As promised, I got out the spindle and the Louet sliver and spent a little time messing around last night. I'd been knitting away at a pair of socks based on Cat Bordhi's ingenious toe-up creations and had gotten past the heel turn so I felt ok putting it down. After The Harlot threw down the gauntlet, I knew I couldn't just let the first day go by and not do anything.
Step 1 was to get serious about separating the sliver and doing some pre-drafting. The video on the Tour de Fleece blog is the same one I watched before we left for the cabin so I proceeded to split the sliver in two, then in four, then in eighths. It resulted in a much lighter mass of fiber to start with and I hoped it would make the going easier. Still a very short piece of wool, but I didn't want to bite off too much. In the end, it looked like this before I got started:
So, with the pre-drafted wool, I got started. Yes, I'm still firmly in the "park and draft" mode, but it certainly allows me to really control what I'm doing. I went slowly and just a bit at a time. After winding on the second time, I started experimenting with drafting the wool a bit more before allowing the twist to travel up the yarn. I also switched to my right hand as the "pinching" hand and my left as the drafting hand. Worked much better - I was able to smooth the ends down much more and the yarn was also much smoother.
The wool gets eaten up so fast ... I can tell that the majority of my time spinning will be pre-drafting. I guess that's the equivalent of swatching.
Anyway - here's the end result:
Just about 14 yards of a DK-ish weight single. I wound it off onto my niddy noddy, then let it rest overnight before winding it on to a toilet paper roll.
Today? Today I'm catching up on the Tour (go Alejandro Valverde!) and am secretly hoping that this is the year that George Hincappe makes it happen.
Oh, and I'm doing research. I've got Maggie's book out along with Lee Raven's Spin It. I'm going to read up a bit more about pre-drafting and also a bit about plying. More actual spinning tomorrow.
Finally, I'm enjoying a long, tall Boont Amber Ale along with a huge bowl of noodles. We overslept this morning and missed out on the annual Hernia Hill Half Marathon. That being said, I managed to get myself mightily lost while running in the park. The planned 13.1 miles (yes, there's a race I do in that park and I know the route) probably was more like 15. Pasta and beer is the only remedy.
Darn shame, that.