Sunday, 5 December 2010

SPIN011: Massam

For non-spinning readers, sorry to bore you with another spinning note. I promise it is the last one for a while. Will have more knitting related posts in the next few days -- I am hoping to have a FO so as a FO post by the end of next week. :)

In fact I think I hurt myself last night. After spinning about 600 yards continuously, my right thumb is in pain which extends to my forearm when I press my thumb down against my palm. Lesson learned. Shall never ever try spinning more than 400 yards in a day. I should be taking rest and staying away from my wheel for at least a week or so.

Anyway, let me show you what made me so obsessed last night. My November club fibre from Spunky Eclectic arrived on Thursday. The colourway is called Emerald City, inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Massam is a long wool with a very long staple (over 10 inches! wow. oh yes. I did measure it.). I heard lots of contrasting comments about Massam. Some said it spins like a dream or it just drafts by itself. Others said its long staple length makes it a bear to draft.

I divided the top lengthwise into two strips. Then I torn about 5 grams off to spin on my new Jumbo flyer. I used the slowest ratio which is 3.5:1. Couldn't handle it at all, so I switched my standard flyer back. My fault. I really should have tried the Jumbo flyer out with some scrap or undyed fibre first.

I then spun two bobbins of lace singles at 5.5:1. I have never spun any lace with such a low twist before! Guess it's the fun of long wools? Indeed it's a totally different experience to spin the long wool. As usual I did forward short draw (as I still don't have enough confidence to do long draw or properly prepare fibre for that). Usually my hands were only about 3-6 inches away (I am talking about the maximum distance between two hands, just immediately before my right drafting hand draw back to my left fibre hand). But to spin Massam, my hands were really far apart. It's about 12-15 inches. It really felt a bit strange at first, but other than that, Massam doesn't seem more difficult than other wool of medium length I've spun. True that it's not that soft. But the long staple makes spinning lace weight or low-twists easier. Even at a low ratio of 5.5:1, the single didn't really break as often as other fibre did during spinning. It's fairly relaxing and mindless to spin. And I'll definitely get some more Massam later.

Was tempted to ply them together to get a standard 2-ply. But I was curious to know if such a low-twist single can survive on their own without plying...

That's how I got two skeins of low-twist singles of Massam. They have 487m (533 yards) in total. In terms of yardage, they look like light fingering. But with a wpi of about 23-25, they should knit up as lace weight.

What to do with them? Maybe a Citron?

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