OK, I’m totally breaking a Skyline Chilly record here. I’m providing both “before” and “after” pictures for the second post in a row! If I’m not careful, y’all are going to get the impression that I dutifully take pictures of my supplies, instead of rushing headlong with fevered excitement into a new project. Don’t be fooled– I’m much more of a “cast on now, ask questions later” type of crafter. But look! Before:

Lorna's Laces Wool Top, 309 Montrose

To be perfectly honest, the hugeness spinning project has given me the opportunity to take pictures of the original fiber… it wasn’t my ability to plan ahead. The thing is, I have two of these giant 10 oz. Wool Tops from Lorna’s Laces, so spinning it up is a massive, multi-stage operation. It just so happens that I have yarn in all its phases to take pictures of today, including (phew) some “before” pictures of the second Wool Top bundle itself, and the very first skein of finished yarn.

bobbin with skein and top in the background

Lorna’s Laces spinning fiber is dyed just like the skeins of multicolor yarn, in large patches of color that repeat on their way around the circumference of the skein. I chose to spin this colorway in large chunks just as it presents itself on the roving, spinning the whole thing end-to-end instead of breaking it down into thinner strips. The result is loooong stretches of color on the singles, which you can see in the different sections on the bobbin.

singles on bobbin, closeup

Leaving the length of roving whole, instead of dividing it into strips, lengthens the color runs because each color section on the bobbin uses all of the available fiber in that section of the color repeat. Spinning from strips would make the color repeats shorter but increase the number of times the different sections present themselves in the singles. Since I spin from the fold, my spinning technique doesn’t require, or really benefit from,  breaking the fiber into strips. It means I can just jump in and start spinning, with very little fiber prep time to get in the way. Besides, I knew that the real color-mix up always comes during plying, anyway.

Montrose handspun yarn

I love plying my yarns. It’s my favorite part because you get to unlock the surprises of how the colors will play out, and you finally get to see the weight, twist, and yardage of the finished yarn. It’s like a magic trick… one minute I have an elaborate project taking up a variety of tools and space in my craft room, and the next minute, yarn!

Montrose handspun yarn, vertical view

In this particularly large spinning project, I went ahead and plied up a skein, even though I was only halfway done with spinning the wool top into singles. I was anxious to see the plying magic! Now that I’m back to working on singles, at least I know where I’m going with the yarn, so I have that finishing excitement as a goal to work towards. If I keep up the same average spinning weight, I’ll end up with almost 700 yards of yarn! I’m excited because that’s totally a knitting project waiting to happen. I’ve been putting a few yarns in my Etsy shop this week, but not this Montrose. I think it’s a keeper!