July 15, 2018
Spinning Kainuu Grey
The fiber purchase at the Jyväskylä Knit Festival foretold a return to the spinning wheel. After I'd become the owner of some new spinning fiber, I kept itching to spin again. However, I had to wait to get back home from a road trip, on which I did not bring a spinning wheel (or a sewing machine), unfortunately.
I first started spinning yarn almost exactly three years ago. An owner of an Ashford Joy 2, I'd never taken a class on spinning, but learned from books and videos on my own. A year later I took my first (and so far only) spinning class at the Jyväskylä Knit Festival. Around that time I sold my first wheel and replaced it with a Schacht Matchless, soon followed by a Hansen miniSpinner. However, I never really got the hang of either of the new wheels, and so so far my best spinning has come out of the Ashford Joy three years ago. Then I abandoned spinning altogether for almost two years, occasionally feeling a tinge of guilt over the unused Matchless sitting in the corner of the living room.
Yesterday I dug up the Hansen miniSpinner and refreshed my short draw skills. I'd never excelled at it in the first place, and the long break had not improved my spinning for sure. But I did manage to come up with something at least resembling yarn using some Kainuu Grey roving, which was relatively easy to handle. But then I got curious how difficult exactly it would be to spin long draw instead. I first practiced on some spare fiber, and it seemed manageable. Then I started a proper project with the other batch of Kainuu Grey roving I had, which turned out to be slightly trickier to spin evenly, I think due to the slight stickiness of the fiber (it has some lanolin in it). However, it did not feel harder than the short draw, at least, so I kept going. I'm now about a half-way through spinning the single, which I will probably chain-ply, just like the first one. I used the Matchless for the plying of the short draw single, because I couldn't easily get things right to ply on the miniSpinner. Both the long and short draw singles are somewhat uneven, but I'm relatively satisfied with the results so far considering it's my first spinning after a long break.