Monday, April 6, 2009

Spinning Success!

The other day I found a package of mystery fiber at the thrift shop for a dollar. I decided, at that price, there was no reason not to buy it. I would practice spinning it, no matter what it was. But I was still curious to find out what it was. So I did the burn test. I held a tiny bit of it over a glass bowl and held a flame up to it. It burned; didn't melt. The smell it produced was like burning hair (nasty) and the flame was small and flickering. The ash was brittle and fell apart easily. And it didn't smolder when the flame was put out. After this test, I was fairly certain of what the fiber was, but I decided that to be completely certain, I needed to perform the bleach test. I got another glass bowl and placed a little bit of the fiber into it and added straight bleach. It only took about 5 minutes for the fiber to completely dissolve. I thought that was pretty cool. And based on the results of my oh-so-scientific tests, I knew that the fiber was wool. And, knowing that, I was very happy; I had gotten roughly four ounces of wool for a dollar! And since it was natural cream-color, I would be able to dye it any color I chose!
I began spinning it immediately, using the same spindle I showed you in another post. I was very glad that I figured out how to control the fiber better. It still turned out thick-and-thin, but the thickest was about fingering weight, and the thinnest was like cobwebs. But overall, it was mostly laceweight. Here's a closeup picture to show the thinness and consistency. It spun up into roughly 130 yards. I say roughly, because the chair I'm using for measuring is actually 38 inches around, so I'm not getting an accurate yard measurement. It went around 125 times (I think), and I didn't feel like doing all that math to figure out the exact measurement. So I just called it 130. It's not like I'm going to sell it, so it's just for my own reference. Now I have to decide what color to dye it, and what to knit.
I was considering a really pretty beaded lace cowl I saw in Knitty. It's called "Ice Queen", and it calls for a mohair yarn that comes in a 229 yd ball. It doesn't say whether or not the entire ball gets used, so I'm thinking I might not have enough. Oh, well, the search continues.

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