Tuesday, 4 March 2014
STSAL2014 Has Begun
I'm very excited today. I recorded the latest episode of my podcast yesterday, where I launched the Spin-A-Long (SAL) and opened the SAL threads on the Ravelry board. The chat thread is already a lovely lively place and lots of beginners are going to join in, which makes me extra happy. I wanted the SAL (details are are towards the bottom of the linked post) to be a nice safe place for people who are quite new to spinning, to start feeling a bit more confident. The SALs done by more experienced spinners and the Tour-de-Fleece can be quite intimidating for newer spinners, because you don't want to seem stupid by asking really obvious questions. I know this, because that is how I felt last year when I joined in with SALs for the first time.
It is easier to ask questions of people who still remember, very vividly, the first time they picked up a spindle and fibre. I think we have some other more experienced spinners joining in though, so we can pick their brains!
I think I know what I want to spin for the SAL, but before I can do that, I really want to clear off my favourite spindle. I'm up to the plying stage of the Fondant Fibre nests and I keep getting distracted by other things, so it is taking longer than usual. I will probably spend some time today really giving it my full attention.
My SAL project is going to be more Fondant Fibre. The Malachite punis I bought at the same time as the pretty pink nests are calling to me. (If you want to know more about punis, there is an interview with Kate of Gourmet Stash who has quickly become the US Puni queen and she explains about the preparation here.)
The punis are 65% Merino/20% Shetland/15% Yak and as I don't think I've spun yak before, I'm quite excited. I have 100g of punis, and even better than having a decent quantity to start with, is that this is a repeatable colourway and blend. If I create yarn that I adore, but want more of it, I can request another batch.
This will be the first time I've spun yarn out of punis. I spun a couple of samples and really enjoyed it, so I think it will be a real treat to spin this fibre into yarn during the SAL. I wanted to try something a bit different for the SAL and I think this type of fibre preparation is a good thing to try. I have yet to decide how I want to spin the punis, so if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Part of me wants to spin them worsted to get a semi-worsted yarn, because that is how I spun the samples I had, however the "push your boundaries" part of my brain, wants me to spin them long draw. After the success of the Polwarth I spun a few weeks ago, I am more inclined to give it a go.
I think I will be spinning some samples again!
I hope you are thinking about joining the SAL. Even if you are a complete beginner, two months should be time enough to spin 100g. Please come and join us in the group where you can share your hopes and fears and we can talk you in to taking part!