Now, where were we? Ah, yes… I was commenting that productivity was down and making promises that I was unable to keep.

Productivity appears to have taken care of itself. With Jennifer calling in to spin on Thursday afternoon, and Gill following suit in  the evening, spinning came on in leaps and bounds.

I began by continuing with this on the Jumbo flyer on my Trad:

Zwartbles single

I really do want to spin a whole fleece. This is the  candidate.  One day I intend to look back with pride and announce that I did it – I spun an entire fleece from start to finish without being led astray.

It won’t be soon.

The Zwartbles will continue –  but I have to confess to straying.

Jennifer was trying her hand with some Merino roving and so I grabbed a roving and the Traveller,  to show her how I draft mine. The roving that I picked up was from the felting box and was a small piece of the Ashford Merino/Silk sliver in Cinnamon that I had made a Nuno scarf from a while back.

Well, it spun easily and it made a beautiful single and I kind of got carried away and kept on going until it was finished.

The colours are very subtle and remind me of the “wrong” side of a “mother of pearl” nachreous shell.

When Gill arrived to spin in the evening, I showed her my new single and said that I had three options:

  • Navajo ply it and use the small amount of resulting 3ply for something… some time.
  • Set it aside, send for more sliver, and finish a yarn with it to yield a sensible quantity for use
  • Spin a natural fleece single and ply the two together

I had a little ferret in my boxes and I found the J&S Shetland Top samples that I sent for a while ago. We tried several together with my spun singles and I settled upon two candidates — the white  and the moorit. I spun both into singles and reckoned I’d ply to one or the other –  or both and make a 3 ply.

White Shetland Top
Singles with Moorit top

The White top spun up to a lovely oatmeal single.


I love these J&S Shetland Combed Tops – they are a beautiful preparation and very easy to spin. I found that they benefited from a very relaxed back hand and a short forwards draw — spinning in this way, I was able to spin almost as finely as I had for the merino/silk single.

On Friday, Mr L came home from Manchester and he asked me to meet him in Kirkwall, so I had to go out all day. This meant that the second Nain sock got off the ground when I was on the ferry. A further jolt to my productivity. Not that it has grown any since we got home on Friday, but at least it is started.

Saturday saw me plying the Shetland to the Ashford sliver. I sat at my wheel in the conservatory, which was frankly too hot for me — but not for my companion.


Teddy soaks it up

I tried the singles together in their combinations and finally settled on a 2ply yarn, using the white Shetland with my original silk blend single.


Plyed yarn

I like it very much indeed.

Subtle Tweed

A yarn of great subtlety.

It made 80 turns on the large niddy noddy, so there is not much to play with.



After washing, I reskeined the yarn on the mini niddy noddy and it made a beautiful wee skin.



160 yards of finished 2ply


Now — what to do with it? Suggestions, please.

Aside from obsessing over this quick project, and welcoming Mr L home with some fine home cooking, I have been making progress on the YoYo scarf on the Knitters Loom. I want to have it cut off and a handspun project warped up ready for this weekend’s Open Studios. I have also been washing more Zwartbles fleece so that I can card a supply of batts for this weekend.

It sounds like I have been busy and achieved a great deal, but I confess that there is more unfinished and unattempted work on the other side of the balance this week. I need more hours in my day. I have yet to start the sample knitting for Hunter Hammerson and both my May projects remain incomplete. Nevertheless, I confirmed to Romi today that I will be  carrying on with the test knitting for her and her next eBook.

As for the dyeing project… I confess that I have not yet gathered my wits or my materials together in order to come up with the promised post on that subject. Soon. SOON! I promise!

Tomorrow I am hosting Spinning again.  I should be making cake, not sitting here wittering.

There may be WIP photos tomorrow, but I have learned my lesson and am making no promises whatsoever.

Oh – and there are winged things in the workroom. I have been in with a can of Raid –  and a murderous intent. I may take the same intent forth into the garden, where a war of attrition is being won by the opposing Lapine forces. There have been heavy casualties on the vegetable side.


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