26 January 2011

A quick spin

Artists sometimes talk about being blocked. There's writer's block, but other types of artists have similar experiences. At the moment, I'm being a lot more productive about spinning than knitting. Part of it is that the Knitting Needle Liberation Front needs to sweep through my house and rescue needles out of stalled projects and unfinished swatch experiments.

Sunday was a perfect day for spinning, as there were two football games. Cuddly Hubby and I were particularly keen to watch the Packers at the Bears. My friend Theresa had shown an interest last week in an orange blue-faced Leicester roving from Pagewood Farms. I was happy to spin that up for her.
Theresa wanted a thick yarn, but spinning thick is not all that easy. Spinning thick-ish and then plying seemed like a better plan. I pre-drafted the fibers during the first half of the game. During the second half, I spun using backward draw. I finished spinning just after the game ended -- about the time the interviews in the locker room started.
Today I plied the yarn during Knit Lit. I was trying to decide between chain-plying and cable-plying. When I played with it a little, it looked as if I wasn't going to get a lot of extra volume out of that fourth ply in the cable ply, and that all the extra twist might make it a thinner yarn. So I went with the Navajo plying.
Theresa will have to set the twist herself, either by steaming or soaking the skein. And I didn't have my good standing swift with me, so I'm not sure about the yardage. My guess is it would be between 50 and 75. Theresa hopes to make a hat and I'm very much looking forward to what she does. I haven't actually knit with any of my handspun yet, so this will be a first. And I have to admit, it came out so pretty, I would have been tempted to buy the other two rovings in the shop were in not that I just can't wear orange.

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