Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To everything - turn, turn, turn

Lately, I just can't get enough of my spinning wheel. I'm doing some knitting here and there, but man - the spinning? It's just recharging my batteries in such a way that I find it's about all I want to do in the evenings - so much so that I actually first contemplated then mourned the fact that our bathroom was too small for me to bring up my (admittedly compact) wheel so that I could get in just a few more minutes while I supervised the Munch in the tub.

(And don't anyone even *say* the words 'drop spindle' to me - they are evil & are never to defile my house again!) With apologies out there to everyone who loves their drop spindles more than their Addis. I know - I know - it's my issue, and my failing - but I'm going to keep blaming the equipment as long as I possibly can.

Last night while my two men slumbered the sleep of the just (and the totally exhausted) I watched a classic 80s movie and spun up the second half of my latest - and last - Hello Yarn fiber club offering.

Hello Yarn's April Fiber Club - 'Hive' 100% Falkland wool.

I'm very excited about this, as I actually have a plan for it. I'm going to take some of the undyed rovings that I [ahem] ordered from H.Y. yesterday and do a kettle dye of either a very pale yellow or else a very pale (bright) brownish orange and then hopefully spin that up as semi-finely as I did this. Then the two will be plied together into a more or less thick fingering weight and I'll knit the latest Veronik Avery offering - the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the resultant handspun. I'm absolutely tickled with the idea - so ducks, if there are any glaring problems with this little ol' plan of mine, send them my way nicely and softly, so that my bubble bursts slowly, 'kay?

Oh. My. Trouble.

I just went to Hello Yarn's shop to link to the two rovings above that I bought and, uh, Adrian appears to have snuck in a wee fiber update *just* as I was clicking in to get the appropriate links. And I appear to have bought 8 ounces of this and 8 ounces of that. Oh dearie me. How on earth did that happen?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? (n.b. 8 ounces of Wenseydale & 8 ounces of 70/30 merino/mohair. Oh. Oh oh oh oh oh. YES!)

{ahem} Moving right along, people. Nothing to see here. Move along, now.

So anyway, back to my handspun that I've been working on lately. I'll start off with the picture(s) of shame first - my butchering of the February Hello Yarn Fiber Club offering - 'Insect Wings'.

U. G. H.

Overspun. Overplied. Gnarly as all hell. Rescued in terms of touch only because I followed the advice of an article in Spin Out and beat the living hell out of this skein. I dropped it in just-boiled soapy water (!) and then pounded it with a pestle. Then I lifted it into a sink of cold water, squeezed it, and then dropped it back in the hot pot and pounded it again. Once more into the icy sink, and then spun out in the washer. Then whacked repeatedly against the floor, then hung to dry. It's obviously a bit felted now (hah!) but it is MUCH softer, and while it is still overspun and overplied, it is at least nicer to touch now, and should be better to knit into something. Now, let's just put that behind us and call it a (painful) learning experience, shall we?

Banish it from your thoughts, all.

Better. BETTER!!! Balanced. Squishy. Much more even. Happiness in yarn form!

A fat, happy skein of yarn.

Hello Yarn's March Fiber Club offering. 'Red Velvet'. I cannot remember the exact fiber, but it was lovely to spin up. BFL? Merino? I cannot remember. Shame on me and my horrid note-taking! This was majorly fun to spin up. Loads of fun to ply. The difference? I slowed waaaaay down in my overall spinning, pre-drafted until I was happy with the result, and tried a different hand position for the actual spinning/draft triangle action itself. I also decided that I'd rather be a slow, decent spinner rather than a fast, crappy spinner. I decided to embrace my learning curve, as it is, rather than try and deny it and shoot right on past all of the (obvious) learning that I need to do to ultimately be the kind of spinner that I'd like to be.

A final shot of the good & the bad. (No ugly. I don't & won't take pictures of those skeins!)

The two next to each other for a rough visual comparison. One fat and happy, the other twisted and miserable. Maybe the one on the right needs a little therapy to become more mellow and relaxed - hmmmmmmmm??? (if only it were that easy to fix a skein of arsed-up handspun!)

This is the result of some older singles that were on a bobbin and just hanging around the house - I spun up an equal amount on Monday and then plied two strands together until I ran out on one bobbin - then practiced doing a triple ply. I think the skein is halfway decent only because the first bobbin's worth was so old that the majority of my bad (over)spinning was calmed down due to the long resting time. Another lesson to be learned! I've left the bulk of this roving to be spun later, when I have a better sense of what I want to do with it. It's PRETTY, and spins wonderfully - a beautifl blend of merino & tencel that I bought off of FatCatKnits via Etsy several months back.

And lastly, just because I can (tee-hee!) a picture of what I was looking at and who I was talking to when I was taking all of the other above pictures:

Kim. Staking Baptisia australis. Standing next to a species of allium that is nearly as tall as the Munchkin. Ducks, there is not a single thing that this woman cannot make grow and grow and grow!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy my little guy a kiddie fishing pole & make a picnic for the two of us to eat next to the lake tonight as a surprise treat while Daddy is away for the evening playing volleyball.

1 comment:

Lola and Ava said...

You crazy chick, you. Much impressed with your spinning, I am. And to think, while Lola was knitting her sweater from a A Fine Fleece we both thought that one would have to be nuts to spin the yarn needed to make some of the sweaters, but I said, "You know, I could kind of see using a DROP SPINDLE to spin enough yarn to make that scarf." Hmmm.