For the mildly curious - she's a spinning wheel, and yes, "they" still make those. For the increasingly curious - she's a Lendrum single treadle folding wheel and a product of Canada, where, I'm coming to realize, most of the best of wool related things on this side of the pond originate. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.
Here's some of yesterday's spinning. It's about 30 grams of white coopworth that I dyed a couple weeks ago. The coopworth came with the wheel, and after a couple of weeks of practicing with it, I had to dye some, so as to fend of insanity. All that white was getting to me. I dyed this wad to fit into the color theme for this month in Project Spectrum: Fire.
The coopworth is a breed of sheep with a fleece made up of medium length fibers that are somewhat coarse and crimpy. It's supposed to be good for beginning spinners because it sticks to itself readily and the fibers are long enough to make drafting easier. Merino would be softer than this is, but the fibers are also shorter, which is what makes merino pill, and also makes it a bit harder to spin because the shorter fibers are easier to pull apart and need more twist to hold together. Merino is on my to do list.
So I sat and made the wheel spin to the right while I fed it wool, filling two bobbins. Then I let the bobbins sit overnight. Then I took their pictures.
After that I plied them together, making the wheel spin to the left. What I got looks somewhat like this (this is a different roving I spun a couple weeks back), but as the light has gotten worse as the day went on, and the yarn is still soaking in woolwash before I hang it up to dry, I don't have a picture of the actually firey yarn yet. I'll get that sometime soon.
This is 4 oz. of Bluefaced Leicester dyed by Wiley of Sakina Needles in her Mango colorway. Bluefaced Leicester (BFL or Biffle) has much longer fibers that are also finer and softer, it is much like a very long staple merino as I understand it. I really like this fiber, it was lovely to spin and I hope to get my hands on at least one BFL fleece in May at the Sheep and Wool festival in Maryland.
I am trying to make sure I practice for at least three hours a week, and thus far I have had very little trouble finding time. I am really enjoying being able to make something "all by myself;" my inner five year old is very pleased.