Great Balls of Fiber

Great Balls of FiberOn the 18th The Weaving Works had another drop-in spinning night that was well attended despite the pending holiday. Shirley mentioned that spinning is getting so popular that she’s had to add another beginning spinning class to the Fall schedule. That’s amazing considering just a couple of years ago they had trouble filling even one class.

This time I brought along some fiber that I picked up at the NWRSA Conference that I attended this summer. It caught my eye because it resembles the blended fibers that Deb Menz makes.

I don’t have any immediate knitting plans for this one. Perhaps someday it will turn into socks since the fiber is superwash colonial. Here’s a closer view of a swatch in stockinette stitch on size 3.5mm needles.

While surfing knitting sites this afternoon I ran across this Fair Isle sampler project called Onslow’s Vest on A Time to Knit. I suppose it was inspired by Onslow on the BBC show, “Keeping Up Appearances”. Doesn’t the yarn that I’m spinning almost look like the yarn used to make this sampler? At least I think so.

Fiber Details
Name: Great Balls of Fiber by Sarah Anderson of Snohomish WA
Fiber: Superwash Colonial
Color: Winter Spirit
Source: NWRSA Conference 2005
Weight: 5.6 ounces

Tussah and Merino

Yep, I’m still working on perfecting my merino spinning skills to develop enough confidence to start spinning for the Spin-Off sweater. I’ve split yard-long lengths of roving into thin strips,  pre-draft  these thin strips well and then spin with moderate twist.  The singles are spun on a 9:1 ratio whorl and plied on a 7 1/2:1 ratio whorl.


I found that the long fibers of the tussah silk in this mixed merino/silk roving helped make it much easier to  spin than a pure merino roving. Although I initially liked the mix of colors in pre-spun fiber once spun, I started finding that the red didn’t show up much in the singles. So after finishing a bobbin of singles I decided to ply the silk/merino singles with another bobbin of red merino singles to create a barber pole type yarn. The swatch in the top left corner was made from this barber pole yarn and the swatch below it was made from pure merino yarn.

Rainbow Roving

Fiber: Rainbow Roving by Crosspatch Creations
Content: Wool, Tussah Silk, Silk Noil
Approximate weight: 4oz.
Preparation: Carded (?)
Source: Bellwether
Equipment: wheel
11:1 ratio whorl for singles
7-1/2 ratio whorl  for plying
Method: semi-worsted, inch by inch short draw
Twist: 7 – 9 plied twists per inch
Wraps Per Inch: 12 – 14
Needles: 3.25mm
26 sts = 4-1/4 inches
Possible Project: Socks – if there’s enough

Notes: My best spinning results yet. I love this fiber. It’s soft but not whimpy. Most importantly, the knitted swatch is just as beautiful as the skein.