Friday, February 17, 2012

The February Surprise

I will post about some knitting or crocheting at some point, but right now, I'm super into what I've been spinning. January was a great month for me. Three skeins!

Yarn the first. This was spun from a batt I received for my birthday that I felt compelled to spin in December even though December was for finishing up outstanding projects:

Yarn the second. This was once ounce of C type pygora (that's the most cashmere-like grade), plied with silk. I'm in utter love with this one:

Yarn the third. The January self-imposed spinning club project itself, in batt form:

In cop form:

And as yarn:

On to February! The old random number generator gave me this project to spin:


That's some merino silk from Fiber Optic, and a Jenkins lark. For some reason I have a bit of a hard time spinning silk blends consistently, so I figured I wouldn't be that concerned about it and try to spin a beefy single to keep the color gradient intact. Here are my beefy turtles:
What was so great was that I knew a gradient was underneath. It was like an easter egg, or as one person on Ravelry likened it, an everlasting gobstopper. It's an apt comparison when it comes to the neverending task of winding yarn onto a niddy noddy. To paraphrase Gene Wilder, "You can wind it and wind it and wind, and it'll never get any smaller. At least I don't think they do."

Because I wanted the singles to be hale and hearty, I decided to give them a good fulling. Alternating hot and cold soapy water, agitation, a cathartic amount of whacking. So here's the surprise. I have a theory why the yarn turned out like this: I tend to overspin my singles, plus wool and silk don't behave the same when fulled. So, voila, my unusually textured finished yarn:

I'm into it! Who knows if I could have made this on purpose? It's one of the great things about spinning, really more of an art than I science the way I practice it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spun to finished: BFL Thorpes

Unlike my co-blogger, Malia, I do not have a self-imposed spinning club. But I do have projects!

The interesting thing about this project was that I loved the fiber, but I couldn't get excited about the yarn...the texture was nice, but I wasn't into the colors. The ugly yarn sat around for months, un-loved, until finally I decided to just get it over with and make something (also I needed a hat). Lo and behold, the colors that looked so muddled in the skein sorted themselves out again into very attractive stripes, and I ended up with a hat that I really love.

Here's the fiber: Abstract Fiber BFL. Funny story, I was on a multi-stop trip and bought spinning fiber both in Northampton, MA (at Webs, of course), and in Oakland, CA (at Piedmont Yarn), and by pure accident I bought Abstract Fiber BFL in both places. What can I say? I love the colors!

I spun it into a basic 3-ply. Behold! Color mixing!

This is about the point where I lost interest in the yarn. The overall color effect of the skeins is just brown, and at close range you can see the dreadful clashing of sage-green, orange, and red-violet. Some people might be into this yarn, but I was very dubious.

When I finally did knit it up, the colors settled down quite a bit, into nice fuzzy stripes. I like it!
The pattern is Thorpe, by Kirsten kapur. I kept the larger hat for myself and donated the smaller one to a handknits drive at my local library. The green edging is a millspun yarn.