today I washed and caked the rest of my peachy yarn and I’m happy finishing this project. I learned a few things while working on this project and I’d like to share this with you:
– Handcards are very useful tools!
So far I’ve only used handcards as I don’t own a drumcarder so I may be misinformed :P. I use my student handcards for all my fleece projects and I’m loving them. I never thought I could also use them to blend colors and fibers but this project taught me that blending fiber on handcards is quite easy and quick. It takes between 2-4 passes to have something between either a rough or a perfectly blended mini-batt/ rolag. I’m sure a drumcarder can handle a lot more fiber in one go but I’m not sure if it’s a much faster method in the end.
– Blending merino and silk is fun!
The drape is amazing! I love merino because of the feel and the softness, but it’s a little dull (as in not shiny, not boring). Also merino grows a lot during the washing process.. so it’s really important to make a swatch! (and to actually *wash* the swatch).
– Russian spindles are awesome!
But mostly: they spin VERY fine yarns… quite effortlessly.. While spinning the first hank on my Rotterdam (looks like an S10) I felt like I was spinning an impossibly thin yarn. I had just learned to lace my yarn on the wheel to reduce the pull so the single wouldn’t snap all the time. I thought I was spinning a fine yarn until I started spinning some on my Russian.
– Learn to let go!
This is the second time I’m going to try to explain this but the first time wasn’t really working out for me. The magical words are ‘let it go’. Before this experiment with the Russian I spun like I had to hold my yarn tightly or else my wheel would yank it out of my hands (and of course it would). But the most important thing I learned is to have a loose grip on my yarn. A supported spindle won’t yank on the yarn, which allows the spinner to have a loose grip on the fluff. I noticed it’s a lot easier spin long draw with a supported spindle and that this will give me much better results in the end.
This picture shows the difference in weight between (mainly) the bottom yarn, which is the first skein I spun on the wheel, and the top one, which is the first skein I spun with the Russian. The two in the middle are more difficult to identify. One of the was spun only on the spindle while the other one was spun on both.
I guess the most important thing I learned while working on this project was to never use multiple tools to spin yarns for one project.
As you can see there’s quite a different between the one on the left and the one in the middle compared to the one on the right. The cake in the middle and right were spun on the spindle.
I’ve decided to use the very thin one for a weaving project, together with the spun gotland (but I’m not quite sure yet).
It’s taken some time but the last skein is about 610m of yarn, bringing the total to 1.725m for 400 grams of fiber. I’m going to finish the body first and use everything that’s left for the sleeves (except for the very thin yarn)
Now that I’m done with this spinning project I might be able to go ahead and finish the BF’s tomten.. my year is almost up.. 😛