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This weekend I dyed a batch of Leicester Longwool that I'd had a while... the fiber looks marvelous!

 

 

This afternoon I tried spinning this long stuff!  And I mean it is long... the shortest lengths are at least 6" long... and some are evenlonger.  It wants to be spun finely... it will not go thick at all.  It was so hard to spin that I tried making a rolag and that was a little bit better, but still difficult... So I just finished carding the whole pile... well it's only 10 oz. and fits into a gallon zip lock baggie...Here is the first part of the spinning I did today... this will be a very slow process.

 

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Love the colors!  and your spinning looks really good too!  Wish I could do fingering weight - can't seem to get anything but worsted when 2-plied.

How pretty those colors are!  

I wish I could get a full skein in a day, but boy would my back and arms be completely useless for a week afterward!  lol

Thank you so much everyone!!

I just got done spinning 4 oz. of something I bought at a spin in in February on my drop spindle. Took me about 2 months.  I think she said it was Corriedale, and was already dyed. It is really fuzzy and spun pretty good, although sometimes I couldn't get the fibers drafted easily and I have little nubs here and there. I think it was carded instead of combed?  Anyway, here it is. The colors of the roving were turqouise pinks and very very little yellow. When I spun I got lavendar, turquoise, mint green and pinks.  I love it. Think I have a shawl pattern that will work. It came out as a fingering weight in single ply and I think I'll not ply it this time. 

It's beautiful!

I love it. I find that if you are using dyed fiber it is best to fluff it before you spin it. I take mine and pull it sideways so it spreads the fibers apart. This really helps it draft easier.

So pretty!  I love how the colors blend into each other!  

I was recently working with a batt which had a lot of clumps of random colors (possibly from a previously carded batt) and they caused many nubs and didn't draft like the rest of it.  I don't know if it was the same type of sheep or if it was just mashed into the drum carder and picked up with my batt.  Kind of a pain, but I think in the end it added some character.

What shawl pattern are you looking at for this?

I found a pretty capelet pattern in the March 2012 issue of Creative Knitting.  It has a lace pattern that is not super open lace and buttons at the neck. I think I'll try to add an extra panel so I can attach the ends and it will be more like a poncho. I haven't gotten that far yet and may make it with the buttons. It uses a chart and I'm not good with charts. In fact I hate charts; however I've been making socks with very simple charts and succeeded. This one is a bit more complex and if I get flustered on the chart, I'll just write the instructions out for myself. I'm anxious to see how the colors will work out in the capelet and wondering if the yarn will look alright in a lace pattern. Maybe I should go with a nonlace shawl. Oh the questions!

 

Very pretty, and nicely done! 

I finally had my "aaah-haaa" moment with n-plying.  I tell you all I have been STRUGGLING trying to figure out the dynamics and how to position my hands.  Everything I've tried n-plying looks horrible.  But I think I many have finally figured it out.  I still need a lot of practice but this is the first time I've actually been able to pull off n-ply without it looking like a hot mess.  It's a little wobbly and wonky in places but I finally did it!  I hate this colorway so much but it's perfect for practice (my son said it's the colors of monster barf and I have to agree).  I still have about 2 ounces of it left for more practice.

Do you all have any pointers??  I need all the help I can get.  I must conquer this or it will drive me insane.  I'm trying to make an evenly plied yarn.  I keep getting it bunched up where I do the chain.

Navajo (or chain) plying is my favorite.  I don't do it "right" according to the videos, but I'll try to describe it. 

I'm right handed, so I put my full bobbin of singles over my right shoulder so I'm drawing it off in about a straight line to the orifice.  There is a little half wall behind the chair where I spin that works great to set the lazy kate on while I work.

I start by making a hard loop in my singles just past the leader, kind of like a little lasso - I tie a knot, and cut it off when I'm done. 

Then I use my left hand to draw another loop through the first one and keeping my right hand fingers open so that the new loop doesn't drag on (and wear out) the loop in my right hand.  I draw back with my left hand to a certain spot on the wall next to my chair.  So I have a long, skinny loop over my left hand and a very small one, along with the strand from the bobbin next to the orifice in my right. I try to keep the strand from the bobbin running over my thumb so it doesn't rub the small loop.

Then I let go of the small loop, and bring my right hand back, holding the single strand to a few inches in front of my shoulder and move the long loop in my left hand over to meet it.  Then I get hold of the loop and the strand in my right hand, holding the strand between my first two fingers and the end of the loop around the same fingers.

Treadle the number of times I need to match my sampled singles.  Then wind it all on until my right hand is near the orifice with a loop over the fingers and the strand between*.  Then I take the strand through the loop, making another loop over my left hand fingers and do it again.  I stop treadling when I'm arranging the loops, I only move the flyer when I'm adding twist and winding on.  *With my Louet, I hold the flyer in place with a finger so that it winds on without adding more twist.

I discovered that I get fewer tangles when the singles run straight and less abrasion on the singles if I keep them separated from each other with my fingers in the loop until I'm ready to treadle and wind it all on.  This way I also get a way to know I'm getting the same amount of plying twist since I'm essentially measuring my yarn against my body and the spot on the wall.

I hope that helps a little... my way is very weird, but it works for me.

Oh you are awesome Karen!  Thank you so much for explaining that so well for me!  I'm going to try this again.  I know I can do it.

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