A common problem I’ve heard about and have now experienced, is that new spinners who become relatively proficient at spinning fine singles have a hard time spinning anything heavier than laceweight! Erin of the damknit podcast even mentioned this on her latest show. This bothered me because when I was thinking of what to do with my Fractal Stripe handspun, I thought “wouldn’t this look great as a Baby Surprise Jacket?” Then I realized that since it’s about fingering weight, it would probably be big enough for a newborn. I don’t know anyone pregnant right now, and I’d rather make it for my little Tim, who is a rather tall 3-1/2 year old. This is a really clever Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern that requires different yarn weights for different sizes, and for a 3-4 year old probably needs bulky weight yarn. I haven’t spun bulky yarn since I learned to spin on a spindle! This is the very first yarn I ever spun.

The very first wool I learned to spin

I don’t even know what it is. It’s whatever Amy from Spunky Eclectic used to wrap around my spindle for safe shipping. And it’s bulky! Now for this project I bought some superwash merino in “Dinosaur” from Amy again.

Spunky Eclectic superwash merino in

That’s a 4 oz braid in the foreground, and 4 oz predrafted in the back. I think the colors will be good for a cute boy sweater. So, in my attempt to spin bulky, I put my Lendrum wheel on the lowest ratio, treadled slowly, and concentrated hard on not spinning laceweight! I plan to do a 2-ply, and here’s what it looks like compared to Peruvia, which is a heavy worsted (I don’t actually own any bulky yarn..)

Comparing to heavy worsted Peruvia

It comes to about 8-9 wpi, which is definitely bulky! I have a nifty little wpi tool but of course I can’t find it so this has to do.

Goal wpi!

And here is my bobbin filled up. I didn’t get the whole 4 oz on it. Maybe I need a Woolee Winder! And I think I started spinning thinner as I got to the end. Oops! I should have checked my wpi more frequently.

Dinosaur singles on the bobbin

I’ll try to spin the rest of it over the weekend, and see if it comes out right when I ply it. If the sweater turns out too small, I can just give it to Tim’s cousin Baby Andy (who’s actually almost 18 months but will always be Baby Andy to us).

As for the Fractal Stripe yarn, I think I’ll use it for a feather and fan scarf. That should show off the color changes nicely.

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