Thursday, January 31, 2008

lost in the redwoods

There once was a girl from New Hampshire
Who was blog-free until the picture
Was perfect and taken
'Cause she was done makin'
900 yards of yarny pleasure!

redwood pile

(Yes, I know that was painfully bad. But after almost a month, I figured I owed you guys poetry. My sincerest apologies that that was all I could muster on short notice. Here, look at more of the pretty!)

Redwood Closeup

I finally, finally finished. It's my marathon spinning project, and the plying and setting weren't over until this week. 925 yards of Spunky Eclectic BFL in the Redwood colorway. That's 91 grams of 30 wraps per inch Navajo plied laceweight yarn. It started out as 4 oz. Where did the rest go, you ask? Well, a gram or two is reserved for sampling for my next BFL project, and the rest was lost in a tragic accident that involved trying to fix what wasn't broken, a bendy drinking straw, and an embarrassing tempter tantrum. It is now worm food, and we shall speak of it no more, because it looks like I have enough for Seraphim.

(By the way, I'm assuming that anybody who reads this blog is on Ravelry by now, since the entire yarny world is, and I can't imagine that anybody would have heard of my blog and not Ravelry. So I'm linking there. The waiting list is down to about a week, so if you're not there, sign up now!)

Here's another closeup.

Redwood Detail

The yarn looks a lot more perfect in photos than it really is. Most of the imperfections happened during plying. I mostly attribute that to my grand klutziness, and am ever so grateful that there isn't any footage of me plying anything. There are plenty of knots, from where things got tangled because the twist in the singles was largely dormant, and the plying twist was fresh, and things got a little wild and crazy. But I guess it's not too terrible, since I didn't make a great effort to hide imperfections in the photos, yet they don't dominate. Spit splicing will be my friend once I start knitting.

The yarn was spun on my 13 g. Bosworth featherweight drop spindle, and plied on my 1 oz. Ashford drop spindle. (I can't be the only one constantly amused by how fluidly knitters and spinners, or at least those of us who are American, switch between metric and imperial measures. I never was much good at foreign languages, no matter how much I tried, so I feel proud that I can be at least partially bi-unit-lingual. Multi-measual? Let's just say, I use both sides of the ruler. Who ever knew math could be so sexy...)

I really enjoyed spinning this yarn, but there was a fair amount of frustration, too. I'm frustrated that it's split up into 6 skeins, because of the limitations on what I can comfortably fit onto a spindle when spinning this thinly. I'm frustrated that I have only 2 arms, and only slightly ashamed to say that there were moments when lips, teeth, and feet were used to try to keep things under control. Particularly while plying. Arms, wrists, and shoulders, too. And maybe some tongue. For these reasons, and plenty more, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a wheel. It was sort of a self-birthday gift, though it hasn't arrived yet. (Word is that it arrives at the shop tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it finally gets to me next week!) I'm so thrilled that I'll soon have a tool that will let me really expand my horizons, and I want to thank everyone who has bought a hat pattern from me, because there's no way I would have been able to afford it without emptying my Paypal account to cover part of the cost. I have a whole slew of spinning projects I'm really excited about, playing a lot with combining color in interesting ways, and I can't wait to dive in and share them with you.

On a completely different note, I've had enough 1x1 twisted rib for a lifetime. The slowest socks I've ever knit, but once I got into the rhythm I had a blast knitting them. They were certainly worth the effort:

LisaPomatomi done!

They are of course Cookie A's lovely design Pomatomus, knit in Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn, in a colorway that has November in the name. This is my second pair of Smooshy socks, and I just adore the yarn. The colors, stitch definition, and elasticity are just about perfection. My biggest complaint is that, when wet, this is some of the smelliest yarn I've yet encountered. Not really a complaint as much as an amusing observation. But seriously, hold your nose. I don't ever want to visit that Smooshy sheep farm in the rain!

Coming up in February: fewer embarrassing limericks, the return of an old and loved project, a super duper mega exciting sock pattern, something lacy, and lots of spinning. I'm off to watch the debates and do some colorwork. mmm...

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Blogger Wool Enough said...

Your yarn is gorgeous. Congratulations! I am particularly envious that you were able to achieve this result with BFL. My track record spindling BFL is, well, not so good.

1/31/2008 8:26 PM  
Blogger Saffron said...

Your yarn is beautiful. and I love that it is spindle spun. Very inspiring! Thanks for showing me the possibilities!!

1/31/2008 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the wheel! Beautiful yarn, and beautiful socks :) Glad to see you've got such a big project done and under your belt, and I can't wait to see what you make out of it.

1/31/2008 9:27 PM  
Blogger whitney said...

Wow, what gorgeous yarn! I'm just getting into spinning (reading "Spinning in the Old Way" before I even acquire a spindle), and it is really inspiring to me to see that such beautiful yarn can be spun using drop-spindles. How exciting, though, that you'll be getting a wheel!

The socks are really lovely, too...I've not seen that pattern knit up in brown before, it looks great.

1/31/2008 9:46 PM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

Congratulations. That yarn is simply breathtaking. It's a masterwork and I'm very happy for you that you are getting a wheel.

The socks are gorgeous too. Pomatomus has been on my ToDo list for far to long....

1/31/2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

oooh, is it the Autumn Color Cardigan?

1/31/2008 11:01 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Lovely socks and gorgeous lace weight. Well done!

2/01/2008 12:36 AM  
Blogger Happily Knit said...

Your limerick made me smile :) As for your yarn, it's GORGEOUS! You certainly can't go wrong with those socks either, beautiful work!

2/01/2008 12:48 AM  
Blogger wiscjennyann said...

Such hard work! Such beautiful results! Go you!

2/01/2008 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Color me impressed! I have enough trouble keeping everything under control when attempting Navajo-plying on a wheel, I could never do that with a spindle! It's a shame there's no footage of you plying, that'd be really interesting to see. :P

And the yarn gorgeous! I can't wait to see how it knits up.

2/01/2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger Mari said...

Your yarn is gorgeous and looks very even in the pictures! I think using it for the seraphim shawl will be just lovely.

Congrats on taking the plunge and buying a wheel. I bought my first one 7 years ago and now have three that I love!

2/01/2008 8:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

Your yarn is beautiful! I'm so impressed that you did that on a spindle. My attempts at drop spindling have been... unfruitful.

2/01/2008 1:16 PM  
Blogger Hoc Age said...

Beautiful!!! Both yarn and socks.

2/01/2008 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. You spindle-spun enough yarn--enough *laceweight* yarn--for a whole shawl? And you did it with just 4 oz of fiber? And you lived to tell the tale?

I am seriously impressed. Imagine what you will be able to do when your wheel comes! :-)

2/01/2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your yarn looks delicious, like scoops of raspberry sherbet. I can't wait to see what you make with it. The socks are gorgeous too!!

2/01/2008 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your yarn is gorgeous!! It will be beautiful all knitted up into that shawl.

Your socks are great too. I have thought about knitting some pomatomus myself but the tediousness scares me.

2/04/2008 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow ! what a beautiful lace ! congrats...

2/14/2008 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to say : I love the red/pink yarn... wonderful !

2/14/2008 7:45 AM  
Blogger MRS MJW said...

beautiful yarn...that's it. I'm adding you to my list of blog reads. i wanna come back. smile.

3/24/2008 12:13 PM  

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