Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spinning Saturday: Dorper, Done at Last + Sample Spinning

First, I'm super-excited about finishing what I've lovingly dubbed the never-ending spinning project. Last month, for Spinning Spring Training, I began spinning a pound of lovely Dorper fiber from Louet. Turns out, a pound is an awful lot of fiber (duh!) and I didn't finish spinning my singles til the beginning of this month....and then the plying began!
At long last, I have my finished skeins. They are chain plied to match some dorper I'd spun last fall for Spinzilla, and the total yardage is 484 yards. I know, right - a month an a half to make just shy of 500 yards of yarn? That is pretty insane, but chain plying give you 1/3 of your total yardage spun in singles, so if I want to feel better about myself, I really spun 1,452 yards of yarn in that time.
In other news, I picked up several samples of spinning fibers at TNNA, and I thought it would be fun to split each sample in half to spin up in two different ways: first, directly from the roving without any preparation, and then from a rolag created with my hand carders. I thought it might be fun to see if you could tell which is which! Below are also a few quick notes I made whilst spinning the samples, just in case you should find them helpful!

Anzula Baby Camel & Merino: Blending camel with merino is a win in this fiber, as it spun up like a dream into springy, lofty singles. Making rolags out of this fiber was kind of a challenge - they ended up being airy and gargantuan and didn't want to stay together all that well. Despite that, I enjoyed spinning it both ways, though I think I would opt for straight-from-the-top next time.

Holiday Yarns Superwash BFL: This was very light and lofty to spin with; I actually found the rolag easier to work with than the prepared top, since the top wasn't compacted the way commercial fibers usually are. The prepared top was a bit slippery when spinning, but still resulted in a lovely single regardless.

Sweet Georgia Polwarth Silk: First off, I should probably say that I'll have a clear bias on this one, as Polwarth is in my top 5 favorite spinning fibers. This did not disappoint - the addition of silk gave it a luxurious feeling, even while spinning. I think spinning from the top was just a tad bit easier, although the single that resulted from spinning from the rolag felt much stronger than the one which was spun from the top. However,  I do like the effect of both approaches with this particular colorway.

Mountain Meadow Wool Merino: This was another case where I preferred working with rolags over top, since the colors in the sample I received were kind of their own thing (in fact, it seemed like there were two strands of top together as one, if that makes sense - maybe I'm just crazy?!). Both spun up pretty nicely, however, and have a similar effect. Can you tell which is which?

Louet Northern Lights: This is an easy-to-spin wool which would be great for outerwear. It's sturdy with a good staple length, and I'm hard pressed to choose which I like best: the effect of spinning from the space-dyed fiber, or the heathery results of spinning from a rolag. Either option is a win in my book!

Yarn Hollow Mixed Merino: This was an enjoyable spin both ways, but I really love the gradient effect achieved from spinning directly from the top. The merino is sooo soft and easy to spin, and I absolutely love this colorway, Mermaid!

L-R: Anzula (2ply), Yarn Hollow (2ply), Mountain Meadow Wool (2ply),
Louet (3ply), Sweet Georgia (3ply) and Holiday Yarns (3ply)
Bonus round: I plied each set of fibers into a 2- or 3-ply yarn, depending on whether or not I had any coordinating leftover singles on hand. Each one is only a couple of yards, so I will keep them around to pet and admire; when I worked at Lorna's Laces we called soft, tiny skeins such as these 'kittens', so now I have a whole litter to snuggle!

Thanks for stopping by today. I'll see you back here on Wednesday, as I'll be taking the holiday off!


  1. What a fun experiment! Thanks for the details on the fiber samples. Your spinning posts are always so helpful for a newbie like me!

    1. Oh, good - I'm so glad these posts are helpful to you! If there is anything you'd like to see covered in future posts, I'm all ears!