Well, I’ve broken myself of the habit of only spinning frog-hair, and have approximately 2 pounds of bulky alpaca yarn to get busy turning into a sweater. Although a friend did come over the other day while I was plying the last bit, and asked, “Is that your bulky yarn?” Yes. Yes it is. I’m knitting it on size 10 needles, thank you very much.
So now that I’ve realized that I can in fact control my spinning, it’s time to experiment. I’m planning on tackling my stash slightly less haphazardly than usual, exploring the characteristics of the different types of fiber I’ve been stockpiling. Including…
Wool: Border Leister, Churro, East Friesian lamb, mystery sheep, Rambouillet, Shetland, Suffolk, Wensleydale.
Other critters: alpaca, angora, mohair, yak.
Silk gets its own category: caps, cocoons, Bombyx top, Tussah top.
Plants: coconut husk, cotton (roving and bolls), flax, hemp.
I decided to start with the Wensleydale, which I have in the form of batts rescued from a free pile. Fellow thrifty spinsters take note: if you find batts of Wensleydale in the free pile, it’s there for a reason. This stuff is sticky, chaffy, and full of 2nd cuts. It’s not very evenly carded, so there are fluffy sections that draft out like a dream, and then big wads of locks all gummed up together. Yet, for some reason, I persist in trying to spin it. I split it in half and am spinning one half as close to worsted as I can manage, and will do the other half woolen. My idea was to compare different drafting techniques applied to the same fiber preparation, but so far the take-home from this one is: don’t spin yucky fiber.