Contest Results! And eye candy.

As of this writing, there have been 82 responses guessing the yardage on this bobbin:

And the finished skein is dry.

I’m sure you have all been waiting with bated breath for this, too. It was rough on me waiting to skein it and finish it, let me tell you! I skeined it yesterday, so I know what it measured before finishing… but now, now it’s time to re-skein it neatly and see how it came out.

Secretly, I have been hoping it would be enough for a lacy cardigan for me. Because look:

it’s really my favourite shade of green.

It would even go with my car.

(okay, okay, so that photo of my car’s paint is almost 7 years old. So’s the car. It’s still mostly that colour.)

Holy crap, look at me 7 years ago, with my first ever (and likely only ever) brand-spankin’ new car off the showroom floor. Huh.

Oh, why yes, I am stalling. Here’s more stalling. Look how that Autumn came out:

I don’t think the photos are really doing this one justice. It’s very drapy, with an understated sheen — it was superwash/tencel, and there are 385 yards there (Hi Wednesday, that’s 352 meters) in a skein weighing 136 grams (also known as 4.8 ounces).

This was an 80 gram (2.8 ounce) Falkland that I hoped might sorta go with the Pagoda, but it really didn’t. 265 yards (242 m). Just that yardage would have bought me the remainder of the Pagoda… but no, it’s not right. I think I’m going to be stuck with yellow, when I get to dyeing it.

Oh, very well. I’ll stop stalling. Right after this, which is drying now:

Here’s the glittery single:

It’s a leftovers bit from some other sock batts. I’m calling it “Hummingbird.” There are 2 ounces here, composed of, as I say, some leftover bits from other sock batts — superwash, silk, and multiple colours of firestar. It came to 330 yards (301 m). This yarn, I have to say, is one of my favourites that I’ve spun in some time. It’s sooooo pretty.

Well, okay, I’ll stop stalling. It looks like that green CVM / tussah silk blend yarn, which is decidedly laceweight if on the thick side thereof by my standards, weighs in at 146 grams, or 5.15 ounces. And it is…

1,026 yards. Which is to say (Hi Wednesday!) 938 meters. Or metres; but lest we get started on that spelling debate, I’d like to point out that my own personal style uses -ize, -er, and -our. You know, so I would, for instance, scandalize the neighbours at the theater, rather than scandalise the neighbors at the theatre. I do not know why these are my personal spelling conventions, but they have been for a long time.

Anyway, yes, 1,026 yards! From 146 grams / 5.15 ounces, meaning the yarn, roughly a 60/40 blend of CVM and tussah silk, came out to be a roughly 3200-ypp yarn. And at around a thousand yards, not an easy row to hoe if I want to make a lace cardigan for a chick my size. Fooey! Fooey I say! Fooey!

Mind you, I didn’t really need another lace cardigan to sit on my WIP stack.

You guys were great with your guesses. And I’m amazed. We have a first place winner, with 1025 — off by only one yard. That’s Karen of Cook’n’Knit, who needs to bring that young rocker lad over to party on with my son, dude! Karen, you get first choice of the three prizes.

In second place, with a guess of 1037, off by 11 yards, we have Ellen of Sheepwreck. Ellen, you get to choose from the 2 prizes remaining when Karen’s had her pick.

And in third place, betting her birthday, we have Moonrose Sammi, who you’ll all be seeing a little more of in an upcoming post. Sammi, you get whatever Karen and Ellen don’t make off with — and you’ll take it and like it!

I’m astounded — many of you were closer than I was. I thought I had about 1150 yards.

Rainy Day!

It’s an utterly bleak and gray rainy day. I’m thrilled.

Unfortunately, they’re saying on the radio that even if it rains all day today and all day tomorrow, it won’t likely be enough to make a huge difference to the crops, and we’ll still need several more inches of rain, soon. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Thank you all so much for your responses to my 100th post! You still have through Friday to weigh in on the contest if you’re so inclined. And I have still not skeined, finished, dried, and measured that bobbin — and it’s killing me! The suspense! We’ve got votes from the 500s to the 1200s for yardage, and my old friend Wednesday (hah! You’re old!) pointedly notes she really can’t guess at the meters on account of all the yards. This is pointed, because she knows full well I grew up as much metric as SAE, and am prone to switch between the two at random, and have generally tried to be conscientious about using both when I’m referring to measurement type stuff. My excuses are that a) I am lazy sometimes, and b) my skeiner measures yards. However, I am duly reminded and will make an effort to remember to include meters on my numbers from here on out!

Oh, so yesterday I was chit-chatting with Pippi, who updated her store, but did not include any more Pagoda! I hate her so much! So I told her so. That resulted in me promising I’d take at least one in-progress photo of what I was doing with the Falkland Pagoda, even though it just looks like a giant sack of nothing. Or as my mother-in-law has joked, a toilet seat cover! Everything looks like a toilet seat cover when you do it in the round on a set of circular needles. This shawl is not in the round, but nonetheless…

What I can tell you about it is that structurally, it’s a triangle shawl knit from the top down, but getting longer. So there’s a set of central increases — a mitered corner at the centerline. Doing it this way means the long colour repeats I spun into the Pagoda are triangle stripes throughout the fabric. Meanwhile, to counterpoint that (or deal with my tendency to grow bored with one single pattern), I’m doing sections of different patterns, delimited (that’s a geek word for “separated”) by eyelet stripes. These pattern sections are also triangles, but they’re at a 45-degree angle to the triangles that appear because of the striping effect.

I had decided that the final section would go to having all one pattern for the outermost or lowermost edges… and now I see that I won’t have enough yarn to make that happen. So, since Pippi is all out of Pagoda, I thought I’d see if my own Falkland inventory didn’t happen to have something that sorta worked, maybe kinda.

And that looks, in the fiber, like it could match the pink-purples. Or work with them. However, sadly, with the first bobbin of single spun up, the answer is no, not at all. So I probably will have to dye some Falkland yellow and work with that. Given that dilemma and the lead time involved in turning some Falkland top yellow with maybe flecks of pink or orange here and there, I decided to finish something that had been sitting on my table for… since… when did the spring IK come out? Since then.

You see, I’d never actually done this entrelac thing, and I had some problem yarn — a chain-plied tussah silk seconds for “Indian Summer,” which had blurred too much and I lacked confidence in the light brown dye in it (since discontinued). So I simply followed the directions in the magazine and used up the yarn.

I was right to be suspicious of the light brown dye. It ran in the hot water wash.

