Saturday, June 07, 2008

let's just ignore that whole May, 2008, thing

Take a lesson from me. The problem with naming your blog too specifically is that, when you expand your horizons, you're left with an immense feeling of guilt. Bowerbird Knits?! While I have actually knit in the past month (or more) since I last blogged, looking at the state of my knitting basket, as well as the state of my last several blog posts, it's obvious that nowadays Bowerbird mostly Spins. (And really, who doesn't like a dizzy birdie?) Between not-quite-existential angst about the divide between my blog name and my bloggable activities, as well as some major non-bloggable life events, I was left wringing my hands instead of using them to punch out new blog posts. But no sappy apologies! That's life, and sometimes life (and angst about really stupid things, like whether I have too much spinning content on a "knitting" blog) gets in the way. The next 6 months or so are going to be pretty unpredictable and crazy. It may mean that I blog (and knit and spin) more than usual, or it may mean that I do those things less frequently. But of all the things to stress out about in life, this really shouldn't be one of them, so I'll just shut up on that topic for now.

I've finished 5 yarns since the last time I blogged, and have a 6th yarn that is setting as I type this. (That one will wait for a future blog post. It may turn out to be a disaster, so this could be fun!) I'm going to go out of chronological order, in an attempt to organize what I'm going to say about my growth as a spinner, and things I've learned/discovered over the past several weeks.

The first two yarns are pretty straightforward creatures. They're both from rovings dyed by Hello Yarn, and are both approximately worsted weight 2 ply yarns.

Turkey Attack!
Warning: Turkey Attack in progress!
Turkey Attack

The base fiber is Shetland, and the resulting yarn is 106 grams, 200 yards, and 13 wpi, for a dk/light worsted weight yarn. More photos here and here.

This yarn was a good lesson in drafting evenly for thicker yarns. I think it's difficult to draft evenly for even, thick yarns, because I think you have to rely more on visual cues than you do with thinner yarns. Well, at least I do. The finer a yarn, the more completely I'm going to be able to feel the entirety of its circumference with just my fingertips. I think those fine yarns are easier to micromanage, while the thicker ones require a more complete sensory evaluation to keep on track. Maybe it would help if I had bigger fingers!

Honeybear Hank

This was a new base fiber for me -- a 70/30 merino/mohair blend. It was a really difficult spinning experience for me, partially because of how sticky mohair is, but also because I was going through some drive band growing pains for at least the first half of the spinning. I may shy away from this blend for a little while, though the resulting yarn is absolutely glorious! The yarn is 114 grams, 204 yards, and 12 wpi, for a worsted weight yarn. It is exactly what I wanted to make, and will become a simple ribbed hat for my brother's 25 birthday. Despite my difficulties with the fiber, I think that my singles, and resulting 2-ply, are slightly better in evenness than the Turkey Attack. I really started to get the feel of the thicker singles into my fingers with this project. More photos can be found here, here, and here.

Hmm, ya know what? I think that's enough for one blog post. I have a lot to say about the other 3 yarns I've made, and don't want things to get obscenely long, so I'll post again in a few days, or maybe a week. Consider this the eye candy half of the spinning update, with some edumacation (as well as eye candy) to come. And if I'm really quick, I may have some socks ready for the next blog post. But maybe not...



Blogger Ashely said...

I've never commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to say your yarns are absolutely wonderful. Ugh! Jealous! It makes me want to go out and spend exorbitant amounts of money (that I don't have) on some hand spun. :)

6/07/2008 8:54 PM  
Blogger Shaina said...

I don't mind one bit the change of pace! Your spinning is unbelievably beautiful and I love seeing it.

P.S. Do you have some Hello Yarn fiber-scoring secret?

6/07/2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Fantastic spun yarn ... its all towards knitting so I wouldn't worry about no actual knitting content!

6/08/2008 5:38 AM  
Blogger Shepherd's Loft said...

I don't care that the name of your blog is "bowerbird knits" and now you are spinning. Your handspuns are delicious! I'm green with envy.Thank you for the tip about how to get the spun yarn to fill the bobbin better.

6/08/2008 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm with everyone else. it's your blog do what you want. plus it seems like everyone is spinning now. your yarns and knits and patterns are all amazing so just keep up with what makes you happy and i'll continue to live vicariously through your beautiful products.

6/08/2008 11:13 AM  
Blogger Stickchicky said...

Your spinning is absolutely gorgeous! When I grow up I wanna spin like that!

6/08/2008 5:28 PM  
Blogger Caylie said...

i love knitting but i have been a spinning addict these past weeks so its good, infact its GREAT to see some spinning , and an update to your blog, i cant wait for the second installment!

6/09/2008 12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is WOW! These are remarkably lovely skeins. And your theory about thicker yarns is very intriguing! I think you may be on to something there.

6/09/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your spinning is the reason I like your blog so much, your knitting is lovely too, but it's your spinning that keeps me coming back.

I knit, but being new to spinning, your blog provides lots of inspiration and motivation. I can't wait to see your other three yarns!

6/11/2008 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind all the spinning content! Once you have all that gorgeous yarn made, though, you're going to have to start knitting some of it. I can't wait to see that show up on your blog!

6/11/2008 6:19 PM  
Blogger Dove Knits said...

Turkey Attack is a great name for a colorway!

6/14/2008 2:16 PM  
Blogger Sasha said...

As always you contineu to inspire and encourage me with your spinning WONDERS Bekk! Such magnificence... *shakes head in wonder* :)

Miss everyone at tea time - stinky work stopping me from attending, but of course work is good

And I have tagged you! You're IT! See my blog for the details - and of course, don't feel obliged to take part - only if you want to :)

7/01/2008 12:45 AM  

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