Spinning seashells…

jenjoycedesign© spinning seashells

This fiber “Optim Ultrafine Merino” is just so luxurious, and in a way, effortless to spin, yet really takes some practice.  I posted the blending recipe the other day when I made the rolags “the color of seashells”  , I remark  how the fiber base Merino Ultrafine is incredibly downy soft, and fine….

jenjoycedesign© seashell detail

But let me tell you, it is slippery and not easy to manage without breaking it a lot while spinning, that is , until you get the hang of it.   I am practicing sort of three new things at once; long draw drafting from rolags, fixed my wheel so it can go high speed, and also spinning this new gorgeous slippery fiber.

jenjoycedesign© seashell rolags 2

This woolly confection is inspiring me to put up a shop on Yarnings just to sell a few little luxury ultra-handmade things ~~~ knitted things that I’ve knit from yarn I’ve spun from art rolags I blended on my super nice blending board that I made, and in my own designs of course.  A little too much in all directions, yes, I’ll agree, but oh boy these tasty wool sausages are sweet nectar to my eyes, and deserve as much publicity as I can muster up!

jenjoycedesign© seashell rolags 3

Life is good and Autumn is near!

Voila!

jenjoycedesign© blending 2

Voila!

jenjoycedesign© blending 4

In this post   I show you the blending of fibers for this handspun yarn,

and the recipe I am calling Fiber Blending 1.

jenjoycedesign© blending 5

59 grams of yarn; relaxed, slightly slubby, infused with jewel tones.

I’m off to town, see you on the flipside with a more in-depth look at a little trick I discovered while blending the fiber for this yarn!

Woolen or worsted?

jenjoycedesign© spinning

Spinning from rolags is a different experience for me. Especially these tightly rolled sausage-like ones drawn off of those nifty blending boards, and from which  I posted about a few weeks ago.   Raw, dirty & weedy alpaca is what I’m practicing this woolen technique I am learning, from rolags. In my spinning past, I’ve spun from locks, from picked fiber ‘clouds’ , from bats, had also tried a badly produced rolag or two and gave up ~~ but mostly all the years I’ve spun its been from roving, sliver, and combed top. I am learning that although I was getting better at spinning a fine even single, the yarn I’ve been spinning has been dense, tough type of yarn. I think I was unconsciously aspiring to spin worsted (or semi-worsted) , however there is true woolen style of spinning which is done this way, from rolags I am learning, and ‘long draw’. Okay, I’m getting this…

jenjoycedesign© spinning alpaca rolags

I must say, this rolag thing is where it is at! Its fascinating, long-draw spinning method, and as yet I am far from being able to do it, and I must resist the urge to pinch the twist too much and let it compress through my fingers into tight even yarn, for that is what is to spinning, like knitting yarn with too small of a size needle I think. It creates a dense compact yarn, that squeezes the life out of the fiber.  Just look how the yarn pulls out of the rolag in a line all by itself, with really very minimal fussing if you do it right…

jenjoycedesign© spinning alpaca rolags 2

Well, I’ve got this pile of rolags that I made from my first carding on my board, a loosely carded alpaca, and when I’m done with this, I will wash it very well as it is dirty. Hopefully it will bloom and be fluffy & beautiful.

As I’ve been ordering & collecting a bit of fancy fibers to play with and blend, and even ‘processing’ some bits of yarn I have on hand to incorporate into the tweed mixes which  I am envisioning for art rolags!  For now I’m glad to be taking a break from knitting as the previously posted yarn was not very nice at all, and I sent it back only to have to start all over with nicer yarn that I enjoy knitting, and more important, that my nieces will enjoy wearing! So I’m waiting for new yarn to come in. In the mean time I’m spinning!  All you spinners out there, I invite you to share in the comments about your preferred spinning methods, and anything you might be able to say about woolen vs worsted spinning ~ thanks!

I’m closing with a posting of a video from 1970’s that I found about sheep & spinning in Donegal Ireland, I hope you love it as much as I do!