Reading and Spinning


I just finished reading The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning and by "reading" I mean "felt my brain ooze slowly out my ears." Don't get me wrong, there is much that is useful and splendid about this book, but I wasn't expecting to need a slide rule and protractor to learn how to spin yarn well. I wouldn't recommend this as a learn-to-spin book, and I feel, perhaps, his opinions lacked nuance, but I did learn a lot and have found myself joined at the treadle to El Matchador.

Along with the One Wild Night fiber I spun up recently, I have two new skeins of yarn to share with you.

cotton and pygora2.jpg

The blue and white is 100% cotton from A Verb For Keeping Warm

cotton closeup.jpg

The colorway is called Kyoto, and it was far less scary to spin than I thought it would be. I used a long draw method and plied it from both ends of a center-pull ball. I just made sure to add in loads of twist to the singles and the finished yarn.

Weight: 1 ounce. I have another ounce to spin.
Yards: 154
WPI: Approx 24
Plies: 2

The other yarn is a Pygora/Silk blend from Rainbow Yarns NW

pygora closeup.jpg

This colorway is called, First Love, and it's a luscious, deep, rich red. I made this a two ply from two bobbins, since this fiber is sold as two floofy little batts. Of course, I didn't spin both bobbins perfectly evenly so I andean plied the last little bit from the bobbin with more singles.

Weight: 2 ounces
Yards: 224
WPI: Approx 22
Plies: 2

I bought both fibers at the Black Sheep festival this year and am very pleased with both purchases. Kristine Vejar of A Verb For Keeping Warm was so gracious when I wrote to ask her if I had to boil the cotton after spinning it. In case you are wondering, no. Before dying the fiber she had to remove the wax that boiling is needed to remove. If you are not a spinner, her yarns look lovely too.

puppy watchers.jpg

And if you have been waiting for an excuse to try Pygora you won't find a nicer example of it than the stuff from Terry and Susan, over at Rainbow Yarns NW. When Leo first touched these batts, I thought he was going to dive into the bag and make a nest. This stuff is luscious and these women really stand by their product. I've loved pygora since I first spun it but I've never spun any quite as nice as this.

theainpygora2.jpg pygoraonpanda2.jpg

I'm hoping to spin up the Blue Moon roving next.


I'm sure it'll look great on the girls' heads knit up.


Oh I will just never tire of the girls modeling yarn. And I especially love the pic of them looking out the window! Too cute! Oh, and of course your spinning is lovely, too! ;)

I think AA's book is incredible in its scope, remarkably readable for so technical a book (the man is opinionated but at least he's entertaining), but I have to say that, having worked my way through it once, I've never felt the need to go back. But that going through once was SO worth it!

Oh, and the STR fiber? I bought some at Rhinebeck in 2006, suffered from sticker shock for MONTHS, but was absolutely thrilled with the resulting yarn.

good lord did you read the ENTIRE book? I don't think i got past the chapter on washing wool lol.

Your links to Rainbow Yarns NW are both missing a 'w' to make the links work correctly.

Marnie says:
Thanks Tami. I've fixed those links.

I'm reading Amos's book right now! (Well, not RIGHT now, but when I'm reading, it's that book.) It makes me laugh so hard and I love it.

Your yarn is great-looking! I can't wait until I can spin as well as you. I should practice.

Ha, I like the AA book. Though I definitely do take from it what I care to and leave some of his opinions behind.

Love everything you spun here -- I haven't spun cotton yet, so it's interesting to read a bit about how you did it. :)

Oh.. love the girls' new looks!

Wow, Thea is really coming into her own as a yarn model! She looks so much more comfortable and so much less deer in headlights waiting to bolt!

Cotton - good for you! And pygora, *swoon*!

Elaine B was the tech editor for AA's book. She is simply amazing.

Oh, that Blue Moon fiber is making me drool. Love those colors!

--Cerebelle aka Tricoteuse on Ravelry

The spinning looks awesome (per usual). I laughed at your description of Alden Amos' book. I think I might have guessed that just from the heft and print size of the thing. Although I can be very anal about some things, my feeling about spinning is that I just want to do it and not think too much. That's part of the fun, right?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on August 26, 2008 4:23 PM.

One Wild Night was the previous entry in this blog.

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