14 September 2012

A Chance With a Spinning Wheel: Part II

They say time flies when you are having fun, that is certainly the case this past week. Remember last week I said that in this week's spinning class I was going to learn to ply and scour my yarn and fibre? Well, I did just that and now I can present you my very first finished handspun, drum roll please... tah dah!

I learnt to ply two singles in the opposite direction to the one they were spun to make a balanced yarn, oh I love plying, it's so much faster than spinning! And then because my yarn was spun from the greasy wool I also learnt to scour and wash it to get rid of all the grease and grime. The transformation was amazing!

Project:  my first hand spun on a wheel
Fibre:   raw corriedale fleece
Yardage: 98 meters / 107 yards (2 ply)
Yarn weight: DK (11 wpi)
Amount: 70g / 2.5 oz

I am so pleased with my first hand spun, it's not perfect but I love it and just can't stop petting it. The next question is: What should I do with it? What should I make? And there's another point, I'm not sure I want to dye it - that's part of the lesson plan in a later class, but I really quite like the natural colour, it's so yummy... decision decision...

On a slightly down note, my attempt at scouring the raw fleece did not go quite so smoothly. I prepared my fleece as instructed, like this:

... then I scoured it, washed it and laid it out to dry:

For some reason the stains on the tips did not quite come out, I don't know if this is because I didn't use hot enough water or not enough detergent, but there it is. I spoke with the lady who runs the class, she told me not to panic and that she's going to scour some of this fleece over the weekend and see how it will come out, "maybe it will look better once flicked" she suggested. I think she's just trying to comfort me, but let's hope so! I'm waiting for the fleece to dry so I can find out whether I'd made a complete boo boo of this beautiful fleece.

Wish me luck!

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  1. I have to say, flicking really does help. Think about it, those tips are so tight with dirt and whatever before soaking that they never really get the scour like the rest of the fleece. I might even flick then soak again.

  2. I'd do what Andrea suggested. Once you get those tips loose then the scour will have a chance to get in there and work. I usually see this also when I have too much fleece for the amount of water in my tub. A second soaking is sometimes necessary if you don't get the result you want with the first one. The locks still look beautiful.

  3. I didn't know anything about scouring at all. I'd think hot water + detergent + fleece = felt? Maybe I should go through the process just so I understand where my yarns come from. Your little skein is very pretty, maybe some lacy fingerless mittens?

  4. Hot water + detergent + fleece + agitation = felt.

    Your yarn is beautiful. You have every right to be proud of it. :-)

    Your locks are gorgeous too. I think AllyB and WWG are right about those tips. But even if the color doesn't come out, it would give a yarn a beautiful colored texture.

  5. Well I think that spun yarn is brilliant!!!!! Don't do a thing more to it if you don't want to. You're the one who paid for the class. :)

    Definitely tell us how you resolve the fleece cleaning. This is all very intriguing and instructional.

  6. Hooray for your yarn! I'm totally impressed with your spinning and plying. I don't know what to say about dyeing. I love the natural - maybe you should dye something else instead??
    As for the rest of the process - honestly I had no idea! I'm still trying to get my head around the vocabulary! I actually just borrowed a book from the library (Pumpkin recommended it) called the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook. It's been great at helping me understand all the hard work you're putting into this class.
    Keep up the great work - can't wait to see what happens next!