Delights for the Eyes

So, I got this cool self-made-batt kit and I made a giant fiber burrito and then stretched it out into roving.

And I made this ridiculous yarn. And then I ordered more fiber so I could make more ridiculous yarn and put it in my afghan.

And, y’all, I may finally get merino. I still have no idea why anyone would want to spin merino by itself, unless for some reason you think spinning a kitchen sponge is fun. But all the things that make it super annoying when you’re just trying to spin a basic worsted make it perfect for this kind of thing.

It was nm, I believe, who I was telling that the thing I hate most about merino is that it’s like the kindergartener you can depend on to figure out how to hold hands with everyone else in class and bring them along everywhere. But I usually only want a couple of kindergarteners at a time, so to speak. I don’t need merino finding a way to hold a million hands with itself.

But in a batt preparation like this, where you have sparklies and silk and I swear maybe some cotton and a few different kinds of wool, you need someone who knows how to hold hands with everyone, even the folks–like the sparklies–that don’t normally hold hands. So, you just make sure you have some merino touching everything and everything sticks together. You can tug it into a nice thin (well, not thin in my case, but someone with better skills!) line for spinning. You can get this amazing thing.

So, merino. If you just need a wool fiber to move from point a (your hand) to point b (the spinning wheel), I’m still not sold on merino. But if you need something that you can card on a drum with a bunch of other stuff and roll up and stretch out and twist around other bits and bobs before going to the spinning wheel, merino’s the fiber for the job.

I also spun some shetland this weekend which I really liked. It was mixed with silk, so it had an interesting shine.

But it’s a little scratchy. It was really fun to spin, though. If I didn’t have to consider its end use, I might be a bigger fan. What I liked about it was it has a nice, long staple length, the fibers, even in the combed top, slid next to each other pretty easily, and it feels sturdy. The only other thing I didn’t like about it was that, even though the colors in the braid looked super, super saturated and vivid, everything became a little more muted in the spun yarn. I honestly think that’s part of what the silk is supposed to be doing–making sure the colors stay somewhat vivid.

I’m going to be curious to see how it blooms, because it compacted a lot more than I expected. Like even in the thing spots, there’s a lot more fiber than you’d think. It feels like that must eventually boing back.