Posted in planning, spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 14, 2010

I took day 10 off. It was a Monday, I had two fillings at the dentist, I had a bunch of stuff to get together at work for a class I’ve been running this week, and I went to bed at about 9:15. That seemed like enough.

Day 11:

1) Very nearly done with the spindle project; I’ll probably start plying today.

2) Finished off all of the Bonfire-colorway for the shop samples. I should have all of the fibers completely spun up before I need to go up to the shop on Saturday for the spindle-spinning class I’m teaching.

Since I’m nearly done with my spindling project, it’s time to dig through the stash for another one. I often have a few going at once. I just happen to be in a project-finishing mood lately, and am surprised to find myself without something that’s jumping up and down demanding to be spun!

How do I decide what I spin on a spindle and what goes on the wheel? Generally, the factors below will send something over to the spindle side:

1) I want to spin the yarn finely or with a lot of twist.
2) I only have a small amount (4 ounces or less).
3) It’s a luxury that I will enjoy handling as much as possible.
4) It’s an easily-portable fiber package (ie, not a batt).
5) It’s something for which precise fiber arrangement is less critical (ie, not a handpainted fiber where I’m trying to get all the plies to line up perfectly)
6) I will not need to constantly refer to a sample for comparison to spin it the way I want to. This can either be because the yarn is so automatic to me that I don’t need to check it regularly, or because I don’t mind a bit of variation in twist or thickness.
7) I don’t mind it being a work-on-it-as-I-go project, there’s no deadline and I can just enjoy the process (see #3).

The silk I’m working on now qualified on every point except #5–I’m trying to get both plies to line up perfectly, so I have this little organized baggie of fiber I’ve been working from. The enormous orange spindleful was iffy on points 1 and 3 but passed on every other point. You get the idea.

So it’s time to take a stash dive and see what pops out. I do have a one ounce bit of yak-merino blend that might fit the bill if it’s not too difficult to spin. I also have some delightfully life-affirming, rainbow colored merino superwash that may work. I’ve been holding off on the superwash until it tells me precisely what it wants to be so that I can spin it just right. Something for the baby, surely, but what will get the most use? A hat and mittens? Some leggings? A sweater? All I know is that I want to see it as frequently, and for as long, as I possibly can. Doodle needs some rainbows in zir life.


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