George Lazenby Handspun

This spinning project started with a lovely Polwarth wool and tussah silk blend hand dyed fiber from Allons-y! Fiber Arts in Vermont. I fell in love with the orange/pink color combination as soon as I saw it. I loosened up the braid, split it in half, and then split each half for four strips total.

I set this up on my beloved Cherry Schacht Matchless back in September, using a Woolee Winder to keep my bobbin tidy, and spun the strips end to end, matching colors at the ends. It took me about four months to spin a little over five ounces of fiber. I can be a slow spinner sometimes because I get distracted with other projects, and you know, life in general, but there’s usually no deadline, so it’s all good.

As a random side note, Husband and I were watching an old Sean Connery movie one afternoon while I was spinning this, and he mentioned an actor, George Lazenby, a model-turned-actor who appeared in just one James Bond film. So I learned who George Lazenby is completely randomly, while spinning the fiber named after him. Coincidence? Universe colliding?

Anyway, after spinning, I chain plied the singles, and then wound it up into a hank for washing and finishing.

Look at these colors! They remind me of a beautiful sari.

So what happens to a hank of yarn when you wash it? Well, while spinning, especially drafting woolen style with short forward draw, the fibers get all nicely aligned and smooth. That’s what you’re seeing in the photo below, on the left. My usual finishing process involves soaking the hank gently in lukewarm (never hot!) water and a bit of some kind of gentle wool wash. After a few hours, I squeeze out the water, soak up a bit more water by rolling it into a towel and squishing (the same way Mom taught me to wash tights as a teenager), then giving it a few good snaps before hanging up to dry.

When you soak yarn in water, the fiber tends to revert back to its original quality. Some breeds of wool, including Polwarth, are inherently fluffy, so when you soak the yarn it poofs up a bit when it dries. Check it out on the right, above!

Neither my spinning nor plying are perfect, but I’m pretty pleased with the result: just over 400 yards of fingering weight yarn.

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