Today was full of joy: Warm sunshine, working in the yard, blossoms sighted on the neighbor’s plum tree and a sweet skein of handspun.
A small skein of handspun that is dear to my heart was finished today. As crazy as it may seem, what with plugging away still on the 2-ply,800 yd from 100 gram challenge, I signed up for the the Flying Camel Spin in Ravelympics. Uh, and that’s not all. Ahem, how could I resist the lure of Handspun Revolution – Lillehammer also here on Ravelry? (argh, I thought I’d blogged about this in December). With the 800 yard challenge the Handspun Revolution skein was pushed into the back ground until Ravelympics heated up and suddenly the urge to play along with Team Spindlers was more than I could resist. Besides, I was sick off spinning the never ending fine singles 800 yard challenge and needed a break.
Feb 12th found me going through my stash as the idea that’d been kicking around in my mind solidified: A Friendship Yarn representing different friends who’d supplied me with different fibers starting with:
Judy in France (who is now blogless) who sent me some of her Charollais which I’d begun spinning way back three years ago (astute/long-time readers may remember this from Jan 24 ’07 scroll down to the date) but the short staple of the Charollais combined with the silk nubs was more than I was up to as a relatively new spinner so I’d tucked it away.
Rhonna in Norway sent some of her beautifully dyed and carded South African Fine wool/Kid Mohair/Tencel/Anglina. The green soft gorgeous batts made me swoon then hide in in the stash for the day I was worthy of it. (Silly, isn’t it how the mind works. Soft lofty batts should be immediately spun for pure enjoyment!) Rhonna’s very taxing job put a halt to more dyeing and carding for now but when/if she does put more up for sale I’ll be first in line.
Pam, a most warm-hearted woman, living Washington State, who gifted me with some Buffalo last summer.
Sheri, a member of my local spinning group, raises Shetlands which are pets more than livestock, provided me with some of her homegrown, handcarded (on a drum) shetland.
Marilyn, whom I’ve known since I was three, has cashmere goats. She was thoughtful and sweet to dehair the cashmere that I got from her. De-hairing cashmere is definitely not for the impatient or faint of heart!
Note: The fiber from Rhonna is not merino as written in the pic. It truly is S. African Fine/kid mohair/tencel.
I weighed out a generous 4 grams each (do you know how much fiber can be in one gram? astonishing) and spun a single with each fiber. I ended up handcarding the cashmere to spin it more easily. I used two different spindles for all the spinning. (what can I say, I like variety.) As each one was finished I wound it off on an empty TP roll. I finished up the cashmere this morning, and while I was in a spinning groove immediately figured out a way to manage the lot of singles in order to five ply them together.
My niddy-noddy wasn’t big enough to hold five tp rolls so four singles shared 2 rolls. That was a mistake, if you look closely you can see that the charollais, beside the green S.African Fine, is unwinding at a different rate, as did the cashmere. Each one needed their own roll, other wise it was a great set-up and easy to work. Winding the five singles into a ball put them all under the same uniform tension which made it a breeze to ply.
The twist was set and yarn put around the niddy-noddy to dry. A well-balanced, approximately 30 yards at 11 wpi – a 5-ply sport weight.
Then I joined Ed who’d been hard at work all morning in the yard. I got out the push mower and spent the next hour + mowing and doing a bit of work in the garden plot. Daffodils are coming up, the ones near the Post Office are already blooming. Our neighbor’s plum tree is setting out blossoms and an untamed wild rambling rose bush is decked with greenry!