Too hard and too easy
One of the things I love about spinning is how relaxing it is. There's something about having fiber sliding through the fingers that I find almost meditative. Occasionally, though, I come across a fiber that just does not want to play nicely.The colors in this merino are so deep and rich that I was really excited to start spinning it. Unfortunately, the fiber ended up being slightly felted and full of neps. Full. Of. Neps. I spent an eternity picking them out.Fiber: Enchanted Knoll 100% merino, "Tia Dalma"2 ply430 yards110 gramsDespite all the travails of spinning, the yarn did really did turn out well, so I shouldn't complain too much. My other Enchanted Knoll fibers don't seem to be suffering from the same neppy affliction, so I think this bit of merino is just a fluke. All's well that ends well, I suppose.After such a labor intensive spin, though, I wanted something guaranteed to be easy. Enter the pencil roving.Fiber: Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale pencil roving, "Finding Rainbows"2 ply 420 yards110 gramsI had never spun pencil roving before, and good grief, it was like spinning on autopilot. Spinning pencil roving is the equivalent of knitting a garter stitch scarf. In the right mood, it can be just what's needed to maintain sanity. In the wrong mood, the monotony can drive one batty. Fortunately, monotony was just what I needed at the time.
First handspun knitting project
Look! It has only been eight months since I started spinning, and I already have a finished object to show.Yarn: my own handspun (from Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino, "Under the Boardwalk" colorway)Pattern: 6x2 ribbingNeedles: 2.25 mm DPNsInitially I was concerned that I might not be able to eke out a respectable pair of socks with my 350 yard skein, but halfway through the first sock, my worries disappeared. My trusty scale told me I had nothing to worry about. In fact, I could have made the legs longer, because I have about 20 grams of yarn left over. (Please don't advise me about the virtues of knitting socks toe up. I'm aware of the pros and cons, and I still generally prefer top down construction.) I'm actually happy to have a bit of the yarn left. It certainly won't go to waste.What can I say? I adore these socks! (However, I don't adore them enough to model them in today's 100°F heat.) The subtle colors and the random blending of stripes thrill me to my toes...literally. This is why I started spinning.
The perils of spinning to order
Just when I think I'm getting the hang of this spinning thing, the spinning gods manage to give me a light smack across the cheek to remind me that I still have a long way to go.A while back I exchanged a few emails with Oiyi about doing some spinning for her. She had some merino that she had bought with the intention of learning how to spin, but she had never been able to find the time to do it. Nevertheless, she did want to see the wool spun up. We arranged a trade, and shortly afterward, I received these in the mail.We discussed the possibilities for spinning these up. It was clear that the two blue ones could be spun together to make a 4 oz. skein, but it seemed best to spin the pink one on its own. Oiyi said she would like the yarns to be in the sport-DK range. No problem, said I. (You can probably see where this is going.)Fiber: Skeintily Clad 100% merino, "Peacocks on Broadway" and "Aegean Fantasy" (plied together) 2 ply250 yards116 gramsFiber: Skeintily Clad 100% merino, "Sonoran Sunset"3 ply (Navajo/chain plied)116 yards65 gramsIf you look at the specs, you'll see that both of these yarns ended up closer to worsted weight than sport or DK. Oops. In my attempt to spin thicker than I normally do, I definitely overcompensated. While they're both nice yarns, I can't help being just a little disappointed.Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to my fingering weight spinning comfort zone for a while.
A winner at last
Thanks for being so understanding about the delay, everyone! And good grief, y'all are jonesing for the handspun, aren't you? I really love the way contests bring people out of the woodwork.
Without further ado, the winner—as chosen by the random number generator—is...peaknits! Winner's choice:
Many thanks to all who commented! Now I just need to decide what to do with that other skein...
Sorry, folks. I'm going to have to postpone the drawing for the handspun yarn for a few days. One of our computers has died, and the Professor still needs to finish writing his final exam. We're also in the midst of some turmoil related to house-hunting. Please bear with me.