February Spinning: Merino on a High-Whorl Drop Spindle

Last October Carson and I took a halloween trip to Doe Bay on Orcas Island and on our vacation we made a quick stop at Warm Valley Orchard, a quaint farmhouse that advertised wool for sale. I'm a sucker for all things fiber, and their sheep in the meadows beckoned me. Well, I've now converted a beautiful merino top into what I imagine will end up as fingering-weight yarn. The singles were spun on the Little Si spindle from Cascade Spindles, a top-whorl spindle weighing about 1.5 oz.

Once the yarn could no longer support the spindle (the fiber would separate and I would drop the spindle), I wound it onto the nostepinne and plied on the same spindle from a center-pull ball. This is something I tried a bit with the leftovers from my last batch and really enjoyed improving my technique. I also sat atop the ledge of my loft which provided about 6 feet of space for spinning below.

To wrap up I wound the yarn around a niddy noddy to create a skein which was consequently soaked/washed and is now hanging to dry. The measurements seem to be 148 yards out of 2 oz fiber.

Sometime soon I'm hoping to expand into something beyond the basic 2-ply. I'd like to work my way into the navajo 3-ply and some other techniques in the near future. I'm just so slow at spinning on a spindle-- which reminds me, I made a trip to Madrona Fiber Arts (where I definitely want to spend an entire weekend next year) and tried a Pocket Wheel. What an awesome, compact gadget! I think I want something more traditional for my first wheel but i'll keep it in mind for somewhere down the road.


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