Spinning In The Time Of COVID

Regardless of spiritual, political or social affiliation, I doubt that there is anyone who will forget the year 2020. In addition to worldwide social and political change, COVID changed our lives in ways that we never imagined and I hope once it’s been contained that we will never have to experience anything like it again.

In addition to dealing with all the pandemic brought, I moved, transitioned the group I work for currently to fully remote operations and I had to deal with (initially mysterious) life threatening health issues (thank God I’m okay now but still being monitored). So 2020 is definitely NOT a year I’ll ever forget.

I did not knit or crochet a stitch. The only thing I had energy for was spinning and even that was not on a consistent basis. I love knit socks but haven’t even finished my first pair, so I thought, while the chaos of 2020 was going on, that maybe the thing to get me knitting socks was if I spun sock yarn. I think maybe the day I thought to do this I might have been loopy from meds because your girl here thought spinning 3-ply sock yarn WAS the thing she should do. Silly, silly me! LOL!

Clearly I didn’t think of fiber properties, the blend I used has bamboo in it and while that would actually make for some cool socks on hot summer days, the fiber combo — Targhee, silk and bamboo — has more drape and less elasticity that socks need. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I would even hit the mark, I just picked a braid I liked from my stash and went at it.

The evolution of this spin in pictures:

Project Details:

  • Fiber weight: braid was 5.7 ozs.
  • Dyer: Inglenook Fibers
  • Colorway: Lion’s Mane from the 2020 Narnia series
  • Fiber Composition: Targhee, silk, bamboo
  • Fiber Attributes: top with use of commercial dyes
  • Spun and plied on Lendrum DT
  • Single Spun: with Z twist
  • Plied: with S twist
  • First Pass:1683 yds of singles
  • Skein Finish: 3- plied
  • Skein weight: light fingering
  • Wraps per inch (WPI): 18
  • Final Skein Total: 561 yds of 3 ply yarn
  • Finished Object: for Tour De Fleece 2021

The singles for this project were spun at thread size so plying took longer than i expected it to. It felt like no matter how much I plied, the bobbins looked the same size. LOL! Altogether, plying took about 9 hours before I got to the end of the first bobbin. Once that happened, I joined the remaining yarn from the other two bobbins and chain plied them together to make a three ply mini. I haven’t calculated grist and all that yet, not even sure I will. The only thing I’ve thought of now is that I should find a shawl pattern to show off this spin brilliantly instead of using it for socks.

To say that I am immensely proud of this spin is an understatement. Spinning, and even plying it forced me to slow down. It helped me focus on making my joins as neat as possible, I had a number of breaks during plying, I aced that too, you can’t tell from looking at the skein where any of them are. The project itself has made me aware that I *can* be a more intentional spinner. I set a goal and even though I was winging it on this first pass, I met my goal and am now equipped to do this again.

This skein also represents being able to do hard things during really tough circumstances and I can’t think of a better takeaway from the year that was 2020.

22 thoughts on “Spinning In The Time Of COVID

  1. Cinna Knits July 28, 2021 / 6:47 pm

    That would make a truly magical shawl! And may I say, DANG!!! That is one FINE spin!! Your plied is finer than some of my singles!

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:35 am

      LOL! Thank you Cinna … when I started all I knew is that I wanted to make sock yarn … even if I never do i again, I can say now I did it! 😀

  2. Knit One, Spin Too July 26, 2021 / 1:04 pm

    It’s a beautiful spin. I agree a shawl or something that the drape and shine would be the stars would suit it perfectly.

    If I learned anything in 2020, it’s that giving yourself permission to just do something for the pleasure of it, without expectations or deadlines or stressing over it, is just what we need sometimes. (Especially if you have other stress in your life. It gives you some time where your brain can unplug from that and I am a firm believer that helps your overall well-being even if you aren’t being “productive”. Whatever that is). 🙂

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:37 am

      Oh boy, you can say all that again! I intend to keep that lesson in the forefront of my mind as the world feels like it’s getting more chaotic than things evening out.

  3. Mary-Anne July 26, 2021 / 10:55 am

    Your post is very inspirational to me. I too dealt with mysterious medical issues during 2020 (and still ongoing, but more stable now). I love love love your spin. I can’t imagine spinning so very fine, and it it gorgeous!! The colour is amazing as well. I know you will find the perfect project to highlight your successful spin. Glad you are feeling better this year. 2020 is definitely a year for the history books and one I hope to never repeat. I am sure you feel the same.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:40 am

      I absolutely feel the same as you do MaryAnne. I am also very happy that you have a handle on your health situation and are more stable too. I’m sure navigating that in 2020 made things even more difficult. ❤

      Thank you for the project love, it started out as a dare but really morphed into something I'm really proud of and getting ready to do again! LOL!

  4. Alissa Head July 26, 2021 / 7:04 am

    Wow, your spinning is amazing! So fine and even.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:41 am

      Thank you Alissa. It was an experiment that went well! 😀

  5. highlandheffalump July 26, 2021 / 3:58 am

    Congratulations on a beautiful even skein of handspun. I’m sure it would look beautiful as a shawl.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:43 am

      Thank you!!!!

  6. Marsha Noce July 25, 2021 / 1:13 pm

    Oh my, that is some very rich looking yarn. The depth of color is awesome. It would make a gorgeous shawl or maybe a cropped tank.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:44 am

      I hadn’t thought of a cropped top but you’re absolutely right Marsha! I’ll look for patterns for that as well.

  7. knittingissofun July 25, 2021 / 12:44 pm

    That yarn makes me swoon! It’s so gorgeous. A shawl will show it off even better than socks. Looks to me like a highly successful year! (so glad you are going to be OK from your health issue).

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:50 am

      I was just so glad to get through the year I didn’t even stop to think of it as successful but you’re absolutely right.

      IF is popular for their signature sticklebatts and full batts but I think they are geniuses with semi solids. The depth of saturation and shade is phenomenal!!!

  8. ceulanfibres July 25, 2021 / 12:36 pm

    This is stunning spinning! Spinning has become my go to craft lately as it feel so much more relaxing even if I try and be a bit more intentional with it. I can’t wait to see this used in a project.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:52 am

      Yes, same! Spinning has definitely become the craft I reach for most often than not. I’m going to make myself take up a knitting project today. LOLOL!

  9. Jen July 25, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    Wow! That yarn is gorgeous! I look forward to seeing what you make with it.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 5:52 am

      Thank you Jenn!

  10. debsfibers1 July 25, 2021 / 9:50 am

    Oh yes! This lion’s mane will make one glorious shawl!!!!

    And of course you can do anything you desire!!!!

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 6:05 am

      I’m about to spin DK weight yarn for the Cottongrass yoke. How ya like dem apples? 😉

  11. Lucy Bowen July 25, 2021 / 9:15 am

    Well it may not bo OK for socks but it is stunning and agree it would make a splendid shawl. Anything that gets us through at the moment is good it’s good that we have a hobby that can be so varied it caters for all needs.

    • Nicky August 1, 2021 / 6:06 am

      I absolutely agree Lucy! I’m beyond grateful that we have crafts and community to help us get through some of the more difficult times. ❤

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