Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scrap spinning

Last week after I gave Carol her Christmas present, I bored her with a comparison of how easily fiber separates when it's thin or tugged gently, versus when it's in a big mass. I seriously never get tired of the comparison with humanity and couldn't help myself.

Well, fiber is not people, and Carol is a trainer, which I keep forgetting because we talk so much while (aka because) she makes me do painful things. When I asked her to try it herself and handed her a sample that came along with one of the from the fall Twisted club instalments, she gave it a little tug and tore it right in two! She was horrified and apologetic and of course I immediately said Not to worry, it'll go right back together when I spin it.

And that's when it hit me: I can spin the samples.

(We already knew I'm a bit slow on the uptake, right?)

One of the perks of club membership is that you're allowed to buy more of the club stuff, even stuff that wasn't in your own club, during a short grace period after the club is over. I've been struggling with what to buy and actually spinning those samples, not to mention some of the full-sized roving I got, is a great way to help me decide. Yes, it really doesn't take more than that to tempt me away from gift knitting.

What Carol broke was superwash merino and tencel, which I would never normally even look at because for me the point of spinning is to be as close back to a natural product as possible. But the tencel was super pretty and shiny, and I must say - super easy to spin.

After that I decided I had to sacrifice the roving I hadn't been able to get out of my hand - the superwash BFL - because if I didn't how would I know whether to order more?

It wasn't as easy for me to spin, but not because of the fiber. I even let myself lose a huge amount of twist in the plying

because I was watching something incredibly riveting on TV (which I can't even remember now, which is weird because normally whatever I watched becomes embedded in my experience of what I was making while watching it... wow, that's going to bug me now. H'mmmm.)

Spinning the superwash BFL reconfirmed my sense of not really enjoying spinning BFL even though it is so amazing to work with as yarn. It's kinda fluffy, with a pale halo that softens the colour, and what I love most about Twisted is the colour saturation. I'm pretty much set now on ordering roving in feltable merino, but I'm tempted by the tencel blend... and I still have to figure out what colourways to choose.

(Aha! It was a documentary on the reproductive habits of the cuckoo. I had actually seen it before but I couldn't stop staring at the newborn cuckoo pushing its tiny nestmates out to their deaths - so gruesome.)

After all that I plied and blocked and thought about knitting tiny tree ornaments out of the samples, in particular the tencel one which produced I think 15 yards:

which didn't happen for obvious reasons. (read: exhaustion.) Maybe next year!

Speaking of which, I am thinking about new year's resolutions. Specifically, goals for what to make or at least learn to do in 2011. I'm pretty close to committing to a Thing or two, but I want to mull for another day so I keep it manageable, because I don't know if you've noticed? I seem to have a problem with taking on huge projects I can't possibly achieve and then panicking until I do. It's not very peaceful, and I'd like 2011 to be very, very peaceful.

Maybe I should just make that my resolution?

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