06 February 2009

Size matters, redux

I have been spinning for nearly 2 years now, but sometimes I suspect that I have no idea what I'm doing.

Example: I see on Ravelry a gorgeous specimen of a Morning Surf Scarf, out of the Spunky fiber club's August 08 installment, Thermograph. So I decide I want to spin fat singles and make one just like it.
So I spin these.

I've said it before: my idea of "fat" in spinning seems to be like an teenage girl's idea of "fat" in body weight.

Then, I cast on. Those singles seem awfully thin, so I cast on a lot of stitches. As a result, rather than a slender scarf, I get this.

Still, it's knitting up pretty nicely. But then I panic, because I've finished the first 2 oz of my 4-oz hank of fiber, and the scarf clearly isn't going to be long enough. So I quickly engineer a trade on Ravelry to get more of the fiber. At the same time, I spin the other 2 oz.

Clearly my concern about running out of fiber affected my spinning. Because while the first 2 oz yielded about 250 yards, the second 2 oz yielded about 500 yards. Even I can't call them "fat singles" any more.

And the scarf keeps groooowwwinggg.

Then, a little late in the game, I decide to test-block a swatch. Which grows from a little over 3 inches in length to 4.5 inches in length. Since I now have 5 feet of unblocked scarf, this gives rise to concern about the length of the finished product. I'm putting off the final blocking, in fact, because I'm scared.

Meanwhile, I have another 4 oz of Thermograph sitting there minding its own business. I decide to change gears and spin up a chunky yarn for this cowl. I decide to chain-ply it to preserve the colors. I need about 150 yards, and as I spin I keep thinking, "spin chunky! spin chunky!"

Well, I did.

Here's what I got: under 50 yards of super-bulky 3-ply yarn.

The thing is, I don't even care that I don't have enough for the cowl I wanted to make, because it may be my favorite yarn I've ever spun.

01 February 2009


I had a vow in January not to start anything new until I finished up what was already on my plate.

Here's all I have to show for that.

The great thing about these scarves is that they photograph so well. In person, however, I fear that my elephants look a bit like anteaters. Since the recipient is 3 years old, I am hoping that her critical faculties are not yet finely honed enough to take exception to this zoological abomination. Or, I hope she likes anteaters.

Meanwhile, I chafe at my self-imposed restriction by spending my time, not finishing my four other WIP's, but planning out all the zillion projects I will start when they're done. (Does swatching count as "starting something new"? Does spinning? Of such questions are the Talmudic debates of the fiberholic engendered.)

Here, for instance, is something pretty that arrived in the mail.

(Organic merino, colorway "Twilight" from Spunky Eclectic.)