The wheels keep turning

The tour is in its last week and Froome wears the yellow jersey for the tenth stage.

I am more or less happily spinning the textured BFL/silk batts. In the hot weather, this has been a challenge and I was glad for the rest days. The second bobbin looks as the first one pictured in my last post and my progress is slow.The more I am spinning this preparation, the better I am getting in not fiddling as much with the singles. Instead of trying to draft out the slubs I started to rub the thicker spots to make the singles more uniform. This is similar to what Judith MacKenzie McCuin does at the plying stage of woolen yarn. I am eager to so how the finished yarn will look like and if this results in a somewhat even yarn.

When I haven’t feeling like sitting down in front of my wheel, I used my Russian spindle to spin up some angora that has been languishing for some time. I want it finished, so I can get to some angora/merino batts I bought in Backnang. The angora on the spindle right now is top that is a bit compacted. I don’t enjoy spinning it that much and have the feeling that my technique isn’t the best. I roll small fauxlags around one finger and spin with a long draw. The thickness of the singles varies a bit and I am not sure I insert the right amount of twist. However, it is a good practice for the batts.

Last year, I was spinning BFL/silk top, also using long draw (nobody would have guessed that’s my favorite draw) and I spun 400g of it. I am nowhere near that this year, which is in part due to the preparation and in part due to the time I spent at the wheel. Nonetheless, I am glad to have this challenge to remind me to sit down for at least a few minutes each day.


Tour de Fleece has started!

So, on Saturday, the cyclists started in Utrecht with individual time trials. I started spinning my batt from World of Wool. It consists of black and grey BFL and 25% Silk noils.

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BFL/Silk noils batt

I made a sample card, to remind me how thick I want to spin the yarn. As you can see, the singles has a lot of texture. I plan to make a 4-ply. This should make the diameter more even, but it will still have the white silk noils sprinkled all over it.

Sample Card

Sample Card

I spin with a long draw, letting twist between my hands. I can’t really draw smoothly back, since the batt is not uniform. My draw resembles more a point-of-twist approach, where I ‘feed’ the fiber slowly to the twist in the make. With this fiber, that is a rather slower process as a long-draw (both English or point-of-twist), since the fiber is almost resisting to being made into yarn. That’s entirely due to the mixture of BFL (a wool with a relatively long staple length) and the silk noils (very short staple length with nepps) and not to a poor preparation.

TdF day 1

The singles I spun on the weekend

I have been picking out the biggest slubs and small, thicker parts of silk. The singles still has a lot going on. I made a small sample of 4-ply and knitted a swatch. I don’t have a picture yet, but it looks promising.

Happy spinning,