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Archive for May 19th, 2008

On a jag

I can’t be the only one who goes on a jag, either a spinning or a knitting one.

After I made the second mistake reading the ballband swiffer cover pattern, a wicked easy one to read, I realized what I really needed was some spinning. First, I finished spinning some fiber that’s been on the bobbin for at least 18 months. It looked like this for a long time:

Cherry Tree Hill roving

In fact, I think that’s the only photo of it for the 19 months of it’s life. Now, there are two bobbin’s full that are just waiting for me to look at the how-to-Navajo-ply video.

That didn’t satisfy me, so I pulled out a bag of Foxfire Fiber’s cashmere/tussah silk blend in lilac (you have to scroll down to see it, but it is SO worth it) . I think this is what Jess bought for me at Cummington last year, but I was hugely pregnant (37 weeks) and can’t remember if she bought this or my other acquisition from their booth. Either way, it was luxury and I am glad for it.

I admit some trouble drafting the silk. It didn’t talke long for me to realize there was no way I could spin this as smooth and even as commercially spun yarn. For the first time, I decided I didn’t mind that. Some sections, yards and yards of it even, were nearly perfect. Then, I’d get into a funk and couldn’t spin straight to save my life. It didn’t matter, though. This stuff was wonderful to spin– I nearly typed that it was “like silk” to spin, then realized it was.

To keep too-thin spots away I spun it to be about fingering weight (14ish wpi). At some point I realized a few things. One, I wanted this 2oz bump to go as far as possible. Two, I didn’t want to Navajo ply and cut my yardage in third. Finally, I wanted to preserve the color changes as closely as possible. The colors are fantastic, transitioning from a light lilac to a deep one, and a pale silvery shade in between. I wanted that in whatever lacy thing this was meant to be. So, I got brave and decided it would be a single.

This scared me a little:

cashmere/silk single

It was freshly off the swift and oh-so-overspun in too many places. Here’s a closer look:

overspun single

Scary, isn’t it?

Then, it took a nice hot bath. It was still a little over-spun but not too terribly bad. It was (despite my fear) strong enough to take a spin on the ball winder:

cashmere/silk single

I was pleased.

For the first time in my 20 months of (off and on) spinning, I cast on right away. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted luxury now.

I am doing two repeats of the Ostrich Lace pattern. It is in both the Vogue Stitchonairy Vol. 1 (no. one oh eight-to defeat the auto-smiley) and the Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The Walker Treasury Project has a swatch here.

We’ll see how far I get.

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