Monday, September 1, 2008

Spinning, Spinning, Spun

There's much to catch up on, as I've been rather neglectful to this poor blog once again, but much goes on in life, and sometimes such a small job as updating this page takes on gigantic proportions and I just can't seem to face it on the day. But today is special, and I'm quite pleased with myself, so I was actually looking forward to making a post today, although I will still be taking pictures as I write. That's how unprepared I am!

Worklife has settled back to normal, more or less. I had alot of holiday time off scheduled for this winter, a day here and two days there, so I've hardly worked a full fortnight in the past couple of months. But the party is over, and work is back on the agenda full time agian. I've been taking both the second sleeve for the "Peace in the Hood" cardi and the first sock in the "Thank God it's not Black" sock set, but I have hardly picked up the cardi at all outside of the house. About a forth of the second sleeve is done.

The sock has seen the majority of knitting done "on the fly", and I managed last night to finish it, or at least the knitting part. I need to cast it off (using Zimmerman's sewn bind off) today, and cast the other one on at some point, but probably not today.

I've been commissioned by mom to make a quick hat for her stepdaughter's son, who is in LeBonner Childrens hospital in Memphis and has to wear a hat at all times. He's a pretty sick little fellow, and recently had fluid drawn off of his brain. I'm searching for a pattern now, and plan to cast on this afternoon. I have a meeting tonight, so I know I'll have time to work on it there. Work is not so good for knitting these days, at least not on the floor I'm working on tonight, but maybe I'll get a few stitches in, in between those infernal call bells.

I also did some reorginizing, using those vacuum sucky storage bags I bought. I got two of the large ones filled, and the air sucked out of them, and stored them under the bed.

I also filled the two travel sizes, squished the air out, and stored those in the chest, to make more room in there. Everytime I go through my "stash" I'm a bit amazed by the sheer size of it all. I did this over my two days off, last Tuesday and Wednesday, but there's still a couple of bags of yarn sitting in the guest room waiting for me to find it a home.

Also on my two days off, I pulled out the koolaid, and pinched off about 1/2 yard of my corridale rovings and tried some experimental dyeing. I really wanted to get a nice soft brown color, but I cant say I had much success. Everything looks a bit too orangy. But I got frustrated with measuring everything perfectly so that I could repeat it later if needed. So I put the project away for another day (or not..I might just go for a natural dye for my browns).

Last weekend, my hubby wanted to take the boat out on the river, as the water is the highest it's been all year and this was the first time in a long time we could safely get the boat out of the marina, as the channel leading out is getting low. So Saturday morning, shortly after I got home from work, we took the boat out. The water, as I mentioned, was higher than it has been in a year. This is the time of the year, at the end of winter, when it's expected to be at it's highest. It isn't likely to get any better, barring some flooding of biblical perportions, and in fact will likely do nothing but drop over the hot dry summer. What's sad is, the water was still well below it's AVERAGE level. Here's a picture I took of someones boat jetty:

The average depth of the river should have the water up to about midway along those tires. It's nowhere close, and this, at it's highest point in a year, with nowhere, realistically, to go but down. It makes me want to cry. We have a natural disater going on here, and noone seems to notice much, much less care. The environmental do-gooders are off saving whales so they can get on TV I reckon. Bahhhh!

I've gotten alot of spinning done over the past couple of weeks. I spun up the light blue and the pink wool, although I had to sort of prepare it for spinning, as it was dyed, but not in nice pretty rovings like I'm used to.

Then I actually got the blue silk and the blue wool out yesterday and made my second ever attempt at plying, which seemed to turn out ok, so I wound it onto the Niddy noddy:

and tied the little figure 8 tie thingys on the skein.

So far so good. I think I took this time to breathe. I then slowly, carefully and with a good deal of fear in my heart, took the skein slowly off the Niddy Noddy. I was half expecting the whole thing to go into a riotous batch of curly cues like my previous "poodle" attempt did at this stage, but it just came off and lay there, looking for all the world like YARN!

Quickly, before the skein changed it's mind and morphed into a poodle, I filled the utility room sink full of warm water and before I could change my mind, or the yarn could change it's shape, I threw it in.

I still have issues with throwing wool into warm or hot water, fearing felt almost as much as I fear moths, but all was well, and 30 minutes later I drained the tub of soapy water and put it into a water/vinegar mixture for another half hour or so, then last a soak in some clear water to rinse out the salady smell.

Then I hung up my masterpeice to dry.

Ok, the "blue" wool now looks sort of white, and there are a few "waves" (I prefer to call it that...kinks sounds so harsh), but it is the first real yarn I've made, and I'm delighted with the outcome. I can actually KNIT with this stuff, and that alone, as far as I'm concerned, is a miracle.

The yarn has, while I was writing this, finally managed to get dry. So I wound it up into a skein. Here it is! My first successful skein of handspun yarn:



Rosie said...

Congratulations on achieving your first YARN! Way to go!!

Don't worry about the waves, they add character to the yarn - it's amazing how they seem to disappear once you've knitted the yarn into something.

That's a scary pic of the water level in the river, especially for this time of the year. Summer's looming, and it would be interesting to see a pic of the same spot in the middle of summer.

I love your "stash reduction" method! I should consider that method for the breeding stash I have here which overwhelms DH. I might be able to hide a bit more of it away from his eyes.

I trust you've found a pattern for your hat commission. I hope the little guy recovers soon, sick children are no fun at all. Those close to him must be so worried.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post. The handspun yarn is Beautiful!! More Kool Aid will be in the mail tomorrow, Tue. I forgot to get lime, so if i make it into town, I will get it. If not, I can send it in the next batch. Thanks again for the much needed cap you are making for little John Calvin. Would love to see a photo of it on here!!
Love, MOM