Monday, June 16, 2008

I hate thinking of titles!

I mean, I'm just not that clever. I wish I were. I wish I were a word-smith, like the Harlot or my very dear friend Marianna. Now, they can write - really, really well. They have wildly-differing writing styles (not to mention wildly-differing subject matters), but both can 'grab' me with what they say by how they say it.

Well, that's all I've got to say about that.

All that angst was by way of trying to figure out a title for yet-another-fiber-spinning post. After all, how many times can one use "What I'm Working On Today" as a post title?

I'm working on two projects here (which is so not fun when one has only one wheel). Now there's a post title for you: "I Need Anudder Wheel!" ANYWAY, I've been trying to make a companion single for that single 2 posts down. You know, the alpaca/tussah silk noil-y/merino bumpy stuff. The same fiber-pusher, Leah, of Yarn Or A Tale, ALSO has these fab superwash Merino laps (did I tell you this already?). You can see them here; just scroll down to the bottom and look for the superwash merino lambswool laps. I'm going to see if she'll let me "borrow" her photos to put in here. Warning: I've got dibs on 2 pounds from her, so I hope there're some left for youse guys :-). Nota bene: She said "Yes"!

Now, as a spinner, I'm very prejudiced against superwash fibers. Yes, I know - ugly of me. In all fairness (to me) though, many superwash fibers are horrid-beyond-words to spin. They're plastic-y feeling. They...squeek (yuck)...when you handle them. There's almost nothing ickier to a spinner than trying to spin plastic. But this superwash is incredible! Not surprisingly - it being merino (lambswool!) - it's as soft as a cloud and amazingly easy to spin. It flies through the fingers effortlessly and is very controllable. Providing one uses the right-sized whorl, that is. Unfortunately, I spun nearly half of the sample she sent with my 'bumpy' alpaca order (that's how she 'hooks' new converts to her superwash laps, don't you know) on a too-large whorl. When I went to 'sample' it with The Bumpy Stuff , it literally fell apart every few inches. This is a lesson I thought I'd already learned: one must - simply must - spin short, fine fibers with appropriate twist! Yes, indeedy! For the third time, I've learned that lesson. ::sigh::

The color contrast it provides with the bumpy alpaca/silk/merino mix is really, really nice. It isn't so high a contrast that it's going to look terribly marled. I'm hoping the contrast will be fairly subtle. If it isn't, all is not lost. I'll just spin a very smooth single of more fawn alpaca/tussah (from my own stash, probably) to provide a textural contrast, rather than a color one. Then, I'll just spin up the superwash into some glorious sock yarn. I do wish the color variations would show up in a photo, because it is truly lovely. Unfortunately, my photo-taking abilities are laughable. I can hardly turn the stupid camera on, let alone figure out how to use it :-(

My second project is using more Cormo, but this time I want to try to make a 2-ply worsted weight. Wish me luck, won't you? I'm going to need it. Not that I deserve it. I concentrated so hard (when first learning to spin) on learning how to spin very thin singles, that I can now only spin that way. I am NOT HAPPY with myself. I was warned. I can't say I wasn't. Books warned me. People warned me. I told myself that it didn't matter because that's the only way I wanted to spin: thinly! (do we see the operation of the devil's 'virtue' called PRIDE, here?) :::sigh:::

Just call me short-sighted (if you wish to be kind). I'm just going to call me 'stupid' and be done with it. Now, I know perfectly well that some of you at this point are saying, "Yes, but...! You can make a worsted weight yarn out of thin singles. Just use 3 or 4 plies." Riiiiight. That means filling up the requisite number of bobbins, and 3 or 4 times the amount of work. That's discouraging, to say the least! This isn't a special project (though it certainly could be, I suppose). I just need to make more yarn to pay for my rather expensive passion of spinning!

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