Spinning Fail

I had envisioned Little A running through our friend’s lilac farm, a bright yellow Easter egg basket in hand as she and her friends excitedly searched for Easter eggs.  She would have an extra big smile, proud that she was wearing a beautiful feather and fan lace sweater that her mother had spun and knitted for her.  She and I would both get lots of compliments–me, for my wonderful handiwork and her, for being so darn cute in it. The sweater would inspire others to learn to spin, and one by one, I would convert my friends, enfolding them into the warmth of the ever-widening unbroken spinning circle.

Instead, what I have is this: cotton candy trapped in a scouring pad. Beautiful colors, ugly everything else. It is what Little A would call “bugly.”

IMG_3186

As is already obvious from my small swatch, this would be a prime example of the yarn not complimenting the pattern, among other things. It doesn’t help that I over-plied the Romney. I know that long wools need to be a little under-spun, but somehow, despite my best efforts, I still over did it. Right now I’m too lazy to run it through the spinning wheel in the opposite direction so I am on the lookout for projects that use bugly, stiff and scratchy barber pole yarn to great effect.

Suggestions?

Pansy Spinup

I bought this Spunky Eclectic “Pansy” from a recent destash, and I had to spin it up as soon as I got it. It’s Romney, which I’ve never spun, but I was always curious about this breed after seeing so many Romney sheep at the Oregon State Fair last year.

IMG_2801

Seasoned spinners often recommend starting with a long wool like Romney because its long staple fibers make for easy drafting. And they were right. This spun right up, and it is probably one of the most consistently even yarn I’ve spun. I also like how there are undyed sections in this combed top. With the long staple fibers, I found that as I spun, the white would slowly be drawn into the color, producing different and unexpected tints. Conversely, when I think I’m just spinning an undyed section, a tiny sliver of color would be drafted in, adding a hint of color that deepens as I continue to spin. I know that as I get better, I will be able to better control how these colors combine, but I hope that I never get so good that I am no longer surprised.

IMG_2798

Romney is easy to spin, but it’s not the softest next to the skin.  Also, there’s something about this yarn that has a twine-y feel to it. Perhaps, I’ve put too much spin in them. I wish there was more information about how to best spin fiber like this. I love The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook  by Carol Ekarius and Deborah Robson. It’s my go-to-book for learning about the different breeds of sheep as well as other fiber from other animals. It’s really comprehensive and provides a detailed account of different breeds, their fiber characteristics and includes photos of how they spin and knit up. But, I wish there was more specific information out there about how to spin the different breeds.

I’m in the process of plying now, and I’m hoping that once I have finished the yarn, some of the twist will relax and there will be a little more spring to it.

Still, I love these colors and I’m hoping that these delightful Easter Egg colors would lend themselves to a little Liesl for Little A.