sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

spinning merino seacell batts

I was pretty anxious to see how the handpulled rovings from my long stripe batts would spin up, so I spun the 4 oz on Monday and Tuesday and hoped they'd be dry today for pics :)

Superwash merino - seacell 2 ply from carded batts pulled into roving
approx 4 oz, 250 yd
"Indian Summer"

I was a little nervous about the color-- I knew separately I liked the colors, and I thought they'd look good together in a yarn, but pulled into the ribboned roving I wasn't too sure. I'm pleased with the outcome though... the colors are spoton to what I had hoped they would be.

I also worried that the yarn would be too even in terms of color-- that the pulled roving would result in a yarn that had each color evenly represented, and that it would be kind of boring. It didn't work out that way, maybe because I didn't pull the roving down to the point I wouldn't have to draft at all when spinning (if the colors were even in the roving and I didn't have to draft any more, I'm sure the colors would look more even than they do...) and also maybe because I didn't use proper pulls all the way thru when prepping the roving.


Several times I "broke" one of the stripes by not pulling evenly, so that the roving would have none or too much of the color in it. That wasn't so bad-- the only real drawback I found to my lacking prep skills (and they weren't *that* bad, really) was that I could have "chunks" of color ends in my hand from where I had pulled a strip of color apart and the end would be thicker and wasn't drafted as easily because it was an "end" piece of color.

Writing that out, it makes no sense :) It also wasn't that big of a deal, I am really happy with how the yarn turned out :)


Pulling the roving out was my first whole-skein experience with "pre drafted" roving... I am the world's laziest (insert here) and when I spin I usually just shake out a compressed roving and spin from the entirety. I realize, spinning this drafted fiber, how much faster I could spin as it was prepped and I didn't have to stop and start as much. I need to gain a little more confidence in drafting it even more finely... the yarn turned out thicker than I had aimed for, but I'm glad to have tried this and am trying it again ("predrafting") with a handdyed top right now.


I purposely took these photos in full sunlight to give you an idea of the shine of the seacell... it looks shiner than I think it really is in ambient light. I don't really like "shiny" yarns, but this one isn't really one that I think of as shiny since I usually can't get past the drapy quality of shiny yarn and this one doesn't have that limp feel. I could definitely use it for some thick socks, or maybe save it for my future giant handspun blanket from yarns without a country project.


Either way, I like it a lot and even though I said I was going to take a break from dyeing and carding, I'm definitely going to do some more sw merino-seacell dyeing and carding as happy as I am with this yarn :)

Til then, miss you!


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous yarn! Thanks for sharing the process that led to this lovely thing.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Lovely! I really adore spinning these multicolored batts. The results are wonderful to knit with but want to figure out weaving with them. You make me want to get my own drum carder, but that is not going to happen, so I will rely on the continued goodness of vendors....!

Josette said...

so pretty!

lexa said...

It's very nice! I love those colors together.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Carol at Go Knit In Your Hat is doing a survey on one of your fibers you've prepped. Of course you're ahead (at least at last glance). Yeah, I had to vote for your gorgeous fiber!! Terry

Joni said...

Gorgeous yarn! Ya know, I never pre-draft unless it's batts I'm starting with. But I'm a serial splitter. I split all my rovings, and that speeds it up quite a bit vs. spinning from a full roving. I only need to stop and start when I get to the end of a strip and that's a good time to assess the singles I'm producing anyway.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the batt info. I haven't tried spinning from a batt yet, so this was great to read and see the pics!

ac said...

Found you on Twitter.

Oh my.. I'm in heaven.


Anonymous said...

Lovely handspun!
I tagged you for a meme, if you'd like to participate:

Unknown said...

I so enjoyed this and the previous post where you described some of the methodology in preparing and carding the fiber. I'd love a carder myself but will have to wait for the time being (I think it will be my birthday present in July). The yarn came out more homogeneous than I'd have expected, but I really like it. Nice!

Anonymous said...

This might be an off the wall question. But I love how your skein turned out. For the life of me I cant find what I'm looking for. I need a cotton and seacell yarn, preferably organic cotton. Bulky or worsted weight. It doesn't need to be tightly wound necessarily. Besides that I'm open to ideas. I want multi colored and I will need about 4 different colors. About 400 yards of each to be safe. Could you do this for me. I would do it myself but I have never spun before I don't want to attempt it for this project. Thanks Anna

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