Much to my amazement, the cotton/silk fit on the high-speed bobbin. Barely. I plied until the first single bobbin ran empty and I had 30g of yarn. Just enough, and I couldn’t get much more on there. I didn’t boil this one because of the silk. When I get some time, I should look into more about that to see just how far I can go without damaging it. The chemistry of the water is involved, too. But it’s not critical so I’m not going to worry about it now. I did wash it well and the water turned nasty brown from the cotton.

I’m going to also use the cotton for something else, I want to do the cotton two-ply with the same fiber to make a complementary skein: warp and weft. I think I might even use that for my cotton swatch. I had some practice plain single so I plied it with the leftover cotton/silk to see what I got. I tried an experiment with the Insanely Fast Flyer, one of my yarn-guide clips is loose and tends to slip when I don’t want it to. So instead of stopping to move it to fill the bobbin, I tried tugging on the yarn. It works, sorta. It does move the clip and I can continue plying at full speed (a frightening thing at 44:1) but sometimes the yarn breaks. Generally a single breaks in my hand, so I am snagging it in the process. An interesting idea to look at later, but not now. One day I might actually get some replacement clips, I’ve been trying to get some through my local shop with no success. I still have one that works and I might be able to doctor up the other with a pair of pliers if I tried. I know the wheelmaker intends this for teeny tiny delicate yarns but there are other things that also require high twist.

As for that little sample, it’s a tiny skein and I was curious about how much was there so I counted it: 100 meters! Yikes, that’s fine. I took it to sock-knitting-chocolate-eating night over at Carolina Homespun and everyone was duly impressed. Judith MacKenzie McCuin, who is in town for some workshops, thought it amusing I considered it throwaway sample yarn. (My friends know me so well they joke about it.) Actually, I do toss a lot of yarn. Usually because I’m so frustrated with it I can’t imagine it being any good for anything. Or it’s such a small amount and I really need that bobbin. Lately I’ve been trying to at least ply some of the random singles I’ve got around and get them to good homes. I sent a package a while back to a primary school teacher and some for a charity art project. I have some I think I might give to a few of the folks I know knit for charity. I’ve had this idea that after I’m done with the COE work I’ll card up the growing odds and ends pile and spin some basic yarn for Afghans for Afghans. I’m feeling guilty I haven’t been able to do much work for them lately and the office is literally two blocks away. I got back into knitting when I first came to San Francisco by doing hats with donated yarn.

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