I mentioned last month that I’d spun the 20g of undyed BFL fibre – it came to somewhere in the region of 115m (I don’t have a proper measuring tool at the moment, so I think it’s somewhere in the ballpark, but I definitely need to get me a niddy-noddy!) and has been wound onto a toilet roll for storage until I know what I’m going to do with it.
Undyed BFL single
The resin Wildcraft spindle is an absolute joy to use – my other spindle seems very lumpy and heavy in comparison! Unfortunately, I managed to step on it and crack the shaft (so not complete destruction, but still upsetting). Luckily Karen from Wildcraft is absolutely fantastic, and reassured me, after I’d been self-pitying on Ravelry, that the warranty on the spindle even covers, in her words, “acts of muppetry”, so I’ve sent it back to her to be repaired or replaced. (I am so impressed with her customer service, I can’t even tell you.) So I had to unwind the lovely acidy-limey green merino I’d been spinning – which is also now on a toilet roll and which I really have no idea about the length of, because I didn’t even try to measure it – it’s only a tiny percentage of the total 50g of fibre.
Lime green merino single
So I am back to my first, unidentified wooden spindle, which weighs a lot more than the resin spindle did – nearly 50g I think. I didn’t try the merino on it – it was quite difficult to get the hang of it even on the lighter spindle because it’s slippery and has a fairly short staple, so trying to get the same thickness of single on the heavier one would be, I think, beyond my capabilities. I tried some alpaca/merino blend which I’d bought from someone on Ravelry, but I just could not get it to spin at all. It was terrible.
So I thought I’d try some of the giant bag of undyed alpaca which I bought at Wonderwool a couple of years ago, and haven’t done anything with because… well, for the first year, because I didn’t know how to spin and I didn’t want to use it to try to learn with, because it’s so lovely. But I was starting to miss spinning, so I thought I’d give it a try, just in case. And it seems fine, even though everything I’ve read has said that alpaca should be spun on a lightweight spindle. I haven’t spun much of it yet, because I haven’t been spinning much at all over the past few weeks – I’ve been knitting (see below) instead – but I spent some time pulling sections of fibre from the absolutely enormous alpaca batts and removing any vegetable matter and lumps of compacted fibre, in preparation for a proper chunk of spinning. I’m looking forward to it, but the fibre has been sitting in my living room for so long it feels slightly odd to actually be working with it!
In a burst of pre-Easter enthusiasm, I knitted two little bunnies. They are incredibly simple – just a knitted square sewn up (using nice big, simple stitches) so that two of the corners make the ears. The hardest bit is sewing the faces. I combed through all of the projects with photos on Ravelry and tried to copy the best bunny-faces that I found, but I wasn’t entirely successful.
The cream bunny is okay, though I think it looks a bit befuddled. The grey one, apart from the fact that I put the face in the wrong place and so it’s constantly looking up, has a faintly scary look. Or maybe that’s just my imagination…
The grey one was the first one finished, and I think the needles I used were too small – the fabric was very thick and had the flexibility of leather. In the end it sewed up better than I’d expected, but probably isn’t good enough for a gift. (I sent the cream one to my mum – she mocked its lack of legs, but assures me it’s in pride of place in the living room. Hm.)
I also decided to finally knit myself a pair of the “Alice” fingerless gloves which I’d made for my sister last year, using the lovely teal Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn I bought last year. They’ve turned out nicely, and were a very easy knit, which I knew they would be, of course. My next pair of gloves will definitely have an actual thumb, though!