Monday, January 21, 2013

Real snow - and pre-drafting


Lovely, innit! As long as I don't have to hew wood and bring it in, or carry water from the well, I always enjoy snow.

It energises me, just as sunshine does. I have had a burst of finishing off yarns.

Bonkers merino/silk

First of all, some Bonkers merino and silk. I think this was 80/20%, but I could be wrong. It spun up into a nice bouncy yarn, the silk giving the merino a nicer handle rather than sheen, and it should be good and warm. I think a cowl.

Red merino/silk

This was more like a 50/50% merino and silk. Luscious to touch and to look at, somewhat problematic to spin. I am not going to name the vendor. It came from a well known and well respected source, and I will use them again. Some of the problem could come from it having been in my stash for a while. But some of it comes from the dyeing process. When you have a prep that is different concentrations of one colour, in my experience it is not completely unknown for there to be a degree of compaction or "stickiness".

I have yet to manage to spin one of these preps without having problems drafting and the resulting consistency of the yarn. I am definitely not a devotee of routinely predrafting top or roving, as I think that leads to the aforementioned; but in this sort of case, if you don't and draft as you spin, the problem is often even worse and you get sore hands to boot!

So, I predrafted very carefully, with gentle, short hand movements, and that did help enormously. I have some thinner stretches, which I attempted to improve by breaking off the fibre supply and rejoins; and fewer slugs where the " sticky" fibre was still harder to draft. But on the whole, I am pretty pleased with this.

My general opinion remains the same though - don't routinely predrafted!

Merino/silk shawl

Then just as I was finishing off tying up the skeins, I remembered that I had spun the very same prep from the same supplier before, in a different colourway. And this, believe it or not, is a rich grass green! On my iPad at least it is showing up more or less grey.

This had, I now remember, similar problems, only I didn't consider it sufficient for predrafting. The yarn was in the end much more inconsistent. But none the less, it knitted up into a really nice shawl, and I am sure that the red will too.

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