight with weights, since this gives you a false idea of what the yarn is like: as soon as it hits water again it's going to kink up!

But this yarn was really really overtwisted, even when plyed. It was kinky, and it was also very very harsh and wiry. I realised that if I do make the Spiderweb Capelet from it, this could be a problem. The capelet is knit on giant needles (10mm), with lots of dropped stitches - I didn't want the long stitches to start kinking up!

I decided to run it back through the wheel in the original singles direction, to take out a little of the excess twist. I rolled the yarn into a ball, tied the end to the leader, and just let it get sucked onto the bobbin. I didn't let the twist build up, it just all went on in a whoosh.

And I'm glad to say that it worked! The yarn isn't super soft or anything, since this is from Jacob fleece (remind me to take photos of the Jacobs next time we visit our local Nature Centre; they also have Soay and Icelandic; I wonder what they do with the shearings...). However, all those millions of kinks aren't there, and it's not quite like steel wool. As to whether it will become the capelet or not is another matter. I'll probably give it a go, but this yarn may be too scratchy/unfuzzy to work with the pattern.

The coin blinding you in the above picture, by the way, is one of my exciting 50pences. This 50p (from 2000) is celebrating 150 years of public libraries (this photo nicely shows the differences in colours):

Breed: Jacob
Fibre prep.: Commercial Top
Colour/Dye: Natural grey fibre dyed in the mircowave with Kool Aid (3 sachets of Ice Blue Raspberry)
Weight: less than 2oz
Yardage: c. 190 yards
WPI: 20
Method: Wheel spun on Haldane Lewis with smaller whorl & new bobbins
Spun: Clockwise
Plyed: Anticlockwise; 2-ply, using 'Lazy Kate' #2 (sent back clockwise through the wheel to un-ply a little)

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Blogger Batty said...

Beautiful! I think Mermaid's Hair describes the color very well, I like it.

1:23 pm  
Blogger Kat said...

Wow, that's gorgeous yarn! The color is wonderful, and your spinning looks fabulous.

Oh, and I didn't notice any streaks on the shower walls. :-) Looks good to me!

6:07 pm  
Blogger TheKnittingBee said...

Thank you both! I'm currently trying to figure out what this yarn wants to 'be' - it's been frogged about 10 times but luckily is holding up well!

8:16 pm  

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