Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spinning FO: Icelandic Snow Squall and a little Saturday Sky

Snow Squall Icelandic - FO

Spun from Icelandic wool roving, the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club January 2008 offering. Since the fiber was smooth, but not next-to-skin soft, and it’s best use will be for outerwear (mittens or such), my goal was to maximize warmth and spin with fairly loose twist and ply for a lofty rather than tight worsted weight.

Snow Squall Icelandic - Two Ply

That was very easily done. This roving had quite a long staple length, 4-6”, as is typical of this type wool, and enough crimp to hold together. But, I did have to be conscious of drafting more fiber, and letting it spin and wind on with less twist than some of the spinning I often do. I split the roving two or three times lengthwise and did a little pre-drafting especially where the dye was dense, and used a worsted/forward draw.

After it was done and plied, and since I had let the spun singles sit on one of the bobbins for a day or so before plying, I thought I might have put in too much plying twist as it had a pretty strong Z-twist (the plying direction) in the finished but un-set skein. (Should have taken a picture to show you!) But, one of the things we learned at spinning camp is to take a little control sample while the twist is fresh.

Snow Squall Icelandic - Control Samples

Spin a length of single, stop treadling, pinch to isolate about a foot or so of the single and fold it in half rolling it just slightly between your fingers to allow the single to ply against itself, tie this off, save it as a control sample for later plying, join your fiber back on, and keep spinning.

I had done this, and used my sample when I started plying to gauge how much plying twist to use to balance the yarn. So, having faith, I gave the yarn a soak (which awakens any twist that may have set on the bobbin), and about a dozen thwacks on the shower wall. Amazing to behold, the yarn was nicely balanced. Patsy Z was right!

Snow Squall Icelandic - Detail

Day before yesterday, the Hubs asked for some sturdy fingerless mitts for outdoor wear and climbing the radio tower. Now I think I might just have the right yarn for that!


Fiber/Starting Weight: Handpainted Icelandic Wool Roving / 3.8oz
Purchased from: Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club, January 2008
Spun with: Lendrum DT
Whorl / Tension: Fast Flyer, Large whorl 12 : 1 / Med-High
Plies/Method: 2-ply / standard
WPI/Gauge/TPI: 12-14wpi / worsted /6-7tpi
Yardage/Finished Wt: 185yds / 3.6oz
Started: 3/1/2008
Completed: 3/6/2008
Intended Project: Mittens

And if you want to know why all my photos today look so gloomy,

It’s 43 degrees, raining, wind advisory