Friday, May 27, 2011

Ooooooo - lovely

I've been spinning, I finished the plying which is good, but more excitingly I have been spinning wonderful fibre, new fibre, so new that only one batch has been on the market. I am so lucky as I've been spinning one of the prototype skeins, a test one. Let me explain, a bare two weeks ago, Morag came to spin night with some new Vintage Purls products, and she showed and tell'd. Amongst her new product there were two skeins of pencil roving, very special pencil roving, sock blend! I can't tell you how exciting this is to have fine merino blended with 25% nylon and pulled into beautiful pencil roving all ready to spin. I have long had a dream of spinning sock yarn, but I worry about all that work going into something that won't wear well enough for socks. I tried to blend some dyed nylon into perendale once .. but the nylon is so fine and silky that my fine toothed carder didn't really do a great job. I know many use stronger harder wearing fibres and successfully handspin yarn for socks... but nylon is a rather elegant solution as it provides strength and softness and allows socks to wear and wear in lovely luxury fibres like merino.

The entire spin circle wanted to take the pencil roving home .... but Morag insisted that these were the only two samples, the very first out of the Dye Pot and not for sale. We pouted, we sulked, we stroked the fibre and held it to our faces ... and generally made purring noises at the same time as making sad faces at the thought of not being able to buy it then and there. I was the last in the spin circle, siting right next to Morag, so the last to be passed the fibre, and when it was handed to me I held it tight and refused to hand it over, in a nice calm, polite not-letting-go-of-this -yet way. I just wanted to hold the skein for as long as I could if I couldn't buy it then and there, at the end of the night Morag said I could keep that skein in return for a blog review!

I love this fibre, I am going to have to be very active with my Monday check in to Vintage Purls shop ...that is when the stock is updated. I know this is a trial product, and is the same fibre blend as her sock yarn which I love. The pencil roving has hardly any twist - so just teases out easily ready for spinning, no further prep required.the nylon is so well matched for micron and staple length and so well blended that I can't identify which fibres are nylon and which are merino. The dye is amazing - partly as nylon is apparently a protein based fibre just as wool is, so takes the dye in a very similar way. Can you spot the two types of fibre ? I can't but then again the percentages are small .. so its mostly wool fibre.

I have not read any instructions for spinning from a hank or skein so just undid the dyed-to-match-yarn ties and laid the skein beside me. When I'm not spinning I hang the skein on the wheel - and so far the pushy-cat (Yo-yo) has not made a play for it. The more I look at this the more I wonder about knitting it up as is ....

So how is this to spin, amazingly lovely, I am at a loss for words. The fibre just teases out easily and smoothly with no neps, nubs, slubs or vm at all. I am finding this the easiest to draft and spin fine of any fibre I have tried. Honestly there are thoughts in the back of my mind about replacing most of my spinning stash with this .. but deep down I know that I need variety, so I'll just add lots more of this to the stash instead. This week I have pushed my knitting aside and spun and spun .... this stuff is fun.

I have had an disjointed and distracted week, plying the green perendale, still don't know what it will be but there is 166g and it is 360m ... so heavy sport weight? I love the effect of the shots of lemon amongst the green and lime, makes it look like the sun has caught the yarn, makes it look 'light'. Wednesday I was away to Auckland, visiting and marking at AUT ... returning on a 9pm flight. I was a very responsible lecturer, and took my marking with me to work on in the airport and plane ... instead of my knitting. See I can be grown up sometimes!

I also managed to finish the fourth hottie cover .. so now just finalizing the paperwork for the class. Instruction and design hand outs .... my deadline for that is Wednesday if I want the hosts to organize the copying, Friday if I copy them myself.
Life is busy, but it all seems achievable, and fun and there is a purpose to everything that I agree with, it is good.

Take care
Knit and spin and check out the fibre shop Monday afternoon New Zealand standard time if you like the look of the sock pencil roving, I'm not sure how often it will be up for sale, if it is please leave some for me?


KathyR said...

Good to see that you are pleased with the sock pencil roving (how could you not be?). I succumbed to some last Monday as I, too, have long wanted to try spinning for socks. I haven't tried blending with nylon, yet, but I did try carding some Down wool, once, with not a great deal of success. There were too many little neps in the wool (second cuts, probably) which, in my fervour to get the carding accomplished, I omitted to take out. The result was the yarn was just a little too slubby for me to be comfortable with knitting it into socks.

Morag's roving will be such a pleasure to use! I am thinking of navaho plying to get a nice, round 3ply yarn. How do you intend to ply your yarn?

Anonymous said...

"Morag said I could keep that skein in return for a blog review!"
You are like the Gala Darling of the Spin Scene!!!!!

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh! Ooh! LUST. OK, that would be tomorrow afternoon my time, yes? I'll definitely have to check - I think I may need some of this myself. I bet I could even spin up a lovely sock yarn on my spindles with this stuff!! (The spindle thing is getting out of hand over here.) So pretty (and I'm so glad that you politely didn't give it back).

Knitting Linguist said...

Thanks for the review, again - I managed to get some of the pencil roving in two colorways :)