Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adventures in Spinning - Part III

When last we left our heroine (me!), she had just spun her beginner's skein.

OK - I don't like writing about myself in the third person . . . :-D

After I arrived home from The Fold, I started spinning. If you are an accomplished, experienced spinner, I invite you think back to your first lesson - to the excitement you felt knowing that you were learning a skill that has existed for centuries.

It's SO EXCITING to have that fiber in your hands and watch as it, literally, becomes functional (albeit a little lumpy) yarn through your fingers. I am fascinated by this - and by the fact that I am doing it!

Here is a photo of my second effort taken in natural light (on an overcast day) out on my deck. This is the New Zealand wool that came with my wheel - It was also the fiber from which my beginner skein was spun. I had no idea I would get this much yardage out of that bag of fiber - I didn't get anywhere near this much in the skeins of Lincoln that I made.

To my surprise, once I pulled this off the niddy noddy and counted the wraps, I have 800 yards here. ====:-O (that's me, with my hair standing on end).

I keep thinking about the differences between 2-ply and 3-ply, always with an eye toward my Iona wool and an Aran sweater. I was interested to discover that the Black Water Abbey yarns are 2-ply. So, this time, I decided to spin all the fiber and go with 2-ply. It was much different than spinning the Lincoln (my first effort) and, as mentioned I I got a lot more usable yardage. I clearly still have some lumpy areas, but, by and large, I was able to get these singles more consistently even. I think my skills are improving, and I'm thinking that if I slow down a little more, my fingers will have more time to draft the slubs and pick out the bits of vegetable matter more efficiently. This yarn is not quite worsted weight (well, it is in spots ;-) ), but more like tubby DK.

I believe that skills can be learned, but art comes from the soul. Many can learn to play the piano and be technically proficient, but you know the difference when you hear an artist play. I believe we each have our own art and it's up to us to find out what that means for ourselves - for some it's painting or drawing, for others, it's the written word, and others, music. For some it's knitting, crocheting, spinning - and for yet others, it's raising a family, making a home, cooking - It can be one thing or many. It's a beautiful circle - Our art is what we create from our souls out of love. Making our art feeds our souls, which in turn - well, you get the picture :-)


petunia509 said...

Your yarn is lovely, nicely even. I, too, am just learning. So far, the enjoyment is higher than the quality I've produced!!

Linda said...

Very nice yarn, A! As a knitter, I probably should know what is meant by "2-ply" yarn, but I'm not sure exactly how you can judge the thickness or weight of yarn by its ply count. Doesn't the size of the original ply make a difference? Is there some standard ply thickness you aim for as a spinner so all "2-ply" yarns are essentially the same thickness (wraps per inch)? I'm so used to the old Yarn Council standards of Worsted, Bulk, Fingering, etc. and I'm not sure how to equate that to number of plys (plies? how do you spell that word??).

A :-) said...

Linda - good question. From what I can tell, it's not so much a difference in how big the yarn is, i.e., you could have a 3-ply yarn that is quite weenie (sock / fingering weight). And yes, when you spin your singles (a ply), they would have to be thinner to make a fingering weight with 3 plies then a worsted weight with three plies. It was explained to me thus - and I can show you better than tell you - look at the 2-ply yarn and you will see a sort of open place, which is where the third ply would naturally fit. 2-ply is more "open" and is better for lace knitting. 3-py is rounder and more full and better for knitting such as Arans with defined stitches.