Wednesday, November 3, 2010

vSOAR - Fine Fibers

SOAR is the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, held every year in (duh) Autumn. The location varies each year, shifting across the United States from West, to Central, to Eastern locations each year. This year, SOAR was in Wisconsin. Not only is that a bit too far to travel, I'm just not in a point in my life where I can pick up for a week and flit off to enjoy an idyllic week on my own, far from family and other responsibilities.

Luckily for me, I don't have to go. The Friends of AbbysYarns group on Ravelry decided to hold a "Virtual SOAR" where each of us would design our own three-day workshop, and continue on with other activities.

I decided to spin fine fibers. I had originally intended to spin my special sampler of cashmere, yak and guanaco fiber. But since I chickened out once again, I broke into a package of pure angora fiber.

vSOAR - Angora spinning
I started with a supported spindle. I expected things to go well, but ran into several difficulties. Despite the fact that I have spun quite a bit of cotton on this supported spindle, I couldn't get the angora to behave. It didn't want to even out as the cotton would. I also started to have a horrific allergic reaction just a couple of grams into spinning. So I did a little bit more on the wheel and threw in the towel.

The next day, after recovering from my allergies, I decided to try and get as much done as I could outside. I carded my remaining angora fiber into rolags with my hand-cards out on the back porch. And when that proved to be too cold, I moved into the garage. I ended up with angora all over me, but no allergic reaction. So far, so good. Rather than push it, I left the spinning for the next day.

vSOAR - Angora spinning
Finally I got to work on the wheel for a bit. Again I spun out in the garage. But this time I bundled up in a raincoat and threw an old jacket over my lap as well, so I wouldn't end up covered completely in fiber. It spun much more easily from the rolag, and by the end I felt really competent again.

I think in the future I would combine the angora with some wool fiber. This would stretch the angora, and still halo. But it would have more body and memory. Still, the skeins I spun are deliciously soft. I'm going to knit at least one small rabbit out of this yarn. I think it's a perfect project!

No comments: