Friday, September 30, 2011

The beauty and the beast!

Let me start by warning you that this is an image-heavy post! When I started spinning, my aim was to spin fine yarns as I like working with them. Thick and chunky yarns give my wrists and fingers aches! And, as with any other craft, spinning too has a learning curve and the first 2 skeins of yarn I made were on the bulkier side. You can see them here and here. But, constant practice and patience really perked up my spinning skills and I've made my first lace-weight skein. happy dance!!

I got about 90 yards of lace-weight yarn from a half ounce batt of fiber. Not bad,eh?! The fiber came as a sample along with my spindle purchase and this is only my third skein of yarn. So, understandably..I am thrilled with it. So, let me share the process with you with a few pictures.. First, I halved the batt into two as I was going to make a 2-ply lace weight yarn. I spun the fiber on my spindle into cob-web weight singles...

I made 2 batches of the singles and wound them into a ball separately.

From these balls, I made a 2-strand plying ball. This needed some serious yarn wrangling from my side. I had these soup bowls that I was given as gifts from a close friend of ours. They've been unused as we rarely have soup at home. But, the bowls came in handy when I had to make the plying ball. I strung the ends of the two balls through the handles of these soup bowls and wound the two strands into a single plying ball. The bowls saved my sanity big time.

and, the two balls became a single 2-stranded plying ball. Here is the plying ball.

Then I plied the strand from the plying ball onto the same spindle I spun the singles with. Spinners usually use a heavier spindle than the one used for spinning the fiber for plying. But, I didn't have spindles free. :D Here is the spindle with the plied yarn.

Then the yarn was wound onto my 1-yard niddy-noddy for skeining. I was thrilled with the outcome. I counted about 90 yards of lace weight yarn.

I tied the skein in 4 places to keep the strands from tangling..I had to set the twist in the, I soaked the yarn in hot water for about an hour and hung it up for drying. Here is the yarn after the twist was set.

Lovely isn't it?! Now, if you are wondering why I titled this post as 'Beauty and the beast!', this is why.. Remember my first ever skein of hand-spun?! I had to compare this skein of lace weight(my third ever skein) with my first skein, I had a pleasant shock..and the shot reminded me of  'The beauty and the beast' , the beauty being my lace weight skein and the beast being the rustic and fugly first hand-spun skein.. See for yourself.. ;-)

That is some difference,huh?! I am very glad that I am able to make yarns that I like to knit with.. considering that I am only a month old into the world of spinning. I haven't decided what I want to make with this yarn.. maybe lacy bookmarks.. what can you make with 90 yards of lace weight yarn?! Do you have any ideas or pattern suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know.. I'll be glad to hear from you.


This post is linked to FO Friday by Tami's Amis and Creative Friday by Natural Suburbia.

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