Celtic Cable

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spinning in the New Year

 Happy New Year!

This year, I was actually awake for the turning of the year. I was leaving my friends' house at midnight exactly, just in time for the class-c neighborhood firework show (even those puny little class-c ones are illegal in the city). I don't really have any special feeling for New Year's as a holiday; for me, it's just an arbitrary marking on the calendar. But I might be feeling that way because I maybe feel a bit of a wincing need for repentance, seeing as how I spent some New Year's Eves in my youth ... egads. What fun, though. You can't learn from your mistakes if you don't make any, right?

I didn't make any knitting/spinning resolutions. I have discovered that if I swear off buying more fiber, it means I will be online at Etsy within hours, ordering merino or alpaca or a pound of Corriedale "just in case." I LOVE Corriedale. It's like the workhorse of the sheep world, sturdy, easy to ply, and easy to dye. I can spin it as finely as a thread and it holds together, but it's not rough or wiry like other wools that bind well (Rambouillet, Polworth, Lincoln). 

I won't say this is a resolution, but I might try to be a bit more vigilant about finishing WIPs and ignoring start-itis ... and speaking of WIPs, here is what I have been solely working on since right after Christmas:

The Multnomah, named for a county in Oregon. Here  is the link to the pattern. I am 100% certain mine will not turn out that perfectly! I am running low on this yarn, and since I spun it myself, it is going to be a pain if I run out before it's done. It wasn't difficult to spin, I just don't want to have to order 4 more ounces of it when I need only about a half ounce to finish.

Aside from knitting on Ms. Multnomah, I have been spinning some nice merino I bought at last years' MS&W. The label did not include the vendor, so I cannot provide that. Here it is after I pulled half of the bump apart:

Spun into singles ...

On the lazy kate, getting tangled up while I prepare to ply ... 

And, a finished skein. I counted twice -- it comes in at about 5,810 inches, or 161 yards. I'm not sure that the final yardage is correct, but I counted twice, and came out with 83 loops on the niddy noddy. I've never managed to spin that much on one bobbin before. I still think I somehow added twenty loops while counting.  Twice.

I'm not really happy with the way this skein came out. Merino is so fragile, I didn't want to handle it much, so I didn't draft it well, and it came out poorly. It drifted apart many times when I plied. I need more practice with the finer fibers, but they frustrate me when spinning. 

Well, happy new year to everyone!


  1. tehehe, I always think of Merino as strong. Of course, we are constantly blending Alpaca and Merino together for strength and durability which they both bring to the table.

    Good luck finishing your project. That's why I've been hesitant to use my handspun for a large project. It's lovely.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Merino by itself is like tissue paper. I'm sure it just takes practice . . . I have plenty left!


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