Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Stripey Superwash

I didn't post last week as I was preoccupied with a BWMB course I attended to learn how to shear sheep. For the last two years I've had problems finding a shearer who was prepared to come out to shear my tiny flock. So last year, after spending a whole day shearing four ewes with blade shears by myself, I resolved to learn how to do it properly with electric clippers. Since this is a crafty blog, I won't describe much about the course here - other than to say it was flippin' hard work! But I learned a huge amount about how to handle sheep, and I'm absolutely determined to get some more practice and take the certification test (passing involves shearing three sheep in the 'approved' way in 30 mins, I'm sure I can do that after some practice!).

Anyway, this weekend, exhausted, I thought a bit of gentle spinning would be in order. So, from some of this:

I made this:

Although I say it myself, it's beautiful yarn - I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The roving was a painted superwash merino from Violet Green Yarns, which I bought to make sock yarn - and to try out a superwash fibre, which I've never spun before. I wanted to preserve the colours from the roving as distinctly as possible, so I decided to spin a fine singles and navajo ply it. I haven't done any navajo plying in ages, and I ended up in a right old mess to start with - and the cat who 'helped' me made the tangles even worse! But once I got into a rhythm, the plying went pretty well. I had to run the plied yarn through the wheel (or should that be over the wheel?) a second time, as it didn't have quite enough twist the first time. I was plying on the largest whorl on my Majacraft Rose wheel, so that it went nice and slowly to give my fingers enough time to do the navajo chaining bit, but that also meant it was putting in very little twist with each treadle. The second lot of plying hid the joins in the chains better, although they're still a bit more open than I'd like. Not quite sure how to fix that. But overall, I'm delighted with how it turned out, I think it almost looks like a painted yarn, which is the look I was aiming for. So, that's 30 grams done, now I just have the remaining 100g of roving to finish!


Melissa North said...

I love everything about that yarn and I think it looks very professional. It's going to make amazing socks!

jen said...

OK, I wasn't totally taken away by the thought of learning to spin until I saw that, but there'll be no stopping me now! I'm off to persuade my aunt and uncle to let me learn with them!!
Thanks so much!

goldfishgirl said...

Excellent - so my plan to take over the world with newly recruited spinners is starting to work :) Good to hear you've been inspired!