So, I gave the entire thing a half-hour acid bath at about 180 degrees F, rinsed it very aggressively, and then ironed it to the point of mostly dry.

I’m actually happier with this colourwise than I was with the yarn. I mean, the yarn wasn’t bad. But there were pink overtones I didn’t like so much. The running brown changed those, as did the hot iron.

And really, this was a fun little learning project, with a pleasant end result.

Having that off the needles, of course, allowed me to cast on something else. I took this leftovers skein here, which Chad tells me our cat Paimei has been bringing to him in his office with some regularity, and started fiddling with it.

I think it was somewhere around 125 yards, and was the leftover merino/tencel from this sock yarn. That should be quick and entertaining.

Oh, right — and I’ve been working my way through my “Spin Me” stack. Monday night, I wrapped up the second bobbin of a fine laceweight merino/tussah leftover, and spun up these fellas:

This was another of the superwash/tencel batt trials. There were two, one of which had been through one more pass to even out the colours more. The superwash/tencel batts took more passes than I really felt like doing, oy! Pictured above is the more-blended one, which spun up into this single:

while the second one, less blended, spun up into this single:

which brings us to the end of Monday night’s spinning. Tuesday night, also known as last night, I was thus forced to have a ply-o-rama. It would seem I took no pictures of the 350 yards of merino/tussah, nor have I weighed it, nor anything! For shame. But I did snap this picture of the superwash/tencel once I plied it…

And supposing it ever dries, well. You know. Same goes for that merino/tussah one. This Autumn coloured yarn here came to 385 yards (352 m) before its long long hot soak and whatnot. Simple hot soak for… well, I can’t be sure; the truth is I forgot about it and when I went to take it out later it was far from hot. Ahem. I followed that up with a cold rinse and hung it to dry on the towel bar, as it was, by then, evening and a thunderstorm. That’s why it isn’t dry yet. But I can tell it’s going to be rather nice. Maybe nice enough to make me willing to blend superwash and tencel more. I can’t say for sure yet.

Speaking of blending, that’s really what I ought to be doing right now. So, without further ado, and without telling you more of what I’ve determined thanks to all your wonderful responses to my 100th post, I must now finish my last coffee and head into the studio, lest there be no new exciting batts for Friday’s shop update. Yay, batts!

Oh, and actually that reminds me — a sale! I’ve just marked a whole pile of handspun and handpainted yarns to 15% off, now through July 3. Or, well, starting in about an hour. And your shipping’s on me if you let me know you came from my blog, at checkout time. It’s here:

http://stores.ebay.com/Franquemont-Fibers

100! 100! 100!

I guess I’ll start off with some light eye candy, having finally gotten halfway decent photos of some of the laceweight tussah silk singles.

Let’s see, according to my records (this is last week’s evening spinning, mostly), those 9 come to 3,320 yards, and this…

…which was horrible to photograph, is 600 yards, so that’s just shy of 4,000 yards of laceweight silk singles last week, plus…

…a chained single (aka Navajo plied) coming to 200 yards.

These were all from seconds from my tussah silk dyeing — seconds, because the silk got too beat up, or was under an ounce when all was said and done, or something. Stuff like this:

which turned into this:

So, it’s not like those aren’t spinnable, nicely so even… they just didn’t make the grade to be Franquemont Fibers product as fiber. Thus, instead, every single one of ‘em became enough yarn to make a nice scarf, and in some cases a shawl.

Since the sun came out today for a bit so I could take these photos, I also snapped one of those Pond Scum batts!

I really wish I could come up with a way to get these photographed next to the scum on one of the ponds across the road, but I can’t — the pondscum only looks the colour I was after from a distance. Ahem, but anyway, the Pond Scum batts are superwash/silk/mohair. I like them more than I expected to.

Oh, let’s see, here’s what I did Saturday night! Remember this?

Well, unbeknownst to all y’all, I embezzled some of that blend and put one large batt of it into my “to-spin” stash. It was a superwash/tencel blend, and I really liked the blend, but it was high-maintenance to produce so I don’t think I’m going to keep doing it. Though I enjoyed spinning it, so… perhaps. This one is “Sea Breeze,” and there was a Pink Lemonade one as well, but that went to its rightful home.

I really, really like how this one came out. I got 330 yards of 2-ply yarn in a middling sock weight grist, which is actually probably enough for a pair of socks. Except I might like it more than socks. Anyway, it’s destined to be something for me. The carded blend with tencel in it is interesting — the shine and glimmer from the tencel is there, but it’s more distributed, meaning that the yarn looks relatively matte until the light catches it, at which point it glints in a crystalline way, rather than looking wet-shiny like the commercial combed top merino/tencel blends tend to do.

But by now perhaps you are wondering about the title of this post. I’ll explain.

Here it is, June of 2007, and this post right here is my 100th post in this blog! What a whirlwind it has been since going live last November! I guess blogging is a little bit like plying — it takes forever to build up on the bobbin, so to speak, and while you’re doing it, it seems like it’s taking forever, but then when all is said and done, there is more there than you thought, and it makes sense that it took as long as it did.

To demonstrate what I mean, let me show you this blend of California Variegated Mutant and tussah silk. It looks really, really luscious, like you could just dive right in and get totally lost. So you get started, with a clear vision in mind for where you’re going.

Is that… a toe of some kind on the bottom left? Why, yes it is!

And voila, just like that, surprise! Distraction. But then you knuckle down and get to spinning

Friday night you finish spinning two out of four batts onto your first bobbin. There’s a little disappointment when you stop, and you feel like the blend is just not quite as luscious as you felt like it was, and there were a few tiny neps and noils around, and… fine. Do something else for a bit. Let’s look back at what I thought this blog was going to be like when I started it.

The first big surprise for me, looking back, is realizing that despite having thought, in November, that I’d gather up lots of my legacy content and clean it up and put it online here, I ended up producing mostly new content. But it was a fun stroll through memory lane all the same, and I’ve no doubt I’ll do more as time permits. Here are a few things I did gather up from other places I’d posted them, and put here:

I know that way, way back, archived in all sorts of scattered places, I have hundreds of other things I’d like to gather up and post too. I expected to clean those up and have them online as part of the first 100 items, and it’s amazing to me that I haven’t.

Perhaps it’s because instead of just getting on with that second bobbin, I did this instead with Saturday afternoon.

It was quickie, leftovers, needed to be done and cleared of the “spin me” pile anyway. 220 yards of 2-ply sock yarn from a test of that superwash/tencel top.

