Tag Archives: BFL

My First Love

14 Jul

More twist can be better! I learned this when finishing my second handspun. I’d watched in horror as the skein of yarn I just plied wound in on itself. My first yarn didn’t have enough twist. At first I thought my second yarn had too much. I feared in vain: a quick soak and drying straightened that skein right out. And I was in love.

100 g of BFL aka heaven

It was incredibly soft, like you wouldn’t believe. I was not expecting to get “soft” in my first attempts at this spinning stuff. And it shines and is all pretty, and is kind of even. Yeah baby!

So I made a thing with it. I was starting to feel the first signs of an impending knitting funk, so I decided on crochet. It’s so fast and everything. (I’m sorry about the nearly un-intelligible gushing, by the way. I think the yarn fumes are getting to my head.)

The thing I made was the Catesby Three Hour Cowl (available for free on Ravelry). Took me a lot longer than thee hours by the way, my crochet is not yet as fast as lightning. This reminds me: I was validated the other day when, perusing the newest issue of Interweave Crochet, I learned there are at least two real, valid crochet hook holds (as Men Crochet 2 there explains). There’s the pen hold everyone keeps telling me is correct, and then there’s the knife hold, which is what’s always been natural to me. So there, the crochet police can get off my case 😉

Excuse me while I feel awkward in this photo

I can’t wait for it to get cold again so I can wear this thing 🙂 I used the leftovers to free crochet a pair of mitts that I’m not too thrilled with, but ripping back seems like too much of a hassle, so guess what, I have a new pair of mitts anyway!

Thoughts on BFL

28 May

I’ve now spun about 30 g of the 100 g of BFL wool I got as a birthday gift.

I was surprised and a little dismayed to notice that in a top like this, where the fibers are longer than in the Finnish sheep wool and combed nicely in the same direction, it’s actually easier for me to get more thick spots. I have to draw the fibers out on a far longer distance than I’d gotten used to.

I’m also curious about whether or not I am, in fact, doing this “wrong”. I saw someone post pictures of spinning in progress, and she’d obviously just started spinning from the end of the top. I’ve separated the top into three piles, splitting it along its length, and I also split each of those three more times to get to a point where there’s not too much fiber.

It’s also been easier to work with this fiber (as promised) – when I do get the wanted thickness to the single, that’s easier to maintain for longer stretches. That could also just be me getting better at this.  I also haven’t dropped the spindle even once this time because it’s far more difficult to get the single to break when the fibers are sooo long.

I’m also enjoying how clean and soft the fiber is. The single has a nice sheen to it, and it’s darker in color than the fiber in the top. If I’m not entirely mistaken, I think I’ll get a nice heathered effect in the finished yarn.

I haven’t decided whether or not to give my shoe box lazy-Kate another chance when plying this. I’d like to try the advice of spinning all the fiber and only plying it once it’s all done, but I’m not looking forward to Andean plying 100 g of singles.

The only problem with doing that is that since I only have one spindle, I’d have to roll the single I’ve finished around something else to wait while I spin the next single, and I’m worried about doing that. I keep thinking that when I then try to spin the two singles together, it won’t work. I can’t seem to get it through my head that no matter which end of the yarn you begin with, the twist will stay the same direction… I think. I get confused at this point, usually. But I think the magic is always just that you ply the singles together in the opposite direction you spun them in, and it doesn’t matter if you start from the beginning of single 1 and the end of single 2, or which ever way, they’ll ply together just fine. *frown*

I.. think that’s how it goes.

I could, of course, just roll each single around something, so I’ll then start plying from the beginning of each single… o.O I don’t know why I can’t brain this.

Also, I want to do three-ply – but I’m restraining that urge because of that whole “learn to walk before you run” thing.

I look forward to the time when I scroll back on my blog and can look at this entry and have a chuckle at my own expense 🙂

First Real Spindle and Fiber

17 May

The postman brought my package. Fortunately I happened to be home and heard him ring the doorbell, and was just fast enough in getting to the door to catch him going down the stairs. Success!

Bluefaced Leicester fiber in oatmeal (100 g) and Schacht Hi-Lo spindle (62,4 g)

And the wool… The wool. I’m seriously far more giddy and happy than I expected, I’m all-out grinning here, I feel like laughing out loud out of sheer happiness 😀 Because the wool… It just feels so nice. I’ve been spinning this Finnish sheep wool that’s fantastic of course, but it hasn’t been processed as far so it’s far closer to its natural state than this top of Bluefaced Leicester I now got. There are some bits of hay in it, and lots of lanolin, and it just feels scratchier and not as nice as this BFL.

When I turn the spindle (a Schacht Hi-Lo) in my hands it feels like it wants to spin. I’m very happy that it promises to be both top and bottom whorl, so I can try both ways of spinning. Although of course I have no way of knowing whether it’s actually any good for either technique. But I have faith 😀

I wonder how many things I’ll have to relearn once I get to using this. I’m thinking I probably should spin the rest of the Finnish sheep wool using my DIY spindle so it’ll stay consistent. But delaying gratification makes it all the more sweeter, right?

I also realized that I have been neglecting making mom’s mother’s day gift because I’ve been spinning 😦 It’s already late, but that’s just more reason to get it done post-haste. Things have been crazy with work and my seminar thesis and finishing up my Bachelor’s degree and what not, but I still feel a bit bad now about using any energy I had left over for crafting on spinning rather than the gift. I just think she deserves to be pampered.

One last thing: my third batch of the Finnish sheep wool is again better than the last one: I have the same amount of inconsistencies in the thicknesses of the singles, but now the singles are much more defined. It feels much harder (still not scratchy or anything, just not completely fluffy anymore).

I’m dreaming of knitting a Baktus with my very first handspun, just because you can decide exactly how much yarn you want that pattern to use up. And I’m starting to dream of gifting people with my handspun 😛 Once I’m sufficiently good at it. Oh my. I like this stuff.

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