Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tops aren't tops

Yesterday and today I have been working with E.Roberta, trying to get her set up with the best tension for my style of spinning.  That part wasn't too difficult.

What was hard, though, was that I had thought that spinning tops would be easy and bought a kilo of a mix of brown, silver and white tops.( Topmaking mills make wool top, a semi-processed product from raw wool. The process requires that the wool be scoured (washed) and combed and sorted. The longer fibers resulting from the process are called tops, and are in a form ready for spinning.).  I had a great deal of trouble drawing the fibres out; bearing in mind that I hadn't done any serious spinning for over 20 years it was rather a heroic efford and eventually I realised that I needed to divide the tops into its approximate colours and spin with thinner  lengths.

This actually worked and I have filled my first bobbin.  It is not very elegant spinning and it is not very fine but it gets better and I should be able to knit  chunky scarf with the results.  I still have a sample piece of knitting from my very first effort at spinning and it was rather thick and uneven but I made a very nice sailing jumper from the result.  The sample has become Poppy's favourite toy and neither cat seems inclined to eat it although Parsifal managed a mouthful of tops when I wasn't looking.  It got tangled in his teeth and I was able to remove it but the fibres are very fine and I am sure that it would have digested.

I have remembered just how addictive spinning is and can't wait to fill a second bobbin so that I can ply it and see how it looks.

My Windows 8 client didn't turn up on Thursday but I have some notes for her if she comes again.  I suspect that, having been given a start, has begun to work it out for herself ... she is already computer literate.

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