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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dawns Woolly Wednesday March 2012

Hello March, hello Spring ... ah spring lambs all around too, gorgeous aren't they?

Cotswold fleece

Well February saw me spinning several things. Firstly I started spinning some of a lovely Cotswold fleece that Kelly sent me last year. The raw fleece is just lovely and has a great lustre. As I had stored it a while I do think it had compacted a little so tried a few things in the preparation of it. 
 Preparing the Cotswold to spin
Cotswold single (so far)

Carding was not so easy as it is quite a long staple. Spinning it was lovely, although I found it was bumping a little at the curly ends. I then tried just flick carding and combing it and this seemed better to then spin from the open locks.

I have a project in mind for the Icelandic wools I have previously spun (grey and grey/brown) and wanted to add to those the white, brown and brown/black Icelandic roving. So I have spun the 100g of white Icelandic and have started on the brown one. The project is a bag for spinning items that I hope to felt, unless I change my mind by then which isn't unheard of!

In other spinning news, firstly a confession to having added another Spinning wheel to my home. She actually came to live with us last year, bought 2nd hand from another spinner who hadn't used it in a while. She is a Wee Peggy, a lovely little wheel that I had admired for a while. Here she is next to my much loved Louet.

My other girls - Louet on the left, Wee Peggy on the right

Late last year I started trying to get used to this wheel as it is a Double Drive wheel which I had not really tried before, previously I had only used Scotch tension on the Ashford Traditional and Irish tension on the Louet. I could not get the balance quite right and it wasn't drawing the yarn onto the bobbin properly, no matter how I adjusted it. I wondered if it was just me, having heard that many people say they can't get on with DD wheels, whereas some spinners love them and can't get on with Scotch or Irish tension! So I switched it to scotch tension and got it working pretty okay, but still felt the wheel wasn't quite right.

So in February I gave the wheel some more attention - a thorough cleaning, oiled the wood and oiling the moving parts, a bit more spinning and suddenly she felt like she was singing. Leaving it on the scotch tension for a while she was spinning nicely so I thought I would switch it back to Double Drive an try again. A few adjustments and it seemed the balance was there, yarn was pulling nicely and winding onto the bobbin smoothly. I had cracked it, and I love it. I have it set at a level that works for me, having been used to the strong pull of the Louet Irish tension.

So there we are, confession time over, yes I have 3 spinning wheels here. Although one is much neglected, my first wheel so I have a sentimental attachment to it, but I think it may be time for it to go to a new home.

So having now successfully got the Wee Peggy working for me, I have spun some multicoloured roving I had and have two lovely bobbins of bright colours (you may need sunglasses for the next photo). I have decided I don't want to ply them together but will ply them with something else - I have plans to dye some wool in a contrast and ply with that, a project for the coming weeks.

bright roving (colinette)

I have moved onto spinning some more pre-dyed roving and am loving how she spins.

Latest roving spinning on the Wee Peggy

I will return to the Cotswold on the Louet when the Icelandic is spun and then a couple of other samples Kelly sent me. I washed some of my grey zwartble x fleece last week, I intend to wash more and wash some of the pure zwartble ram (darker but not black) too; oh and I washed some merino too - more on that another day. Then there's some curly longwools waiting ...

So what have you been spinning? (or knitting, felting, weaving, etc)