Monday, March 14, 2005

I had another productive fibery weekend. I was eager to spin some of the bluey-greeney top I got last week, but I made myself finish the first sleeve of Dad’s sweater first. Actually, I don’t have to make myself work on it, I really like it.

I finished this on Saturday morning. Turns out I misread my own directions, and there are really only 7.5 cable repeats up the sleeve, not 9, so I didn’t have as far to go as I thought I did. Not sure why I though there were nine- I quite clearly wrote 7.5 when I was doing the calculations. It came out the dimensions I was aiming for, the revised and hopefully accurate size this time. It fits on my husband’s arm fine, so I have high hopes.

After I finished the sleeve, I wanted to spin, but before I started I made a lapcloth. I put a piece of white duck cloth and a piece of dark green together, rounded the corners, and sewed bias tape around the edge. Simple and non-bulky. I did light and dark sides so I can use the white side when I spin dark or colored fibers, and the green side when I spin light fibers. I’ve wanted to make one of these since I started spinning, but obviously I’m a procrastinator.

Anyway, after I finished sewing, I started spinning. This stuff is dreamy. It flows through my fingers and basically spins itself. I love the way the colors play off and blend with each other, though the turquoise comes through more strongly than I thought it would. I spun two bobbins full on Saturday, staying up much too late. I’m spinning medium fine, and the three-ply comes out about sport-weight, maybe a little thinner. It’s 16 wraps per inch after washing. The singles (33 wraps per inch) look so cool, all stripey and swirly.

The lapcloth really makes a big difference in comfort of spinning. I don’t have to move my head around to try and get the wool against an appropriately colored background so I can see what I’m doing.

Yesterday I spun up another full bobbin, rewound all three, and started plying. I did one full bobbin of three-ply, but then Emma woke up and wanted to play, so that was it for spinning. The finished yarn is lovely. I spun it fairly firmly, smoothing in the twist with a worsted short-draw since I want a durable yarn that won’t pill and will show crisp cables. Even with the firm twist, it’s still soft and feels good.

This skein is 235 yds. and 3.7 oz. I still have enough singles to do at least another full bobbin of three-ply. I love the way the colors look in the plied yarn. It reads as solid dark turquoisey-lavender from a distance, but up close you see all the sparks of purple and blue and green.

I’m quite pleased with my spinning on this project. The top is so well prepared that my singles are very consistent. I’m pre-drafting it first to loosen it up, and then just spinning. There’s no vegetation in it, and no neps, and I can spin without breaking the rhythm at all. The Colonial wool isn’t as soft or crimpy as Merino or Rambouillet, but it is a good sweater-type wool, if it’s not a next-to-the-skin type sweater. The whole time I was spinning, I was daydreaming about what I’ll knit this into for Emma. What cables should I use, cardigan or pullover, ribbing or straight hem, lacy eyelets or not- all the fun choices that go into sweater design.

As you can see from that last picture, spring is in full swing here. Around town I’ve seen daffodils, crabapples, cherries, hyacinths, late crocus, early tulips, camellias, rosemary, heather, and pansies blooming. In the yard, only the daffodils are blooming so far, but the tulip and allium leaves are getting big, and I noticed lily stems about 5 inches out of the ground yesterday. Emma and I went to the garden center and got some pansies and lemon thyme to put in the planter on our front porch. She picked them out- it seems she likes purple pansies better than yellow!

Speaking of Emma, we had another milestone yesterday, one I would rather have waited on. She climbed out of her big crib by herself. Oy. I knew it was coming, but I really wish she would have waited. She’s such a little monkey. I was spinning and all of a sudden I heard a small thump. It was small enough that I thought she might have just thrown one of her stuffed animals out of the crib, but I went and checked anyway. She was sitting in the middle of her room looking at a book, and when I opened the door she looked up and said “Hi!”

I put her back in the crib and left the room, but kept the door cracked open so I could see how she climbed out (to make sure she wasn’t going over head first or anything). It was amazing. She grabbed the side rail of the crib (which is at chin-level) with both hands, put her left foot on top of the rail and hooked her ankle over, then just heaved herself out. She hung on with both hands until she was fully over, then let go and dropped to the floor. It’s incredible that a little girl only 18 months old can do all this reasoning, problem solving, and gymnastics. She only started walking full-time seven months ago!


Suz said...

The fibres are beautiful! You spinners amaze me! :) I love the daffodils, they are my favorite flowers :)

Liz said...

The yarn that you are spinning is absolutely beautiful! And don't get me started on how jealous I am to see pictures of spring! grrrrr....

Amie said...

Beautiful knitting, beautiful spinning, beautiful spring!

Now go hold that baby down! :D

CrazyFiberLady said...

First the yarn is absolutely beautiful. Your spinning is amazingly consistent and it will make a gorgeous sweater for Emma.

Emma, oy. The climbing out of the crib milestone is one I'm not ready for either. They grow up far faster than I'd ever expected. It is amazing to think that little tiny head can come up with the solutions to the problems before them. Nice that she isn't using the dreaded head first approach my sister preferred.

Melinda said...

Your yarn is amazing and I love the sweater that you're knitting. I'll definitely stay tuned to see how it comes out.