Play Day!

After all the rush of the past few weeks, I gave myself a play day yesterday and did some spinning….

The first task – no, not task – pleasure! – was to ply a couple of bobbins I had spun up before I went away and hadn’t had the time to finish.  One bobbin was a batt from Carol – feistywomandesigns on Etsy – that I had bought a while ago.  It was a single 28 g batt with loads and loads of colour and sparkle.  One I couldn’t resist even though I hadn’t a clue what to do with it!

Carol's photo of her batts - mine was front left - only one left when I found it

The other bobbin was a batt from my Secret Santa on the UK Spinners Ravelry group, the lovely Jo.  That one was also sparkly, and in the same pink as was present in Carol’s batt, literally an ocean away from Jo.

I spun both up thickish and thinnish – not wildly changing the diameter, but giving both a texture.  Carol’s batt had bits in it and I let them find their own space – very relaxed spinning if you are happy to let it flow.

Both were spun on my Orkney wheel.  I had also strung 3 mm beads on to a bobbin of pink sewing thread ready to ply with the other two.  And the three parts had lain unattended for several weeks.

I plied on my Alien spinner.  This is great for spinning anything where you have to stop and start as it only takes a finger to touch the panel to stop and start the flyer, and you don’t have to let go of anything as your hands are already just by the panel.  It took a few minutes to work out exactly how best to hold my hands to get the beads on the yarn every 10 to 20 cms, but once I sorted that it went easily.  Until the bobbin ran out…  At that point I had beads all over the floor…

I found a big cop of pink sewing thread, pick up the beads off the floor and strung them on.  My next problem was how to keep the cop from rolling round, getting stuck etc etc.  The thread needed to wind off the cop steadily…  At that point I noticed my mini sweerie box, made for me by Mike Williams to go with my half size Orkney wheel.  It was perfect for the cop!

The final yarn came out well, and I look forward to knitting it up.

I then went on to the batts that Niela and I had made in Shetland last week.  I wanted to spin these thick with the texture as lumps, so it was the Alien spinner again.  I had two batts, both made from the same table of fibre.  The first was the one Niela made to show me how her Louet electric carder works and the second was the one I made to try it out.

Each one filled a bobbin, and again the easy stop/start of the touch screen made life simple.  Again I let the textured bits in the batt come through as lumpy bits, and just tried to make sure the smaller bits were well ‘caged’ by wool or mohair.

I am leaving these on the bobbins for a few days before deciding whether to steam or wash them, and before deciding what I am going to do with them.  They will be useful as illustrations for Niela and my workshop on drum carding during Shetland Wool Week in October.




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