Friday, November 29, 2013

Pig tails to skeins

I have bins full of skeins that never got properly blocked for one reason or another.  I call them, "My little shits."

Now, they are going on the squirrel cage swift, to be wound onto the new little niddy noddys. Then, they are steamed.  They finish drying on the rack in the patio, and bingo, I  have beautiful skeins.

It turns out that some of them look like weft for the weaving project. (Did I say it it was a stash buster.)

A good many of the little shits are hanks (560 yard) of singles with grist between 3,000 and 5,000  ypp that I made as I was working toward 5-ply gansey yarn.  Many were were high twist, worsted singles.  Some were woolen. Many were left over because they were too thick for those projects. I did not have a blocking reel, at that time, and  I made a good faith effort to make them into pretty skeins by blocking them wet under weight.  No matter how carefully I wound them or how much weight I hung on them, they dried into bundles of pig tails.  Then they went into bins, were they stayed as I worked with the singles that got wound onto bobbins.

Now, I take those bundles of pig tails and wind them onto a small niddy  noddy, hit them with a bit of steam (A tea kettle works), and I have a beautiful skeins of fine single.  Spinners need to be able to store singles.  I have been storing fine, high twist singles on bobbins.  This reduces my need for bobbins.  This little trick (steaming skeins while they are on the niddy should be in every book and blog on beginning spinning.  That it is not is stupid.  Do not try to tell me that I am the first to work this out.

Anyway,  steaming skeins while they are on the niddy works very well if you do not have a varnished or shellacked niddy noddy.  This can also be done by dipping the niddy with the yarn on it in water and microwaving, but it takes longer to dry. I use the microwave technique when the yarn needs have spinning oil rinsed off.

Pig tails from the bin get wound on niddys, steamed, and the result.  The dime is for scale.

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