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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spinning Progress - Waste Not Want Not

Gosh, almost a month since I last posted - where is this year going?  It's not that I haven't had anything to show you; there's been lots of spinning around here.  I just haven't actually managed to finish anything!  Well, except for these :-

This was the order that Tammy received for 600g of hand-spun alpaca (I volunteered to do half of it).  I've tried and tried to get rid of the blue sheen on this photograph, but looks like it's here to stay.  The true colour may be more apparent on the next photo.

This is from Jorrocks - it's mainly dark grey with a slight brownish tinge here and there. Tammy designed the labels - I just cut them out!  I don't have photographs of her half of the order, but let's hope the recipients are happy with what we've done.

Well, that's it for finished items, but I have started preparing this for spinning :-

This is the green cotton I grew last year.  It doesn't look very green at the moment, but once it's spun and boiled, I have every confidence that it will indeed be green!  You can see a bit of green on the cotton bolls at the left of the photo.  So, unfinished project!

A few weeks ago I put in an order to World of Wool using some of the gift vouchers one of my wicked stepsons sent for Christmas (OK, not so wicked this time!!).  I ordered 500g of botany lap waste (one of my favourite products from WoW because it's always a surprise what you get in there).  I also sent for 500g of scoured Polwarth fleece.  Must admit, for the first time ever, I was less than pleased with this item.

It's not felted, but it's not in what I would call "good order" either.  It's full of clumpy bits that have to be pulled apart and I had a bit of a problem knowing how to prepare this for spinning.  I tried carding, but that wasn't very satisfactory.  What did amaze me was the amount of nepps in this fleece.  Because of those I decided the best way was to get out my combs and have a go.  The combing took quite a while because there was so much waste in there - just look at the nepps in the waste (on the right) :-

I ended up with half spinnable fibre and half waste - which isn't a good ratio in my books.

Mind you, the finished fleece is gorgeous and I look forward to spinning it, but I do wish I hadn't bought 500g of the stuff!  Life's too short.  Lesson learned though - don't buy pre-scoured fleece.  I prefer to spin "in the grease" anyway.

I have to say at this point, I did contact World of Wool and they were quite willing to give me a refund for this if I sent it back.  However, after checking up on postage rates from France to the UK, this was going to cost almost as much as I paid for the fleece, so I decided to keep it and just work on it in idle moments.  It'll get done eventually.  And those nepps will be thrown into leftover dyes and then included in textured yarns - waste- (if you'll pardon the pun!) not-want-not!

Finally, back to the Botany Lap Waste.  As usual, I was pretty pleased with what was in the bag, and fished out all my favourite textures and colours

Look at that sparkly amazingness.  I'm pretty sure there's nothing natural in that bit, but who cares, I love it!

First I spun each colour in sequence to give a stripy effect - two bobbins of this.  Then I took the fibre that was left, added in a few more shades, and blended it on my drum carder :-

That's my nifty milk bottle top diz I'm using there.  Ended up with seven of these luscious balls of fluffiness :-

Which were spun (bobbin on the left)

and plied together to make a pretty nice skein of yarn.  I was a bit worried it was going to turn into clown barf with all those colours, but I think I like it.

Again, another unfinished project, but it does make life more interesting having lots going on!


  1. You have been busy. All looks very nice .

    1. Thank you. Nearly finished the botany lap waste now, so I'll be interested to see how much yardage I have, then I can decide what to make.

  2. That alpaca is lovely! And the lap waste yarn is great, too. I love World of Wool for lap waste. I normally get the white stuff and dye it, but the coloured stuff is good fun too. Shame about the Polwarth. I've always been lucky with my WofW purchase.

    1. The alpaca is gorgeous - he's a gorgeous boy too! Yes, I've had the white lap waste, but haven't dyed it yet. Thought I'd spin it first and then dye it as wool. As for the Polwarth, it was commercially scoured ready for the next step of the processing in the mill. I just think it's been handled a bit too roughly for hand spinners. As I said, a lesson learned, because I normally don't buy pre-scoured fleece. I agree with you though - I've always been happy with my purchases from them until now, and I'm sure I'll never have a problem again.