When I bought my spinning wheel from the Threshing Barn, I received a lovely silk/merino top as a freebie. And what beautiful fiber it is, so soft and smooth as you can imagine. The colours in the top reminded me of the French flag: stripes of red, white and blue.
For the first few months I didn’t dare to spin such luxurious wool, but finally, a few weeks ago I graduated from spinning the brown Jacob wool to this lovely blend. And it seemed so exciting so spin colouful wool for a change (well, I am easily entertained!).
Although the fiber had been combed, I did not want to spin it true worsted style – I wanted it to remain soft and a little bit fluffy. So I decided to try a hybrid technique of long draw and combed top. I’m sure because it’s my lack of experience, but I did not find spinning it very easy. Drafting seemed for some reason quite difficult and hard work, and in the end I thought the best approach is to pre-draft it into very thin rowing – it was almost like spinning in two separate steps, drafting first and then just adding the twist with the wheel.
It took me one bobbin’s worth of fiber – pretty much half of the total – to get a proper hang of the technique, so I ended up with one bobbin of thick and uneven yarn and a second bobbin of thinner and more even yarn. Despite the two bobbins being so different I plied them together anyway. Not ideal but a good learning experience nevertheless.
It is so interesting to see how the colours change as you spin. The stripiness of the top changed into a soft pinky-red with a hint of blue that was more prominent in some places than others. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will look as a knitted fabric. Now I just have to think of what to make of this uneven but still very soft and fluffy yarn.