Monday, June 14, 2010

Spinner's Study: Low Twist Singles

I got this wonderful roving from the Morro Fleeceworks at the Retzlaff Winery Spinning Event.

Alpaca & Romney

And I very much wanted to spin it, because it looks so yummy! But, how?

I took 2 ounces of the roving, and spun it thin, intending to see how it'd look 2-ply (like my Targhee). I didn't like it. You couldn't really see the red & silver mixing together, although it was a bit more apparent in the 2-ply.

From experience I know that both Romney & the Alpaca have a long staple length. And the roving itself was pretty lustrous (characteristic of long staple length fibers -- see Fiber Information Below) and I wanted to maintain that luster. So, I thought that this might be a good candidate for a low-twist single, which I haven't spun before.

After consulting a few spinning books, I set up my Nona to have a low ratio with a fast uptake. And, after a few yards, I had something that I was extremely happy spinning.

I was so happy, in fact, that I managed to spin the rest of the 5 ounces of roving within two sittings. Then, the finished yarn was washed & fulled; dunked in both hot & cold water baths to help ensure a bit stability in the yarn.

I love the finished yarn. It's well-balanced, and is light & airy.

Low Twist Single (1)

Low Twist Single (2)

Now, the only question is...what to knit it into?!

Yarn Details:
Weight: Sport
Skein 1: 113 yards (52g)
Skein 2: 188 yards (94g)

Fiber Information:

Romney:
* wool type: long wool
* staple length 4-8 inches
* crimp: well defined
* coarser fleeces used for carpets

However, the Romney in this roving was luxuriously soft, and most likely from a lamb.

Alpaca:
* staple length: 4-7 inches
* crimp: depends on the breeder, but generally, alpaca isn't considered to have crimp