Friday, March 16, 2007

The vagaries of spinning

Yesterday I finished my latest spinning project, some commercial top (Bayberry colorway, I think) that was nearly my undoing. Once a fellow spinner showed me how to spin the slippery stuff from the fold, I had a grand ol' time with most to the 8 oz. I purchased. Then I hit the brick wall of spinning, and came to a screeching halt (brick walls do that to a person). So last week I arranged for a sitter, and made the short pilgrimage back to the spinner who originally helped me. She got me spinning again on some other fiber, but had a frustrating time with the top herself.

Wednesday night Rick worked late, so after putting Brian to bed and doing chores, I sat down with Louie to attempt the top again. Wouldn't you know it spun like a dream, with no troubles at all? Yesterday I plied (couldn't resist adding that white gold thread again) and skeined it. Left it on the skeinwinder overnight, because I really wanted to wind it into a ball immediately, but someone on the spinning list said I REALLY need to wash the skein first to set the twist. Oh, all right; so here is my big, fat, beautiful skein, ready to be washed. (Can you tell that skeining and unskeining is my LEAST favorite part of the whole process?)

What do you think I should knit from it? Brian says he wants a sweater (an as yet unacquired skill on my part). What do you think? Would it be too "girly" with that gold thread in it?

That's it for now at . . .


Lauren said...

Beautiful job, Michelle! Truly, I am gushing and, not really being of the gushing persuasion, that is saying something.

One thing, though. I can't believe you have never made a sweater! You, multi-talented, I-can-lift-10-12-tons-of-hay woman has never knitted a sweater? (Insert long silent pause in which I attempt to keep my mouth shut.)

Knit a sweater, woman. It's not hard, especially a bottom up or top down on circulars. Avoid steeks; they are scary. Buy yourself "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" by Ann Budd so you can use your own homespun yarn (it gives you gauge charts and you customize what you want to make with the gauge you want to use instead of the other way around.) Go to Amazon right now and then get knitting!

Finally, although the yarn you spun is lovely, it's not a man yarn. Men just can't carry off metallics well unless they're on stage and dragging if you know what I mean!

Michelle said...

Hey, I said I was a "real" farmgirl, not a "real" fiber artist! I want to knit a sweater, I really do (well, I THINK I do). After learning the very basics of knitting and crocheting as an adolescent, I didn't pick up needles again until last year. Needless to say, I'm not speedy or proficient. And you know how it is with a little guy running around; mindless knitting is much more appropriate than anything that requires real concentration. I've done okay on scarves and hats, and I'm ready to take the plunge into a felted handbag.

I have picked up several tantalizing books, I just haven't USED one yet. The one that I plan to lead me into the making of real clothes, not just accessories, is "The Sweater Workshop" by Jacqueline Fee. She has a sampler to work through to give you all needed skills, and wrote it for homespun. I also have "Homespun, Handknit" and Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitter's Almanac" (which I got specifically for the Baby Surprise Jacket, but am not sure I can follow the pattern).

Finally, thank-you for your input on the use of the yarn. You confirmed my thoughts, even though I hate to say no to the little guy. The natural Lincoln lamb locks I'm currently spinning will be much more suitable for a "little man-ly" garment. The fleece ranges from a dark bittersweet chocolate to a gray/latte color -- beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I'm from one of the lists. I say it should be a hat, scarf, and possibly fingerless mitts, as 8oz. won't get you too far in a sweater. I second the Ann Budd books, both for sweaters and accessories. The yarn is beautiful, and you will love it even more after setting the twist by washing, drying, and thwacking it over a chair back a few times.

shepherdchik said...

I agree on the hat. A hat with beautiful cables.

Kathy said...

I agree with Becca...8 oz. won't be a whole sweater and a hat is more "instant grantification". :)

Tina T-P said...

Oh, I am so envious - what beautiful yarn! I have yet to master plying - they first yarn I plied turned into a total tangled mess - I was really disappointed - I agree with Kat & shepherdchik - a hat is definately the way to go - Great job! T.