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Sock Yarn Plying Teaser

Sunday has dawned, hazy and muggy, and with still no rain. It’s getting to be really dry — not Silicon Valley summer dry, but definitely not midwest-normal. We’ve only had one real serious rain in May, which is (I’m told, and have seen bits of) normally a very wet month here. Some of our baby trees are not doing so well; the rosebushes may be dead; the lilacs barely bloomed at all. Hopefully soon rain will come, and make sure there’s a decent growing season to supply things like my mad desire for fresh sweet corn, what fruit didn’t end up with problems because of the early thaw and sudden subsequent freeze, and so forth!

The lack of rain when we want it, clearly, means what we should expect is that we’ll get the World War Two Jeep on the (massive) rented trailer today in preparation for taking it to northern Ohio tomorrow, where it gets to join some other WWII veterans in a parade… and overnight, the skies will crack open, drenching the topless Willys, making the drive a knucklebiter, and — how trite could we be? — raining on the parade.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow, so I’m trying to get as much done today as I can, and that includes having a look-see to tell if I’ve got a decent enough set of photos to show more about plying sock yarn. And it looks like I’m getting closer! Wednesday or thereabouts, we’ll be looking into the step-by-step details showing how this happened:

and it includes the fun stages like this:

and the self-taken one-handed action shots like this:

But, I think there’s going to have to be some video, which in turn will mean different yarn spun and plied; so exactly when it happens, Wednesday or thereabouts, is going to depend on the yarn getting spun, plied, shot in video while being plied, me explaining as I do that, a little editing, and a few more pictures. If I get that all done by late Tuesday, I’ll be surprised.

Thanks, everyone, for your words of moral support and empathy regarding the dentist! The truth is, I’m a dentist-phobe. I have often said I fear dentists more than I fear the zombie apocalypse. After all, everybody knows what to do in the zombie apocalypse — you board up the house, don’t let ’em in, and you have to shoot them in the head and not get bitten. Easy. Dentists? Much, much harder to survive. But in the past year, I’ve made great strides in overcoming my fear of dentists, and I’m terribly proud. I almost feel like a real grownup or something — in time to be of an age when I’d be simply losing all my teeth if I lived without modern dentistry, so it’s not like I can claim any major achievement for it, I suppose!

I’ve got another problem to solve today, it turns out. There’s less than half a repeat worth of yarn left for my travel project, the Elaborated Print o’ the Wave Scarf…

Half a repeat of it is not enough to sustain me for a drive to the other end of the state, and back. So, I’ve got to hurry and come up with another travel project too. Uh-oh. I’m thinking maybe I’ll swatch this by making a scarf:

But then again I could make myself a trangle scarf/shawl thingy from this:

or this:

or I could see if I dare go stupid fine on the travel project — probably not desirable since I’ll be in the truck — and play with this…

or I could be realistic and decide what I’m going to do with Pagoda here…

and you know what the truth of the matter is? You know what’s really going to happen? The same thing that happens every time I face this quandary: I’ll pack the materials for 3 or 4 different projects, and the tools for several others, plus a spindle and several batches of fiber. Because, you know. I could be on the road with nothing to do, and that would be a disaster. So instead of taking 6-12 hours worth of stuff to do, I’ll take a month worth of stuff to do. And then I’ll do 4 hours of stuff all told. Phobic about not having a project, Abby? Guilty as charged. But there is no way I’m alone in that, is there?

I didn’t think so.

16 thoughts on “Sock Yarn Plying Teaser

  1. I am really looking forward to your tutorial/instructional video/materials in the up coming blogs. I always learn so much. Since you are going to be working on sock yarn and due to the fact I haven’t so much a touched the many luxury sock batts I have purchased from you I am really looking forward to it. And no, you are not alone. I don’t take water or food or any life enhancing object or survival packets with me on a trip just in case we ran off the road, had a flat, ran out of gas, or the trumpet sounded and I was left behind, no, oh no, I, like you, take enough projects to last the entire millenial reign. 🙂

  2. No, not alone. I took five balls of yarn on holiday to France ‘just in case’ and knitted a sum total of one inch 😀

  3. Of course you’re not alone. We’re going to Scotland for a week or so. A 12-14 hour drive each way, plus we may not want to tramp across the hills in pouring rain. How much knitting should I take? How many spindles? The wheel? Should I rely on buying something at Woolfest on the way? Decisions, decisions. I’d take it all, but that would leave no room for anything else in the car.

