Monday, 19 October 2015


The week of October 5th, I took part in Spinzilla. This is a friendly competition to see how much we can spin in a week.

Going in, I had no idea what to expect as to how much wool I'd get through. Many want to spin a mile, so I was hoping to spin a mile and get through up to 2 pounds of wool. I didn't know if this was reasonable.

I did some fiber prep the week before in that I decided I wanted to spin some fractal yarn, so I bought some fiber that would be appropriate and prepped it. I bought two 4 oz braids of Happy Fuzzy Yarn's Local Wool Project wool in "watermelon" and "woodpecker". I left one braid be, other than for loosening the fibers a bit to make it easier to spin. The other I divided into 4 lengthwise. The undivided braid will give longer color repeats because there is more fiber in each section of color. The divided braid will give shorter repeats because there is less fiber in each section of color. What this will result in is a barber pole effect when they are plied together. You get all possible combinations of color.

Watermelon, prepped. One braid was a bit lighter than the other, but not quite as different as it looks here.

Woodpecker, prepped.

Here is my pile of fiber for the week including the prepped fiber above. I knew I wasn't going to get to it all during Spinzilla.


These were the first to be spun. It turns out that I can spin about 8 ounces in a day when I don't have to work or take care of children.

These bobbins show the difference between the undivided braid on the left and the divided braid on the right. You can see the longer chunks of color on the one on the left.

The results:

Fractal spun "watermelon" 346.3 yards

Fractal spun "woodpecker" 352 yards
I like how both of these turned out. It also seems like I was somewhat consistent with them as there is only 6 yards difference between the two. Both are 8 oz and two plied.

One pound finished in the first two days. At this rate, I was going to hit my goal of spinning two pounds. I had already spun a mile. We get credit for each single as well as the plying.

The next thing on the list to be spun was 8.4 oz of a blue and white Romney Corriedale mix that I bought from Riin's HFY destash sale. I had prepped it the week before by "snapping" small sections to loosen up the slightly matted combed top.

Romney/Corriedale mix. Unsnapped on the left, snapped on the right
I like how this one turned out as well. The dye was not in a regular pattern, so when I spun it I ended up with different lengths of blue and white. It looks nice plied:
Finished Romney/Corriedale yarn. 302.5 yards
Next was some blue and brown fiber I bought during the last Spinner's Flock sale. I wasn't sure how to go about spinning it because the brown is kind of a core on the inside of the blue. I didn't want it to just get muddy. I had seen a sample of it spun and knitted at the sale and it had spots of blue and spots of brown, which is what I wanted. I tried separating out the colors a bit and doing random lengths of both to get blue/blue, blue/brown and brown/brown when two plied.

Blue Brown Roving. 388 yards

I'm mostly happy with how it turned out, but found it frustrating to separate the colors out to get this effect.

The next fiber was similar to the last in that it had colors in a core of other colors. This time it was green in a blue core (on the left in the picture below). Again I found it frustrating to separate out, but it got better as I went along and figured out the trick. I like how this yarn turned out. It is 80% mohair and very soft.

Blue green roving. 228 yards Multicolor combed merino top.

I had more roving that I had planned to do next, but I had purchased the multicolor combed Merino top (in the picture above) the previous month at the Spinner's Flock meeting and wanted to get back to combed top.

It was very nice to get back to combed top.

The photo does this top no justice. It is a beautiful purplish blue with streaks of yellow, green, purple, black...
I knew I couldn't separate out individual colors, but I did split this rather finely as I spun it, trying to get mostly one or two colors. I think it is a beautiful yarn. I started spinning it at the Spinner's Flock meeting on the Saturday of Spinzilla. I wanted to get it started, especially after seeing that the same vendor was there and had other colors of this mixed color combed top. I spun a bit and figured it would be a beautiful yarn so I ended up buying a gray/white/black merino/silk top to put with it. It also spun up beautifully. I really need to get a better picture than this, but was finding it difficult to capture the essence of the yarn.
Merino top. 357 yards. Gray merino silk 386 yards
I think these turned out close enough in size to use together, which was the plan when I bought the gray to go with the purplish one. I think they would make a fantastic shawl.

In total, for Spinzilla, I got 7116 yards of spinning credit. That's 4 miles of spinning and 3.5 pounds (8 oz of each color) of yarn. For finished yarn, it comes out to 2359 yards of 2 ply yarn.  I'm very proud of that...and kind of tired of my wheel. That being said, I bought 3 braids (6 oz total) of merino/yak from Happy Fuzzy Yarn because it is so deliciously soft.
Merino Yak in Cobalt
Besides being so soft, the Yak is grey, which does fabulous things to the colors when dyed. Again, my picture doesn't do it justice, but the purples and blues on the gray fiber are gorgeous!