Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another spinning FO

You may recall that about a month ago I shared a photo of some fiber that a fellow River City Knitter asked me to spin up for her.

Since then, I've taught myself how to navajo ply, (YarnHarlot has a good description of the method, here), then I spun up the singles of this Lisa Souza hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester (aka "BFL") top:

and then navajo-plied, skeined, washed and dried the yarn.

Here is the finished 3-ply:

I think it turned out okay, for my first navajo-plied handspun. I realize that you reduce yardage quite a bit when you turn a single into a 3-ply, but I do so like preserving, as best as possible, the color sequences that the hand-dyer originally intended:

The colors in this "Joseph's Coat" colorway are so contrasting that if allowed to "barber pole" in a 2-ply, I think the resulting yarn would have turned out much muddier.

The final measurement is about 168 yards, but I haven't yet counted wraps per inch. My guess is maybe sport-weight?

So, experienced spinners, does 168 yards of a 3-ply sport-weight from 4 oz. of fiber seem about right to you, or does it seem a bit scant, like it does to me? Other than the obvious "spin a finer single", how would you recommend I extend the yardage? An airier/loftier fiber prep? I'm always looking to learn and improve....

Anyway, I hope the recipient likes it.

Lots of upcoming fiber events this fall:

This weekend, for the second year in a row, I'm attending SAFF. I need to be in Greenville, SC all next week for work, and since that's less than an hour's drive from the Asheville, NC area, I decided to go down a few days earlier and partake of the fiber festivities. Should be fun!

How many Virginia readers are going to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville this weekend? This is its 3rd year, and I've still never attended. Next year, for sure! (I hope.)

In two weeks is Stitches East, but I'm not sure if I'll be attending. I may just stay home that weekend, since I've got a lot of other travel (business and personal) in store for me over the next month. And I certainly don't need any more yarn or fiber, especially after SAFF. But, we'll see -- I may want to jump on the River City Knitters bus trip just for the camaraderie!

So, if all goes well, I should get out at least one blog post this weekend about my SAFF experiences. After that -- who knows!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Liz R. said...

It's so beautiful, Mary! I'm very jealous of the person who gets it!

issy said...

Love it!!
And yes, you must come to Stitches with us. We need a Mary fix!

* Cathy * said...

It's beautiful! She'll be thrilled ... you can give it to her on the bus to Stitches... (subtle hint there)!

Brooke said...


Margaret said...

Very nicely done!

To try to answer your question about yardage, it depends. It seems a bit on the heavy side for that yardage, unless it's really more of a worsted wt. Compare to a commercial yarn like Cascade 220 which is 220yds to 4oz, or Mission Falls at 85yds to 50g.

Depending on the purpose you might have in mind for the finished yarn, and the same gauge, you might want a dense, firm, hard wearing yarn (eg for mittens, socks, jacket, weaving a rug), or light and lofty and warm but not as sturdy (hat, sweater, scarf). Both yarns could be the same wpi and knit to the same gauge, but the dense yarn would weigh more for the same yardage because it contains more fibers.

So, short answer, yes, for the same amount of fiber, a more woolen spun yarn should have more yards. One thing we learned at SOAR is how nice it can be to strike a balance and spin woolen for the loft and bounce, but overply just slightly for a good structure. Think Louet yarns.

Also a classmate brought in a sweater knit of 3-ply handspun that was gorgeous, but weighed at least three pounds. Oof.

Holly said...

Love your handspun! Go to Stitches! They are changing the location for 2010 and haven't announced where it will be so go while it is for sure close to you (plus Lisa Souza will have a booth there).

Bess said...

Go to stitches so we can get hugs. Stitches is in CT next year. And one in April in Atlanta.

Alice said...

I just recently taught myself to navajo ply too and it does eat singles. I have the worst time NOT overplying that way, even if I spin a soft lofty single. The only advice I can give is to spin the single much thinner than you would think possible or useful. That is what I end up doing anyway and it does extend the yardage somewhat.

Your yarn is beautiful anyway Mary!

Channon said...

Ooooh... ahhhhh... I had trouble reading the whole post, because I kept going back to look at the skein. Sigh. I should print it out and tape it to the wall in my house to inspire me to spin more!

IndigoMuse said...

Your yarn is stunning! Love those colors.

I had the same experience with a navajo plyed yarn recently. I was so sad that I only ended up with about 110 yards or worsted yarn out of 3 oz of fiber. But all of the comments to your post make sense to me. I've filed them away for the next time I navajo ply.


Robin said...

I bet Hope was thrilled! Nice job.

Firefly Nights said...

Your spinning looks great!

I went to the Berryville fiber fest and will report on it on my blog sometime in the next week.

skumar said...

thanks for sharing this wonderful post