I did some spinning! One of the earliest fiber purchases I ever made was for some multicolored merino top from Ashland Bay that I ordered from WEBS. I started spinning the summer after my freshman year of college, and I bought it not long after that, so I’ve probably had it for about four years. Which isn’t very long for some people, but by some people’s accounts, I’m still a “new spinner”. I started spinning it relatively soon after I got it and finished (plied, washed, and thwacked) about an ounce, but I got bored with it (spinning one color, or mostly one color, for a while on a spindle is pretty boring). It’s much faster on a wheel, though, so I picked it back up at the beginning of the month.
Here’s what the fiber looked like when I bought it:
And here’s what it looks like now:
I sort of attempted to spin semi-woolen, to mediocre success. It would have been impossible since this was definitely top and thus all the fibers were going the same way, but when I started spinning it, I did something weird to the fiber. Instead of being in a long chunk like most top, I guess I had pulled off chunks, layered them, and pulled them apart. Several times. The result of which is that I had a bag full of fluffy chunks and clouds. That made it a lot easier to practice woolen spinning and long draw.
I decided to thread ply this skein, mostly because I didn’t bother to divide the fiber before spinning, so I just put it all on one bobbin. Plying it on itself would have involved winding off the single and dividing it. I didn’t want to do that (lazy, not that in love with the fiber anyway), so I looked in my to-be-unravelled thrift store sweater stash, and found something that would work. It’s a lace weight 85/15 merino/cashmere from a seriously gigantic skirt.
I like how the finished yarn came out, although it’s super uneven cause I wasn’t paying that much attention to the spinning. It varies between heavy lace and sport, but that’s okay. It gives it character, and I like a bit of character in my handspun. I didn’t mind thread plying, although it probably would have been easier if A, the thread and single were less prone to breakage and B, I didn’t have to unravel the thread ply from the sweater at the same time as I was attempting an even ply. I used a super tiny amount of the skirt yarn (barely a dent in one of four huge sweater-sized panels), and my yardage for about 3 ounces of fiber was only about 300 yards, but the fiber’s out of my stash and I justified the huge skirt purchase (it was pretty cheap, but it’s always nice when I actually use one of my thrift purchases for something other than the joy of unraveling).
Oh, and as for the title: So I’m participating in this giant challenge thing on Ravelry called Nerd Wars. Basically, you join a team, and then there are challenges in five categories. You knit, crochet, spin, or weave something before the deadline (each round is a month) that fits in to the category, and there are extra points for tying your project back to your team. The team I joined is Stargate Command, so all of my projects have to relate to Stargate (which, as you know, I am totally and utterly obsessed with). I submitted this yarn for one of the challenges, and my team tie in was that the yarn resembles the ribs/supports on a Wraith ship from Stargate Atlantis. Thus the name. Nerd Wars tournaments are three months long, with three month-long rounds. So I expect you’ll be hearing more about my Stargate tie ins.