Beth's Knitting Progress
More Progress

Another FO and Some Thoughts on Spindle Capacity

Yayyy! I finished my Bird in Hand mittens! Well, mostly. I still have to weave in the ends and embroider all the pertinent bird features, but I *promise* I will do  that right after I post this. Here are pics: 

BIHmitts  << back of hand 
  BIHpalms << palms

Now some thoughts on spindle capacity. 

As you know, I am a little geeky when it comes to my knitting. I like the facts and figures. I count and keep track of how many rows I knit in the legs and the feet of my socks. So you can imagine how it has always made me ever so slightly squeamish when I ask someone, "How do you know when the spindle is full?" and the answer is, "You just know it's full when the spindle doesn't spin right anymore." 

Yah. That's like saying "add flour and keep stirring until it looks right." When I run across this in a recipe, it means that my cheese sauce can be anything from soup to wallpaper paste .... with about the same difference in taste. 

I don't do well with "until it looks/smells/feels/sounds right". I need specific measurements. Not that I necessarily FOLLOW the specific measurements, but I like to know what they are so when I screw around with something, I know what my paramaters are.

And when it comes to spinning, well.... let's just say that there are some areas of spinning that I am a little more handicapped in than others. Particularly, regarding the state of fullness of any kind of bobbin. There are some of you out there (Hi Sharon!) who have actually witnessed one of several times when I have spun a bobbin so full on my wheel that the bobbin literally burst because it was too full. 

As I was spinning my glass spindle full of Walking in the Sun merino/bamboo/nylon fiber, I was wondering how full I really could spin my lovely glass spindle. The thing is, if I knew beforehand, I could prepare ahead of time. See, if I were spinning for socks, as I usually am, I could split the roving in half and put it in  ziploc bags labeled "Sock #1" and "Sock #2" (which I have done). But then I could take the fiber for each sock and split it into one-spindle-full sections and then happily spin along til I ran out, and know it was time to ply, without having to keep stopping and looking and watching and worrying if it was to the point where it "doesn't spin right', whatever that is. 

So what I did this last spindleful was, I spun until it was really heavy, although as far as I could see it spun right. Then I plied the single back on itself and got a lovely spindle full of yarn. Then I weighed it, spindle and yarn and all: 

Fullspindle The scale says 2.5 ounces. 

Then I took the yarn off and weighed the empty spindle:

Emptyspindle The scale says 1.3 ounces. 

My scale is not that accurate, it only has one place after the decimal point. I happen to know that my spindle was labeled 1.25 ounces when I got it, so the scale rounded it off to 1.3. That means my yarn + spindle could be either 2.5 or 2.45 ounces. I'm going with 2.5 :) 

Simple subtraction shows that I have spun an amount of fiber equal to the weight of the spindle, 1.25 ounces. Therefore, I know now that with this particular fiber, the spindle is full when the amount of fiber equals the weight of the spindle. That way I can weigh out 1.25 ounces of fiber at a time, spin it without having to think about if it is still "spinning right", and be happy. 

It will be interesting, after I finish spinning this project, and start spinning the lovely BFL fiber I got from Spunky Eclectic at the SPA, if 1.25 ounces of fiber will always be what makes a full spindle, or if it will be less because of the fiber being less dense. 

Or maybe everyone out there who spindle spins just KNOWS that the amount of fiber that fills a spindle is equal to the weight of the spindle. I never learned that :) This way I get to think I am a genius. 



So, you can split a 4oz. roving in 4 equal parts one for each spindle full and you would only have to fill up the spindle twice per sock. Excellent! I wish I'd done that. I didn't even think to split the roving in half, I was too excited to start spinning. I have been basically keeping to at least 10 minutes a day (missed Wednesday but put in 45 minutes yesterday). Thank you again for a most wonderful weekend, BTW!!!


Sarah, I am glad you saw my post! I was thinking of you :) Yes, I figured that now I know I can split 4 oz. of fiber into 4 sections and just fill a spindle twice per sock. Somehow that makes it seem much easier, knowing that in advance. BTW the yarn for my second sock is done, so I should be able to finish that sock in the next day or two! And then spin for the 2nd sock. I'm so glad you enjoyed the knitting weekend! :):)

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