Speaking of the “spin me” pile, wanna know what I’ve got for titles in my “drafts” pile? Dig on this:

  • What Do I Need To Start Spinning?
  • Make Your Own Spindle!
  • A Little Bit About Working With Batts
  • Spinning A Cabled Yarn
  • Yarn Tech: Plies
  • Measuring Your Yarn, ala Mabel Ross
  • Some Timed Spinning Results
  • Is It True You Hate Art Yarn, and Spinning Without A Purpose In Mind?
  • Spinning Wheel Drive Systems
  • Some Customer Results!
  • How Can I Spin Laceweight Yarn on a Wheel?
  • So What’s Really The Right Fiber To Start With?

So let’s hear it: out of all these subject lines, which one would YOU most like to read next? Or, well, how about “soon,” instead of “next?” A few of ‘em have been lingering because they’re slow going, very technical, or require spinning to be photographed.

This is not unlike when you finally spin up that second bobbin of the CVM/Tussah blend on Sunday afternoon, and immediately set about plying, but 15 minutes in, you decide you’ll have a pint while you’re at it.

Because just look how much there is to go.

(no, don’t look at the couple of silks from the “spin me” pile behind the lazy kate)

Half an hour and a pint of Harp later…

Hey, that’s great! Looks like lots of progress! Except…

Back to work. But you can have another pint while you’re at it.

While we’re straw polling here, and while I’m going down memory lane, I got to thinking about which of the articles I’ve done are ones I’m genuinely happy about, and why. I was going for a top 20, and I managed to pull off… an top 16. In no particular order, here it is:

  1. The Louet Victoria Review I assigned myself this piece as much as a writing exercise as anything else, and approached it in a principled manner, modeling it after reviews I’ve really liked in non-fiber publications, taking pictures and notes, coming up with a test plan, and so on. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
  2. Can You Explain Spinning Wheel Drive Ratios? In this case I’m proud of brevity. Brevity is a challenge for me (no, really?)
  3. What Are Batts, Top, Roving and So Forth? Again, brevity! Well, relatively. In retrospect though, I think it needs pictures.
  4. Drop Spindle Basics Video This is essentially a demo routine I’ve done for US audiences since I was about 8 years old. It’s my first sort of principled bit of video.
  5. Waylaka While I’m nowhere near my parents’ caliber of ethnographer, it’s hard to be one about one’s own life, especially when it’s about a subject that’s essential to the core of one’s own sense of self. I’m resolving to do more writing like this in the next hundred posts.
  6. Choosing Your First Spinning Wheel This one took me months to pull together, and sat in my drafts pile for what felt like forever.
  7. What Difference Does Drive Wheel Size Make? An important mechanical question that we don’t talk about much.
  8. Chullu Knitting Geeze, does this one need cleaning up. I still like it, though.
  9. The Queen Is Dead, Long Live The Queen More of that emotional stuff, a remembrance of my old lady cat.
  10. The Salmon Electric I admit it: I just really like this yarn. And I’m fairly pleased with the process post.
  11. Woolen vs. Worsted I’m pleased with this mostly because I want to see more discussion of the subject as a continuum.
  12. The handspun yarn pricing discussion is another thing I just want to see discussed and thought about. Am I trying to tell everyone what to do? No. But I do think folks considering selling their wares ought to think about some of these things.
  13. Stupid Tangled Bobbin Hah. Oh yeah.
  14. Pagoda processIn this case, it’s largely the photos I’m pleased with.
  15. Memorial Day Again, emotional writing.
  16. Making a Tweed Blend It took longer to document and write this up, by FAR, than to make the blend.

So, yeah, I guess we’re making progress here after all. Another pint and half hour in, there’s actually some content on the blog, er, I mean, yarn piling up on the bobbin.

Of course, this is also where it becomes clear you’ve got uneven amounts between the two source bobbins. Not like you didn’t know that would happen, but even so, it’s more than you expected.

I guess another pint wouldn’t hurt, for this home stretch.

So let’s hear it: what are your favourites from my first 100? Pick any number — I’m totally curious. I have a hard time looking at my own generated content, within a matter of months, and telling if I actually like it or not. In general, if an article took lots of work and many edits, I seem to feel more positive about it than if it didn’t — but, some of the articles that people have told me that they’ve really found helpful have been ones I took almost no time with at all, like the half-hitch one. And I always feel like simple yarn porn and eye candy is a cop-out; I always want to be producing Brilliant Technical Articles, or something. And as my draft list might indicate, I’ve also got a problem with being unwilling to declare something finished, or good enough.

When it comes down to the end, there’s always some fiddling. With producing yarn, at least, I’ve gotten pretty good at accepting this and moving forward. If this weren’t a fancy custom blend, I’d just toss what’s left on the one bobbin…

But nah, I’m not gonna be a total waylaka about this. I can fit that on here.

And what’s more, I’ll be glad I did.

A quick butterfly pulls a bunch (about half) off that bobbin, and after splicing it in and grabbing the end from the bobbin again, back to work. The butterfly, having a cross in it, won’t tangle too easily. I’m in the home stretch here and just want to see how this yarn is going to come out, after all.

And finally, then, we approach the moment of truth — the singles are all gone, and the bobbin is full.

Look! Something to show for the seemingly endless effort. I mean, not that it wasn’t fun and interesting and not that I don’t enjoy it; but it was still work. Looking at it there, just one bobbin, I feel like, “Is that all there is?”

But you know, it’s a full bobbin. And 100 posts is a lot.

So, what’s the contest? Well, first, the prizes: featured items from blog articles.

The tweed from the tweed blend tutorial:

Merino/Tencel Testers Pair, about 4 oz total:

and, not pictured because I can’t, 4 ounces of a you-ask-for-it custom blend, that I’ll make for you if you win.

All you have to do to win is…

…guess how many yards are on this bobbin.

I don’t know either — I won’t find out till later this week; I’ll force myself to be patient. I play this guessing game with myself with every bobbin I fill, incidentally.

Now, here’s the dirt. I’m looking for how many yards of yarn I end up with once I’ve finished the yarn, which I intend to do with the hot-cold, hot-cold fulling wash. I’ve got no clue — because I didn’t write it down — how many ounces of fiber there are. Well, I’d guess it’s around 5-6 ounces, or 150-175 grams. I really can’t be sure. It’s on a standard Majacraft bobbin. You have until this Friday, June 29 2007, and you must post your guess as a reply. The closest guess will get first pick from the 3 prizes; #2 will get to choose from the remaining 2 prizes; and #3 will get the last prize. If for some reason a winner can’t use the prize he or she gets, like if it’s fiber and you don’t spin, well, we’ll figure something out.

You Know You’ve Been A Fiber Geek Too Long When…

  • You regard being down to a pound of silk as being totally out of silk.
  • You panic about whether or not the resupply is going to be here IN TIME. In time for what, exactly? You know. In time.
  • You’re down to half a bump each (or 12-15 pounds) of 5 different kinds of commercial wool top, and are worrying you might be pushing it waiting a couple of weeks to restock it on the grounds that…
  • …you really need to clean up your yarn room, because the mound of trash fiber on the floor is definitely larger than the cat.
  • You’re going to throw that trash fiber away.
  • The only room in the house without a fiber project in it is the bathroom…
  • …and that’s got fiber catalogs in it.
  • You aren’t sure how many spinning wheels you have, and are afraid you’ll be off by more than 5 if you guess.
  • There’s at least 50 pounds of prepped fiber, interesting fiber even, not just white raw materials, sitting in your studio, but when you go to see what you’ll spin next, it looks like there’s nothing there to spin, so…
  • …you’ve got to prep more.
  • Heck, you might as well buy more too.
  • You’ve got a lint roller in every room, to keep you from eating cashmere by accident.
  • You leave the studio without de-fibering yourself hardly at all, and go somewhere in public… at which point you realize people are staring at you and you’re literally covered in fluff from head to toe.
  • You know off the top of your head which lint roller refills are interoperable with what rollers… and that all of them are not interchangeable. Nope, they aren’t.
  • When you put your hair up, you do it just like if you were securing a skein.
  • You think of yourself as having a 3-foot staple with a harsh feel to it and high micron count, definitely not next-to-skin soft.
  • You don’t wonder anymore if you can spin the random fibrous things you encounter in odd places like the supermarket. You don’t wonder, because you know. You know, because you’ve tried.
  • You keep thinking it’s going to be great to hit the bookstore and look for a few new yarn type books, but then you get there and realize your shelves at home are larger than the yarn-related sections at most stores. Yes, including the knitting, sewing, weaving, crochet, and magazines. Sigh.
  • But on the bright side, several of the books they do have are by friends of yours.
  • Your mother’s in town, and she asks you for a cable needle. You tell her you don’t have one, because you swore off knitting cables many years ago. She looks at you in horror with the words unspoken on her lips: what have I wrought, unleashing upon the world a child who grew up into a woman who has no cable needle? This doesn’t seem at all strange to you, until someone else points out most mothers would probably reserve that level of shock for, say, not having silverware.
  • As a result of all that, you both have to go to the nearby award-winning famous yarn store. While there, you both shop for projects and yarn… and end up saying “I give up, the right yarn isn’t here, let’s go raid my stash instead.”
  • The yarn you were looking for is in your stash.
  • The hardest part of winter is the static, because it makes your fiber recalcitrant.
  • The hardest part of summer is picking what projects and fibers won’t kill you from the heat.
  • You can’t leave home for 8 hours without taking enough fiber, yarn, and projects that are already in progress to last you a month.
  • You dream fondly of the apocalypse, thinking how great it’ll be when everyone suddenly cares about textile production because without it, they’d have no clothes.
  • Your child actually speaks the sentence, “That’s just my mom. Don’t talk to her unless you like boring yarn and stuff,” and he’s probably right.
  • You have smaller variants of pretty much every type of textile equipment featured on TV shows like “How It’s Made” — except for the really esoteric ones like suction-based devices to turn things right side out after seaming, and you know you’d probably pick one of those up too, if you ran across one.
  • Despite your 3 feet of hair, you have more soaps for fiber than you do shampoo and conditioner.

Let’s hear it — I know you’ve all got more.

I promised you eye candy…

So here we go.

Let’s kick it off with some storm eye candy! We needed the rain, because…

My poor lilacs. Do you think they’re dead? I’m afraid so, despite the evidence you see there — a hose, a watering can — that we tried. So this morning’s storm was welcome, and I hope we get more.

Of course, it did make photo day a little tricky. Almost none of my orange and pink silks would come out right no matter what — those really need good sunlight. And that’s a shame, too, because I have a slew of really delightful laceweight tussah silk singles, like this one.

375 yards / 1 ounce, 28 wpi.

And a few chain-plied multicoloured silks, like this:

200 yards, 1 ounce, 25 wpi.

At least Peacock here came out allright…

Superwash, tussah silk, alpaca, and firestar nylon — the return of the sock blends! I pilfered an oversized 3 ounce batt from this batch, for myself. I’m not sure what for, ultimately, but definitely to spin it (though at the moment, I have more laceweight tussah singles, and a really beautiful CVM/tussah in emerald green, on the bobbins).

Who was it who was asking me about pond scum colours? I did two, after looking at pondscum around the area over the past month or so. First, a silk…

and second, a set of batts… but those pictures didn’t come out so well, alas. However, these Sargasso Tweed batts are really cool:

Falkland wool, which poofs impressively due, I understand, to the fact that Falkland sheep are actually Polwarth/Corriedale crosses.

My Blaze tussah came out looking good too. This is Edward’s favourite of my colours.

…but just look what horrors happen trying to get this Geranium-coloured silk to photograph!

If you think that’s bad, you oughta see the Mai Tai yarn.

Lastly for now, the blended-wishfully “The Grass Is Always Greener” here…

…is Merino, tussah silk, and alpaca. And really springy, if not as springy as the Sargasso Tweed.

I’m totally disappointed about my laceweight tussah photos, too. There’s over 3500 yards of that stuff that I’ve spun this week, and won’t be able to show you until there’s better light. O, cruel fate, finally bringing rain just in time for picture day!

When weather’s sunny again, I’ll have to put these next to the geraniums. They really do look the same.

So what does it seem I’ve gotten done this week? A bit over 2 pounds of tussah silk dyed in 1-ounce hanks, 2.25kg or about 5 pounds of luxury batts, 3500 yards of silk singles, 600 yards of a wool single tester, one full bobbin of that aforementioned CVM/tussah (no you can’t have it! Mine! You wish you could have it!) done fairly fine, and I’m approaching the end of the improvised shawl I’m knitting with the Pagoda, and realizing that to finish my grandiose plan, I’m going to need more yarn. ARGH! I’ve got fiber to match it… that isn’t dyed. Maybe I can force Pippi to do more of that delicious Pagoda. Otherwise, I’ll just try to match the yellow, I suppose, and use that for the end.

So, are you all annoyed with me for how I haven’t taken a single picture of that shawl in progress? I’m sorry; it’s just that it’s simply a large sac-like object hanging onto some size 3 circular needles, and looks… like nothing. I refuse to show it in its present state.

So far, incidentally, it seems nobody likes those morning shows. C’mon, somebody has to like them, right? Can the large radio conglomerates which own the airwaves now really be so far off base? Like some of you who’ve commented, I also listen to public radio in the morning. That kind of talking I can enjoy — but the “morning zoo” kind of thing, not so much.

Talking About the Weather, and Other Inconsequential Things

I seem to have become mired in an early-rising sleep pattern, about which I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I could parrot back what my late father always used to say about being the first one up in the morning:

“I like being the first one up. Nobody else is up for a while and I’ve got the whole world to myself, and then I get to get the whole house up and running and get everything moving and that makes everybody’s day start off better.”

I used to argue with him that I much preferred the time to myself when it was late at night, and everyone else was asleep. But just maybe the mornings are growing on me. You know, just as long as there’s plenty of coffee. I see his point — when you’ve got the morning chores all taken care of and the day well in hand before anyone else even starts stretching and yawning and cranking their eyelids apart by whatever means necessary, well, I guess you just feel like you’ve got a jump on the day, and whatever it brings is most likely well in hand. After all, you have time, and there’s nothing more precious than that.

My father, though, was always a morning person. Or so I believe; I wish I could ask him. There are plenty of stories he (and others) told me over the years, about things that happened to him due to usually being the first one up. Like meeting my mother on a dig on the coast of Peru (or at least, that’s when he remembers meeting her, though she remembers him from a prior anthropology class), or being the guy who finds the new litter of barn kittens born in the night, or knowing it’s a snow day before anybody has to go out to the end of the very long driveway in the pitch dark blustering chill of a New Hampshire winter morning to wait for the school bus that never comes.

Me, I dunno — I’ve long thought I could do without having to be the one to get up and stoke the fires that burned down in the night (of course, I haven’t had wood heat in my adult life), and I’ve always had this problem where if there are dishes in the sink in the morning, I get crabby and stay that way all day because the first thing I have to do is the dishes, for some pathological reason. But lately I haven’t minded any of that, and I’ve been unsuccessful at falling back asleep after early morning waking.

This morning, it brought me cool, crisp weather, not muggy or hot, slightly cloudy. And then in the distance I heard a thump or two. It could have been the cats up to their usual tricks (those tricks are often what wakes me early, as it happens), but it wasn’t. In moments I could tell it was thunder. With coffee brewing, I walked down to get the paper, and on the way back up, the first droplets of rain hit me. Looking to the west, I was treated to the kind of melodrama that only a sweeping sky can show; the kind of pending tantrum for which no wide-angle lens would be sufficient, and which you know you could never photograph anyway, because half of the drama is the smell in the air, the way everything feels when you can see rain sheeting down a mile or two off and coming your way, and the breeze on your skin turning into a full-on wind.

And to think it’s picture day today — the day when I photograph my week’s achievements and get ready to list my new inventory for sale. I guess it won’t be happening outdoors in full sunlight today, for the first time in rather a while! But that’s great news; we needed the rain badly. I hope it rains all day.

Driving Edward to YMCA camp in a lingering drizzle, I tried yet again to find a radio station with upbeat music and no morning show. Yesterday I listened to one local classic rock station for literally half an hour hoping they’d play a single song. No. Not a single song. All yapping. Yap, yap, yap. Might have been a few fart jokes in there. That’s it. And that’s what all the morning shows are like. So I got to thinking — am I seriously the only person who detests radio morning shows? Are these things really that popular? Do people find fart jokes and marginally veiled innuendo and nonsensical jabber about trivial celebrity news that enthralling first thing in the morning? And if so… why? Why wouldn’t you rather have tunes? I can see, you know, having quickie traffic reports and things like that; but I simply do not understand the appeal — especially in the morning — of the 2-person “Hey Bob, did you hear the one about the fat chick?” *insert canned noisemaker sound* “Why no Jack, tell me the one about the fat chick!” shows.

Enlighten me.

Then when I get back from the post office run and so forth, I’ll show you lots of pretty pictures.

The News Today, Oh Boy!

It’s pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit here again today, still with essentially no rain. It’s officially being called a “moderate drought” now, and it’s pretty much for sure there’ll be negative effects on crops — and they’ve said “corn” out loud, which is terrible. What if the sweet corn is all mealy? Talk about a summer disaster!

Apart from my own selfish woes, it is really sad to see, with fields of stunted crop and brown expanses of basically no hay and sad-looking pasture animals. We’re down something like 6.5 inches on how much rain we normally would have gotten in the past 6 weeks. Those of you in rainy, even floody, places, feel free to send your rainy thoughts to the Ohio Valley.

On the other hand, the really good news is Cardzilla’s new motor should be in tomorrow (thank you, Bob at Lebanon Electric Motor). I opted to buy a new, identical motor, and see about having the gearbox on the old one repaired and keeping that one around as a spare. I hate not having spares! You’d think I’d know by now. And I do; but that doesn’t mean, apparently, that I always provision appropriately.

As soon as the motor is in and Cardzilla’s back up to snuff, I’m going to be thrilled to be getting back to blending. Since I’ve been dyeing silk like a madwoman, I’ve been generating a ton of silk seconds (where the final weight is too little, or it just got too beat up in the rinse or something else causes it to fail quality control). Normally I use these in blending, but I’d piled up rather more of them than I really meant to over the past couple of weeks, so I decided to spin up a few of them for example purposes and sale. In retrospect, I should have taken “before and after” photos, too! So I probably will for the remainder. Here’s a teaser “before” shot:


Once those dry, I’ll show you how came out — they’re laceweight singles, and they’re really pretty.

Oh, have I mentioned that Kaylee is getting big?

And ever more inclined to stick her face directly into the camera lens. This occurred while I was trying to take a one-handed “fixing a plying problem” shot, of course. Kaylee felt strongly that she was more important. That’s why she’s glaring, and her eyes appear normal size.

I haven’t forgotten about the plying series! I’m just working on the “common problems” photos, which is tricky! See:

After a while, it can be hard to force problems to occur when you’ve gotten so used to avoiding ‘em! That’s the start of uneven wind-on. I need to really overexaggerate this somehow; that’s just not dramatic enough at all.

