Well, I am back from my level 4 Master spinners class. It was a wonderful 5 days, they flew by. It was so good to see my friends and to be pampered by my hosts…. Class was just what I needed to solidify lessons learned in my level 3 homework. Lots of dots were connected.
One of the things I get to do this year is “true worsted” yarn. In order to achieve this yarn, I need to comb locks which are at least 3.5″ long on combs but to tip. Then the combed top will be spun but to tip. Then you wind off the yarn onto bobbins because once you are done spinning the yarn is tip to but on the current ones… so the winding off reverses the yarn on the bobbins so that they can be plied but to tip. The homework fiber was combed in class because the requirement is for English combs with at least a 4 pitch… I do not own those, so I combed and spun the singles for that yarn in class. I just need to ply it.
For the past couple of days I have been playing with my personal set of combs St. Blaise 2 pitch. (that link is to a store, not where I bought mine… but it is a good picture of them) I may be in love. I had to comb some for level 2, but until this week I had not found my happiness. So now I need to digress a bit and talk about these Merino fleeces which I acquired (were gifted) to me prior to my first year in the master spinners program. They have been a dark cloud on my person for years. Beautiful, they were when I got them…. Then I went to wash them, only I did not know about merino and the need for HOT water… my friend who helped me and I still laugh about this. We washed two of them in not hot water…. it was a mess. I tried to fiddle with them, and fix them and drum card and rewash… which kind of worked, only I got lots of neps and there was a TON of VM in the fleece…. I have been finally tossing a lot of it just because I need to be done with it.
Anyway, I still have one unwashed fleece. It is a beautiful white merino with long staples and I have been slowly washing it by the lock in hot water… It has been nice. Still carding up with neps and vm, but so much better. Then I came home from class and combed some. Magic…. Magic… I tell you. fluffy little clouds. Now instead of a dark cloud, I have a box full of potential.
Today it snowed, not unusual it’s Feb, except that it has been spring here for a couple of weeks and I have a crocus blooming. Anyway, I needed to get some snow clothes for one of my kid’s friends out of a bin in the garage and I came across a forgotten tub of some of the chocolate brown merino that I had scoured. Carding it had been a nightmare of breakage and neps, I thought I had tossed it all. So today when I found the brown, I thought. “I will give this one tub of fiber a last chance.” and I took it up to my studio and started to comb it.
Happiness is, fluffy brown merino nests… I don’t know if you can tell from this fiber how messy and tangled it is. I scoured it with no attempt to maintain lock structure. So for sure this top is not a true worsted. I have loaded it on the combs in whatever configuration I could get the fiber on. There are definitely locks that are less than 3.5″ long. However, when combed and then dizzed, it is so pretty.
Are there still some neps? Yes there are. Have I spun any? Nope not yet. However, I know by looking at this, that the yarn HAS to be more even and better than what was coming off of my hand cards. So happiness is… making beautiful top out of fiber I thought was toast while watching much needed big fluffy flakes falling out my studio window.