Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I might have spoken too soon...

So last post, I was saying I thought I might actually have the hang of the whole spinning thing.

These lovely batts smacked me right down. Beautiful suri alpaca, merino, silk and nylon. And they fought me every step of the way. Lumpity, slubbity, thickity and thinnity. I never got a grasp on a good drafting method and I fiddled constantly. I really despaired of the finished yarn, until I set the twist. A bit of a soak, and a good couple of thwacks against the tub, and it's actually something approaching yarn:

Suri Alpaca/Merino/Silk/Nylon blend, two ply
2.5 oz, 160 yards, 15 wpi
It really is lovely. Thanks, One-Skein-Wonder!
DIY Yarn Meter
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I made myself a new holder for my yarn meter. My old holder was a terribly jury-rigged affair not worthy of blogging, but the new one is working out well.
First, go to your local fishing supply retailer, and get a fishing line counter. I got mine at Cabela's for $12. Then go to your local craft supply and check out the unfinished wood stuff. Look for something like this:

A Whatnot Shelf. If you can't find one with a dowel, buy a dowel about the width of a fishing pole. But you do need the kind where the plane of the shelf is the absolute top and with supports on either side. This one, with handy dowel included, cost me $5.

Then, stablize the dowel by drilling some pilot holes through the supports and into the dowel on either end, then some small screws. If your cheapo shelf's dowel is firmly affixed and doesn't rotate, then you can skip this step.

Finally, drill holes just above the dowel on either side and sand or file the inside smooth. You don't want these holes to be too huge or too far up because you need for the yarn to go through the yarn meter at the same level as the track on the meter, or slightly below. Make sure you have it well sanded to prevent snagging your yarn. I use my orifice hook to thread the yarn through the holes, alternately, you could saw some slots for easier yarn threading.

Voila! Your very own $17 yarn meter! Last time I looked, yarn meters were $50 in the knitting catalogs, and it's the exact same fishing line counter! For extra stability, I like to clamp this on my counter with some cheapo C-clamps I got at the dollar store. Oh, and don't forget to divide by 3. It counts feet, not yards.


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for showing us the yardage counter. Now I know how to proceed with the fishline measurer I got at knitting camp!

I think you do most definitely have handle on the spinning thing. Great work! It looks like a dessert!

knittingkitty said...

Thanks for the yardage counter info. I'm definitely going to be making one of those soon.
I think your yarn is beautiful, I got some of those batts from my SP as well. Oh so soft!

Kristy said...

Great 'thinking out of the box!' I can't wait to get one; I need it now that I have a wheel!

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Love the colors of the new yarn, which does look real yarn. So how many yards is it?

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Nevermind. I see it now. 160

one-skein-wonder said...

It's beautiful yarn. I broke down and ordered some batts for myself, now I really want to start working on them!

Em said...

That's a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing your DIY tips.