    Thank you for your fascinating tutorials. It’s very reassuring to read of your preference for relatively tightly spun yarn — everyone at the spinning evening seems to produce light, lofty stuff that just didn’t seem sockworthy to me.

  4. No, definitely not alone. Always pack more than I could do in a month for a weekend.

    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.

  5. I carry at least 2 projects back and forth to work, just in case.

    Right now I’m carrying a pair of socks that’s almost done knitted of yarn I dyed using a machine knittined sock blank — this was an experiment and I have a few adjustments to make to the blanks. Another pair of socks — Trekking that I bought at MDS&W and a lace shawl.

    You can imagine what I pack for a trip.

    I’ve been very happy I usually carry that much, plus a book, a couple of times. Once when I was trapped on the Washington Beltway in a freak snowstorm for 11 hours and another time when I was trapped in an elevator for over 2 hours.

  6. Several books! It’s important to have choices in case one isn’t in the mood for one project or the other. 😉

    It will be great to read what you’ve got to say about sock yarn. I had been thinking of spinning some more this weekend, but now I’ll make myself wait a few days.

  7. What is the fiber artists motto… she who dies with the most fiber wins? I have 2 or 3 projects going on right now and will start a new one when I demo at the Texas Folklife festival in 2 weeks, so I know how you feel.

    If I work really hard at it today, I will finish the singles on my second sock batt and can try out my new plying spindle!

  8. Eagerly looking forward to the sock yarn spinning tutorial.

    I’m laughing here – my husband calls me “Black Sheep, Black Sheep” because I always have “3 bags full” of projects whenever we go for a drive longer than half an hour. 🙂

  9. It isn’t just not having enough to do, it is, ‘What if I start something and don’t like it, I need to have a choice!” Glad you are being brave about the dentist. It is necessary. I am not afraid and the dentist is still no fun. I hope it rains soon. We have been in drought conditions for years now, (Australia). The farmers have suffered, and in the cities we are not permitted to use hoses we have to use buckets to water gardens. We are supposed to use water from washing and showers rather than clean water on the gardens and now they have a limit, (quite high) for daily household use and if one exceeds it their will be questions. I hope it rains, I miss all the constant green and the flowers. Safe trip by the way. Looking forward to the plying too, I am very excited.

  10. I can help narrow it down, by screaming “NONONO ‘LAVA’ IS MINE MINE ALL MINE PRECIOUS!!!” if you like.

  11. Please Please Please tell me that you sell the fiber used to spin this stunning yarn:

    If you don’t, I’ll have to reverse engineer it and dye it myself.

    P.S. My sister once brought yarn for several projects with her on a road trip to a wedding, but forgot her clothes and toiletries 🙂

  12. It’s good that you decided against shooting your dentist in the head. It always makes mine terribly crabby when I do it to him.

  13. Nope. I always pack a ton of stuff to take with me when we travel. Who really needs clothes? Yarn, fiber, spindles….that’s what one really needs!!!

  14. I just left for 2 months and packed the car with enough yarn for about 10+ projects, my wheel, and an enormous amount of roving. 2 projects were dedicated to the roadtrip. I have arrived at my destination & have yet to knit a stitch!!

  15. I’m a the beach. For this weekend I packed inkle weaving (I’m trying unsucessfully to figure out Peruvian Pickup), spindle, half pound of wool, 3 skeins of sockyarn, a halffinished glove, silk to spin, a sock I’m knitting, and purchased another skein over on the mainland. I packed lightly all things considered:>.

  16. I think that’s why I hardly knit this weekend – I couldn’t decide on one project! Made for some good spinning time, though!

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