Monday, October 13, 2014

Spinzilla: Handspun Eye Candy

The results won't be in for the team totals til later this week at the earliest, but last night I finished up my final Spinzilla project and tallied up my finished yardage for a grand total of 3372 (unofficially; I will probably be checking my math before submitting my final tally!).

During the course of the week, I spun approximately 3 pounds of fiber total, most of which I plied, though some of I decided to leave as a single ply. The cats were not terribly thrilled that I was spinning so much this past week; when I knit, they often snuggle up to me on the couch, but it's a bit tougher to snuggle whilst I spin - not that they didn't try!

Spinning with cats: is there any other way?
I began the week with some easy projects to get back into spinning: pencil roving (Louet Northern Lights), Louet Cheviot, and a Corriedale Cross braid from YarnHollow were among the first projects I embarked upon.

The Malabrigo Nube roving took longer than I was anticipating because working with the finer fibers (which for some reason I decided to spin into a laceweight single) was pretty hard on my hands. I know some Spinzilla spinners are hard-core and are willing to push themselves past the point of pain, but I am not one of them. The Nube necessitated frequent breaks, shorter sessions, and a slower pace overall.

Once the Nube was plied, I began to get a little panicked about my running total, so I rushed through a couple of braids and unintentially spun them in opposite directions in the process, creating an opposing ply yarn once I paired them together. The result is a really energetic and interesting textured skein of yarn which used up all of the BFL single, but left a significant portion of the Organic Polwarth/Silk single from Cloudlover.

On Saturday night, I decided to try my hand at spinning 2 gradient braids from Fairy Yarnmother directly from the top, which turned out to work quite well at preserving the color changes, both in spinning the singles as well as when I plied them together. Also, I had less than 2 yards left from one of the bobbins when it was all said and done - usually I have one bobbin with several yards leftover, even when I split the fiber by weight ahead of time, so this was rather satisfying for me.

Yesterday, I plied the Fairy Yarnmother yarn, then spun through the final batts in my fiber stash, splitting them into two singles which I also plied together that same day (which is not my usual MO, but I made an exception for Spinzilla).

Here are all of my finished skeins - they fit into one of my Thirty-One storage bins:

Even if I don't end up winning any prizes, I am pretty happy with everything I accomplished during this year's event. Unbelievably, I still have some fiber left in my stash (three pounds to be exact), and everyone on #TeamLouet received a generous thank-you gift from Dave at Louet which I am excited to spin up in the near future:

Pippi Project Kit & Limited-Edition Spinzilla LaviShea Bar
This fall, I plan to explore some new spinning territory which I was reticent to attempt while competing in Spinzilla; for example, this week I realized that I have never set up my Ladybug to spin double drive, so that is something I definitely want to try out. I also want to spin some fingering-weight yarn; the lightest weight I've been able to accomplish thus far has been a sport.

In the mean time, I'm eager to see everyone else's results from this past week, and to find out how my team placed, too! It won't be long til we find out which team has won the Golden Niddy Noddy for 2014!


  1. Those are some lovely squshiable yarns! I had no time to measure/photograph what I finished last night but will get to it as soon as I can. I was tempted by that teal/blue set in our prize choices, as well!

  2. The Yarn Fairy gradient yarn looks lovely.

    You might have to set up a box nearby as a cat trap to keep them from being too helpful. :)