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Respinning or making new out of old

July 20, 2008

Several years ago I bought some alpaca yarn to make a lap throw. This was before I really knew what an alpaca was. I never made the lap throw and I came across the yarn recently. It is actually an alpaca-merino mix (80-20) in a natural gray color. In looking at it closely now, with some spinning knowlege, the yarn is a single. I thought it was overspun looking at it in the hank, but although it is an unbalanced yarn (it twists when I hang the hank open) it is probably not overspun. I don’t feel it is a great yarn, or at least a yarn that I would use, so I got some advise on Ravelry and this is what I did:

Here is a before picture:

I then “spun” two skeins onto bobbin on my spinning wheel. I went fast with little tension on the yarn, sometimes adding a little where the single was not spun as much.

I then plyed them together


When I washed the “new” skein, it was dirty which may have added to the issue with the original skeins, if they had been washed they may be more balanced and fluff up a bit, which is what the new skein did. I could not fit the whole new skein on my Ashford Traditional bobbin so I will have to get out my jumbo flyer to do the rest. But here is the final product:

I think it came out okay, the yarn averages 8-9 wpi. I have eleven more skeins to do. I will need the bigger bobbins so I can do the complete skeins which are about 160 yards each. Since I have an odd number I am not sure what I will do with the odd skein. Maybe I’ll wash it and use it as is or Navajo ply to see how that works. Of split the skein and make one smaller one.

This was an interesting process, I learned a lot about the construction of yarn and what the spinner can do to influence the final outcome. I am so glad I finally decided to learn to spin, now almost 2 years ago. I had resisted it for awhile, but I am getting so much enjoyment out of it.

Funny, I said that about dying yarn, too. And now what am I doing? DYING YARN. In fact, I am taking a week long class at Harrisville Designs August 4-8 with Lynne Vogel called  “Dye, Spin, Knit”. I got the supply list yesterday, I’ll need a suitcase to carry it all. I am looking forward to this class to learn more about the process of dying and how to design the yarns.


“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Goethe

Have a great day


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