Becks of Tiny Fibre Studio has only recently started video podcasts, but hers is one of my favourites to watch. She is one of the rare few who concentrate on spinning, and knitting with handspun.
She is running a Sample-Along in her podcast and Ravelry group. The theme for March was "Worsted Two Ply" which suited me just fine because those are my favourite methods of draft and ply.
I jumped at the chance to participate in this -along because I'd been planning on spinning up my multitude of breed samples, but I didn't want to use them up before I'd figured out exactly how to divide each fibre sample, how to prep it, how to spin it, and what to record.
This Sample-Along was the perfect opportunity to practise sampling and figure out all of the above questions. I also wanted the results of the techniques to be comparable, so I bought 300 g of washed Swedish Finull fleece.
First sample I combed on my Forsyth mini combs, and spun with short forward draw. The lanolin still present in the fleece made consistency a bit of a struggle, but also a learning experience. Becks asked the participants to make up their own swatch patterns, and the above is what I charted and shared in the Ravelry group.
The lanolin washed out of the swatch and the result is soft and cushy. Definitely nice enough for next to skin items for me (I am not particularly sensitive to wool so take it with a grain of salt).
I stretched the swatch a lot sideways to open up the lace and I think I went too far. The gauge is really weird on it. I think that I should probably re-soak it and pat to shape, not use blocking wires.
I had a sample of Swedish Gotland wool in my stash, and I could not resist spinning up another worsted 2-ply. It was commercial top, so no proper lock to save, and no prep beyond splitting the top into nests for each single.
The photo is taken in artificial light, so the colour is much more accurate on the previous photo. I spun this a bit thicker, and the swatch came out a little too large for the card. I think I'll aim for 28 WPI singles next time.
I love the hand of this yarn after knitting and washing, it would make a glorious lace shawl when spun thinner, like liquid silver. There is so much depth and colour variation in the fleece itself that it does not need added colour. But dying would also create an amazing result on Gotland fleece.
I do not need another hobby... I do not need another hobby... I do not need another hobby...