Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not At All What I Intended

I thought I was doing a really good job spinning a lace weight yarn out of my Party in a Bag Merino but after plying it, it puffed up into at least a sport weight, at least-maybe it's even DK. Ouch. My tiny Golding spindle made some lovely thin singles (I thought) which now are all fluffy and puffy. I had wanted a light springtime shawl for a-wearin' to this year's MD S and W in May-not another mid winter stadium blanket. I am so bummed.
Must. Do. More. Research. On. How. To. Spin. Lace. Must.


  1. Let's see. Laceweight.

    Here's what I ended up doing (and granted my lace still comes out a little thick, but usually firmly in the "lace-is-more-than-22-WPI" category. I just don't like cobweb ;)

    a) Spin as thin as you can
    b) Spin even thinner than you think you should
    c) Spin worsted, not woolen
    d) Ply a 10-yard or less sample and wash
    e) Repeat as necessary until you get the weight you want

    Also useful for me: spin silk, not wool (silk takes insane twist, is perfectly happy being crazy-thin without breaking, and dosn't fluff up much with washing). Or spin one-ply silk and one-ply wool.

  2. And here's what I get for posting before thinking much--my only excuse is I have not caffeinated yet this morning.

    RE: One-ply silk/One-ply wool ... and then put them together of course. Otherwise they are singles ;)

    More thoughts: Your yarn is still really pretty even if it wasn't what you wanted! I'm always amazed how much wool fluffs up, but at least there are plenty of fun fingering and DK lace projects available too. I understand not wanting a heavy lap-blanket. But I have a couple of sock-yarn shawls (more like scarves) that are awesome for in-between weather. It might still work out, just not the way you'd planned.

    And a final thought: While one of my spinning friends isn't a fan, I LOVE love love love pure-silk lace. It's light and airy and IMHO amazing to spin since it drafts out so smooth and clean and shiny in the sun.. and it doesn't fluff up ;)

  3. Oooh...I just bought some silk! I will have to give it a try as soon as it gets here.
    You're right about sampling.
    I think the problem is that I DON'T sample. I just spin away with my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Right now I am spinning tiny amounts of everything I have here as thin as I can and then plying before I commit again to another project. I am determined to get this right even if it takes all the fiber stash in the house to do it!
    Thanks for the great advice. I really appreciate all the help I can get.