Right now everyone seems to be spinning. Whether spinning along to punishing cycle racing or inspired by the season of fibre festivals being in full swing, wheels and spindles are spinning and yarn is being produces. Here at Yarn Archive HQ is no exception. I have been treadling away on my faithful Majacraft Little Gem, despite the stifling heat of our current mini heatwave. This is not the only step I have taken outside of my comfort zone.
Earlier this year I remember admiring a pair of hand spun socks and being told that the fibre was Southdown, something I hadn't tried before. When I came across a pretty but subtly shaded skein on Hilltop Katie's stand at Wonderwool Wales I decided to give it a go.
My first impression was that it was incredibly springy and bouncy, soft but quite matte in appearance.
I wanted to knit a pair of socks so decided on a sock weight 2ply yarn. The staple length was a lot shorter than I am used to so was subjected to the discipline of a short forward draw being exactly what it says - short! I was pleasantly surprised,however at how easy to draft this well prepared fibre was, despite the short staple length. I worked reasonably slowly, ensuring a decent amount of twist went into the yarn and was pleasantly surprised at how the yarn retained the bounce of the fibre. I managed to spin approximately 380m of yarn, so plenty enough for a pair of socks. The subtle dying of this grey fleece means that the resulting yarn resembles the inside of a sea shell. I need to find a suitably nautical pattern to do it justice.
After I have completed a long,careful, disciplined spinning project I get the urge to do something speedy and entertaining so I turned to another braid of fibre that I bought from Katie at Wonderwoool Wales. This time it is a Jacob and silk blend. I was so fast in getting this on the bobbin I didn't even stop to take a photo. Within a few hours I had a couple of hundred metres of aran weight yarn.
It's certainly a robust yarn with the silk rather adding to its lustre rather than softening the overall impression. It's perfectly usable, but not next to the skin soft.
What would you do with it?