Monday, June 09, 2008

Go Big or Go Home!

So after all my whining about my skinny spinning and the slow production rate that comes with it, I decided to do something about it. So I spun a big, fat yarn from a Corriedale top that I had kicking around. Then I had to finish it. That's where today's adventure begins.

The yarn is a thick single, semi-worsted. Lovely and cushy and lustrous, but not very stable and prone to fuzzing and pilling, so I needed to wet finish it-the shock and awe approach, basically felting the yarn. Hot water, cold water, and agitation. Hot water, no problem, except that the skeins were so big, I needed to put them into the bathtub...

...cold water, same drill. Now for a little agitation. Out came the sink plunger, but that became really awkward really fast. So what to do, but borrow a page from I Love Lucy. I jumped into the tub and walked on the yarn...


...with images of Lucy and Ethel stomping grapes in my head the whole time. I stomped in the hot water, then the cold, then back in the hot. Miss Julia came home from school as this process was going on and announced that I had really lost my mind this time. Hey, whatever works!

Then I got really fierce...

...and whacked that yarn on the fence until it cried for mercy.

And now it's big and fat and cushy and has a nice smooth finish and ready to go. I probably should have dyed and finished it at the same time, but that never occurred to me as I pranced around ankle-deep in hot, soapy water. So today, there will be dying...

Then what do I do with it? I have 5 skeins of 4 wpi single yarn, each skein about 50 yards, but weighing almost 150g each. I'm thinking a big padded vest-like thingie. Hmmm....

And, of course, I couldn't abandon the skinny yarns! The second multi-colored 3-ply came off the bobbins yesterday...
...and is looking mighty fine itself. Roughly the same as the last skein in the same colorway, except that this one was spun with shorter drifts of color and plied in the classic manner, as opposed to the Navajo ply on the last skein. The color separations are less defined, but still very effective--I even stuck to the same repeat pattern as the first yarn, so we shall see the differences when I knit them up. Here they are, side by side.


Otherwise, the knitting on the Phoenix sweater continues. I'm halfway up the front now and feeling a little nervous about having enough yarn left for sleeves. Perhaps a short sleeve will be necessary, but I would prefer a full-length. I have my fingers crossed as I knit (which really makes things awkward!) that there will be enough. I found another skein under a heap of crap in the studio, so there is hope!

Preparations for the summer workshops continues, as well. Things were sort of slowed down by a minor summer cold, which wasn't serious enough to make me really sick (the spousal unit got nailed hard, though!), just enough to make me sluggish and even crankier than usual. I spent a lot of time thinking about spinning or knitting, but drinking tea and staring instead. There was really nothing much else to do anyway, because I was waiting for materials to arrive and emails to be replied to. Sort of the same state as I am in right now....just sort of coasting.

Oh, there's stuff to do--don't get me wrong. That fat yarn needs dying, I have a 14th century-style dress to build, and those handouts won't type themselves. Not to mention the laundry, dishes and gardening all awaiting my undivided atttention...no rest for the wicked, indeed!

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful looking yarns Michelle!

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