Red (and Brown) Velvet

Ironman was away for the first half of this week at a conference, and my therapy was spinning. Intensive, hours-long spinning sessions. Until very late at night. Watching really, really bad TV. Inspired by Sarah, I dug into March/April's installment of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club: Red Velvet.

Red Velvel prepped

Handdyed Shetland wool, 8 oz. My previous experience with Shetland was not terribly successful, but I'm now convinced that was operator error (aka Overspinning). This stuff is absolutely incredible. I stripped each 4 oz bundle in half and then in half again, and wound two roving balls with two strips of each half (in the same order). I didn't bother to predraft, since Sarah's rave reviews seemed to indicate it wasn't necessary. And away I went.

I've been doing a lot of fine singles recently, so I wanted to try and do a softer twist, thicker single. I recently got "Spinning for Softness and Speed" and, while not quite ready to take the entire plunge, I used some of the ideas from that book while spinning these.

Red Velvet singles

I spun all the singles from the end, using some sort of bastardization of long draw, and ended up with four bobbins of smooshy, squishy, plush singles. They also went really really fast - 2 hrs/4 oz (fast for me). Two nights worth of work and the singles were done.

I plied the first two bobbins on Wednesday night, sitting out on the back porch, smelling the jasmine and enjoying the gorgeous weather. Plus I figured out how to ply with just one hand! A key point for the plying/imbibing/relaxing trinity. Plying the first skein took just an hour, and it is gorgeous and squishy and glorious. The other two bobbins are on tap for tonight.

Red Velvet

Red Velvet

Final specs: 100% shetland wool top from Hello Yarn
Spun at 9:1, from the end, semi-worsted, semi-longdraw. Plied at 7:1 (Look Ma, one hand!) with appropriate beverage.
215 yds/4 oz, no idea of wpi, soft fuzzy yarn. I'm amazed at how closely the colors lined up - there's some baberpole, but not much. I'm envisioning a Tomten for Devil out of this stuff, in combo with some Lush perhaps?