Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adventures with singles

No, not that kind of singles.

I have wanted to spin and knit with singles for a long time, especially with Citron. There are so many beautiful handspun Citron knitted with singles on Ravelry that I am really tempted to try. But then I have heard horror stories about working with low-twist singles. They are unstable. They untwist; they bias and so on and so forth. It seems spinners have had a love/hate relationship with singles forever. It's not until the issue was much discussed in the Snobby Spinners group on Ravelry and an article by the venerable Judith MacKenzie McCuin in the latest issue of Spin Off magazine about spinning and knitting with singles that I decided to take the plunge.

The secret to achieving the perfect singles, it seems, is in fulling it! That is to say you spin a low-twist singles. Then you plunge the yarn in hot, then cold water. Then comes the fun part. You beat it a few times! Just whack it against the side of your bath tub if you are doing this in your bathroom or in my case on the countertop in the kitchen. Here is a pictorial:

The roving: Corgi Hill Farm's merino-camel-silk roving. Gorgeous.

Singles spun-up just off the bobbin. Pardon the off-color pic. You get the idea of how twisted and kinky it was:

Into a hot and cold bath it went. Then a few more "twacking" against the countertop. Voila. The magic happened:

Perfect, balanced singles!

Here's a swatch for Citron:

And four ounces of roving will give me plenty of yardage. Yippee!!!

No comments: