Ooohhh…What do we have here.
It’s an FO! And I got to use the Lazy Kate that came with the Lendrum yesterday.
That was fun. I really thought that the Schacht Lady Kate had all the rest beat. But this one really is right up there with it.
According to Judith MacKenzie, EVERYTHING in spinning counts as far as how the yarn spins up. Even the plying. There’s even a side to ply on for best results depending on whether you knit with your left hand or your right. But for Lazy Kate’s-setting up your Kate so that all the bobbins are as equidistant as possible is probably the best way to get a good run-of-the-mill ply session. And believe me, that’s what you want. I’m actually shuddering as I type this…if you’ve ever had the exquisite headache of your singles grabbing onto each other and all out of whack in length as you’re trying to ply (ahem), then finding a way to keep them organized and structured in how you set up for plying is really important. This tensioned Kate is really nice in that all the singles go through that little loop in the front and then onto the wheel.
Yes, everything in spinning means something in the final yarn. I suppose that’s how judges judge in spinning competitions. They know what to look for in a final handspun yarn. It’s all pretty interesting. When you set up for a ply, the Kate should ideally be behind you a little ways on the side you plan to ply from. It’s nice for keeping the singles under tension during the time they’re being plied. I notice the closer the Kate is to me, the slacker the singles will go. That leaves more opportunity for snarls and tangles. But I don’t have that much time here, lol. Nor do I have nearly enough room for all that. So, I do what I can. Here, I just have the Kate off to my left and I can still ply. And as long as I keep the singles organized and tensioned with my hands, I get not one tangle or snag the whole way through.
Even though there’s only so much space in my brain for all these spinning factoids, I figure, I can work toward learning some more and see how that goes toward making a good handspun yarn…
Not sure if I mentioned yet that I was using a control sample for this spin…
Yes, I went there.
Excuse the coat. I was attempting to ply all this while in between leaving work and having to go pick up Boy Child from school. But you can see where I am comparing a pre-spun length of handspun with what I’m plying. The pre-spun length was plied onto itself to see what a balanced 2-ply would look like. Then it was snapped off and taped to a card for my control sample. Using the same whorl size and the same tempo of treadles to drafting as what was used to spin that sample, I spun the yarn. For me, that was the largest whorl and a loose four treadles to each draft back (drafting back about an inch and a half or so) and drafting three to four times before feeding the flyer. I’m sure I could have spun this faster on a smaller whorl with fewer treadles. But my legs treadle too fast most times. I suppose that would be a default treadle rate. I actually have to think to slow them down. That’s too much concentration on dealing with my body when I really would rather concentrate on my drafting. So, instead of adjusting myself, I adjust the wheel and make sure the whorl size won’t give me a singles that snaps all the time. As I spin, I’m supposed to check my singles with a ply back test every so often to see that it looks like that sample. Then, too, when I ply, I need to be sure it’s coming out similarly to that sample. That actually sounds like more than what it is. I have to say, I didn’t check it much while I was spinning the singles or during the plying. Maybe a handful of times. Hey, I can only get but so exact. Usually, when I came back to spin on it for the singles, just to be sure I was staying pretty close. I had to look at it when I started up for plying too. Then, when I got the right tempo of treadles to feeding the flyer, I really didn’t have to look much after that either. Generally, if you’re wheel is set up the same and the fiber you used is the same and you’re keeping the same treadling pace and drafting back pretty much the same amount and drafting pretty close to the same amount of fiber each time before feeding the flyer, you’re going to get pretty much the same yarn-and it’ll probably be pretty consistent yarn at that. When you come back from a break, if you didn’t write it down (hello, Stacey), you might have to figure out your rhythm all over again. But really, once you get that rhythm going, it’s smooth sailing.
I’d like to say that I got to ply all that without breaking that rhythm before having to go pick Boy Child up…but nope. There was more on those bobbins than I thought. Picked him up, went back to finish plying, then, when I was done, I had to run out to the next event.
Fiberguild met last night and I was so glad I went. I felt like I hadn’t been there in ages!
Everybody was being so productive! I bounced around, talking and catching up…
Here’s Natalie knitting.
And here’s Laurel, spinning in her Mardis Gras Socks for the Nerd Wars Challenge on Ravelry.
Lucy’s always busy on something there.
You remember Christine Lewandowski? She’s learning to spin on a drop spindle.
And Gerry, who taught me how to card again, is knitting with her bunny’s fur.
Look at the halo on that!
When I finally sat down to work on my own knitting project, I got ONE row knit on that hat. Sigh. It was time for the next part of the meeting though.
We revised the workshops we wanted to see when Abby Franquemont comes to town for our spinnaganza.
That’s not really what it’s called. Just what it feels like, lol!
Carol and Linda are heading up that event. They always plan good stuff for us!
Then, like usual, we had show and tell. I passed around the spinning book I showed you all last time. And, I showed a few folks this notebook too.
Yeah, I got it! It was too cute not to get it.
Love the colors of this set!
With a glance, you can see the pocket has space for the pen and some additional stuffs.
And look at all the information you keep track of with this one.
Preparation, dye notes, what device was used to spin it, final weight, etc. That is A LOT of information gathering for me. It’s downright intrusive! And ordinarily, the less headache, the better in my book. But, I figured it would give me something to grow into anyway.
Of course, I wanted to break this notebook in, you know. So, back to that yarn…
I had to wait until after the meeting to skein it and see what I had to record. So, no photos of the FAT bobbin I ended up with!! (WOW!!) But technically, I wound up with…wait, let me get the book…572 yards of 2-ply. See, it’s already working!
Going back to my sample, after I finished plying it, I checked to see if it matched.
Here it is a little closer.
What do you think? I thought it came out really close to the sample. It occurred to me that if I had spun this sample long enough, I could have figured out wraps per inch, which may have given me a more accurate way than just eyeballing to see if this was working while I spun. Honestly, this is all for my amusement and personal growth, so it’s not crucial right now to be that accurate. It’s just nice to throw some ideas around and see what sticks. But, maybe I’ll try that next spin.
The skein hung in a loop, no twists one way or the other. Now that, I thought was odd. The bobbins have rested a few times since I started this spin. I figured there would be some sort of twist in the bottom of that skein. But, there was none…which kind of scared me to see what it would look like after the bath. When you put fresh handspun in water, it awakens any dormant twist. So, if it’s over-twisted, it will definitely show up. In light of that, I figured I’d take some photos while it was still pretty. Just in case.
Here’s some photos of it pre-wash.
And here it is after it’s bath.
Still loose as a goose! Right now, it looks like some of that scientific stuff really does work…Imagine that. We’ll see what happens when it dries.
And there you have it folks. My first installment in my spinning book!
So, what do I think of all this super-scientific, stagnating, record-keeping mumbo-jumbo?
Meh. It didn’t kill me. :)