Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Big Leap: SGY February Fibre Club

The February fibre club is a superwash Targhee. The colourway is called The Big Leap. Fine, soft wool. Would be a good candidate for sock yarn, but after spending 10 days spinning 413 yards of three-ply yarn for socks last month, I wanted something different. My fellow spinner friend Rachel was playing around with singles, so I thought I’d try my hand at them again.

I split the top into eight equal sections and spun them with just enough twist to lock the fibres. I tried to make them at least a DK weight. Targhee has a lot of crimp. My hope was that the DK singles would plumb up after washing and end up a wee bit thicker. Here’s what the eight nests looked like, ready and waiting to be spun.

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And here’s the bobbin, a mere two hours later! After the marathon of spinning for the sock project, this two-hour spin was a dream!

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I wound it off the bobbin and onto a niddy-noddy. Tied it up with figure eights and let it sit overnight. Here’s what it looked like when I took it off the niddy-noddy. Active twist, but not crazy so. (Terrible colour due to poor lighting, but you can still see the twist.)

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Then it went into a hot, soapy bath. I squeezed and squished it to get the fibres fully saturated with soapy water and moving back to their original crimp. Even though it is a superwash wool, I still shocked it, by tossing it from the hot soapy water into ice cold water. I was hoping that at least a few of the fibres would full and make for a stronger singles.

And here it is, dried and happy for its photo-shoot. I hung it to dry for the day with no weights. It is a lovely, soft yarn. 363 yards of soft, goodness. Not sure what to make with it yet. I am just happy to hold and admire it.

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Wintergreen: for socks

Over Christmas I suffered a knitting injury. Totally self-inflicted and I have no regrets. However, it did cut into my knitting time and spindle spinning. The adult colouring books satisfied my need to do something with my hands, for only a short while. I was at wits end. And then along came the January Fibre Club from Sweet Georgia Yarns. It was a stunning braid of Polwarth/Silk (85/15%).

I stared at it for a week, petted it for another week and then decided that I may be able to spin on my wheel without doing any further injury and impede my healing. I decided that I wanted to make socks with this fibre. Polwarth with a good amount of silk is perfect. I may have to hand wash them, but that’s okay. I’m not a big fan of the superwash fibres. They have a different feel and while I will work with them, they aren’t my first choice.

For socks I decided to spin a three-ply with medium twist in the singles and a lot of twist in the plying. I wanted a sock/fingering weight yarn, so the singles had to be spun fine. The colours in the braid are analogous, all related by the blues. I wanted the colours to mix and dance against each other. So it seemed a fractal spin was in order. I split the braid lengthwise into three sections. Weighed them and made adjustments so they were relatively even. Piece #1 I spun from one end to the next using a short forward draw, smoothing the yarn as I went. You can see the long lengths of colour on the bobbin.

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Piece #2 I split into three sections. And then I spun each of those three sections from one end to the other. Again, using a short forward draw and smoothing the yarn as I went. And I am not sure if you can tell, but the lengths of colours are getting shorter.

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Piece #3 was split into six sections, by this time they were nearly pencil rovings. Again, they were spun from one end to the next. Short forward draw. ¬†Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of bobbin 3. And by that time, the colours lengths were much shorter.

I let the bobbins sit overnight and then plied the next day. I put a lot of twist into the plying.

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Here is the yarn on the niddy-noddies, getting all tied up for their bath.

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Here’s what the yarn looked like when it was taken off the tension of the niddy-noddy. Stretched out and the over twist reacting. Nothing a bath in hot soapy water can’t tame.

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I washed it in hot soapy water, rinsed it in hot water with a half-tablespoon of white vinegar. Thwacked it against my bathtub a few times, towel dried it and then hung it to dry, with no tension. Occasionally, as it dried, I’d grab it, shake it out a bit to soften up the silk that sometimes goes a bit stiff as it dries. And here it is. Completely relaxed and ready to be knit into a pair of socks. 412 yards, 115 grams, 6 twists per inch (TPI) but still wonderfully soft.

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And the final shot. For these socks I am going to try the ever-so popular Fish Lips Kiss sock pattern, and see where that takes me. ¬†And in case you were wondering, my right wrist has healed beautifully. This spinning project, that took about a week, didn’t affect it at all. I hold the fibres in the right hand and draft with my left. So all’s good.

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