Saturday, June 22, 2013

From A Sheep To A Sock, Next Part

(First I want to reply to the comments left for the last post and say thank you for leaving them!  To my friend Susan, on a day like I've had today I think I could easily be persuaded to trade in the farm!  And Emily, so nice to hear from you and yes, I would be happy to share how I prepare a fleece from start to finish at home for sock spinning - maybe that could be a "July Series"?  Jody, your spinning is so lovely I think you could surely teach me a thing or two!!! How fine did you spin Elizabeth's 3-ply?  As much as I love a long wavy fleece (like Francie's) for socks, a tightly crimped fleece makes a wonderful sock yarn, too, just different ;)  And Joanne you would love this roving - its much darker than the photo shows but it has so much shine (don't you think Susan?)  And the pillow is one of a vintage set I got at the Maple Valley Farm Shop a month or so ago!)

The next step for me in spinning for sock yarn is to find a comfy spot to do my sample spin.  If you're lucky enough to have a back porch that looks out across the garden, farm and sheep pasture for inspiration that's truly a joy!  A helpful farm cat companion is another plus.  So I finish the supper dishes, pour a cup of coffee and settle down on the porch.

I have three spinning wheels, but I still go back so often to my old standby Louet S17.  My Mom, who is gone now, painted the sheep on it for me and I love it.  I can spin from lace to bulky with little effort.  In this case, you might notice the grey wool already on the bobbin.  That's because I find it helpful for spinning a finer single on the Louet if the bobbin is partially full.  I'm only going to be spinning a one ounce sample so have plenty of room here.  Remember the pictures of the two samples from the last post, one ounce each?  I'll spin one to make a 2-ply sample and one to do a 3-ply.  My default spin seems to be a light sportweight.

In this photo, I've pulled a little of the single back from the bobbin and let it twist back on itself to give me an idea of how my 2-ply will look.  Notice the helpful companion cat is not impressed, nor has she moved much from the last shot!  I might mention here that for this small amount, I'll spin the full ounce onto the bobbin, let it sit at least overnight then I'll wind it off into a center pull ball and ply it from that.  I like the results I get from plying from a center pull ball.  I'm not sure if its mechanically correct or not, but that works for me (in small amounts)  Larger amounts tangle to much, so I would use two bobbins and ply together onto a third.

Tomorrow I'll show you pictures of the finished 2-ply yarn and the sample swatch I knit.  And if I can find the notes I was so careful to make I'll be able to tell you how many yards I got from each sample - ugh - where did those notes go?!?


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