Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Snare and Delusion

So...instead of packing or making 90 little books of knitted mile photos for all my generous knitters or preparing meals for my children to eat while I am away...I decided I absolutely had to, right at this moment, take photographs of the spinning that I have been working on so I could post them here. I wish I could unscrew my head for the next 24 hours and replace it with someone else's. Maybe Vanna White. She looks so happy and content on those yarn labels.

But anyway, here are the pictures that are replacing wholesome meals for my darlings:

This is hand dyed targhee top. Targhee is a breed that has fleece similar to merino but stronger without losing the amazing softness. It was not dyed by me but by Spinning Bunny. She calls it "Berry Patch" but I have decided to call it Pynn's Brook, which is where we head every late August/early Sept. to pick the blueberries that are made into the jelly that gets us through the winter. I don't think I am giving away a state secret in naming it thus, given the number of cars we see along the road to the berry patch(es). I spun thin singles, as thin as I could, then navajo plied, which makes it a 3-ply yarn. But because the singles were quite thin, the resulting yarn isn't too bulky. I haven't measured it but I am guessing it is a worsted weight. I think I will have about 750yds when I am finished plying the last of it. This is destined for Wee Ball Yarns. It will be the first time that I haven't dyed and spun what I sell, but this is so perfectly Pynn's Brook to me that I think it is ok.

Here is the other colourway I got from Spinning Bunnies. It is actually yellower than this slightly blurry picture suggests. I was trying to spin thick singles but it is over-spun and irregular, which is disappointing. This will become a hat or something. I can't, in good conscience, try to sell it. I had my wheel set on a very slow speed and high take-up but still it is over-spun. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but obviously I need more practice. I am debating whether to go back to thin singles and navajo plying for the rest of it or to keep trying on the thick singles. I guess it doesn't matter at the moment!...I need to pack!


J9 said...

Try the 3.25:1 setting on your Majacraft, a plying bobbin, adjust your drive belt tension, draft more from your hand, and use a leader yarn with the intended gauge. There are attractive uses for energized singles such as socks, or you could 'unspin' it a little to the desired grist, or ply it for a superduper bulky!

J9 said...

I thought of other possibilities for the energized single:

1) Spin more of it energetically but in the opposite direction. Then knit the 2 yarns alternating rows so you have a 'natural' Vandyke herringbone pattern. Knitters will be amaaaaazed because they won't know how you 'bent' them and won't see the decreases in one direction then the other, because there aren't any and the secret is in the spinning. You'll also have a balanced fabric which will feature and showcase the stitch tilt definition of the energetic yarn being a bulky weight and more visible.

2) What about a tube sock? It creates a natural bias in the resulting fabric which might be foot-conforming just as biased-cut dresses are body-conforming. To avoid Second Sock Syndrome, knit one in "S" and the other in "Z."

3) Knit with both opposing yarns double-stranded to make a balanced fabric; the repelling yarns might be fun but maybe too thick and better to do with a thinner yarn.

Re: more financial possibilities. I haven't seen extensive information about using energetic singles except for mentions from the Twisted Sisters. What about an article/book on techniques and creative possibilities?

Re: selling the energetic yarn in good conscious. You'll have all knitters buying yours because we are dying to try your innovative techniques in your above article/book. Furthermore, we have to buy it from you because no one else sells it and then we'll have to buy both kinds to try both directions and the Vandyke herringbone! You'll be rich, rich, rich! I'm sure there are clever marketing names: S-energetic single? Z-energetic single? Energy-S? Energy-Z? Z-ENergetic Love?

Either way, I'm sure we'll be amazed at whatever you do! My violin professors always said that if you make a mistake, look deliberate so we'll all think that it's intentional.