Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Six hands: It may LOOK easy to make yarn, but….

…getting it right is sometimes it’s a royal PITA. Here's the first bobbin of luscious alpaca spun up on my Reeves double-treadle chair wheel.

I’d planned to use some of my own combed top with the Whirligig Yarns dyed alpaca, and I chose the wrong colors for it! Well, not the ‘wrong’ colors as there really ARE no wrong colors, but the wrong colors for the end product I was trying to achieve. Here’s the waaay too bright yarn—

And here’s the waaay too bright yarn being stripped off the spinning wheel bobbin so it can be un-plied and respun onto the bobbin. It's a good thing that the cats had gone outside to climb the apple tree--they think I do these things just for their amusement.

And then I had to spin another color that would be closer to what I wanted and ply the alpaca with it. It took me the better part of an entire day to unply, respin, spin and re-ply the yarn. The first successful skein is finished, so it’s onward to spinning the second skein the next few days, washing both of them to remove spinning and hand oils and give the alpaca a little ‘bloom’, and then they go onward to the next craftsperson. Check back to see what happens….


Maggie Ann said...

Very pretty! I'm in your spinning guild..btw. I go by 'maggie' on the net to remain anon. I may be purchasing a carder in the spring..I'm thinking about it! I think I would like one that does medium to fine wool. Someone shared with me how to make rolags out of 'top' and I'm happy to learn that!

Feisty said...

Okay, you could be any one of 4 people in my two guilds with that name. Care to email me personally and let me know which one you are?

temptressyarn said...

That is perseverance! I think I'd rather start from scratch than unravel that much plied yarn, yikes! I also think you're extremely brave to unwind a bobbin onto the floor like that (with cats, no less!?!!) Can't wait to see the next step!

Nicole said...

Oh, my gosh, talk about work! Glad it all worked out in the end...I saw the finished product in your shop, and it is LOVELY! Cheers, Nicole :)

Feisty said...

I come from a long line of people who feel that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing RIGHT. I'd promised to spin a yarn of a certain quality, and if taking it apart and redoing it was necessary then that's what needed to be done to achieve the end product. Especially if I'm going to put my name on it!