Friday, June 22, 2007

Cobweb Silk

Dave and I have had a few email conversations since he got his new Journey Wheel. He has discovered just how good this wheel is at spinning laceweight yarn. I have never tried it. My Journey Wheel is primarily a plying wheel due to it's fantastic orifacelessness. This makes it easy to stop in the middle of a plying project and detatch the bobbin to start another project if desired or to just pack up the wheel if needed. I've actually only done this once or twice but that is primarily why I got it as a second wheel -- that and the fact that is travels well should I choose to take it on the road. The only time I have actually spun on my JW was last summer when I had the Kromski packed away.

For laceweight, I can spin a pretty thin yarn on my Kromski Minstrel but I can get even finer on one of my spindles. My preferences in spindles is decidedly Bosworth. I have another work horse, my Emily and have just not found another spindle that I like as well as those produced by these two artists. (And I have tried many.)

Pictured below is the cobweb singles that I am Navajo plying into cobweb three-ply for my shawl.Single3-ply

My photography is no where as good as some bloggers for items this small, but I try.

All of the singles were spun on my mini-bossie spindle during odd bits of time. Today I got about 15 yards of single spun while waiting for my lunch (5 minutes or so). That will translate into roughly 5 yards of finished yarn once plyed. Every week I take my spindle to the laundry room while the clothes dry and knock of uncountable yards of singles. On the rare occasions that we get to the playground these days, my silk spindle accompanies me though if I don't feel like having a conversation with random kids, I take out my knitting instead -- it attracts less attention. So far I have spun over an ounce of these singles with much of it spun over the last few months. (This project mouldered for about a year until settled on the final shape / pattern for the shawl. )

Yes, with practice I could probably get as fine a product on my big wheel -- and can do so in cotton on my charka but I like my spindle and I like producing ultra fine yarn on it. There is something very satisfying and meditative about taking my spindle out of my small purse and producing something so thin that it is difficult to see. The satisfaction of quickly turning out thicker yarns on my wheel is also a factor -- my "thick" yarns are still sport weight so it is all a matter of perspective. I seem incapable of spinning thick though I did work hard at it last summer to some success.

During the school year, I take out my wheels only on the weekends and then not every weekend. The weekday evenings are too short to separate myself from my family behind the wheel, so I knit instead (besides, I have to knit up all the yarn I am spinning). Summer time is for balcony spinning in the late afternoon sun. And maybe weaving.
The current state of the shawl. It's a bit windy -- I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow.


Sarah said...

The shawl is so pretty! I'm very impressed by your spinning!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that. The silk looks incredible. I've recently gotten some silk caps, and I think I'll have to try spinning it on the spindle first.
Have a great weekend!

Cookie said...

You, my dear, are an evil temptress.

Penny said...

Dave pointed me here to you.. I've been emailing with him since he got his new wheel.. WOW. That is incredible. I am inspired and hope one day to spin a third as well!

Penny said...

I just saw this in person. It is AMAZING!!! You are an awesome teacher! Thank you.