More string

I completed spinning the carded fleece from Stromness this morning. I managed two complete bobbins from it. The second is not as good as the first.

There was a lot of coarse weak fibre in there – from the little that I know I’d have to guess that it was back hair – and also a great deal of second cut material. With hindsight, I would have to say that I should have done some fibre prep – but that was not what I wanted to do this time, I just wanted a quick and happy spin.

I carried on regardless, throwing some of the short stuff and the weakest of the brittle stuff into the felting bin (I must do something with that lot one day soon!) but allowing some to slub into my yarn. The result of incorporating this less good fibre into what was an intentionally under-spun yarn is that I have an inherently weak single here – a fact clearly in evidence when I skeined the first bobbin, and the single snapped on me.

Now, if I had intended a garment from this fleece, I would be a disappointed woman right now. As that was not my intent, I am perfectly happy with the characterful yarn that I have produced.

I had hoped to emulate my first spinning efforts and produce a lumpy string, but under my control. In fact string may be a misnomer, large sections look more like baler twine (where the weaker coarse fibre was incorporated). As for control? Forget it. I elected finally to let the fibre dictate the nature of the yarn and I just literally threw it at the orifice.

I enjoyed the spinning, though. It was relaxed and happy and confident. Instead of the panic I had when I made my first string and tried to stop all the lumps and bumps, this time my happy brain just said “great – another slub!

While I was spinning, the yarn kept telling me that it was going to be a bag. Design ideas filled my head…

I am not going to be able to knit this single unsupported – as I said, it is weak – also there are sections which came out much thinner than I had hoped for. Plying it to itself won’t help, and will only reduce the useful length. So – what to do? I have some white generic island fleece that I can spin up as a second single. Or even a 2 ply. I can then knit the two strands together. Another option might be to use SpinningGill’s handspun Lleyn, which she gave me to practise dyeing on. I can envisage using that, dyed a grey blue stormy sky colour and knitting it up with my Serendipity* yarn…

So. A garter stitch bag. With a stitch pattern panel in it. Possibly felted. Possibly not. I’d hate to lose the pretty slubs and the effect of those will be diluted by carrying another thread along with them anyway.

Pretty? Yes, well I think so, at least. See what you think. This is skein one, unwashed. The camera seems to have struggled with it – it looks nicer in real life.

Serendipity-Yarn2thb Serendipity-Yarnthb


* Serendipity is what I shall call the yarns that I make in this haphazard fashion. I want to alternate them with more constrained spinning projects – just to keep remembering how fast and fun spinning can be, if I let it. This shall be Stromness Serendipity, maybe, or Sunset Serendipity, or Seashell Serendipity. Who knows. It all depends on how I “decide” to complete it. Not much deciding in it, really – I shall continue to let this yarn have its own way. Thus far, the strategy appears to be working. I like this, quite a lot.