Feb 3, 2010

The Tale of the Monster TwitKAL Yarn: How to Spin a Shawl

O. M. G.

That's what I would name this yarn if I were lazy. (...or feeling particularly bizarre. ;))

I have finally finished spinning the TwitKAL yarn, and it turned out to be a monster. This is the biggest skein of yarn I have ever spun. At a guess, I don't need to worry about running out of yardage for the Traveling Woman shawl.

You want to see photos? Yeah? Yeah? Well, I sat there through what, twelve hours of spinning and plying, not even counting the dyeing? You can put up with a few more in-progress photos before you get to see the finished product, too, dangit. ;)

So we left off after the fiber was dyed and dry. The next thing I did was split each color in half (without worrying too hard about making them exactly equal halves) and make mini-sets of three colors — each set of three colors would go on one bobbin, then the two bobbins would get plied together. I actually wanted a bit of overlap between the color changes, to hopefully make for smoother transitions — which is why I didn't bother trying to split each color exactly in half.

TwitKAL yarn in progressTwitKAL yarn in progress

Close enough to equal weight for me. Next up: Spinning. Actually, pre-drafting before spinning, to take out any fiber stuck-togetherness (a.k.a. the bit of felting that I probably did when I wasn't paying attention to whether the dyepots were boiling ... ::whistles innocently::).

TwitKAL yarn in progress
TwitKAL yarn in progress
TwitKAL yarn in progress

For those who wonder this kind of thing (I do), the above photos only show half the fiber of a given color. I have waaaayyy too many photos of predrafted fiber now, though, if anyone likes to look at that sort of thing. ;)

TwitKAL yarn in progress
TwitKAL yarn in progress
And then it was time for lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of spinning. Mini bobbin montage! (Yeah, this doesn't even begin to convey the hours and hours of tiny-yarn spinnage involved.)

At last there were two bobbins, no unspun fiber, and a ghetto lazy kate. The Magical Jumbo Flyer and Bobbin were just over the horizon...

TwitKAL yarn in progress

Finally, after more long hours of plying (with occasional cursing when one of the plies broke — not a problem the intrepid wheel+spinner normally have...), one unassuming but gigantic bobbin remained.

TwitKAL yarn in progress

Then, this dark and unpromising yarny caterpillar (if you will) split its chrysalis and unfolded its brightly-colored wings. (Ready for it? Ready? Ready??)

Monster TwiKAL yarn

TA-DA! And the close-ups!

TwitKAL yarn in progress
TwitKAL yarn in progress

There it is. Finished. Done. Finito. NO MORE. And it's, like, way, way, WAY more yardage than I need for this shawl. Ha, ha, ha. 4.9 ounces (weirdly, I didn't "lose" any weight, although I normally do with smaller skeins of fatter yarn). 686 yards. Around 18 WPI, a.k.a. sport weight to fingering weight, which is pretty much what I was going for (did I neglect to mention my trusty spinner's comparison card? Maybe it'll show up in a future photo...). Purple, blue, and greeny-blacky.

You may now applaud. Thank you, thank you. Bows all around. Flowers on the stage. The roar of the audience's sincere and deep appreciation. Ahhh.

(And whew. Wait — you mean I have to knit the shawl now? Groooaaan...)
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts with Thumbnails