[spinning] Pre-drafting Malabrigo Nube

I'm donating 4oz of Malabrigo Nube for an auction online. I loved all the colorways when I saw them and bought quite a few when they were first released. My first experience spinning with it wasn't great. It requires a lot of time pre-drafting and otherwise preparing the fiber for actual spinning. Once it's prepared properly, the fiber is really quite nice- so soft and great colors. Rather than sending someone a brick of compact fiber, especially if they're buying it in a fund-raising auction, I decided to spend the hours pre-drafting it into perfection.

The original small, dense braid:

Malabrigo Nube


Malabrigo Nube unbraided

The next step was to split it into thin, manageable pieces. You know the fiber is nearly felted when it sounds like you're tearing apart bed linens when you split the fiber into strips. I wound the pieces into little nests:

Fiber divided, before predrafting

Penny always likes to help. The next part I don't have pictures of because it was literally hours of me just listening to movies on the couch while I worked each piece. Starting at one end, I would go down the length of fiber, pulling it open to open up all the fiber. Then I would go down the length and pre-draft every inch or so, just to make sure that they fibers could slide past one another. Then I wound the fluffy, airy (finally like a "cloud") fiber into a little parcel. Repeat (for what feels like) a hundred times.

In the end, all 4oz looks like:

Malabrigo nube

Ready to spin and it will spin like a dream. Because the strands are so thin, you wouldn't have to draft much or put much twist in to create a worsted weight yarn. Personally, I would spin this all as one very thin single ply and then chain ply.

Penny literally couldn't resist these soft bundles of merino. I had to package it all up in a plastic bag after the picture so that she would keep her paws off it all.

Malabrigo nube

Thank goodness I have one last braid of Nube for me. This is the right way to prepare it, even though it's totally tedious and takes forever and I kind of resent having to do it in the first place. When all was said and done and I look down at this:

Malabrigo nube

I had to debate internally: "I'm keeping it. No, I'll donate it. You haven't told them yet that you're donating it- they'll never know! I'm donating it. No, I'm keeping it. It's so nice. I'll donate it. I'll keep it. Donate! Keep! Donate! Keep!"

Seeing how nice this fiber turned out is good motivation to prepare the last braid of Nube for myself.

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