Over the last few weeks I've been going through my stash and digging through a lot of fiber that I forgot I had. I've managed to collect around five large rubbermaid bins full of fiber in a variety of fiber blends. Mostly, these are combed tops. Mostly. This last week I turned my attention to the handful of batts I've bought.
Batts are my spinning nemesis. Up to this point, my only positive experience with spinning batts has been in core-spinning. I love using batts for that purpose. However, every time I've tried to spin a batt into a standard two or three ply yarn, my best efforts have ended in disappointment. I'd never even attempted spinning a fine single like I usually would for a fingering weight yarn. Seeing another spinner's beautiful, even handspun created from batts, usually causes me a sharp pang of jealousy.
Recently I decided to do something about it. A short while ago I bought a pair of batts from a fellow Raveler's destash and decided to try my first sock weight yarn.
After untwisting and laying out the batt,
I tore off a strip and just tried spinning straight from it. This method didn't work well for me. Even after tearing that strip into a few much thinner strips I had a very difficult time drafting it out evenly as I was spinning.
Next, I tore off another thicker strip and pre-drafted it out as evenly as possible. This second effort (along with spinning a bit more slowly than usual) worked beautifully.
I don't really like spinning from pre-drafted fiber, but I'm usually using fiber that I've pre-drafted out from combed top. The fiber I drafted out from the batts was actually much nicer to spin, though I'm not sure why. My best guess would be that it's because batts are not as compacted and dense as combed top, so perhaps it's easier to draft them out evenly. Whatever the reason, the second try worked.
Here is the final yarn, spun from a sw merino Funky Carolina Batt in the Oak colorway.
chain plied ~ fingering weight
approx 3.7oz and 356yards