March 21, 2011


RakestrawA few days ago I gifted myself a new toy: a rakestraw spinner. It's a sort of paddle that you can rotate to produce yarn: a sort of a spindle substitute. I am toying around with it, I probably chose the wrong project to start with: I have a packet of 7 rainbow minitops that I wanted to spin for a lace project, probably for the Rome Gay Pride. But spinning thin yarn with the rakestraw is not all that easy, since all twist must be added by hand. Yet, I have worsted-spun two colors already (blue and indigo) to about sportweight and plied them the Andean way to a rather lofty (for a worsted) sportweight. I like the resulting yarn, but it does indeed take longer and more effort, although I must admit that plying on the paddle allows more control than spindle plying (though you can't ply the same amount of yarn).

At the same time I finished the multicolor merino I bought in London this summer. it still needs soaking and a bit of blocking, but that will come in due time (I want to also finish the rainbow and another yarn I have on the make to do it all at once). I am satisfied with the result, but I also itch for some woolen spinning: I have been worsted spinning only for a few months, so as soon as I have either of the current yarns off a spindle I will start with some more of the Shetland from Deborah at last year's spinning workshop in Florence.

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