Comfort Zones

A quick update…A little project I worked on yesterday and tonight. A mini-skein using some fiber by the ounces from Sosae Caetano’s shop.

This is Bluefaced Leicester and it’s a new fiber for me. With this one, I took a cue from the saying, “Different strokes for different folks.” I recall reading in Abby Franquemont’s book Respect the Spindle, that if you want something different, try a new fiber or maybe a new weight of spindle. In other words, mix something up a bit. Fortunately, I was in the mood for something a little different from my usual! At the same time, I was actually afraid to spin it because I’ve only ever spun merino and corriedale-even on my spindles. I wasn’t sure what would happen with this fiber. So far, my usual spin seems to be a variation of mostly worsted drafts with short bursts of woolen drafts. For this one, I tried to get mostly woolen drafts with short joins of worsted draft, I think.

And look at that! I got some really puffy spots. Way more puffy than what I normally get in my spinning. I still think I spun this a little denser than what a perfect woolen would be. But for beginner woolen, I am SO satisfied!

This little skein is soaking now, so I’ll see if it gets any more bulky after it comes out. Very different from what I normally do and it’s good to know that I can do that just by changing a fiber.

Comfort zones are really just that…comfortable. But every once in a while, when you break out of one, it’s really exciting! 🙂


  1. You know, spinning woolen is something I just haven’t had the patience to learn well. I’ve had to do it with fibers that have a really short staple length, but I almost always default to semi-worsted spinning. These beautiful pictures are good inspiration to try something new!

  2. This handspun is beautiful, Stacey! I love the organic look of it, and in fact, I’ve been making an effort to spin more organic-looking yarns. I’ve spun sport-worsted 2plies for so long, with pretty good consistency in width throughout. But I’ve gotten a little bored with it. There’s a new generation of mill-spun yarns that are striving for more texture, more thick and thin spots, and a more fuzzy-carded-crinkly look. I love that! And here we hand-spinners are always trying to get our work to look like millspun yarns. (Is that irony?) I have some BFL on the wheel right now, that I tried desperately to make thick/thick/interesting/organic, but I think I reverted back to my hand-memory spin-style. I wanted it to look like this skein you just spun up. I’m really craving textural interest in yarns now. (Before I just wanted consistency of width.) Anyway, I’m just so delighted by what you created! (What’s your most honest take on BFL now? I adore the strength, softness and sheen of the fiber, and since I started thwacking it, I’m getting lots of poofiness from it too! Yay!)

    • Thank you, Sosae! I love this too! The strength of this fiber is phenomenal, yet it’s still soft! How is that? Don’t laugh, but I brought it along with me to work today just to touch it and look at it and squeeze it! I don’t even have a plan to knit anything with it yet. I just wanted to have it with me, lol! Okay. I guess you can laugh. :p

      I have to admit it…Besides the fact that I do normally knit with yarns that are consistent, for spinning I’ve been going with, “Learn how to do it the ‘right’ way first, then you will know how to break all the rules whenever you want.” LOL! This is not necessarily a fact, really. It’s more like a subscription to an idea. One could also just learn a lot by experimenting one’s way through. I do that sometimes too. I guess that’s what this spin was, actually. But, I think somewhere along the line, I started enjoying this spinning process so much, I figured I wanted to be good enough to know how to spin whatever I want to spin. Since I initially wanted the whole thing to be bulky, I think it’s obvious that I’m not yet at the point where I’ve learned all a good spinner should know about drafting and treadling, etc., etc. and etc. That will probably take years. And, honestly, I don’t even know if I have enough space in my brain to remember all of that kind of information in the end. I think I will always be playing it by feel more than anything. But, I do think this was a good step. The diameter is HUGE compared to what has become my usual yarn now! And the strands are so plump! I just wanted to add some variety to the whole learning experience and see the possibilities…play with another whorl size and change the tension. And it’s SO different! Looks like another person spun it. I love that!

      That is ironic. And it’s so funny because I feel like I haven’t been to the LYS in ages now! I have to go back for a visit. But I keep thinking, if I learn how to spin any yarn I want, I will always have that yarn at my fingertips! Not to mention that I get double the fun for it! 🙂

  3. These are beautiful jewel tones. Stepping out of the comfort zone can be quite fun. 🙂

    BTW, I saw this today and immediately thought of you:

    Happy Friday!!!

    • Thanks Libby! I think the colors work well together too. I loved that scarf!! It was SO pretty. I think I’ll have to keep track of that pattern too. My mil would love one of those!

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