Monday, January 08, 2007

First wheeled skeins

This is the spinning wheel that helped turn

this into

THIS!!!!!! 8 oz of Blue Faced Leicester in what I want to call "Sultan's of Swing". It makes me think of those romance stories that I read in my teens that took place in the desert in some opulent sultan's tent. You know, (or maybe you don't) silk and velvet, luxurious hangings, dates and honeyed mead almost always entered into the mix and a servant or two. I almost forgot the jealous serving girl who wanted the head guy for herself. One that I remember (inherited from my grandmother of all people) some poor woman some how got lost in the desert and badly sunburned, and before she could freeze to death in the night, Prince Omar (or whoever) rode in on his horse and saved her. He graciously waited until her sunburn was better before shameless seducing her. Oh, the things that stick with us after 20+ years.

Let's get a close up of that beauty!

In fact I had so much fun the other day that I brought home some more fleece (merino this time) and spun up 4 oz of loveliness. This will be niddy-noddied in the morning and soaked and hung. I was actually quite impressed with my first wheel skein (skeins really). When I skeined them off to do the soak and set thing, they hung almost straight. This compared to my first spindled skein that twisted back on itself about 6 times. I love the wheel. The loaner wheel is a louet. It looks like it has been around for quite a while and had a bit of a problem. The piece of plastic that connected the drive shaft to the treddle was broken and I did a quick fix that is functional but by no means perfect.

So now I have a question for all of you spinners out there. When you ply, there is always a bit (or a lot) left over. What do you do with the little bit of single ply? I actually tried Navajo plying today because even though I weighed out the two bundles of fleece (one for each bobbin, of course), I ended up with about 8-10 yards extra on one bobbin. It was a good learning experience. I'm glad that I had a demonstration before boldly striking out on my own.


Dave Daniels said...

The Sultan is BEAUTIFUL. Love the colors of the blues and orange/rusts. But the patine on the Louet is really something. It has a nice golden color.
When I have leftover singles, I save them. You can ply them with something else later. I use my singles to make ties for gists, hang tags, all sorts of pretty gifty things. It's also good in weaving because it won't untwist. Save it for a sampler piece.

margene said...

Enjoy the wheel! You did a great job of spinning on it already! I use the small portions left over to do what you did. Practice a new technique or knit up a swatch. They are always very useful.

Charleen said...

Looks great - wonderful colors too! I wind the leftover singles into a center-pull ball and then ply from both ends. I usually slow it down a bit so it doesn't tangle. I only navajo ply if I've done a three ply.

Cathy said...

Your "Sultans of Swing" is just gorgeous! Sounds like maybe you might be shopping for a wheel sometime in the future? If you do, it would be great if you'd share with us how you select your wheel.

Leigh said...

Oh, that yarn is absolutely gorgeous!

I got frustrated with leftover singles too and so got a ball winder and learned to ply from a center pull ball. Most of the time this goes quite well.

I have seen leftover singles used to tie packages. Or you can use them to tie up those skeins before setting the twist. Or use them to tie tags onto your skeins and scarves. Or cut them into bits and card them into another batch of fiber to spin a lovely nubby, noily designer yarn. Or roll them into balls and felt them as cat toys.

The Spindling Scot said...

I save my ends for leaders for the next bobbinful. I only have about 10 inches extra on each bobbin.


craftydabbler said...

I love the jewel tone colors. "Sultan" is very rich looking. Congratulations on your first wheel spun.

'Zann said...

Beautiful yarn! I have a Louet wheel and love it very much.
As for leftover ends, sometimes they go into the container where I save all the little bits of yarn I snip and clip when knitting and crocheting. And I use those to make what I think of as Dr. Seuss yarn.
And sometimes I use the handspun for my cards (I'd say "business" cards, but this just doesn't seem like a business). If there is enough of a leftover to make a ball, I save it in with other balls and use for freeform crochet.
And now...I'm tagging you with the "6 Weird Things About Me' meme.
Details on my blog. Nothing bad will happen if you don't want to play the silly game!!!

ms. pea said...

I think I read that same book. I can't imagine that she was very attractive with her freezing sunburn peeling off, though. Wasn't she some kind of English prep school party girl? Great yarn, by the way, I'm drooling!

Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Love the yarn, it has such great shine.
I have been spinning singles and using it as lace knitting yarn. I use it for socks too.. I love the way the color stays pure and changes through a project.
Does yarn always need to be plyed?
Not for me