I’d like to introduce you to a new friend. I’m tentatively calling her Jemaine. Jemaine is an Ashford Kiwi that showed up under the Christmas tree this year.
I love her. You know how sometimes when you wait for something for a long time it builds anticipation, and you get so excited, but then once the excitement settles, it’s really not that great. Well, this isn’t like that at all. I waited patiently for my new friend since Rhinebeck when Mom & I picked her out. Meanwhile I spent the intervening months looking at fiber online constantly, making lists of whose fiber I wanted to stash, reading The Intentional Spinner, queuing patterns that are good or handspun yarns and admiring the handspun of fellow ravelers. And then Christmas Day, I opened the box, harassed my Dad until he put my little Kiwi together (in our family assembly is the truly generous part of the gift) and started spinning. It was love at first treadle.
Since then I’ve made these. I squeezed in as much spinning time as possible into the last few weeks of my busy break. I took a private lesson with Rosemarie at fibre space, which was super helpful. By the end of that lesson I had made my very first plied bobbin, which turned into this little puppy right here:
It’s a bit under-spun in places and still disorganized, but hey it looks like yarn! And I got better pretty quickly.
I kept working away on two more bobbin of singles, until Friday night when I plied those up as well. I soaked and finished everything to set the twist.
When they dried I was left with 4 skeins of varied weight of lofty & beautiful yarns. They’re definitely not perfect. The smallest skein got a bit over twisted during plying, although most of it settled when it soaked. The last skein from my more recent bobbins is a bit lighter weight than the first skein. They are thick and thin for sure. But it’s handspun that looks like handspun, which honestly I enjoy!
The one above is my favorite skein yet. It’s 98 yards of mostly heavy worsted weight yarn. It’s got some funky spots, but overall it’s pretty consistent. Oh and it feels amazing.
The fiber for these guys is a bit of a mystery. It was donated for practice by my Mom who got about a fleece’s worth at MDSW a number of years ago. It’s obviously naturally colored, and it’s been beautifully processed into roving. It’s relatively long staple and has very nice fiber alignment. My best guess is merino, but it might be something else. Either way, it’s created beautiful first yarns.
So now I’m just as addicted to spinning as knitting. There’s something deeply satisfying about creating your own yarns. Stay tuned for more because I’ve started moving onto dyed fiber. Oooooo colors!