First, the normal business. Here’s my skein for today’s Tour de Fleece.
It’s not bad, just kind of boring. I had hoped that the finished skein would have a little more zip to it than that. However, there are some very, very good things about this skein. 1. It’s squishy soft. 2. I used up all but 6″ of one of the plies I had spun, which is the best I think I have ever done in terms of spinning two plies the same length. 3. It’s balanced. So I can’t complain too much. It weighs 5 3/8 ounces and is 125 yards.
It gets a little weird below the fold.
I’ve got a pretty damn big fiber stash. I was fortunate enough to have a part in the Fibergasm haul of last summer. I’ve also accumulated stuff from various fiber festivals and the Sheep Shed, or, like this year and Wooster, accumulated a ton of fiber stuff from the Sheep Shed at a fiber festival. In addition, there’s the whole “co-owning a yarn and fiber company” thing that I’ve got going on. So, there’s a lot of fiber in my house. Some of it is kind of shady, but I’m hoping that the stuff that is weird or doesn’t draft easily I’ll be able to use it after it’s been combed or carded (with my fictional drum carder).
I was kind of out of stuff that I wanted to immediately spin for the Tour, so while Travis was at work today, I fiber-dived through my stash. I brought out some of it into the dining room.
Some of it is stuff I want to comb, and some of it is stuff I’m planning on dyeing this weekend.
I came across this.
This is part of 8 ounces or so (I think? – It’s at least 8 ounces, anyway) of some big carded batts I got at the fiber show in Wooster last year. It’s as soft as a cloud, and even though I wasn’t crazy about the color combo, I bought two bags of it because the texture was McDreamy. However, when I went to spin it last summer, it was horrid. The best way to describe it was sticky. It is a sticky, sticky batt. I couldn’t get anything worthwhile out of it, so I pitched it back in the bin.
Intrigued, I decided to comb a bit of it out this evening to see if that made any difference in drafting.
I got out the bobbin that I had tried to spin the craptacular Louet merino on yesterday. You can see in the picture how pretty the color of it is, though.
The drafting of the sticky batt had improved slightly. I think I’m going to comb the rest of it up combined with some other stuff, and maybe try to ply it with thread. The good thing about the sticky batt is even though it drafts all clumpy, it still feels nice and soft. Go figure.
However, now I had a bobbin partially full of sticky ply. At this point, I had bits of leftover yarn on 3 of my 6 Louet bobbins, a prospect which I didn’t much care for. I also had all of those little toilet paper roll bobbins from my drop spindling days that I mentioned yesterday. What to do?
That’s right – it’s time for a Plying Fiesta! Ole!
I started plying together 4 of my leftover bobbins. And when one ply ran out, I’d just add the next. It took a lot of coordination, but I managed to clear off my 3 Louet bobbins and 11 of the toilet paper roll ones.
Is that fugly enough for you? No? Well, hang on! I also had one half full Babe bobbin that I had spun last summer with white yarn that twists the opposite way from all of my other singles. So, I decided the only thing left to do was popcorn boucle my fugly yarn. I sent it back through the Louet, overtwisting the crap out of it.
Then, I plied it (so it’s now a 5-ply yarn – my first!).
I ran out of the white yarn about 15 yards away from the end, so I just sent the 4-ply fugly back through, taking out the excess twist I had added.
Here’s the finished skein!
It’s 4 1/4 ounces, and about 110 yards. The boucle part is balanced, the 4-ply not so much. It contains wool, tussah silk, soy silk, llama, mohair, sparkle, ramie, and probably some other stuff in there as well. There are actually some bits in there I quite like – the soy silk got especially popcorn-y, but overall it’s pretty much the Skein of Insanity. But my bobbins are all empty now! Yay!