There are so many spin-alongs happening right now that I don’t even know where to start! I guess first I’ll chat about what I’m most excited to spin: the Jenkins Woodworking “Just Batty” Challenge.
The Jenkins Woodworking Lovers group is a very active, enthusiastic group of spinners on Ravelry full of people who really, really love their Jenkins spindles.They organized a great little SAL for April – June where we each chose 5 batts that we would like from Nunoco fibers, then purchased one batt that our downstream partner liked and received one batt from our upstream partner — so we ended up with 50 grams in a colorway that we expected and 50 grams of a surprise colorway that was in our list of favorites.
I’m really enjoying spinning my batts. One of the first ‘nice’ yarns I ever spun was made from a batt and I just love the way that the light, fluffy preparation drafts. A well-done, drum-carded batt makes such a nice, smooth yarn — even when there are ‘bumpy’ additions to the fibers, the light preparation drafts more evenly for me. I like the way that the different fibers play off each other in the mix, too.
I also finally learned how to wind a neat and pretty cop (or ‘turtle’ as they’re called in the bottom-whorl Turkish spindle world). The Simply Notable blog has a great photo tutorial on fancy cop winding that shows the process clearly. I’ll be spinning each of the Nunoco batts separately and then plying them together, it should make a pretty, subtly-shifting, pastel skein. I predict some really wild yarns from some of the batt combinations that the other SAL participants received, so it’ll be exciting to see the results!
I’ve also continued working on my third Spin the Bin challenge skein, 5 oz of alpaca that I carded with about 2 oz of silk. I have to admit, I don’t know how the people at Nunoco create such smooth, even batts because I just did not have the patience for it. I used the drum carder only a handful of times in the month that I had rented it and then gladly gave it back. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather spend my time spinning and leave the batt-blending work to the artists who are really good at it!
There are two more ongoing SALs of which I’m aware. You can read about one over at the Porpoise Knits blog. Briefly, the goal is to spin samples of every yarn (or even just some of them!) described in Chapter 2 of The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design, which I’ve previously blogged about here. I love this book and think this SAL is a crazy, crazy idea… so I love it even more. Whether I get a chance to actually do it is another story, but I’d certainly like to make some time to try. Come join us over in the Porpoise Pod group if you decide to play along, too!
The last spin-along I wanted to chat about is sponsored by Louet and The Woolery, an amazing source for spinning equipment and supplies. It’s a 3-month long ‘spring training’ event for which each month involves new techniques, goals, and prizes. You can play along in either or both the Louet or Woolery Ravelry groups. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do for this one yet, either, but it just might involve that Shetland fiber pictured above, since one of the goals is to spin some different sheep breeds. You can find more details over on Stefanie’s blog at Handmade by Stefanie. Check it out!
(Note: I’ve recently become an affiliate of The Woolery. If you click on a link to their site from here and subsequently make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage. I really enjoy their store and am happy to support a company I believe in. I also aim to respect my readers by keeping them informed, so now you know!)