‘Satisfied with Summer’ was the July Top of the Month Club from Three Waters Farm. This 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk braid was a definite WOW when I opened the package. The colors were so vivid and stretched from so light to so dark that it kind of took my breath away. I had a particular adventure in mind for this fiber and it involved these…
My four Akerworks Mini Spindles. Since I started this fiber during the Tour de Fleece, I thought this would be a grand fiber to use as my ‘take everywhere’ project. The Mini Spindles are perfect for this as they are very small and travel extremely well.
I split the fiber in thirds and made some of the sloppiest rolags you could imagine out of the first third.
I did indeed take my spindles with me everywhere, including my rather dark basement on those hot & humid days of late July & early August.
It was at this point that I had a decision to make. Do I keep spindle spinning the remainder of the braid or do I finish the final two-thirds with my wheel?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was kind of a big deal for me. This was the first time I really looked at both my wheel & spindles as equals, as tools that do the exact same thing. I wasn’t thinking about how clumsy I am with the spindles or how uneven my spinning on them might be and how much more fluent I am with the wheel. I didn’t ‘give up’ on my spindles to finish with my wheel. I just made the choice to spin the last two thirds with my wheel only because my wheel was free and because I was excited to finish up and see my new yarn.
So I wrapped up the singles spinning…
The spindles were a bit more blended thanks to my “rolags” (in quotation marks as they were more of an attempt at rolags than the real thing) and the two bobbins, as is my habit lately, I divided differently so for the most part the color changes wouldn’t line up.
I didn’t snap any plying photos. I used my Lendrum Kate for the bobbins, but set up my AkerKate to handle the spindle. And because the spindles were so full, I had to pop off the whorls to get them to work in the set-up. When I popped the whorl off of spindle #2, this is what I found…
Just perhaps my favorite photo of my fiber arts exploits ever.
It’s interesting to note that where I thought for sure my wheel spinning would be more consistent than my spindles, the exact opposite was true. On a whole, my spindle spun singles were actually more consistent! I think this is largely because, being more of a novice with spindles, I take more time with them. When you’re more focused, of course, you are more consistent and pay more attention to details.
The final skein, a traditional 3-ply, came out to be roughly 330yards of sport weight yarn.
It’s shiny & has loads of drape. I can’t help but imagine it as some simple little shawl like Echolocation or Leticia. Whatever it becomes, it’ll be the cherry on the sundae of this yarn. I’ve already gained so much from spinning this skein.
The realization that I can use my spindles and wheel as equals is not only a huge confidence builder as I feel stronger as a spindle spinner (and spinner in general), but it’s a boon for productivity, too. Now when I start a spindle project it’s not a project I can get “stuck” spinning for months on a spindle — that’s what used to happen to me. No, now I can work an entire braid, a portion of a braid, or any combination I can dream up on spindles and my wheel. I’m not anchored to one method or another. Maybe this is something other spinners feel right away, maybe not. For this lady, though, it certainly is a big deal and it absolutely leaves me satisfied with the lessons of this braid, satisfied with the lessons of this summer.