This year I decided to join the spinning competition Spinzilla. It is a world wide competition that focuses on raising awareness and teaching children about the fiber arts. It can be done completely at home or on the road or at your local yarn shop. You can either join a team or spin rogue and at the end of the week you send pictures and yardage of what you spun.
I decided to join a team this year. Last year I was going to spin rogue but Spinzilla ended up happening the same week I was out of town at a conference. I might knit at conferences but I don’t think I could spin. So this year I was going to do better and actually try to join a team. I wanted to join a local team so I joined Maupston Jumbo Flyers. The team was hosted out of a new fiber study near NYC called Maupston DESIGN STUDIO LLC. The team captain was very nice and encouraging mostly communicating by email.
You can set your own goals but the suggested goal for Spinzilla is to spin a mile’s length of yarn. A single will count as the yards spun. A 2-ply (without counting the singles separately) is 3 times the finished yardage (2 for each single and 1 for plying). Likewise, 3-ply (or navajo / chain ply) is measured with 4 times the ending yardage. Plying seems to be a fast way to get yards since the actual plying run is much easier without having to draft (at least for me). I was trying to spin as much as I could when I wasn’t at school. Here is my week in yarn.
On Monday I was able to finish 486yds of white coopworth single ply for the blanket I am making.
I wasn’t too worried about twist or even consistency. The roving was a little rough but the blanket I am making it with is worked with 3 strands of the same yarn which will hide some of the bumpiness. Also it’s going to be a picnic blanket so it doesn’t have to be super soft.
On Tuesday I spun up this gorgeous roving I got from hipstrings on etsy. It is 50% 23 micron merino in a rich assortment of browns, golds and sienna, 25% Baby alpaca in medium and dark brown, 12.5% Bamboo and 12.5% Black Tussah Silk.
I did chain ply since it has some variation in color. I am happy with how it came out. I haven’t decided on a project for it yet but it will probably be something dog shaped since I have a similarly colored dog.
On Wednesday I spun brown recycled wool I got from knitpicks. I had 7oz unspun after spinning the first 7oz for a bag I made. It is nicely prepared roving and went really fast.
I really like browns.
On Thursday I decided to spin the hand dyed roving from Spinning Bunny. I don’t remember the colorway but I think it was something like midnight. It was very pretty and blue and shiny and soft.
It was fun to spin up so the next day I decided to do some more from Spinning Bunny.
On Friday the roving from Spinning Bunny I spun I was a little disappointed. The texture and prep were the same but when I ordered it I was trying to get a nice brown roving but when it came it was a very purple roving. I am hesitant to order from them again because of this. It is a pretty purple but not what I was expecting.
Eventually I will spin the rest of this I have. Maybe I’ll ply it 2 ply although a single ply fingering weight shawl could be very pretty.
On Saturday I dove into my bag of alpaca. I got 2 8oz bags of alpaca a year ago from etsy. It was medium grade but still really really pretty and soft. It was a little dirty and tended to turn my fingers brown when I plied it. Since alpaca doesn’t have lanolin it isn’t necessary to wash it before processing the fleece. The natural alpaca was very different to draft than the dyed wool and took me a bit to get the rhythm down. I split one of the 8oz bags into 3 piles and spun them all up separately and three plied them together. As what usually happens, there was a small amount of single ply left over when I was done.
When I took the alpaca off the niddy noddy the yarn did something my yarn has never done before. It hung straight down. Somehow I had actually spun it balanced. I am really looking forward to spinning with it.
On Sunday I was able to spin up some gorgeous polwarth I got from hipstrings.
It is so pretty but I have no idea what I am going to do with it yet.
Throughout the week I was able to spin 4331 yards (including plying) which is 2.460795 miles! It was like working on a knit stash busting project. I can’t wait until next year!
This is my week in spinning.