Monday, May 21, 2007

Lacy Rib Swatch

Hi All,
Some of you already know me as a pretty new spinner. I decided, with some encouragement from Margene and Anne, to just jump in with both feet and give the exotic fibers a try. Here's my first attempt with the Rambouillet.

I spun up just a little bit, maybe a quarter ounce, aiming for the 13wpi 2-ply noted in the pattern, gave it a bath and swatched the Lacy Rib. Here's my result.
Rambouillet Swatch-1
Rambo first swatch

I neglected to note my yardage after plying, and sure wish I'd taken a photo, but I did end up with a very puffy soft 13wpi, knit it up, and am getting a nice fabric at the 5spi gauge.

The last two fibers I've spun were BFL and Corriedale, so the difference in fiber texture and shorter staple length were quite noticeable to me. At first I found it challenging to get going without breaking the single, but finally settled into a shorter draw that worked better. Anne's notes were absolutely correct it's easier to spin it thinner than thicker if you want to avoid lumps and bumps.

Spun and plied with a moderate twist, the yarn was a little uneven in the skein, though a lot of that could be my newbie spinning [vbg]. I finally understand the description I've read about fiber being chalky, and would describe the plied yarn as soft though not smooth. Knit up the fabric is bouncy and squooshy, and again soft but not smooth, with slightly blurred stitch definition.

So, my question for the experienced spinners is, can the rambouillet be spun smoother, or is it in the nature of the fiber to keep its peach-fuzz feel?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I've been spinnin'

As soon as I got home from my interview on Tuesday I set to spinning up that gorgeous new fiber! It sure spins up like a dream! I've been using a worsted/woolen spinning technique. I really tried to get worsted to work for me but I kept having trouble getting enough fibers out from between my pinched fingers and the yarn would snap. Anyway, I've already spun up quite a bit and you can bet your sheep I'll be spinning up some more! I've got a little more information on my blog if you want to wander over and take a peek.

Monday, May 7, 2007

First Subscription Packages Going Out!

Howdy everyone:

The first of the packages are going out via USPS tomorrow. I'm trying to get the ones that have to travel the farthest in the mail first, so everyone receives them at about the same time. (Jeni in the UK - I actually sent yours out on Friday, but considering how the USPS works its.....ahem... magic or lack thereof, it may arrive in Cardiff before things hit the east coast of the States. Whatever.).

A couple of notes:

1. Be sure to give the fibers a bit of a fluff and predraft. The roving has some lanolin in it and I tried to get as much air out of the bag as I could for shipping, so they will be a bit compacted, but should spring back okay once you air them out a bit.

2. The information packet is actually 2 pages, double sided. They are in protective plastic sleeves, so don't miss all the information that's hidden inside.

Hopefully I have included enough to give everyone a good jumping-off point. There are 4 ounces in this kit and that should be plenty to do some sampling and play around a bit with the wool. If you run into any questions, problems, queries, etc., feel free to post them here and we can round-table discuss them. You don't have to be limited to comments. I think I have everyone set up appropriately they can post to the blog just like it was their very own.

AND, in other news..... I have the cormo already back from the mill for subscription #2. Miriam is busy thinking up some other brilliant little design for that roving. The alpaca is already here and it is very soft and lovely, a pretty, rich cinnamon color. I finally finished washing the pygora (both colors - this will be a 2-color pattern) and just need to get that blended with a bit of wool to help with the spinning and then off to the mill that'll go. (Assuming Emma the cat will allow me to leave the house with it. She has developed an unholy attachment to the goat smell that the unwashed fiber had and kept attempted to beat down the door to the laundry room where the fleece was stored before washing so she could roll around in it.)

I think that's it! Let me know if you have any questions.

Happy spinning!