Spin me a treasure |
It was a nice swap. Or is still, for it goes on after he spinning with the next step (for those who want to).
As with most of new actions there were some difficulties at the beginning: the server was out of order, some personal data missing, ... what ever else came across the timetable: the swap was delayed. Finally, when all data arrived, perfect matches were made, everyone's got a partner, all participants were informed.
It was just this day, when a friend of mine, now living in Estonia for 4 years, dropped in for an afternoon, talking, drinking tea, having some hours of girls' talk. Therefore there was no time thinking about the swap. But the next day was perfect.
I got a difficult partner: I got to spin for Florence, a sheperd. Somebody who knows far more than I about different breeds, had contact with their wool, much more experience with felting, spinning, dying them than me! Panic rised! But then there was the idea.
The catchwords "more sparrow than bird of paradise", "heathered look", "colored beige" and "classical yarn" gave me hints for the ingredients. (If you click the pictures with the right mouse-key, you'll get them twice the size).
I bought the fleece some time ago on a wool fair in Euskirchen, near Cologne. There was a professional wool broker and everyone is allowed to buy directly from his new stash. He thought it could be Coburg Fox Sheep. But the fleece provides 25cm/10inches long hair, like a second coat, and that's not usual for a Coburg Fox. But this was part 1.
The special "treasure" of the yarn are silk cut-offs from cardwoven bands. At the end of the weaving there'll be a warp left over from about 30-50cm/12-20inches. You can't avoid that: the cards are still on the warp, sometimes a twining shortens the threads and a knot at the end will also need some cm/inches of yarn. I'm collecting these silk warp ends for years now (it's not at all the material we work with every day) for blending it with wool for a spinning project. Now this will happen at last.
For the treasure I chose a gold, beige, bright yellow and vibrant orange. I also thought about blending in some dark red threads, but there were enough dark parts in the wool, so I decided not to use this colour. The yarn should be golden, not too dark.
The next step could be a work specially created for Syssiphus: These silk threads are relatively thin, but much too bold for being part of a lace yarn. Therefore I had to split up the threads into their finest parts, what luckily was possible with a little help: I took a bundle of yarn, the ends about 2cm away from my fingers, and brushed the tips again and again until they split from their twining, could be taken and pulled out one by one. It took me almost two evenings with some less interesting TV-shows to get this work done. During this time I tried to imagine how the yarn would look like and that it will be worth the work. It helped a bit. :o)
I carded wool and silk together. That wasn't easy, because the silk threads tend to slip out of the wool very quick. I spread the silk onto a thin fleece of wool, rolled it in and carded the batt, but more and more the silk threads stayed onto the smaller drum, instead of the big one. Therefore I started to spin.
But it came out a bit, hm, normal, less shiny, pale. Too normal, too boring. Should I try to card the wool with more silk? How about a pure silk thread for plying? May be worth a try.
I just had started with spinning Tussah silk (you can see how thin it is compared to the sock yarn on the left side of the bobbin), when a small accident stopped me.
Beside Handball and Badminton I always loved dancing. For half my live I do it as sport, with competitions and hours and hours of training. At this stage, dancing isn't easy: do the right steps, be and stay upright, quick acceleration and slow down, sometimes to a sudden stop without tipping over, and always having a smile in the face. Seems to be masochistic, but it's like a drug, and you want more, if the new steps you'd done with your partner suddenly will come into place, rhythm is right and you manage to dance in complete unity. Can you imagine how this would feel if eight couples will completely do the same? That's why my husband and I are members of a Formation-Team. We do Ballroom (Slow Waltz, Tango, Vienna Waltz, and so on) and are about to start competition saison next sunday. Therefore there's a lot of training and then it happened during quick movements, when I heard a ripping noise, pain came up in my right calf, I couldn't walk, training was over for me. It was a pulled muscle and I had to stop training for 3 weeks. Panic!
It wouldn't have been that bad (much more time for doing something else), but it was the right foot that I use to set the wheel moving. I tried to change to the left foot, but it was uncomfortable.
Though I couldn't dance there was a lot to do for the team: the presentation of our new choreography was one week after my accident, the ladies' dresses got to be checked for repair, changed for a better size, ..... suddenly I became kitwoman and cosmetician.
After pausing a week, I could take up spinning again. It's the best training for the injured muscle: the steady change of flex and relax, no additional weight of the body to compensate, possible to stop at every moment.
After I'd filled one bobbin to the brim with plied yarn, I discovered it only has 35g. Every lace yarn I do is spun on an old flax wheel. The bobbins are big enough for flax (the yarn was used unplied) and even big enough for silk yarns, but they won't take more than a certain amount of plied wool. So I filled two more bobbins.
At first sight I was tempted to do my complete correspondence in the native language of my partner. I thought it would brush up a language, I learned almost "centuries" ago. Therefore I searched the big online-enceclopedy for sites of Birds of Paradise. With the
Greater Bird of Paradise I found an animal which ornamental flank plumes have a similar colour compared to the yarn. That's why I called it "Greater Bird of Paradise's Plumes".
There's just something special to the yarn that wasn't planned that way. By normal daylight it's colour is beige, without luster, insignificant - like a sparrow. If you see it in electric light (no matter if it is the flash light of the camera or lamplight) the silk threads will show up more clearly, the tussah ply gives it some melange-effect - the Bird of Paradise.
I hope my partner may like it.