Job hunting is making me crazy. -er. Crazier. So glad it's the weekend.
Stopped in at The Fiber Loft in Harvard, MA after an interview today. Lots of nice yarns downstairs, but I spent my time and energies trying out 4 wheels upstairs: Ashford Traveller DT, Joy DT and Traditional ST, and Louet S10 ST (I'm pretty sure that's what it was). Reba, a non-spinner (or not-yet-spinner?), pointed me in the right direction with wool and a threader, but I was on my own to figure out how to make it all work.
Only one was "ready to spin"; with the rest it was varying degrees of: "hmm, the wheel's not turning... ahh, this tube thing is off"; "hmm, the bobbin's not moving... ahh, this springy thing must need to go somewhere"; and "man the take up is tight... maybe if I turned this knob..." I tinkered and poked around and learned a lot about how wheels work. And without someone over my shoulder I felt no performance anxiety. The "patting your head while rubbing your stomach" thing wasn't an issue; my hands and feet knew what they were supposed to do. They weren't great at it, but I didn't feel that schizophrenic pulling apart and twisting of my mind's attention. (Okay, I'm exaggerating, it wasn't quite so bad before.)
In the end I liked the Joy best. Liked the feel, easier to thread, liked that it has so many ratios, and overall felt most comfortable on it. By then (it was wheel #3) I was comfortable enough to do some experimenting so I made yarn with puffs:
Here are two puffs separated from the flock:
It's hard to tell from the photo, but the puffs were not just thicker bits of fiber; I had to manipulate the fiber to get it to be a puff and not just a "thick" (of "thick and thin"). A bit of the puffiness was lost in the plying. Looking at the puffs now, I'm thinking, not so practical; but it was fun to make! (Man, I wish I could ply as fast with my spindle. PumpkinMama, you are so right, it's like lightning on a wheel.)
Speaking of spindles, yep, still lovin' my hi-lo:
That's merino-silk that I spun from the fold. Very different texture and look than spinning straight from the top (see a sample from a different color). I likes it, I likes it! I haven't figured out how to get a good join when adding the next bit of fiber. Fiber ends are easier to sneak in than folds; folds are thicker and produce a bulkier join. Any suggestions?
And finally plied the Winderwood Farms Wensleydale (here it is before plying). Had to add extra twist to get it the way I wanted; I have learned that more twist than I expect is required for plies.
One last photo, the pre-drafted food coloring dyed Finn from yesterday: