My January Obsession

I’m back at deconstructing yarns again, breaking down then bringing together great value, custom weight, novel feel with hand-made quality, even if it is all somewhat long drawn out. I’ve discovered Simply Wool from Knitpicks to be the best starting point for some upcoming “Un-Spun” projects, especially as being an OEKO-TEX product, it is absolutely minimally processed with no chemicals, nor dyed, the natural result is/will be optimal for me. I do believe the feel of the natural wool is best without the dye process, so it is really a lovely yarn to work with, even if a little dirt comes out in the first wash, that is a good sign.

Both the bulky weight and the worsted weight have 3 plies, so it isn’t as easy as splitting the plies in the untwisting “Z” direction, with this I must divide 2 and 1 plies, then when I re-twist the 2ply in “S” direction I have a the other 1ply left over which I must divide in half and S-twist against itself… and well… it all seems rather ridiculous now that I am trying to explain it, but the result is some fantastic yarn that I love, love, love, and that is all that matters.

The Simply Wool bulky weight is 193y = 100g, and worsted weight is 218y = 100g, which is not a huge difference in yardage between the two, however, the end result after my unplying & replying trick is 2ply DK and 2ply Sport weights, and the time it takes to do it is something I actually enjoy a lot. Time? Answer is my new Ashford E-spinner, which may ultimately serve me as a super fast plying & unplying machine, because in a relatively short amount of time I managed to make a lovely 100g skein of “Un-Spun” DK weight wool, even while standing ! I also gave it a “scour” soak to relax the twist, and left to hang dry, and the next day I had something I could really use from a leftover skein in my stash. I’m waiting for my second wave of experimentation, hoping this yarn will be perfect for what I am working on that I can’t discuss just yet, but soon. I just love a good January obsession, starts the year out right.

7 thoughts on “My January Obsession

  1. I loved knitting with the unspun lace weight that you sent to me a long while ago. Could it be two years now??? This new unspun you’ve created is lovely. And…an Ashford e spinner!?! Lucky girl. I’m struggling with getting my tension just right so my spun yarn will draw onto the bobbin. To knit or to practice spinning…how do I choose???
    Happy New Year my friend, V

    • Virginia, about the tension, is your wheel a double drive?
      Oh the e-spinner, I think I mentioned a post about a month ago, is mostly just when my back pain flares up, which it was in summer, when I bought it. I love spinning on the Ashford Traditional Wheel WAY more, and not so much on the e-spinner, but for getting a job done fast, and for the spinning-while-standing , it is good to pull out of the closet. 🙂 I think spinning will give you a whole new level of meditation, extreme focus.
      HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx

    • Oh, and I’d love to make you a couple skeins of something again soon! Pampas Heather green is beautiful, and when I make the 4ply worsted into a 2ply it is a lovely fine fingering-to-lace-weight (I made that one project for you I think into a cobweb weight? You were INSANE to actually knit it up into something, and the fact that you did both blew my socks off and gave me HUGE admiration for you, my sweet and faithful knitting friend! xx

  2. Jen, My wheel is a double drive. I was practicing on it on Friday night and had some pretty good success. I discovered that folding the wool over my finger and drafting from the fold works really well for me. The problem now is the little hooks which are old and bent into tight and not rounded curves. The wool gets caught in them and then won’t wind onto the bobbin. I think that as a flax wheel it likes very fine fiber running through the hooks and as a new spinner mine is thin and thick, not consistent at all. It’s going to be a matter of practice. What I did spin nicely was very satisfying and certainly meditative. We’re turning our third bedroom into “my” room for all of my stuff and crafty things and for yoga and meditating. Yay!!!
    I’d love more of your unspun and I really do love knitting with a fine yarn. Actually, I’m looking forward to being able to spin a very fine lace weight yarn…maybe even flax some day.
    Happy spinning my friend, V

    • Oh , most wonderful of wonderful things; you have a flax wheel! It is my UTTER DREAM to spin flax one day, you’ll beat me to it at this rate. Although I have been spinning off and on since 1987, I am not that great of a spinner AT ALL. This is why I become ultra frustrated trying to spin anything with consistency, nor anything fingering weight, and perhaps why I’m playing around with deconstructing yarns to get fine weight. Not only am I not a very good spinner, I’m lousy with spinning tech information, and it sounds like you’ve figured out why your tension is off — can you just put some steel wool to those hooks to make slippery, or just put new brass screw in hooks from a hardware store? Anyway, I’d love to make you some rustic yarn, would you prefer a color, fingering “sock” weight? If so, what color is your sock fancy? Or, maybe some sport/dk weight from undyed Simply Wool?

      • Is it even possible to get flax to spin from anyone? I’ve watched a few videos of men doing it. Did you know you’re supposed to wet your fingers to keep it smooth as you spin. Jeez! Those people from old were a pretty hardy bunch.
        Unspun color…hmmm. You’ve made green and pink for me so how about your favorite color, blue. I keep making blue things and giving them away so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. You can surprise me with the weight. ❤️V

        • Ok, blue it is, I have lots of blue Wool Of The Andes. I don’t remember sending you pink… um.. must of been during the trauma time of my life when I was in a complete brain numbness.
          Oh, Flax, you bet, its all over the place to buy. Just “google” shop, you’ll find there’s a lot. My favorite sourses are from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=flax+roving

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