Since I pledged, in the middle of January, to spin for at least 15 minutes a day, I’ve pretty much managed it. My first steps were to reminded myself how to do it – having given up the wheel I was borrowing in October when my classes ended.
As you may recall, once I’d remembered what to do, I decided the best way to encourage myself would be to plan to knit something with the yarn I produced. I pulled out this carded fleece and decided to spin some yarn for a pair of Christmas socks.
But I quickly decided I didn’t want to spin the colours together, since even I know red+green = brown.
As I started spinning the white, I also decided I didn’t want to ply different colours together to give a barber pole effect. That only left colour work to mix up the colours. So off I went spinning the natural white wool, working on making my singles as even as possible. I was pretty pleased with the results I was getting.
Having spun what I figured would be enough, I plied my white singles together…
Still pretty pleased with myself I spun the red…
and plyed it together…
By now I had decided I was only going to knit red and white. So all I had to do was ‘finish’ the yarn, devise a pattern and start knitting. But when I picked the yarns up together, I noticed they looked rather different.
In part I think it’s down to my spinning improving. I’m still making a few fluffy slugs (is there a technical word for them?) in the white, but have pretty much eliminated them from the red. However, I also think I made two rookie errors:
Rookie Error Number One: I’d aimed to spin all my singles the same thickness, but hadn’t checked my red singles against my white as I spun. I don’t think the difference in thickness is too bad, but I think could get them closer.
Rookie Error Number Two: The red yarn is more loosely plied and also, I think, too loosely plied for socks. I was cross about this, since I’d found a picture to check my white plying tension against when I plied it. However, in my enthusiasm to ply the red, I forgot about the picture and convinced myself the ply was fine without comparing red with white.
Time to reformulated my plan…
- I’m now spinning some more white to go with the red – even if the difference in the singles isn’t as bad as I think, more practice can only be a good thing.
- I know I could re-ply the red, but I think I’m going to knit it up as is. They’ll be a lot to learn by doing that.
- I’m going to knit a pair of mitts – I’m sure the ply is more suited to that than socks and they’re quicker.
- I’m going to recognise that knitting the mitt will be a brilliant learning experience and not be attached to being able to wear what I knit from this yarn.
If you’re a spinner and have any words of wisdom, I’m always grateful for them.
And if you don’t spin, thanks for hanging on in to the end of the post – hope it makes some sense to you.