try as i might i just can't stop. despite the fact that i'm virtually fluffless i can't even keep my hands off the bag of icky lumpy bitty bits that i didn't bother with when i was desperate to see how the rasta stuff plied up. if the massive fibre order i put in today doesn't arrive soon i'll be collecting the stuff under the bed. if only i hadn't hoovered last week (now there's a thought... the contents of the hoover bag...)

since i know i have to eek it out i'm seeing how fine and regular i can get the icky lumpy bitty bits. my main trouble at the moment is the park and draft and inch-by-inch thing is making an obvious unevenness in the yarn (less so once it's plied but still...) i'm desperate to get some kind of rhythm going - with the white stuff i managed to keep it spinning stood up and that gave a fluidity to the finished product as well as the process.

i know part of the problem is the fibre which isn't lined up at all (still working on the terminology but maybe a rolag? sliver?) but i think it might be partly the spindle too. reading on one of the spinning lists people are saying spindles that'll only go for 3 seconds are duff, well i'm lucky to hit 3 seconds before it backspins and it has a major wobble. now someone suggested cutting a notch to help the wobble (to centre the leader on the shaft) but since where the leader comes up out of the half hitch will always be to one side of the shaft i don't see what difference it makes, other than to secure the hitch. so i decided: flip the spindle. that's not an uncharacteristic outbreak of clean-mouthedness but literally turn it the other way up.

i had no problems getting the hitch to stay put as the yarn was effectively anchored where it passed the whorl (something i'd been doing by looping the leader round under the whorl on the other - half-heartedly notched - spindle after it went flying once too often), so even though the end tapers it was mostly secure. now i've heard all kinds of things about the greater speeds attainable with a top whorl, don't understand the physics but apparently it's a well-known fact. to my mind it did spin for longer top-whorlwise, although it seems to be much more unstable at low speeds. but more importantly it meant i could roll the spindle on my thigh (sitting down) rather than between fingers which gave it a much much faster, if not much longer, spin. so maybe it's my techinique for putting the spin on rather than a crappy spindle.

at the other end of the process i'm really enjoying getting to know the fibres. it's like custard powder - when you're drafting the more tension you put on, the harder you tug, the more difficult it is to get the fibres to come apart, so if you're trying to even out a spot but it's already quite thin you need to put it under more tension so it doesn't come apart completely. it's counter-intuitive in one way (i.e. when you think about it) but not in another (i.e. when you don't, your fingers work it out for themselves).

too long post, fingers need spin now :D