Spinning Merino

After I finished the previous batts I was still in the mood for fast spinning, so last weekend I spun up some Merino roving I had from Spunky Eclectic, in the colorway Mudslide.  Merino is a very soft fiber that really is best served by being spun thick and lofty anyway.  Again, being from a fiber club, this happened to be a colorway I wasn’t especially keen on.

Now, her fiber is carded and in roving form; this particular one was space-dyed, and had a distinct pattern.    I unrolled the braid, and then stripped it – here is one of the strips (I forgot to take a photo prior to stripping and unfortunately this is the only one I took of the strips): Spinning Merino and Coopworth 001

I designated one end ‘A’ and the other ‘B’ and spun it up A-B, then B-A, then A-B etc.    Since I had 4 oz, and my bobbins hold about 2oz, I simply spun until the bobbin was full, making sure though that I finished the strip.   I then spun the second bobbin the same way, and plied them as-is.   If I was really being anal about getting the colors to line up for striping rather then barber pole, I had a couple choices.  Firstly — I could simply have chain-plied — but that is a ‘fake’ 3-ply that isn’t as structurally sound and I’m not that good at it anyway.

For the two-ply I wanted I could instead have measured the fiber out by weight prior to stripping to ensure even division, and then been exceedingly careful about making each strip the same size, or pre-drafted each to the identical dimensions and then spun without further drafting.   Truly anal people than go so far as to break their single while plying when the color lengths don’t line up.   I am not this anal, and did none of this.

Here is the first bobbin-full, with the 2nd half of the fiber waiting to be stripped and spun, and the first skein.

Spinning Merino and Coopworth 003 Spinning Merino and Coopworth 005

When plying I really filled up the bobbin because I only wanted to end up with two skeins (I could use a large plying flyer/ bobbin setup if this is going to become a habit!).   I was stunned at how much the plied yarn puffed out versus even the singles, and how noticeably so just on the bobbins.  I really overloaded them.     I washed (carefully!) in hot soapy water, let cool to lukewarm, and rinsed and hung to dry unweighted.   I was very carefully not to agitate or shock, as Merino has a reputation for felting if you look at it funny.  I ended up with two very soft and squishy skeins!  Quite nice really, though there are a few sections where both singles were a bit under spun at the same time.

Ready for my close-up!

Spinning Merino and Coopworth 013 Spinning Merino and Coopworth 014

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>