fibre preparation · spinning · spinzilla

Spinzilla prep.

This is kind of an extra post because I can’t believe it, but I was able to finish all of the prep I had hoped to do for Spinzilla! I’m kind of shocked.

My goals for the week include ::

  • woolen spin the 1 pound of 100% Shetland into a 2-ply,
  • semi-worsted spin the ~1 pound of 85% BFL/ 15% Alpaca into a 2-ply, and
  • spin 1 hank of stash fibre for handspun socks!

Kate of the Stitch Addiction Podcast and I are hosting a SAL/KAL for socks through the month of October. We are still working out the details so please stay tuned! We were both craving handspun socks … so we decided to combine forces and see if anyone else wants to join in?! It is also my very first SAL/KAL through the podcast, which is really exciting.

© Rachel Smith Anderson
Shetland on the drum carder. The licker in brush was full of second cuts so I was glad that I re-carded!

I’ve been really busy with my drum carder. I carded up roughly 2 lbs of fibre over the past week. It’s actually not that much because I only put all of it through once (I’ll explain why in a moment) but … can I be perfectly honest? … I don’t love drum carding. I love the product that I get as a result of drum carding but drum carding itself? Don’t love it. Do you?

© Rachel Smith Anderson
A pound of Shetland, waiting to be carded to get the air back in after packaging.

The first thing I worked on was some lovely 100% Shetland roving from Custom Woolen Mills in Alberta. It is from a coated fleece, so there are many guard hairs in it. I don’t mind – many came out in the carding, more will come out while spinning and lots will fall out while knitting. It means it was a good price and as I wear whatever I make with it (I was thinking a sweater but now I’m not sure), the guard hairs will continue to come out.

© Rachel Smith Anderson
I pulled the roving into lumps, roughly 5-7 inches long. Then fed them through onto the drum carder.

Also, yes, this was already a roving. It was quite compressed, though, from being in a tiny bag for who knows how long so I decided to put some of the air back into it by throwing it through the carder. It worked like a charm and I only did it once – it didn’t need more than that. The batts are light, airy and lovely. I already sampled this and love the resulting yarn. I spun the sample with a long backwards draw and hence am thinking a traditional Shetland Hap instead of a sweater …

© Rachel Smith Anderson
Pulling the BFL/Alpaca blend off the drum. Like butt-ah!

Next, I worked on my blend :: 85% natural, undyed BFL and 15% natural, undyed (creeeamy) Alpaca. I weighed out the fibre to ensure that I was actually getting this ratio for the blend. Each batt is relatively consistent. I love this more technical side of spinning – I am in complete control* of what type of yarn I make! Also, if I want more, I know what I did to create it. That’s really important.

*I’m not a control-freak personality! I’m actually the opposite so the love of this technical part of spinning is really surprising to me.

© Rachel Smith Anderson
So hard to photograph the fineness of this local, undyed Alpaca fibre. It is truly a pleasure to work with.

I am already overwhelmed with this project because I want to knit the Quill Shawl by Jared Flood from this handspun. It is so fine, the fibres are almost fly-away. And it is a lot of spinning and then, a lot of knitting. A lot.

I’d like to make the large version but it depends on the yardage I spin!

As a result, I decided to join the Shackleton CAL over on the Fiber Trek group on Ravelry. I love love love Sarah’s podcast and thought it would be a great way to not only join in but also get some amazing encouragement to get this done! Over a really long time … it is going to take a while.

© Rachel Smith Anderson
The Alpaca is sooo fine!

For my handspun socks, I’m sort of waiting to see what the SGY’s Fibre Club is for October before I decide. I’m spinning with Team Sweet Georgia for Spinzilla, so I’d like to do one of their braids. I don’t have any sock-appropriate Sweet Georgia fibre in my stash right now but I’ll pick something up at the studio when I get my club or go to the Spin-In on Monday night. Or at Knit City this weekend!

What are your Spinzilla plans? Are you spinning with a team or rogue? Please share!

On your marks … get set … SPIN!!! Happy Spinzilla Everyone! Have a wonderful week of spinning your Monster Mile!

-Rachel

2 thoughts on “Spinzilla prep.

  1. Love your fiber! I just got my spinning wheel repaired and wondered about doing Spinzilla, but I have soooo much knitting to get done that I decided to not take the detour to make MORE yarns. Happy Spinzilla to you. :-)

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  2. This is my first year spinning for Spinzilla. My goal is to spin as much as I can. I’m really not sure how much that will be. I have 2 braids of Spun Right Round, a pound of Rambouillet and hoping my SGY club comes soon.

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