As you know, I started spinning my very first fiber from Dyeabolical last week. Here is where it started.
It always wows me to think how to the untrained eye would view this. It really probably looks like not nothing at all to be excited about. Oh, but we fiber enthusiasts know better, don’t we?
When I took it out of the bag, I noticed a couple things about the color. First, the colors were very rich. Second, the color repeats were rather long. I knew pretty much right away that I wanted to mix these colors together with my spinning. Mix them together as opposed to keeping them separate as I did in my last spinning project. I briefly considered a marled yarn, but as I mentioned in an earlier post a blog I came across on Introverted Knitter introduced me to the idea of fractal spinning. It sounded both fun & perfect for this fiber so I decided to give it a try.
At the suggestion of Kara from Suzy Sells Sea Shells, I first divided the fiber in half horizontally, set one half aside, and then separated the second half in four equal sections vertically. I find this method ingenius when compared with dividing it all vertically. True, the color will mix a bit differently. Seriously, though, trying to divide the whole 4oz in half vertically was never going to be even for me. This worked much easier.
Wool all set, I started off with the spinning beginning with the full 2oz half portion.
It spun up SO FAST. Part of this was because I have been spinning laceweight for months, so fingering weight just flew onto the bobbin. A little unwieldy at first for me to get used to, I adjusted pretty quickly to the heavier weight and the first 2oz of single I spun within a couple hours.
I believe the fiber itself was another big factor in how quickly I was able to spin this fiber. This was my first experience with Portuguese Merino and going into it I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Priced comparably to a Polwarth fiber, I expected it to be a little on the rustic side. Listed as ‘not a true merino,’ to my novice hands it certainly had the outward feel and appearance closer to a Corriedale or Polwarth than any merino I had used before. The first thing I noticed was how ‘tacky’ it is — it almost felt like the fibers stick together… in all honesty, the consistency felt similar to melted marshmallows. I was pretty convinced at first that I would want to pre-draft the lot before I could comfortably spin. To my great surprise pre-drafting ended up being really unpleasant for me, almost frustratingly so. How was this going to work?
Well, I went back to Plan A and just started spinning. The Portuguese Merino surprised me again. With no pre-drafting and just a few minutes to get the hang of it, I was spinning this fiber like it was room temperature butter (sorry for all the food references… I am adjusting to a healthier diet and I think I have sweets & high fats on the brain… I have no idea how you would spin warm butter, but if you could I am convinced this is what it would feel like). It was so easy to spin — I would even recommend it for a newbie spinner, it is that enjoyable and easy to handle. As a not-quite newbie, it felt smooth & soft in my hands and the body in the wool fibers was just incredibly thick. I felt like I had so much control over what I could create with this fiber. I just fell head over heels in love with this wool.
I let my fibers rest while I made a quick weekend trip with the kids & pup to visit my parents and as soon as I arrived home I cleaned and unpacked and mowed the lawn and showered all in record time to be able to ply.
In the end, I wound up with about 150yards of a worsted weight yarn. Believe it or not, that was exactly what I was shooting for…
Now the only one big question remains: Will I stick with the original plan and make mittens for my daughter or will I be selfish and make something for myself?