Ugly Yarn

Well, it is. It looks better in the photo than In Real Life; the reddish chair emphasizes the blues. I won’t knit with it – the Freecycler can have it – but I’ve learned a lot during the 2-3 hours made flesh, er, yarn sitting beside me. At this stage, new to wheel-spinning, I much prefer the drop spindle. Even at a slow speed, feeding fibre evenly and regularly (for some values of ‘even’ and ‘regular’) to the wheel occupies so much of my attention that I haven’t time to properly appreciate the fibre itself as it passes through my hands. The merino-silk on the spindle will not be moving to the wheel any time soon; I want to enjoy the nuances of colour and texture as I spin it. I’m sure that will change as experience improves my drafting. I notice that last night the experienced spinners, the 20-year-plus people, were not watching their fibre — their hands dealt with it efficiently while their attention went to conversations and appreciation of other people’s work. As opposed to the other side of the room surreptitously passing a copy of ‘Naughty Needles‘ from hand to hand. I do feel that knitted underwear is a waste of time and luxury yarn for anyone other than beanpole models; don’t the purl lumps leave unsightly blemishes on one’s tender bits? And I don’t need a giant owl-ish condom holder! (What would that say about the owner? the knitter?). Anyway, I have miles of blue and yellowish BFL roving left to teach my hands to feed the wheel. I will try Navajo plying to see whether eliminating the barber-pole effect makes much difference, while concentrating on thoughts of spinning something nicer when I deserve it. Speaking of which, he rang yesterday from the next stage of his voyage. Apparently he felt he needed some exercise in Salt Lake City, so walked to Black Sheep Wool (no website) despite (he said) knowing it was closed that day. He’s taken pictures of the shop window for me. *sigh* In the next city my sister-in-law, hearing that I was learning to spin, insisted he join them at the farmers’ market to visit the stall selling beautiful hand-dyed yarn and roving from local alpacas. He says he didn’t know whether I’d want any, so didn’t buy any. I’m hoping he’s just pulling my leg…

There’s knitting, too, but not enough to be worth documenting with photos just yet. I’m trying to reverse-engineer a garter lace design for a scarf made of my alpaca-silk singles. I knitted enough to realise that it’s a delightfully soft yarn, but is blooming as it is worked, if bloom is the right term for individual alpaca and silk fibres working free of the twist. The halo obscures the flowing stitch pattern I’d earmarked for that rusty-steel grey, and the yarn thickness is a little too uneven for it. So… find a more open lacy stitch for the singles and make a note that plying should reduce the halo. I can see that it’s possible to spend hours? days? working with a single batch of fibre, making it serve different purposes. Socks are proceeding. And I’m thinking about a summer top. It would be easier to make it fit if I could see it on me as an observer, walk around it and note details. Hence the cunning plan for tomorrow. There may be pictures.

Have another weird thing.
We’ve woken to extremely cold, extremely dense fog every morning so far this week. After scraping ice off the windscreen I drive to the gym through a dusky, cold, blue, very personal world, a travelling sphere of perception. I like this reminder that each of us lives in a world defined by our individual perception, by what we believe we see, feel, taste and hear. I enjoy considering the possibility that as I drive into the fog I encounter only what I expect to encounter, that my mind is pulling the road, the hedges and everything else into being to meet my expectations. I particularly like the conceit that if my will and mind were strong enough, I could drive into the fog and be… somewhere else. Would it be possible if I didn’t know it were impossible?

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About sarahw

A zoologist who draws, a spinner who weaves, a person who thinks.
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6 Responses to Ugly Yarn

  1. Alice says:

    The Cunning Plan seems quite…cunning. I know Wendy at Knit and Tonic made one of these wotsits ages back, and seemed to get some use from it.It has been so foggy here that, a couple of days ago, I took the turn towards London on our LOCAL bit of the A41, instead of taking the correct one home (in the opposite direction entirely). Ended up near Chesham in bright, glaring, beautiful sunshine.I can’t say anything else, as your last sentence has tied my brain in knots and will amuse me for a while yet. Cool.

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  2. sarah says:

    Are you SURE you took the wrong turn? Maybe you ended up where you wanted to be 🙂

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  3. Joanne says:

    I do think we make our own realities and constructs, to some degree. I want to believe that, actually. I am dissuaded from embracing it entirely by occasional experiences that prove otherwise. For instance, when something horrible happens out of the blue, or when someone treats you very badly for no reason you can figure out…that can really intrude and disarray my bubble, in which things are ordered in my universe. It’s something I think about a lot.I’m interested in the duct tape dummy–is it flexible? My body shape changes too much to have a dummy that looks exactly the same. Or maybe it’s me that has the problem?? :)I think the handspun is OK. You seem very worried about consistency and color! I am one of those spinners who doesn’t look while spinning. I watch TV, listen to audio books, etc. It’s just yarn! There’s so much more of it out there to spin and knit with… just my two cents. 🙂

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  4. HPNY Knits says:

    the blue yarn looks lovely to me. as you get used to your wheel you will enjoy it more.this fog reminds me of the show the Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan, No. 6. he was always running into the fog, only to be swallowed by the giant balloon and find himself back “home”

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  5. Your handspun looks good – a lot better than my first attempts! I’ve been wheel spinning for a couple of years or so now, but at first it was a very sharp learning curve. Excuse the cliche’ but it’s a bit like learning to ride a bike; all wobbles and then all of a sudden you’re away! Relax and have fun! Love the fog picture by the way.

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  6. Mrs J says:

    But you did it! What a wonderful craft to learn. How much of what we encounter in life is what we expect to encounter? School is out for two weeks so my brain is just about capable of contemplating the thoughts that you put forward.

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