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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
March 2007
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Stuck in a rut?

I’ve been consumed by the spinning lately. Knitting just isn’t doing it for me. After the toil of work last week I really just wanted a nice weekend. And I got it, but it means I’m dregging the depths for blog fodder. I’ll try to have something more interesting by the end of the week.

But for today, I have a thought. Soon after I started spinning I became consumed with the idea of spinning gossamer weight yarn for Sharon Miller’s Wedding Ring Shawl (I bought the pattern over last summer after obsessing for months). The Branching Out lace from last post? I don’t have the wpi for the yarn, but that little sample was knit on US size 1 needles (2.5mm) and only measures around 2 inches (5cm?) across. It’s tiny. But after spinning at that weight and near that weight for so long (around 7 months now), I’ve needed a break.

3 ply yarns

Enter my attempts to spin 3 ply yarns. I introduced them in a previous post, but I am completely in love with them. They seem like real yarn in a way the gossamer 2 ply yarns never did. Might have something to do with the the fact that I’m just now getting the hang of plying on my wheel. The lazy kate that comes with the Fricke wheel does a much better job as a bobbin holder than a true lazy kate. There’s no tension and the bobbins tend to spin up the poles. Once (not when I was actually plying, but when I was winding the yarn off the bobbin onto the niddy noddy) the bobbin actually clear the pole and went flying. Not good. I ended up making a homemade lazy kate out of a box and some long metal knitting needles that I’ve never used and probably never will.

So, according to this website and several others,

laceweight WPI

The thinner, regular 3 ply, which has 19 wraps per inch, is laceweight. And I have 92 yards of it. I have no clue what to do with 92 yards of 3 ply lace weight, but I can always make a rabbit I guess.

navajo plied wpi

The thicker, navajo plied yarn, has somewhere between 10 and 13 wpi because it wasn’t terribly even. This would make it between light worsted and bulky. The thing that bugs me? I’ve held that yarn, wound that yarn, squoosed it. It’s not bulky. It’s somewhere between sport and worsted. Now I’m wondering if I did this wrong. Or maybe I’m just fooling myself. I have 72 yards of this. I have no clue why I only made such a small amount. 72 yards? Too much for just a swatch, too little for a hat or a single sock or anything really. Maybe I’ll play with a large cable swatch.

I cannot tell you enough how much I love these little off amounts of yarn. They have a nice crunchiness but aren’t scratchy. They had a weird alcohol-y gas-y smell before I washed them, but now they just smell like wool and shampoo.

The other thing I did this weekend other than play with the little bits of yarn above?

Red superwash singles

I spun more of the red merino superwash. Sometimes this stuff pulls apart with a breath of air and sometimes I struggle to pull without breaking anything because it’s so grabby. It’s supposed to be superwash, so I’m not sure what’s going on. Can you felt superwash? I realize buying on ebay is a bit of gamble and maybe this isn’t superwash at all. I won’t complain though because it’s turning out wonderfully, even if I do have to be careful with it.

Back to work with me now.

Edited to update: So I have some Knitpicks Gloss that I’m using to make Bear some fingerless gloves. Knitpicks says Gloss is fingering weight yarn and I believe it. But I wrapped it around the same ruler I used on my handspun and I got 14 WPI. I’ll take a picture later if need be. According to those websites I linked to earlier in the post 14 WPI is sport weight. Sport weight?!? Either I’m doing this wrong (It looks freaking simple, but I’ll admit, I’ve been known to f*** up simple looking things), or I think there might be an issue here about naming conventions and wraps per inch. And I have to say, I rewrapped the laceweight handspun on the ruler because when I was winding it into a ball I kept looking at thinking it was might hefty for laceweight. Yeah, I got between 14 and 16 WPI. Maybe I am doing this wrong…

Edited again: I forgot to mention that the second laceweight reading was post-washing and the first was pre-washing. Duh. That stuff fluffed. It’s the American Wool 54-56′s Top from Woodland Woolworks