Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Slow and Steady

Summer has arrived a little ahead of the calendar. The temperatures this week are sizzling, as in 100 degrees. I wonder how this early heat will affect tomato plants as they set on fruit. I walked quite early this morning and the wind was already blowing a gale. Perhaps it will blow up some rain. I've noticed summer is a season for spinning. Maybe that's because one can work with fiber without having it in your lap. I don't have a spinning wheel but maybe treadling a wheel creates air flow or is that wishful thinking on my part? 

At any rate, I spin a little most days. This week I finished making yarn from a braid of Heathered BFL from Greenwood Fiberworks. The heathered part of the BFL takes dye in a way that left a gray streak in the purple and blue fiber. If I had not seen someone else's photo of their spinning with heathered BFL, I would not have tried it. The fiber from this company is predrafted and not compacted when it arrives. I found it easy to spin. 

I spun singles on two spindles. After the singles rested, I wound them onto a Turkish Spindle for plying. Turkish Spindles come apart leaving little yarn "turtles." I use flower pots to keep the turtles from tangling and then spin a two ply yarn onto a spindle. There are disadvantages to plying this way. The singles are not taunt and sometimes pigtail back on each other. The other "physics" principle is that spin of a spindle naturally slows down so twist going into the yarn varies. At least I think that is what happens. However this method is better, in my opinion, then winding singles into a plying ball. I find making plying balls extremely tedious. It is also easy to have less tension in one single than the other requiring cutting them and realigning in a new skein. Then I end up with even more short skeins. 

Anyway, I have approximately 400 yards of this yarn. I knit a little swatch and got an average gauge of 5 stitches to inch on size five needles. It looks like my default sport weight handspun. 

So now I'm thinking of the possibilities for knitting it into a project. Likely I'll combine the handspun with some commercial yarn. The colors of the swatch look darker in the photo but they would go nicely with gray. 

I have a busy week ahead so I am posting early. Stay cool out there. 


  1. We are also expecting some very hot temperatures this week (I think tomorrow the heat index is expected to be above 100), but it's also very humid and we're getting regular rain, so I'm hoping all the plants stay alive.

    Your yarn is lovely. I've never been good at plying on a spindle. Even if I spin singles on a spindle, I often end up plying on a wheel. Part of it is the difficulties you mention, but it's also hard on my shoulder to ply on a spindle.

  2. Lovely yarn and I agree that it would go nicely with a grey - perhaps a light shade of grey would be pretty with it? Stay cool. 100 degrees is HOT!! We had a little rain this morning (and thunder). The afternoon has turned into a very nice day - a pleasant breeze, lower temps and not much humidity. I'd be happy if it were this way all summer!

  3. Wow, Jane - what a fantastic accomplishment! The singles were beautiful and the finished yarn is simply stunning. I can't wait to see what it becomes with knitting needles! (and yikes, try to stay cool!!)

  4. We've also started with the hazy, hot, and humid weather of summer that I dislike. I'm glad that summer is for spinning and you have definitely become quite the spinner! I spent >seven hours waiting outside the ER today because only patients are allowed inside the ER and Justin was the patient. He's okay, but I had the dilemma of not knitting (not really possible while waiting that long) vs having a big cowl in my lap while knitting. It was hot, but I had to knit. I hope your busy week is enjoyable and you can stay cool.

  5. Our temps have been up and down here in Utah. Yesterday was only up to abou 60 degrees after being 100 the day before. Very crazy weather. I think your yarn spinning is so interesting. I hope you have a good week.

  6. We're having an early-season heat wave here, too. Not a good time to have a lot of wool in your lap, for sure! Your spinning looks just lovely all worked up into a swatch. I can't wait to see what you do with it! XO

  7. it is steamy hot here and it's not fun at all, I am grateful for the AC! I love your spinning adventures, you are so talented. I'm working on a sweater for my grandson for Christmas and lots of shawls and a sweater for me.

  8. The heat wave waned last week... we got a bit of a reprieve over the weekend, and it is roaring back today. Hot, steamy, and utterly miserable. I do not much like temps in the 90's+ at all.

  9. Oklahoma is in heat mode...although it could be worse. We're supposed to get the upstairs AC replaced today and wouldn't you know it, it seems everyone on the street needs to have big trucks/things in front of the houses. Narrow street and we have about the only decent shade in front of our narrow frontage. Hubby asked the guys from across and down one to move their vehicle as we have someone coming between 10 and 2. I let our neighbor immediately on the ac side that there would be people up and down their driveway to get at our ac. Yeah, stay cool and don't blow a gasket. lol

    1. I'm knitting socks(for the record).