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Round Robin Notes

I joined the Round Robin of the Spin4Lace list and figured that it would get me going again. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't touched my wheel for months! When Maeve's cobweb lace edging with delica beads landed in my mail box, I knew I had to dust off the wheel, give it a good oiling (and a new drive band) and try to do some fine spinning again. Here are my samples, chronicling the painful experience. All knitting samples are actual size.

  • First I decided to ply a leftover bobbin of bombyx silk singles. It was okay, nowhere near Maeve's cobweb sample, just okay. I knitted a Shetland lace swatch. That really bombed.

    I used a needle that was too large (probably a US size 1) and you can see how stringy the single yarn-overs look.

  • Second try. I found some pima cotton samples in my spinning cupboard and spun a few yards of it on two bobbins. Next mistake: I was too impatient to wait until the twist had relaxed by letting the bobbins sit overnight. Talk about kinky!! Third mistake: I plyed the mess in front of an oscillating fan during a heat wave. The breeze caught some of the thread and created such a terrific snarl that I had to cut off several yards to save the skein. In the end, I didn't have enough left to make up a sample. Probably just as well. My plying wasn't worth spit. No scan because I'm sure you all know what a tangled mass of yarn looks like.

  • Third try. Let's go back to the ol' spinning cupboard and see what new surprises we can dig up! This time I found some Shetland wool samples that Maeve sent me years ago. It spun up beautifully. The singles are still sitting on the bobbin (I learned from my mistake!) and will be plyed tonight (Aug. 25).

  • Second try revisited. While cleaning up my bobbins last night, I had another look at the silk. It didn't look too bad-- not a prize-winner but not a total loss either. So I tatted an itty-bitty motif. Here is the scan:

    It's quite small--about 7 mm (those are centimeter markings on the ruler). I estimate that it worked up to close to a size 80/2 cotton. If I were to spin thread specifically for tatting, I'd ply it much more firmly. Tatting causes the plying to loosen and you can see how the separation in the picots and loose threads.

  • Next installment..... plying the Shetland.

    Better but still could come down in needle size. This one was knitted on size 0. There should be more contrast between the holes and the size of the stitches.

    Same Shetland, smaller needles. I used 000 and got a better ratio of holes to stitches. The 3 large holes in the middle, by the way, are double yarn-overs. I'll put this one in the mail for the Round Robin.

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