Spinning Show & Tell: Catch-up

Not only has it been a couple of weeks since I posted my last update, but the kids and I are away again so this is a scheduled post to give you a quick look at what has been spun recently. You'll see the answer is - not very much, but I do have two small finished skeins and another two 'straws' of spinning ready to be plied when we get home, with a further batt waiting to be spun up to accompany the purple alpaca/BFL. 
Spinning show & tell - August 20th 2013: Alpaca, BFL & Dawning Dreams spindle
I knitted from several handspun trial pieces while on holiday (for my hexipuff collection) and it worked up really nicely, so I'm hoping that's a good indication. Hopefully the soft smooshiness of these is evident - I can't wait to get them onto the needles... but have some other things to complete first.

Half an hour of spinning at the weekend resulted in my poor spindle taking quite a battering as it kept crashing to the floor - proving that 'little and often' is a much better approach. I have included a couple of close-ups in the hope of feedback from experienced spinners, particularly on the amount of twist in the plying. It's hard to know when you are learning from books and videos. How much account should I take of the the fibre/blends? Should I spin or ply differently for alpaca than I would for other more sturdy fibres? Does anyone have any good links or resources they could recommend? Any advice would be appreciated.

Well that's it from me for now, but if you have some fibre or spinning you'd like to include in this Show & Tell, please use the form below to add your link.


  1. Gorgeous spinning Sarah!
    I think your skeins look great. The amount of twist & ply look fine. One way of checking that I was taught is to hold up the un-skeined loop of handspun to see how much the loop naturally twists before you set it in a water bath. This shows you how 'balanced' your yarn is.
    I think alpaca needs more spinning than most sheep fibers because the crimp isn't as curly, so the fibers take more twisting to hold it together if you see what I mean :)
    But as far as 'right or wrong' I don't think there's such a thing. I still learn something new every time I go to my wheel or spindle.

    1. That's great, thanks Tanya - I've noticed that when I take the loop off the niddy noddy there isn't much movement in it now (there was more with the earlier loops).

  2. They look so soft and lovely! Have you got the Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook? It offers really good advice on how to spin/ply different fibres to get nice results, I really enjoy that book! I think there is an element of personal preference with how tight to ply though and I learn lots from knitting with my handspun, I'm knitting with some now and although it looked to me like it was plied enough I think if I were to spin this fibre again I would give it more twist when plying.

  3. I found Alpaca jolly tricky but Tanya (above) explains why ... I'm figuring all this out too ;)
    Your spinning is looking super pretty :)

  4. I agree, your spinning looks great, and the amount of twist you've added looks perfect. Sometimes when I'm plying, I'll relax the yarn to see how much it kinks up on itself to give me an idea if I'm adding too much twist or not enough.


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