Monday, January 17, 2011

Yarn Production Update

This past fall in an effort to increase our farm's yarn production, I made a goal to spin a skein of yarn a week. I knew, given that I have a full time job outside of the home, as does J, and we have two children (age 8 and 11), along with all our farm responsibilities, that goal was overly ambitious. But I also knew as I worked towards that goal, I was sure to spin up more yarn than I would without the goal. I truly hoped to spin about 3 skeins a month. That would be a significant increase from what I was doing.

Initially I kept track of the skeins in my head (I likely have some blog posts about how I was meeting this goal or not). Near the end of September I got the idea to keep a log of every skein I complete. What an awesome idea! I wish I had done this from the start of my yarn spinning career. I found a spiral notebook that I set aside for this log.

The log notes:
~ the date the skein was completed
~ the animal the fiber came from
~ the weight of the finished skein (though on many this is missing)
~ the length of the skein (in yards)

This is so handy to have! I not only can see how often I finish a skein but details about each skein.

My first entry is from 9/26/10 and the last one for 2010 was dated 12/28/10. In that time I spun up 13 skeins of yarn! I think that is great! While not exactly 1 skein a week, I think I a made a good stab at hitting that goal. I don't know how many skeins I completed for the entire month of September, I only have one listed for the 26th. Then in October I completed 2 skeins, 3 in November and a big finale of 7 in December. You can see I had a mad dash to complete some holiday products (gifts for people). What is even more impressive is that my skeins got bigger as the months went by. I started out with 8 ounces (two strands of 4 ounces) that by the time it is flicked and spun and washed, end up as a 6 to 7 ounce skein. I increased the amount of fiber I started with, and soon was working on skeins twice the size. The length of the skeins varied by how many ounces of fiber was used and how thick the yarn was spun. The shortest was 99 yards, the longest was 155 yards. (can you tell I like math :) I really could work out a statistical analysis for this).

I'm starting a new page in this log book for all skeins completed in 2011. I am very curious to see what an entire year of documenting this has to say.


Ertman-Trowbridge Family said...

I'm impressed. I have kind of been keeping track since I read that you wanted to spin one skein a week. I definitely noticed an increase last month! And your skeins are so lovely! I just love seeing what you have done and whose fiber you used.

You will have my best wishes and support for doing the 10k this spring. I admire you, and I really wish I could say that I would join you. But that's not going to happen. My sister is planning on running the full thing this year. She's crazy.

Are you feeling better?

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

I am feeling a lot better - thanks so much for asking. The shingles have been reduced to a slight mark (I wonder if it might end up being a scar, but that's ok, a life badge on my leg then :) ). My energy is coming back better than I feared. I'd say the only thing I notice is that I can't run quite as far as I was before the shingles, but that will come in time.

Maybe another year you can join me in the race :) I only started running after my youngest was almost 3 years old. Before that, young kids take up so much time. I found running to be a cheap and convenient way to get in exercise. I'm a slow runner (no desire for speed anyway) but I don't mind running for a long time once I get going. My goal is just to finish the 10K. I've never run in any organized event before, so that alone will be an accomplishment.

Lynda said...

This is very impressive. I'm a knitter and set myself a goal of completing one project a week this year (obviously I don't work on large projects - mostly hats and scarves). Thanks for the inspiration!

Pin It button on image hover