So, you may remember, I posted a little while ago that this year, I'm entering some items in my local fall agricultural fair. I LOVE fall fairs, and I'm so so excited about being even a small part of this one! I still plan to post about (and take some new photos of!) the knitted things I'm going to enter, but I'm also going to enter into one of the spinning categories (ooooh scary)!
I'm a fairly inexperienced spinner. I took a class at one of my local yarn stores about two years ago (I think) to learn how to spin on a drop spindle, and then my amazing woodworker brother-in-law subsequently turned me a ton of different spindles to use and play with. (I know, I really married into a family of awesome skills, eh?) I've spun lots of singles, and have tried both regular plying (just plying 2 singles together to get a 2-ply yarn), and chain plying, which yields a 3-ply yarn.
Still, I only spin on spindles, not a wheel; and I've only finished a very small number of yarns.
I do not expect to win anything in the spinning category I'm entering in the fair, but last year when we visited the fair, one of the women staffing the craft entry room chatted with me a bit as I admired the spinning entries. I admitted that I spin a little bit, and she encouraged me to enter even if I thought my yarn wasn't great yet. She said many categories have only a few entries, and it helps them to maintain interest in the fair if they have many entries. I totally get that! So, I'm going to enter some yarn this year just for fun.
Since I'm not particularly pleased with the singles I've turned out, I'm going to put in one entry into the "plied yarn" category. And that's all the catalogue says: "Handspun yarn, plied, not less than 25 yards".
I'm debating between these two finished yarns:
The top yarn is made from Fleece Artist merino sliver that I picked up on sale, on a whim, just to practice with. I learned how to chain ply with it! Even though it's still certainly "advanced beginner" yarn, I am very proud of it, on a personal level. It's proof that I learned a new skill, and to me, it really has that round, bouncy, "real yarn" look.
The bottom yarn is from an anonymous Corriedale braid that I picked up when I took my spindle class. It's my best go at 2-ply, but it still has rather a lot of inconsistencies and uneven bits.
There are things I really love about both yarns, and I feel good about them for different reasons. But, there also weaknesses in both: the gray 2-ply is a little bit crunchy, and the pink 3-ply is probably a bit overspun (I've been thinking of it in positive terms as "bouncy").
I'm still deciding which of these I'll enter (I can only enter one!)... and getting really excited about the fair!