This week I took the plunge and began to ply my spindle spun buffalo yarn. As you know I am plying the single of buffalo fiber with a commercial wool crepe yarn, these fibers have been combined onto a Russian plying spindle. Yes it did take me about 2 hours to combine the 2 yarns together but mostly because my plying spindle is so heavy I had to give my wrist a break from holding it. A lighter weight plying spindle has been ordered so I can move through this process quicker. Once I had the fibers combined the next step was to create the plying disc. I finally found some cardboard which suited my needs and made a somewhat round circle and began the process of plying the fibers.
My current spindle does work well as a supported spindle and is aiding in the plying process rather well. Somehow I seem to have more yak yarn than wool and keep getting gaps in the drafting area as the 2 yarns are not in sync. Since this is my first time with this process I’m trying not to be to critical and treating things as a learning experience. After all I have another 1/2 ounce of buffalo fiber plus cashmere, yak and paco-vicuna fibers to work with.
This weekend a met another lace knitter who happens to be a cashmere fanatic. She has asked that I attempt to make a 2 ply cobweb weight yarn from paco-vicuna for her use in her knitting business. My only hiccup at the moment is that I don’t know where I put my paco-vicuna fiber so that I can start on this process. The last time I spun PV fiber was a few years back and on my Louet wheel and it turned out a Sports weight single. Now that I can spin a fine yarn on the Russian spindles I am hoping to each cobweb status – time will tell.
As I am spinning the Romney fleece into a fine yarn I have decided to actually knit with it. So for the first time I am spinning yarn for an actual project! After pulling out all of my lace pattern books I finally decided on the Frost Flowers & Leaves shawl from the book “A Gathering of Lace. I’m so excited to start this project and have actually cast on the first few rounds tonight. It uses the Emily Ocker’s circular beginning technique and I finally found a video that explains it in a manner that I can understand. The shawl has about 200 rows and a lace border. It will require 3000 yards of yarn – yikes. So far I have spun 298 yards and I think running out of yarn will inspire me to spin more of the fleece. My shawl will be ivory color but isn’t it beautiful?
I’m finishing up a lace beret on another set of needles and I’m so grateful that I have several stitch markers in my stash. This hat is almost done as I just need to do the 2×2 ribbing for it.
Later in the month I will make a similar hat but on larger needles as this one appears to be on the small side. Looking forward to making summer based hats which will be great for the beach or camping trips in the mountains. Hoping lighter weight hats will sell this summer during my farmer’s market.
The Estes Park Wool Market class schedule is out and there is a one day class on spinning Orenburg lace yarn. The class is $100 but I’m thinking it will be well worth the expense to learn this technique on my Ashford wheel so that I can produce high quality lace (cobweb lace) yarns. Also with this technique a little fiber goes a long way! It will also give me a reason to continue to spin silk fibers as the wool is plied with silk for the finished project. Galina Khmeleva is the teacher of this class and it would be so neat to meet her as I own her videos on this topic. I still have a few weeks to decide but it would be a nice treat for myself and a means of getting away for a couple of days. Everyone that knows me knows that I adore Estes Park. It is one of my favorite towns in all of Colorado. We have our favorite restaurants and enjoy watching the wildlife in and around town.
Well I’m off to knit my shawl but will post progress in a few weeks – stay tuned!