Meat & Potatoes

As a fiber artist, generally speaking I really like to change things up. I don’t much care for doing the same project multiple times in row in my knitting or in my spinning. It just has to be different or I get bored. Sure, I like relatively simple socks and I knit a lot of vanilla socks, but at the same time, I do like to mix it up with textured patterns, different types of yarn, etc. Spinning is no different. From project to project I like to spin the full gamut, too — from different weights to subtle play with texture to different wheels or spindles. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.

Every once in a while though, my spinning self gets on a roll with 2-ply worsted(ish) yarns. They aren’t thrilling or particularly fast spins, but they are like the meat and potatoes of spinning for me — the basic sustenance of my spinning self. 2-ply worsted is where I started my spinning adventures and every now and then, I just like to spend some time making these simple, fun yarns. Compared to many other spins, once I’ve got the feel for the drafting in my hands, they are easy to start and finish in a relatively short amount of time and the resulting skeins are perfect for simple projects like a nice basic hat or a pair of mitts or a cowl. In winter, I can never have too many of these hanging around in my stash. We inevitably lose hats and wind up with wet hats, so I simply never have too many and almost always can easily justify making more.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been enjoying some of these ‘meat & potato’ spins in an effort to stash down some fiber that’s been hanging around for a while as well as just learn this basic skill on the new wheel. All right, I’ve got a confession, I’ve actually been spinning them on both wheels. Not just because I’m a hopeless fanatic (which I totally am at this point), but also because moving between the familiar and unfamiliar wheel has really helped to speed the process of learning how to acquire this skill on the new wheel. So much of spinning is tactile memory, having that 2-ply worsted feel in my hands before I sit down to spin it on the new wheel really helps the learning curve, I think. Boy, am I lucky to have this as an option!

I’m also lucky in that I’ve got 4 new skeins of this lovely 2-ply yarn finished! Can you say whew-hoo?! All these skeins are Superwash Merino + Nylon 85/15 — a fact for which I was so happily cruising along that I only realized it when writing this blog. I knew they were all merino blends, but hadn’t paid too close attention to the exact blends. Le sigh.┬áLet’s get to those SWMerino + Nylon blends, shall we?!

First, let me introduce Sandy Claws.


You’ll notice it’s not as poofy as an unblended Merino would be — that’s the nylon at play. It’s still super fun, I think. As a UW Madison alum, I see Badgers, but I’m definitely biased.


These are totally not my normal spinning fiber colors, but I really enjoyed the true red and high contrast in this fiber.

Next, let me introduce, Phlox.


This was adopted by way of the no longer available Cloudlover Fiber Club, which definitely dates it as that club ended probably 2years ago. Thank goodness fiber does not have an expiration date!


The delicate, barely-there colors were another departure from my normal color selections and again, pretty fun to experiment with.

And then there was, Ragdoll.


This colorway I really love. I actually bought this on a special order, if memory serves, thinking it would be perfect for spinning and then knitting a sweater for my daughter. This was back when 8oz was laughably more than enough for the task.


I could probably still make it work, but there’s a beautiful pink from Three Waters Farm that I have stash for this task and I have much more of that on-hand. My daughter’s preferred color choice plus more than enough fiber to have unlimited options for this project means it was time to just spin it up, meat & potatoes style! I’m so glad I did — it’s just fun to finally see it spun!

And last, but not least, As You Wish.


This was also part of the Cloudlover fiber club and it was one that I was pretty skeptical about, but it surprised me.


It’s this combination of neutral and super subtle purples and greens that I find pretty interesting.

All in all, I think this skeins turned out pretty darn nice. And I’m so very glad because these skeins have a very special, super secret destiny. I don’t have any details for them yet, but I’m guessing they’re in the worsted, 200yard(ish) vicinity. The perfect meat & potatoes, back to basics spins indeed. You can expect to see more of these types of spins over the coming weeks as I work on clearing through some of my deep stash — I believe I’ve got 4 or 5 more braids prepped to spin, 2 bobbins full already resting, and 2 spins on my 2 wheels. Variety is definitely the spice of life, but sometimes there’s nothing like a little comfort spinning!