Monday, March 16, 2009

The Idles of March

Not bloody likely! I finished a custom spinning order this week and thought to take pictures of the process.
First the wool (superfine merino) was soaked to remove the suint, then washed in hot water with detergent to remove the lanolin and filth, then rinsed. After two days of soaking, there were still dry areas of the fleece, which shows how well the suint and lanolin protect the wool from damage and weather. A pain to scour, though.
Next it went out to dry and was also picked over to remove the worst of the dirt and bits of twigs. I combed this fiber to make a worsted yarn, to get out the rest of the bits of dirt, and to use the best parts of the fiber for the finished yarn. Here you can see the way the fiber is loaded on the stationary comb and the sweeping motion the moving comb makes to transfer the fibers from one to the other. This is what opens up and aligns the fibers. I use Valkyrie two pitch combs purchased from Carolina Homespun. When the fiber is all soft and fluffy, it is drawn through a diz to make a sliver. This makes the fiber into one piece of top of a manageable size. This diz was made by my spinning teacher's spinning teacher, Lila Sturges in Vista, CA.The sliver, ready to spin. It is mostly air at this point - soft, fluffy and squooshy.Using a hand spindle to spin the fibers into a singles. You can see how airy the sliver is. Later I took 2 singles and plied them together. This spindle is a Bosworth featherweight in Tulipwood from Journey Wheel. This spindle is available as part of the destashing project. More info below.The finished cop of singles on the spindle. I forgot to take plying pictures as it required two hands, my lap and the ball winder to manage it.

The finished 2 ply yarn! From about 25 gr of raw fiber I was able to make a 17 gr skein of about 48 yards. It is amazingly soft and fluffy, and bright white. I hope the client is as pleased as I am.


The destashing project is still on. I have made a flickr folder of the available items. Please email me at sleepingfox16 at yahoo dot com for more information on individual items. The featherweight spindle above is $35.

1 comment:

Acorn to Oak said...

Wow! I'm so impressed! It looks like that took sooo long to do but it looks and sounds like dreamy soft yarn.

How cool that you have something created by Lila. She's such a great lady. I miss her. I haven't seen her in a couple of years.