June 11, 2009

I've been spinning.......

I think I've caught the spinning bug. Using my Phat Fiber samples, I've spun up some mini skeins. I've spun in front of the TV, I've spun in the car (as a passenger of course), heck, I've spun sitting in front of a campfire (and my yarn is infused with the smell of wood smoke).

I'm seeing some improvement in my end result. I was generally trying to spin really fine yarn in order to get more out of the samples, but I think I should abandon that tactic now and work on spinning thicker yarns well in order to get the hang of it. I think I'm making it harder for myself by trying to make the yarn thin. Anyone have any advice on that one?

Fibre sample from Polyartgirl Designs

I did spin the sample above a bit thicker than the others, and it turned out nicely. This minty skein is 100% bamboo, which has been my favourite fibre to work with so far. For some reason I get much more consistent results with this than I do with other fibre types. Although I haven't really wrapped my head around trying to achieve a yarn that works to a particular gauge, this would be the fibre I'd use to experiment with that. I'm able to produce a yarn of a uniform thickness. And I love bamboo for its delicious sheen.

The skein below is 50% bamboo, 50% merino. Again, it has a great sheen. I think it's a good combination because you also get the springiness of wool.

Fibre sample from Zebisis Designs

Fibre sample from Abstract Fiber

I totally love the fiery colours of the fibre above. It's 70% alpaca and 30% silk. The little blue skein below is 100% merino and so nice and squishy.

Fibre sample from We Love Thor

And here's a little leafy green organic wool skein.......

Fiber sample from Extreme Spinning

Finally, the fibre I gave up on. It's milk. Don't ask me but somehow it started as milk and ended up as fibre....blows my mind. Anyways, I found it impossible to spin. As you can see in the photo (below), the fibres come out in very short bits (short staple length). This made it very difficult to spin without the strand of yarn breaking at the top and the spindle falling to the floor. The fibre is lovely and soft and probably spins wonderfully with a skilled hand. And Serendipity Fiber Arts has some fabulous colourways in milk fibre. I'd love to know if anyone has any tips for spinning milk.

Fibre sample from Serendipity Fiber Arts

I think I'm going to have to try to score another Phat Fiber box to keep my habit going, they'll be going on sale very soon. Go here to find out when!

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  1. Your yarn is so lovely! I can see why you've got the spinning bug. Your results are really fabulous. Each yarn has it's own delicious characteristics--- and those are the most gorgeous handspun photos I've ever seen....! really.
    That milk fiber is something else! I've seen other spinners in my group combine the short staple length fibers with other longer fibers in order to make the everything adhere better.
    Have you searched any handspun stashes on Rav to get ideas for combos?

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  3. Thank you for your encouraging comments Kathy!
    I haven't tried any combos yet so thank you for the tip. I'm going to check Ravelry now...

  4. Wow, I am so impressed. The colours of the yarns are so lovely, too. I think hand spinning must be a fun way to connect with the past. The only time I have seen someone spinning was in rural Greece where the ladies would be spinning while walking along the dirt roads or riding side-saddle on a donkey.
    The milk fibre reminds me of candy floss!

    Shelagh :)

  5. I think I need to get me a donkey! I could ride it to work in order to fit in more spinning time!