Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Full Circle colourway

Full Circle has been one of my most popular colourways recently, and I keep meaning to keep one of the sets for myself. And failing. So this time I had a not quite 300g lump of Captain Poldarles fibre (John Arbon) that I dyed up just for me.

So I spindle-spun all the singles. I tend to use my spindles in pairs these days, which works well for handdyed yarns. A matched pair of spindles and coloured top split down the middle as near as perfect as possible does lead to singles that will almost always match. It's very satisfying to spin consistently enough to achieve this. It's about a week's worth of spindling, and I didn't take it to work so it's only a couple of weekends and a few evenings. 

Quite a bit of spindling can be done while I'm walking the dogs. This was taken at the far end of the nature reserve, when I'd just finished the second orange spindle and was about the start the first purple one.

This is the next spindle along - both oranges and one purple done. The orange singles were spun on a pair of Bosworth spindles, and you can see the purple is about to go on a pair of IST ones.

 And this is all six spindles full! The last two aren't the same make, but are nearly the same weight (in this case, all six are between 26-28g). One's a Dragonfly, the other's a Grafton, I think. The bag is made from a gorgeous handwoven scarf given to me a few years ago; too short for a scarf, perfect for a bag with secret pockets and a fringe!

The singles were then wound off from the spindles into a ball, each set together, so it's ready to wheel or spindle ply straight from the ball. This has to be done carefully, so you don't end up with odd little pigtails, but it does give you the opportunity to cut and paste if the colours don't quite match up.

And this is the yarn plied. Because I spindle-spun the singles, it was much easier to make it a fine high-twist single. This had to be balanced by lots of twist in the plying. And yes, I just about managed to get it all one of my standard Majacraft bobbins. At the moment, the 2ply yarn looks like a scrawny and underplied thread!

And here it is after a very hot and soapy wash, a good spin, an equally hot and slightly vinegary rinse, and another spin. The plies have plumped up, relaxed and bloomed, which has the interesting effect of making it looked slightly more twisted. All the green in the colourway has vanished inside the skein, and won't come out until I unwind it and see what I'm doing with it next.

 This is the yarn I spun on holiday in Wales, once Wonderwool was out of the way. It was a series of batts I made up from black and white Shetland tops and some angora fibre. Tightly spun on my Suzi, with the accelerator head and baby bobbins. Each ball is a single, which I wound off into a centre-pull ball and plied on itself.

This is it plied, the other week. I had to run it through twice the first couple of balls to get it sufficiently high-twist. Again, before it has a hot bath it looks like garden twine. Not a trace of the angora yet. 
And now here it is, washed. Very hot water, washing-up liquid, equally hot rinse. I'm intending it for weaving, and you can see the angora just starting to think about making a halo.  The green is BFL I spindle-spun at the Tynedale Spinners' Gathering last Saturday, plied on the wheel. 

So there we are, a bit of yarn biography. I just have to work out what to do with them now.