Spinning on the Symphony
Above you can see the first skein I did on the Symphony. It's Coopworth, which is the fiber I learned to drop spindle with, the fiber I learned how to spin on a spinning wheel with, and the fiber I return to when I'm learning something new and don't want to deal with learning quirks of a new fiber. Its a two ounce skein and I didn't count yardage. This is the leftovers from the blue and green Easter Egg dyeing I did a long time ago. I just drafted the colors together, so there are some parts that are pretty evenly mixed, some parts that are more green and some that are more blue. This is a great technique for mixing colors if you don't have a drum carder or just want to add some depth to your yarn color. You could easily mix two or more colors of the dyed commercial top that's easily available out there and make a much more interesting yarn. Deb Menz' Color in Spinning is an excellent book about different ways to get different color effects with your spinning. It's also some of the best spinning eye candy out there!
The Symphony can be used with either Double Drive or Scotch Tension. I had never spun on Double Drive before so I asked the Spindler's group for pro's and con's and found out that Double Drive was the earliest system used for flyer type spinning wheels and that when given the choice, some of the more experienced spinners suggested using the Double Drive for slippery fibers like angora and silks. So, after I had a feel for the Symphony with the Coopworth, I pulled out some Merino, Silk and Angora - Opalessence from The Woolen Rabbit to be exact - and started spinning it. I'm spinning it to about 38 wpi as singles and am hoping for lace weight as a finished yarn. I have 6 ounces of it. I'm already seeing some angora blooming and you can see the shine from the silk in the picture above.
One other thing I've started doing with this project, but I hope to continue is to keep better records of my spinning. I picked up a couple of small spiral notebooks, one for each wheel, and I wrote the ratios for each whorl on the inside front cover. Then I wrote the fiber source, color name, fiber content and amount of fiber purchased, as well as which ratio I'm using to spin the singles and what wpi I'm spinning them to. I also included the start date for the spinning and will include the finish date and the total yardage. There's space for me to attach samples of yarn in the notebooks too, which I might or might not do. I figure this will help me keep track if I need to spin more yarn of a certain type or just see how I've done things so I can make more educated guesses how to spin things in the future.