i'm working on 2 spindles at the moment. the first is wensleydale, destined for the rug. it's such beautiful fibre; soft, super long and lustrous, slippery but with a crimp. but as i turn it into yarn it seems to lose all it's charm and character. this is the first wool i've really felt i wasn't doing justice. it really wants to be thinner than the weight i'm spinning and i'm having real problems keeping it smooth because of the long staple - once i see a bump coming it's too late to tease it out. it's okay when i can really concentrate but that kind of peace doesn't happen often round here.

as a bit of light relief i'm also playing with some merino and angelina. i was expecting the merino to be tricky but it really doesn't seem to be. i had a quick try spinning from the fold and while i kinda got it it was more work than the worsted-style spinning from the end of the top that i've been doing and am comfortable with. so this lot gets done the relaxing way. i'm trying to get it fine and even and it's getting there. i'm also trying to work out a way of blending in the angelina without having it sticking out all around like demented tinsel which it really wanted to do at the start. i think i've got it now - i'm opening up the chunk of top, spreading the angelina across, trying to keep the fibres parallel, then rolling up like a swiss roll and predrafting as usual. i'm getting thick spots where it's nearly all sparkle and quite long stretches where there's none at all but at least it's fairly well lined up so the tinsel thing's under control.

i've taken the plunge and stuck hooks on both spindles. i found i was getting a much improved spin by hitching as close to the end of the point as possible (i.e. closer to the centre of grvity) but the wensleydale in particular was sliding off too often for my temper. all is now sweetness and light, the hooks are soooooooo much better than the hitch. i'm hoping this will make the wensleydale a bit more enjoyable too, once i can face it again.