Lastly, my cuticles are all messed up. Too much sticking them in acidic exhausted dyebath to carefully remove silk, I fear. To look at my fingers, you’d think it was the dead of winter!

Whew, what an ebay shop update…

…and I’m not even DONE with it all yet! So far I’m done listing 4-5 pounds of merino, 4 pounds of domestic, 4 pounds of tussah silk, almost a dozen handspun yarns including some you’ve seen featured here, and there’s still more handspun yarn, specialty fiber, and the millspun handpainted yarns to go.

Here are my favourites so far:

Neon Dawn here is an example skein, chain-plied, that I spun up to demonstrate what this fella looks like. I mean, uh, to see for myself. Because I could. I admit it. But now I’m going to let it go.

I like this combo despite knowing there’s no chance I could wear anything made from it.

Oh, what else… Ivy here was one of my attempts to match Jeepy’s colour (I can’t).

Harvest, shown below, I think might become a fave.

This “Sunrise” silk…

and the Harlequin silk…

and this Day Lily which really does look just like the roadside wild day lilies around here…

and mass quantities of Dandelion…

and the Bramble merino

and this camel/silk and its brethren…

…it’s been a fiber and yarn pr0n-tacular week. Oh, and that reminds me, loyal blog readers, if you’re making an ebay purchase, let me know you came from my blog and you’ll get free shipping on anything totaling over $20.

Question Roundup for June 12

There have been lots and lots of terrific questions over the past couple of weeks, and it’s time for a Q&A roundup. Let’s start with questions from A Little Bit About Plying, Part 1.

There are some absolutely wonderful comments on this post, and I’d recommend folks stroll through ‘em if they have a chance — helpful information in the comments!

Kristi asks:

I’ve now been plying on two different wheels and it *seems* as though some of the ply twist is lost as the yarn is fed onto the bobbin. A friend of mine has found the same thing on one of those wheels as well, but hasn’t noticed it on any of her other three wheels. It doesn’t seems as though the wheels should remove plying twist when the yarn is fed onto the bobbin. Any ides of the cause? Is this highly unusual, or somewhat common?

This gets argued all over the place, and folks can be deeply committed to their stances. I talk about it a bit in the second plying article, but in brief, my stance is that twist redistributes itself — whether in plying or in spinning — anytime that it passes over something under tension and with a bit of friction. So it’s not that you’re losing twist, though that is how it appears — it’s that it gets redistributed. To a degree, as yarn is wound onto a bobbin, it’ll redistribute over the whole of the bobbin as well, depending on how tightly you wind it and so forth. You’ll see this effect more with any flyer wheel, and less with spindle wheels or on spindles. You aren’t crazy, and this isn’t unusual; many, many attentive spinners detect this.

Another factor is that when you’re plying and looking at what hasn’t wound on yet, you’re looking at a short length of yarn. The twist that is in that short length is going to ooze out the ends, so to speak, once you don’t have it trapped neatly in that short length. And, when you wash the yarn, the same thing will happen again, as Ellen points out in comments on the same article, and the effect when you wash will be even more dramatic. Therefore, bear this all in mind when you’re plying, and see if putting in more plying twist doesn’t produce the yarn you thought you would have, once you’re done.

Kristi later follows up this line of thought with this question on the second article:

Thank you for addressing the loss of twist. Since most wheels cause the yarn to make the same number of turns in its path to the bobbin, why would one wheel cause a greater loss in twist than another? The method of delivering the yarn to the bobbin?

This is easiest to see with a really low-twist yarn, and I’ll see if I can’t come up with some good pictures to illustrate it at some point in this plying series. The short answer is that the most obvious variable in this is how firm your takeup is, and the second (and related) is the question of whether the wheel is single drive or double drive, and whether it’s rigged for flyer lead or bobbin lead. Well, maybe the biggest variable is the spinner, though. You’ll usually see the biggest variations, I find, if you hold back, hold back, hold back and THEN feed the yarn on in one fell swoop, vs. if you let it trickle through your hands and smoothly stream its way onto the bobbin. Unless, of course, you’re meticulously counting treadles and so forth while getting twist into a certain length of yarn being plied; in that case it’s easier to be uniform with the hold-back and then feed method.

The difference, though, should be minimal; but if you have a yarn with 4 plying twists in an inch, and you lose 1, it’s a much bigger percentage than if you have a yarn with 12 plying twists in an inch and lose 1. So that’s a factor too. I think this one really needs some pictures!

A few other questions came up in comments on this article as well, and some of ‘em deserve their own whole posts! Here’s one:

Sulafaye asks:

Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise! It is fascinating to see these concepts “in action.” May I asked how you learned to spin (and ply!)?

Definitely a long-answer one! The short version is that I first really learned to spin as a child in the Andes of Peru, in the weaving town of Chinchero, near Cusco. My family, headed by a pair of field anthropologists with a specific interest in textiles, moved there just after my fifth birthday.

I’m the tow-headed troublemaker in the front. Or, well, I was; and since I was old enough to be useful, but didn’t have anything going for me in the way of useful skills, I was behind the curve and the community set to work resolving that. You’ll notice there aren’t any other kids my age in that photo — babies, but not 5-year-olds. That’s because 5-year-olds had things to be doing other than getting underfoot.

You can read a bit more about that in my Waylaka article.

The longer answer is that everything to do with the fiber arts has always been an assumption in my family. My little sister, for example, who believes she can’t do any fiber stuff (and arguably that’s a fair statement given the rest of the family) can actually knit, crochet, embroider, sew, macrame, braid, weave a little, and spin a little — if you were to compare her to the US population, it wouldn’t be right at all to say she can’t do any fiber stuff. But instead of the gene for “fiber stuff is as obvious as breathing,” she got the gene for “capable of growing plants.” That gene skipped me. You know how people say “You can’t kill a spider plant?” The “you” in question would not be me. I have a black thumb. I could garden if my life depended on it, but my life would have to depend on it. My sister is that way about fiber, but when she walks past plants it’s like a cartoon of them sighing gleefully and perking up and dancing around her to burst into bloom and greenness and so forth.

Anyway, so some of my very earliest memories, some before I could walk and talk, involve laying in my father’s weaving studio, watching the antique loom go, and learning simple braids and inkle loom weaving and me bemoaning a lack of saddlebags for my rocking horse only to have my mother cause them to materialize out of thin air with a crochet hook. Almost all my childhood warm things were handknit, hand-crocheted, and mostly handspun; tons were handwoven, and at least half my clothes, hand-sewn. The fiber arts are a fact of life for me and have always been!

