Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Journey with Traveller...

So I've just recently begun to learn to spin. 10 days ago I had my first lesson, and yesterday was my second lesson. I was thrilled that a loaner wheel (the Ashford Traveller) was available for me to take home and practice with, as I'm not quite ready to buy a wheel. Turns out you just buckle them into the back seat, like children.

My homework for the first week was to fill 2 bobbins at least half full. I came home with a bag full of creamy white wool (not sure what kind, but it's combed and my teacher got it from Brown Sheep, the nice folks who make Nature Spun yarn). I filled 3 bobbins mostly full.

Last night we plied. We used the lazy kate on the Traveller to make a 2-ply yarn, and we Navajo plied another bobbin (this creates a 3-ply yarn). Today I set the twist in hot water. (When my teacher, Gail, told me to put the yarn in hot water, I said "but won't it felt?" She did a double take. Apparently most people ask "but won't it shrink?" at this point...) Here is a picture of some yarn before the twist is set:

And here is a picture of yarn after the twist has been set. I'm not sure you can see a difference in the photos, but the finished yarn is smoother and the fibers have relaxed and bloomed. This helps hide the terrible inconsistencies that I created!

In other knitting news, I'm working on a second pair of Sidestream socks from Dream in Color Smooshy and I'm swatching some Shibui sock yarn. It probably won't continue to look like this when I cast on an appropriate number of stitches for actual socks, but the gauge swatch has each color taking up less than one full round. The one-row striping effect is nice! I'm not sure I can get away with much beyond a plain vanilla sock with these color contrasts, though. Any pattern suggestions?


  1. You now have to add "blogger" to your list of roles!

  2. I can totally see the difference between the two! If you come down at Christmas, there's a knitting shop out in Paige, TX (on the other side of Elgin) that carries a lot of wheels. A knitting friend of mine bought a wheel there. She, like you, is making great progress with her spinning. I'm jealous -- and impressed -- and inspired! When are you going to get some sheep?

    And don't ask me about matching yarn to pattern. I would go with a plain sock pattern, too. I always manage to combine busy yarns with busy patterns -- I just can't seem to stop myself.

    Love that you have a blog. LOVE!

  3. Love, love, love the blog!

    I'd do a plain sock. Just do something funky around the ankle, that will be enough.

    I could tell a difference in the two yarn photos.

  4. Your yarn looks fantastic already! Isn't it amazing what setting can do?