handspun #3
handspun #3: oatmeal bfl 2-ply 35yds + 39yds

2 skeins because it came apart at a thick spot during plying and my attempts to spin it back together made it totally tangled. this used approx 2/3 of the oatmeal tops and was a full spindle (the lighter one). i'm going to do the same with the humbug colour and then ply together the remaining thirds. it's wonderfully soft and fluffy, i don't know what the count is but it doesn't have the slight prickle of the 56s. i think i might try knitting a scarf with this, it's just begging to be nuzzled into. i was worried when i plied that it was underspun, but my attempts to correct it with the cheviot seem to have gone too far in the other direction. both yarns are pretty uneven but averaging out around 9-10wpi.

handspun #4
handspun #4: hand dyed cheviot 2-ply self striping? 44 yds 9-10wpi

i got a real groove on with this one once i'd adapted the larger spindle. i notched it to use as a top whorl and also put a notch in the whorl itself which holds the hitch perfectly secure. it spins forever now if i catch it just right, like 10 seconds plus. as mentioned above i think this one might be overspun as it's quite kinky and i've got the spindle weighting it now as it dries to try to smooth it out a bit. i put pretty much a whole extra spindle-spin's worth of twist into every length before winding it on and while it looked "better" to my eyes when plying it coiled right up in it's twist-setting wash.

speaking of plying, my hastily cobbled plying contraption works a treat now i've got the hang of unwinding it. it's quite easy to keep a little tension on the singles and keep them both the same length. definitely a keeper, though i might have to replace one of the spoons with another i don't actually need for cooking.

plying gadget

i don't like the colours at all now it's spun up, although they did intensify somewhat in transition from fluff to yarn. the overall effect is much too peach - i aimed for sari but got refreshers. the orange is too red, the pink is too purple, the green is way to yellow and all the intensities are too low - the red is actually quite close to the pink i was after. still, not bad for my first try. i'm not sure abut how i put the colours together either. i knew i didn't want a random mix of colours so i tried for stripes instead. this skein is just under half the dyed tops and i divided each colour into 2 sections. so i've ended up with approx 10yd sections of each colourway (red/pink, pink/green, orange/green, red/orange) plus fairly short sections of overlap at the colour changes. i've no idea how the effect will work up but i'm worried the colour sections are too long. will have to suck it and see.

i think i might try the earflap hat from interweave crochet as it takes 31/2 oz which is roughly what i'll have when it's all spun up and i'll be making it smaller for madam. that should let me see how the stripes work up and i wanted to find out how the cheviot felts too. (btw it seemed much easier to spin this time around, maybe from my improved technique/more eperience but more likely i think from the dyeing, which seemed to roughen it up nicely).

i'm having a nightmare time getting decent pix of these so i might have a go with the scanner.