And Lola LB and Peggy both ask about the black yarn…


It’s superwash merino/tencel, a 50/50 blend in commercially-processed combed top. This black piece was a small, leftover bit that I dyed black to see how the fiber took to being dyed black — that’s a telling thing, you see. And then I spun it into some semblance of weaving yarn, though I haven’t decided yet if I’m happy with the twist in it for that purpose. I’ve got a few of the superwash/tencel left for sale in my eBay store, and will likely reorder and do more. It’s a neat fiber.

There are also questions in here about how to spin fine; and that, well, that we will have to leave for its own lengthy entry.

Charlene asks:

As you continue to write about plying – please let us know if you use the same size whorl to ply as spin. Seems if you want more plying twist a smaller whorl would make the whole process more efficient.

Okay, I’m going to fess up here. I pretty much do everything at the highest possible flyer speed I can get, and almost always crave more speed. My use of ratios is primarily to trick myself into spinning extremely low-twist yarn. I almost never spin using ratios lower than about 12:1; and plying, well, plying is one of the main reasons I bought an Ertoel Roberta electric spinner. The faster the better! And when my mother lets me run off with the old great wheel, I expect to be plying on that a lot, like I did as a child — at what I’d guess is probably almost a 200:1 ratio. Remind me to dig up the funny plying video one of these days…

But that said, what I generally recommend is that people go up one speed to ply from where they were when they spun the singles. View your ratios like shifting gears on a bicycle or in a car; make your machine (the spinning wheel) do your work for you!

Oh, talking about Cardzilla’s woes, Ellen busted me:

Okay, let me get this straight….once Chad determines what exactly Cardzilla needs and what is best for it you are going to take it in and then floor the people behind the counter by knowing -exactly- what you want?

That’s exactly right; I’ll just stroll in there like I know what I’m talking about and spew some bit of jargon that makes me sound way cool and knowledgeable… and then, of course, they’ll ask me a question for which I do not have an answer, and I’ll be saying “It’s for a drum carder. It makes these tooth-covered drums go around in the opposite direction, and you put wool in there and it makes it nice for spinning into yarn. Anyway, it’s slipping in forward and not in reverse, as soon as it gets any load on it.”

And Jen asked:

I love the Purple Mohair/Silk Triangle! I tried to look back and find a pattern name, but didn’t find anything. Is that an Abby creation or do you have a pattern name for it?

Thank you for the sock yarn teaser! The “fun stages like this” picture was gratifying … that seems to be the stage I’m always in!

This in an old (and maybe odd question). What do you wash your fiber with? The batts I ordered smelled awesome!

The Purple Mohair/Silk Triangle is a pattern I made up on the fly; you think I should chart it? Hrmmmm. It needs an actual name if I’m gonna do that, doesn’t it? As for the smell… I wash in Eucalan, Meadows Wool Wash, and Dawn dish detergent, depending. And sometimes if it’s for personal use, not for sale — because I don’t add scents to stuff for sale — I wash with my own fancy mild soaps, my absolute favourites of which are Laticia Mullins’ soaps. But she doesn’t have a web site where she sells ‘em; I traded her soap for fiber a while ago and I’m addicted to her stuff! Seriously addicted! Laticia, tell the nice people where to get your soap, would you? But save some for me.

Lisa in NC asks:

Question about the weaving…I’m currently reading a great book about Bolivian Highland Weaving in hopes of learning Pebble Weave. I’ve noticed a lot of Central Asian Yurt bands appear to be pebbleweave as well. Would you know if the two are the same technique? I put a pic of one up on my blog at www.alyclepal.blogspot.com. Would this be one of the techniques you learned living abroad? Thanks, Lisa

The entry you’re talking about looks like this one: http://alyclepal.blogspot.com/2007/05/this-is-inspiring-me.html, right?

Pebble weave essentially is a term which is used to describe fabrics where the large single-colour fields in a pattern are actually made up of a 2-colour field where one colour is dominant and the other colour is like dots in the background, and structurally, it allows for the appearance of a single-colour field without having long floats of yarn. At least, that’s the fundamental definition, as near as I can distill it down to a paragraph.

There are, though, lots of ways one can achieve this! I would definitely classify the textile in your photo as being a pebble weave; and it definitely could be done using Andean techniques. However, the Andean pebble weave is not, to my knowledge, related to other regions’ techniques for doing so, in a direct way — they evolved separately.

Bolivian highland pebbleweaves are Andean in nature, and do use the same techniques, with relatively minor differences; typically you’ve got a 2-shed pattern section with contrasting colours on each shed, and 2 heddles (one full string-tied one called an illawa in Quechua, and one that’s a loop around the other shed, called a sonq’opa in Quechua). The pattern is achieved by doing pickup swapping warp threads from each shed with the corresponding threads from the other shed; this is called a complementary warp-faced weave structure, and one of its hallmarks is that it’s the same, but with the colours reversed, on the opposite side.

In your example, the presence of certain picks (passes of the weft) that appear to be plain-weave where all the facing threads for each shed are of one colour suggests to me that your band would be warped in a similar manner to the Andean way I know, but I’ve no basis from which to guess what the typical heddle setup would be in the central Asian example.

This is a great question though, and one that I’m now planning on getting into in more detail in its own post.

Back to plying… meowgirl asks:

i was wondering if you use similar amounts of tension for the different plying positions, especially between the moving-forward/backward-to-feed vs. tension-fed types.

Wow, this is a tougher question to answer than it seems like! I started thinking about it, and it got to being one of those things like if someone asks you to describe in detail how to eat with a fork. The more you think about it, the more you aren’t sure. Why? Because the tension changes all the time! What I’m doing is mediating it as it changes, to make sure that the yarn getting plied has both strands under the same tension as each other as twist is getting into them. That’s the key.

I like to have the singles coming off whatever they’re on smooth and easy. I don’t want to have to pull them off the bobbin or out of a ball. I want them to just flow. And I want to have the takeup on my wheel set so that it’s winding on to the same degree of tightness on the bobbin, throughout. This can (and usually does) mean some tweaking to singles source and wheel takeup as the plying progresses. As to the spindle question, I’ll talk about that more in the spindle plying segment. Promise.

