Cheers to 2012! Among other very meaningful milestones in my life, it was also a great year of spinning for me.
I've been doing more spinning lately than knitting, and since a picture paints a thousand words, I'll just save some typing time and post my latest and favorite hand-spun yarns.
Above is 4 oz of Dawning Dreams hand-painted superwash merino. I spun it into a traditional 3-ply yielding about 300 yards of light worsted weight yarn.
Above is 4 oz of Greenwood Fiberworks hand-painted polwarth I received from a swap partner. I spun it into a traditional 2-ply yeilding about 420 yards of heaving fingering weight yarn.
Above is 9 oz of Yarn Hollow hand-painted superwash merino. It's a traditional 2-ply, about 500 yards of thick & thin ranging from sport to aran weight yarn.
Most of the time, I don't plan any color combination in spinning and just randomly split skeins and plied, letting the colors just fall where they may. I prefer spinning freely rather than methodically, that way, I just relax and enjoy, and am always surprised and pleased with the outcome.
However, for the red skein, I tried fractal plying, which is essentially splitting a multi-colored roving so that one ply has long color repeats and the other ply has much shorter repeats. I split my roving lengthwise in half, spun that half on one bobbin, and they split the second half lengthwise again into four strips and spun those onto another bobbin. I actually tried doing that in the beginning with the green-yellow-lavender yarn, but then I lost track of which bobbin held what, so it became more random in the end.
In the process I learned to always label every bobbin & skein with details of spinning methods. Not only did I loose track of my fractal method, but I also lost track of which whorl ratio I used, which is very easy to forget when weeks or months span between one bobbin to the next.
As for next year, I look forward to spinning a mountain of alpaca and silk that my fiance gifted me this Christmas. Three pounds of glistening white bombyx silk AND two pounds of unprocessed white alpaca. So 2013 will be a year of learning fiber prep, too!