The Cool Conundrums Conundrum

For my birthday last year, my parents got me a Very Fast Flyer for my Lendrum DT. For those who don’t know what that means, you can get 4 different flyers for a Lendrum DT: Jumbo/Plying, Regular, Fast, and Very Fast. As you might be able to guess, the most basic difference is that from left to right they spin faster thus adding twist to the yarn faster. Having made friends with the Fast Flyer last year, I was excited to add the Very Fast Flyer to my toolkit.

There has been a learning curve with which to contend with this new equipment, to be sure. Figuring out how to thread it without a struggle took a little more doing than I anticipated. And then there was just the sheer speed of the thing — holyohmygoodness — it’s fast. Suffice to say I was pretty intimidated, but as is true with most things in spinning the only real way to learn it is to just practice. For me, it tends to help if I use fiber I really want to turn out nicely — it ups the ante and forces me to really apply myself. So I grabbed a braid of Three Waters Farm Superwash Targhee in the Cool Conundrums colorway and went to work.

img_2222Along with getting comfortable threading the thing and adjusting to the speed, this flyer requires different bobbins so I also really wanted to figure out how much fiber I could fit on them, too, as that can impact how I decide to divide and spin a braid or braids of fiber.

img_2256When all was said & done, it turns out I was only able to squeeze about 2oz on each bobbin which is good to know as I only have 3 bobbins. Since I do a fair number of 8oz spins, another couple bobbins will be going on my wish list and until I get there I’ll most likely stick to 4oz projects. I much prefer to spin all the singles for a project on the same flyer and all in one go, so those bigger projects will definitely be delegated to the other flyers for the time being.

As you can see, from the curly-q’s on both bobbins I had some issues with over-twisting my singles. I had concerns about how hard they’d be to handle when it was time to ply, especially since I was planning to n-ply them. For me, getting over-twisting sorted on an n-ply is a little more challenging than when plying 2-ply. But I managed…

 img_2330And I plied yesterday without too much drama.

The magic came though when I snapped & thwacked that skein after it had soaked. It’s hard to explain how a series of snaps of a skein of handspun yarn can set the twist and forgive a lot imperfections, but it’s somewhat similar to how blocking forgives a lot in knitting. In any case, I set it to dry over a heating vent and this morning I awoke to a surprisingly well-balanced, absolutely pretty little skein of 3ply superwash targhee yarn.

whole skeinThe blues, the purples, the pops of yellow, and bits of bright pink — it’s just the cutest skein I’ve ever spun.

super detI’ve got about 250yards and no imminent plans for this beauty. I sacrificed yardage to create the n-ply, so you could say that my Cool Conundrums present a bit of a conundrum in finding the perfect pattern. Considering all I put into creating this skein, though, I think I’m just going to enjoy it the accomplishment for a little while. I can tackle the rest another day.

10 thoughts on “The Cool Conundrums Conundrum”

  1. That is a very lovely skein of hard one yarn. Thanks for taking us along as you worked with the new(er) toy. I found it interesting that the bobbins only held 2 ounces each, does the fast flyer hold a similar amount, or do they uses the standard bobbins?

    1. I was kind of hopeful the VFF bobbins would hold more — perhaps if I learn to spin a little finer I’ll be able to cram more on? The fast flyer uses standard bobbins on which I can easily fit 4oz (actually a little more if I need to).

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