Blog friends, I have a new challenge for you!
But first, the backstory (you didn’t expect me to be straightforward about it, did you? That’s not how I roll. Sorry peeps.) I’ve been spinning on one project for a looooong time. I started with eight ounces of fibre in a gradient, and I’m Navajo plying it so that I have a light fingering to laceweight and the gradient is preserved. It is a thing of beauty, and once it is finished, it’s going to be a pet for a very, very long time until I decide what to do with it. I’m almost entirely certain that it will be a shawl, (because what else do you do with approximately 800 yards of gradient laceweight?) but it needs to be the perfect shawl for the yarn, so I will be patient. Similar to how I’m being patient now, spinning up my biggest batch of fibre yet, at the finest gauge I’ve ever attempted. Nope, I am totally not going crazy. (The twitch over my left eyebrow is, um, allergies! Yeah, allergies.) Anyhow, all that was a long way of saying that I have been spinning the same thing for ages, it’s meticulous and fiddly and as much as I love it, the next thing needs to be different. However, I don’t know what it is that I want to do next, or rather, there are several things that I want to do, but I’m not sure which one is the right choice.
So! I will be putting my destiny into your hands, intrepid knitting and spinning friends! I have options. At the end, I’m going to make a fancy little poll so you can cast your vote! I’ll let it run for about two weeks, or until I finish my current project. I’ll also have it going on my Instagram, so whenever I finish up the current beast of a project, I’ll tally up the votes from both places, possibly even make a pie chart, and post the results! There’s not a prize or anything, just a happy glow from having some control over my future. Be kind to me.
Here are all the contestants! I’ll have you know that they are all seriously sexy fibres, and I would be lucky to have any one of them on my wheel. You don’t have to be a spinner to vote on these! Just pick whichever one you like the best 🙂
This lovely lady is Polwarth in the Igloo colorway from SpunRightRound on Etsy. It’s vibrant, and lovely, and incredibly soft to the touch!
Obviously it’s beautiful. Also it’s as soft as a cotton candy cloud. There’s a lot of color variation, which I think would be good after something where the color progression is sloooooooow. Additionally, I’ve never spun Polwarth by itself, (my only experience with it has been a polwarth/silk blend) so that would be new to me!
I am currently working with purple, so I wonder if maybe this isn’t quite different enough. Also, I would be planning to Navajo ply this because I do want to keep the colors together, so I would still have to spin pretty thin. (Though not as thin as my current project.)
This creature was just a bear to photograph, so I stole the picture from the shop where I bought it. It’s an absolutely GIANT batt in the Grey Bunny colorway from Upstream Alpacas (also on Etsy,) and it has a blend of Alpaca, Angora, Mohair, and Mulberry Silk. I also wasn’t sure that it had enough angora, and I wanted to stretch how far this would go, so I bought an additional two ounces of soft and lovely angora bunny fibre from Dayspring Farm. I opened up the batt and just layered it inside so it’s like a wonderful angora sandwich.
It feels like beautiful fuzzy heaven, light and airy and soooo soft! Most of the fibres have a silky feel to them as well, it’s very luxurious! Also, I actually know what I want to do with this. I want to knit myself a pair of Veyla fingerless mitts with cute little pearl buttons, and some kind of matching beret. I will be very cute and chic and warm next winter, and the slightly sheeny silvery grey will let any lace pattern really sing. Also, since I don’t have to worry about preserving any color changes, I could do a 2 ply. Easier, faster, and way less of a hassle. In addition, I have only spun from a batt once, and that was when I was learning. I’d like to try it again now that I actually sortof know what I’m doing. Last but not least, it has a very interesting texture. It’s mostly quite smooth, but there are little bits of silk nubbins and mohair locks that aren’t completely blended, and I think that any yarn spun from this would have a lovely and fun texture, slightly rustic but very luxurious.
It IS grey. Granted, I just saw my first crocus yesterday, but I’m not sure if I’ve got the winter blahs totally out of my system yet. I might need color. Also, I’m currently working on a big project, and this is six whole ounces of fibre in one color. It might not be a good idea to go from big commitment to big commitment. Maybe I need a little fun fibre fling before going back to a steady, dependable, (boring?) project.
Bachelor number three is a pair of cute little batts in the Blue Skies colorway from WintryFlowerByDesign on Etsy. (Have you guys figured out that I spend way too much time on Etsy? It’s a gateway drug to the fibre arts.) It’s a mix of Merino, Angora, and Angelina.
ANGORA. Obviously. I have never actually spun with angora, other than once at an event where we were learning about angora rabbits. My spinning was still complete butt at the time, so (as the Yarn Harlot would say) I really arsed it up. However, I think I’ve learned enough now that I could do it. Also, this is a blend with merino which I love with a deep and enduring passion, so it would be easier than straight angora. It’s only four ounces, which means it would be quick, and the fact that it doesn’t have color changes to deal with once again means that I could do a 2-ply yarn, ergo faster and easier. It also has charming color variations, just in a tonal palette rather than dramatic color changes. The sparkle would be fun too! I’m not usually one for bling, (the complete and utter lack of jewelry might have tipped everyone off, although it’s not that I dislike it. I just don’t know how to coordinate it with my stuff >.<) however, the sparkly bits in these batts are enchanting. I like that they’re subtle, not metallic, and I think that they would really add something special to the finished yarn.
I don’t really know what I want to do with this yet. Maybe a hat? I think that I would just spin a lighter (fingering/sport) weight yarn and stash it until I have an idea. I do like to have something in mind when I’m spinning though, since I feel like if you have the ability to control the entire process from fibre to garment, don’t you want to make sure you get exactly what you want? Especially since spinning and knitting are such slow arts.
This is six ounces of Rambouillet in the Cloud Dreams colorway form JulieSpins on Etsy! (damn, Etsy strikes again!) and it’s sortof in a bit of a gradient, but not a very sharp one.
Rambouillet is a new fibre to me! It’s soft, and sproingy, and just feels interesting. Also, since the gradient is subtle, I could split this roughly in half and do a 2-ply. Even though I would undoubtedly have some left over on one of the two halves, I could just ply it back on itself and add it on to the end of the skein, and no one would really notice. I can be a bit finicky about some things, but I know that this would not make me particularly crazy. Another point in favor of this is that the colors are beautiful. Not only that, you get some random little purple bits, and there are so many shades of blue in there. It would be an interesting spin and really fun.
This is nearly six ounces. That seems like kindof a lot, though there are the color changes to keep things interesting. Also, I know already that I want this to be a big, gorgeous, delicate shawl, so that means spinning a laceweight. Yes, doing a 2-ply means that the singles wouldn’t need to be quite as fine as what I’m currently spinning (which has a strong resemblance to sewing thread) but it might make me slightly crazy (crazier?), and that twitch over my eyebrow might worsen.
So there you have it! Vote away my poppets, and remember, my future is in your hands! Have fun 😀 Feel free to explain the rationale for your favorite in the comments, as well as giving me any advice you can think of for these new to me fibres. I’ll leave you with a couple of group shots so you can see them all together. Until next time!
- Posted in: Spinning