Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Junk Makes Junk

When someone wants to make something of quality and have some assurance that they will be happy with the outcome it's always good to start out with quality materials. That's true for woodworking, painting, quilting, knitting, and many, many other things...including spinning. Here's a perfect example of why...

A friend in my stitching group is interested in spinning yarn. So, she went online, found a beautiful color of wool, and made a purchase. But, when it arrived, it looked like this...


A matted mess! I'm not sure what the seller showed in the picture or what they described, but this didn't seem like a good deal and I wasn't sure if it could be spun. I think it's definitely not what my friend was expecting. She was going to throw it away but I told her I'd see if I could save it. It seemed like a fun challenge.

There were a couple of pieces that looked like this...cute little crimps...nice for spinning...


But, most of it was matted or felted. It had a few surprises in it, like a dead beetle, dried poop (or something brown??) and small white hairs (like dog hair or something). But, it was fairly clean, with very little vegetation, and it smelled perfumy, like laundry soap. There were several shades and colors in the bag...ranging from a peachy-coral to cranberry to dark crimson red.

I carded it to get it back from matt to fluff...


When I did that I found out that most of the fibers were very short, around 2-2 1/2". There were a lot of little bits too...like it was a homestyle haircut, not a professional shearing. I wanted to see what I could do with it so I kept carding and ended up with two big bowls full of cranberry colored fluff...


As I spun it, I found even more surprises. Much more of it was short than I'd thought and it had a lot of little bits that were like sweater pills. It was greasy and dirt and color were coming off onto my hands. The short bits and pills made for lumpy, bumpy, not so great singles. I'm wondering if the wool was left overs from the mill floor or ???

I filled a bobbin and Navajo plied it but I'm not impressed with the results.

I did get to use my new niddy noddy though...


It's fuzzy, in a not-so-pretty way and it's not very soft.


Maybe it'll work for a felting project or something. Here's a close-up...It actually looks a little better in the picture than it does in person...and, the color in this photo is a little off...


I'm not planning to card and spin any more of it. This will be it. But, I'm happy that I tried it. It was a good learning experience, more spinning practice, and it was fun.

Now, back to my Hollyberry yarn...made with good quality wool roving...I have two bobbins ready to ply. More spinning fun!!! :-)

4 comments:

Debbie's Dialect said...

Wow, you are very talented to be able to get it to that state! I don't blame you for getting rid of the rest, as you know I was going to toss it.

Dave Daniels said...

You are a brave soul to take on that spinning project. It's a shame she got stuck with that matted mess and didn't return it. But, hey, you used your new niddy noddy!

KarenB said...

What a nice friend you are! It certainly looks better after all your hard work.

Erin and Barley said...

She told me about that, and I couldn't believe you were talented enough to actually make something of it! I'm impressed.