February 14, 2012

real actual yarn

I plied my first yarn over the weekend, which makes it sound like I know what I'm doing with this spinning thing, but trust me, I don't. I spent most of the time holding a spinning book open with my foot while I wrestled with two overly twisty strands of thin (and then thick and then really thin and then sort of thin - consistency isn't my strong suit at this point) fiber, trying to twist them the opposite way they wanted to go into a usable yarn.
I told Will yesterday, as I sat on the couch spinning away, that I'm kind of useless in this century. I recently read a book about historians (in the distant future) who travel back in time to study the past first hand. They have to acquire all kinds of skills to fit into the era to which they are traveling. I'd be perfect for that. Drop me into the olden days and I'd be just fine. Making my own yarn and sweaters and cheese. Ok, I don't know how to make cheese. Yet. It's on my to do list though.

Eventually I got it all twisted the right way, onto my swift and then into a warm water bath to help set the twist. When I took it out of the water it was still twirling up into a horrible birds nest of a mess which led me to the invention of the yarn straightenouterer. Catchy, isn't it?
But I will say that once it was dry and straight, it looked remarkably like yarn. Real yarn. It's not a whole lot of yarn since I'm not very adept at handling longer amounts on my spindle yet, but enough to make something small or lacy or both out of. I haven't decided what, but it needs to become something I think.

I'm now working on a different type of fiber, the first was merino and silk, nice and soft, and now I'm trying out Corrinedale (again, that sounds like I know more than I do, I'm just reading the tag here, but I think it's a kind of sheep) and next I have some alpaca to try. The theory being that I'll try small bits of a lot of different fibers and figure out what I like to spin best and then order a whole bunch of it.

Or get that kind of sheep to live in the front yard of our someday house.

I'm good with either option.

Any spinners out there with advice of other types of fibers to try? At this point I'm just ordering what comes in small amounts for not very much money on Etsy but I'd love suggestions.