First and foremost: If my handspun yarn was homemade bread, I'd be eating bricks. Beyond that, I'm learning:
- The more fiber you have on hand, the more willing you are to experiment with it
- The more fiber you have on hand the more ruthless you can be about tossing out bits that are trash, leaving you with "cream."
- I want to learn to spin a loftier and softer yarn.
To the end of #3, I started doing an analysis of my favorite commercial yarns. An easy, familiar one to pick on is Knit Picks stuff.
- It is four ply
- Each skein is 50 grams (that's about 1.8 ounces)
- Different fiber contents yield different yardages... for example: Merino Style (100% Merino Wool) is 123 yards per skein. Gloss, made of 70% Merino and 30% Silk, on the other hand, is 220 yards per skein. While Wool of the Andes (100% Peruvian Wool) is 110 yards per skein.
Right now my handspinning is using 3 to 6 ounces for 100 yards. Talk about chunks! My skeins are like bricks! And the yarn is NOT as soft as I would like. So I have to do better.
So,I pick apart these various commercial yarns (unraveling the individual plies) and I find that each individual ply is actually pretty fine. Each ply individually is also pretty dense and it appears the fibers are carded, not combed. Each ply is a bit smaller in diameter than I can currently spin on the wheel (I'm getting better but have a way to go.
I will eventually get there because I can see that I am improving. I can spin that finely on a spindle, so I will get there on the wheel if I keep working at it.
It would be nice to get a lot more yarn out of a lot less fiber.
More so, it will be very nice to get lovely, soft, lofty yarn.
I'm glad I have a lot to practice on.