A bunch of folks asked questions about finishing. I cannot recommend highly enough that people take a look at Judith McKenzie-McCuin’s article on wet finishing in the current issue of Spin-Off, due on newsstands tomorrow (but you might already have it if you subscribe). I promise I’ll talk more about it with some of the upcoming yarns, but her article is incredibly good and if you’ve got questions about washing and finishing, you’ll likely find her article alone worth the purchase price of the magazine.

But one to answer quickly before I must move on and leave the remaining questions for another question roundup…

The hot, cold, hot, cold … that’s only on a superwash or non-felting yarn?

Categorically not! The yarn I used it on, a low-medium twist merino/silk, here:

felted — actually fulled, which is a milder form of felting — during this process, and that’s part of what causes the changes in its character, changes for the better, I think we would all say (definitely we would if we could all have handled it before and after!) The reason I re-skeined this while it was damp was because it was indeed sticking to itself and trying to be a felted mass, and I wanted it to dry while every strand in the skein could float freely. You know, into the minor mess when the wind took it.

Let’s look at the before and after wpi photos close together, for that one — you can see the changes in yarn character due to fulling that occurred in the hot-cold abusive wash:

To me the difference is obvious — but perhaps it’s also really subtle.

Another benefit is that the yarn isn’t going to go through that change, now, while in a finished object. It’s finished; and when it’s worked up, the shifts and minor changes won’t occur again throughout the life of the object, or whenever it’s washed. And if I make a garment from it, I can count on being able to handwash it in super-hot water! I know the finished object won’t be ruined or forever changed by routine washing once it’s done, because I finished the yarn the way I did.

Whew, that’s about all the question round-up I’ve got time for today! Check back soon for more. Oh! And yes, subsequent plying articles will cover chained singles (aka navajo plying) and the use of spindles, and lots more!

ETA: Omigod! June just pointed out how far ahead of myself I’m getting: apparently, I thought today was Tuesday already. It must be a heckuva Monday! Oh, and for anybody interested in such things, I’m clearance-ing a pile of discontinued stuff, one-off stuff, samples, and so forth, while supplies last, here:

http://www.abbysyarns.com/wordpress/?page_id=95

Orange Sherbet

Just in case people were getting to think that all I ever do is spin super-twisty yarn, and always ridiculously fine, I thought I’d better thicken things up a tiny bit, and go low-to-medium twist for variety’s sake.

Just off the plying bobbin we have…

Orange Sherbet.

This was on the small side for my 2 ounce lots of 50/50 merino/tussah a few weeks back, weighing in at 52 grams. There was, of course, no recourse but for me to spin it myself. It’s… well, it’s somewhere in this pile here, I think middle bottom:

To make a long story short, I snagged it to spin, broke it in half at the midpoint, and spun up two bobbins which I then plied together in turn. Most of the spinning and plying was done while talking on the phone, drinking beer, and having one cat after another jump in my lap.

Now, bear in mind those photos above are before finishing. I thought this would be a great opportunity to take a few finishing photos and talk about what changes when you wash your yarn and finish it. For instance, it measured 15 wraps per inch with the half-assed quick and dirty method shown here (this involves sticking a ruler in a skein).

But that was before the rigorous hot-then-cold-then-hot-then-cold, all-soapy wash. With agitation.

I picked this up and wrung it; I slapped it against the sink; I shocked it with hot and cold water, oh yes I did. And then when all was said and done, it was really, really sticking to itself, so I reskeined it while damp, and this is how that turned out.

Yes, in all its damp, fulled glory, ready to hang outside on the deck to dry in the breeze. Mind you, the breeze picked up and turned into a full-blown wind (groan, did I really just say full-blown?) and, well, the spots where I’d tied it loosely were kinda close together, and when the wind blew it off the deck railing and out into the yard…

…I had to stop reading the morning paper and retrieve it and deal with the tangle. Will you just look at that smarmy model in the background there, as if she’s stealing that bit of headline asking me what I think I’m going to do now? I mean, it’s like she thinks I’m some sort of chump who can’t handle elementary yarn management. Puh-leeez!

First of all, I gave it a good shake, found the secured part, and spread things out on the counter to look at the situation. With the ties intact, rationally and all, you know that there’s no actual knots. There is no tangling here beyond what wind can cause, and with at least part of the skein secure, the truth is that’s not going to be too bad. As long as you know what you’re doing.

It’s really not as bad as it looks. I just have to open up these tangles a little bit. It’s almost like brushing your hair on a macro level (let’s not talk about the flash going off for that shot, either).

See? Just gently move your fingers through feeling for snags and snarls, smoothing as you go.

Pick them up gently and work them open.

The yarn doesn’t really want to be tangled. If you give it a chance, it’ll work with you to come undone.

See? The knots just shake right out. THat’s how they went in, to tell the truth — it was just a little wind turbulence, no big deal.

No fancy tricks. Just patience and a bit of gentle handling.

Well will you look at that? Before, it was 15 wpi; and now it’s 12. And look how puffy it is, and how the plies are so integrated — that’s what the abusive fulling wash gets you!

I’m pretty pleased with this one overall. 52 grams, was it? 265 yards, 12 wpi, very airy, very soft, and it just glows. It’s begging to be a scarf (because, clearly, I need so many of those).

A couple of things to point out here, though, I guess. First, did you notice how the skein curled up on itself and twisted just a tiny bit when it was fresh off the bobbin, but after finishing, it doesn’t do that at all? And can you see how much better integrated the two plies are with each other now too? And then there’s the matter of those 3 wraps per inch…

You can be pretty confident the yarn is going to stay like this for its entire life. There will be no surprises for you in your finished object. And besides… it just looks so much prettier after finishing!

Oh, you know, I actually did spin a big chunky yarn, using up some odds and ends left over from various things. It’s mostly wool/nylon/alpaca (all the purple), but the third bobbin was going to run short because I didn’t bother to measure, so then I threw some white domestic wool in the mix to even things out. I hate it. I think maybe i’ll overdye it. And then still never use it because it’s honkin’ huge. 205 yards, 96 grams. Really soft, really fuzzy. I just hate it.

This one is a real sow’s ear, but I like the colours. It was the three test bits for Jenny’s custom blend. Now it’s this yarn, which also has weirdnesses in the plying because I was doing something else while I wound a giant pirn with 3 strands of it. I realize I’m the only one who will likely be able to spot the weirdnesses once it’s done drying after its abusive wash.

There’s a chance I might like this when all is said and done, but I really won’t know till it’s dry.

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