Sunday, June 11, 2017

Another yarn story

It is porch season.  My house is a complete shambles because I am hardly ever in there at all anymore, now that it is summer.  The dishes are piling up.  I don't even care.  I could get very rhapsodic about the porch, and maybe I will next time, but right now, I have to show you some yarn I made.
Yaaahh!  I know!  Isn't that pretty?  It is full of inconsistencies, but handspinning is no place for perfection, friends.  You can buy perfect yarn at the store.  Handspinning is a place to play, which is what I did.  So there are thick places and thin places, and a few places where it is mighty good, too--that yellow/blue-gray barber pole in the center!  Hoo!  Nice.  I wish the whole thing were like that [stop it. ~ed.]
On Saturday Doc and I went to the Central New York Fiber Fair in Bouckville.  (Hi, Theresa!  It was so nice to meet you!) This fair is still pretty new, but it is so good and Central New York is so absolutely stunning that I am confident that one day knitters from all over the world will gather in June, wearing their Bouckville sweaters (this is New York.  You might still need a sweater in June) and I will have to wait in a really long line for an artichoke french.  I probably could have bought something from every booth.  Doc was with me, though, and helped me keep a lid on it.  By the way, Doc is how you will probably recognize me in the wild--his fiercely handsome and kilted self attracted so much attention, whoo!  After the alpacas, he was the most photographed thing at the fair, I think.  One lady paused to admire his calves.  A little girl wanted to give him a hug.  Everybody was so interested in him, and I was pretty much free to load up on purchases while he was otherwise engaged.  Genius!  The first of my loot, this hand-dyed braid of SW Blue Faced Leicester from Llady Llama Fiber Co. in the colorway "Godric's Sword" was the first thing to hit my wheel.  Isn't it yummy?  Wool!  Harry Potter!  Let's make some yarn!
I unwrapped the braid and divided it in half, the same way you separate strands of embroidery floss.  So, I had two long pieces that were (in theory) identical matches to each other.  
The loose plan at this point was to see if I could maintain some kind of striping by spinning each long strand as a single with even a minimum of consistency, so that when I plied them together, voila, red sections would ply with red sections and yellow with yellow, and so on.  [Spoiler alert:  that's not what happened.  I can't spin with any consistency at all.]. Pressing on!
Here's the first bobbin, in progress.  See how nice?  See how separate the colors are?  If only the second one had worked the same way, and I don't even know what happened, probably I failed to properly pre-draft, or maybe because I was still obsessively spinning this after the sun went down and I was more or less hoping for a miracle, but the second bobbin was not smooth sailing and things went a little sideways.  Anyway, when I had two bobbins full of singles and after letting them rest overnight, I plied them together and it barberpoled immediately, which, apart from not being what I was aiming for, is completely fine, too.  And really, I'm only aiming for anything specific in the hopes of learning something, not because I need striped yarn in a Harry Potter-based colorway (wait, of course I do...) 
When your finished result looks like this, there's very little to complain about.  Okay, back to the porch.  

41 comments:

  1. Since I live in CT and have been to many fiber festivals all over New England and, of course, Rhinebeck...I'll have to check this one out next year....and who doesn't need Harry Potter inspired yarn...I may have just gotten some Prof Moody, because it was Lupin's birthday..

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    1. I can highly recommend this fair, and I hope I'll see you there next year! :)

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  2. Oh, that is gorgeous. As a beginning spinner, I have been wondering how fiber like that would spin up. LOVE ❤️!

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    1. I'm a beginner myself, and I think fiber like that can be spun up in a whole mess of different ways (emphasis in my case on "mess")and I'm having so much fun exploring them! :)

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  3. I. Love. it. How I wish I lived closer to you and we could sit on your porch together. I could even begin spinning again. It's been so long that that's exactly what it would be, beginning! Your yarn is stunning. The barber pole effect is wonderful.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  4. Love those yummy colours. If I tried to spin everything would turn muddy brown, so I'm in awe of yours!

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    1. There is so much to learn, and I've made a lot of "mud", too. Keep on truckin', right? xoxo

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  5. Wow that is stunning yarn. What you gonna Knit?

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    1. Always the big question, that...any suggestions?

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  6. I'm amazed that those two somewhat small sections turned into that vast pile of plied yarn ~ and can we all say YOWZA?!!!! That looks amazing as well as quite an abundant pile of yarn. I'm intrigued!!! So looking forward to how it knits up and what magical thing you'll create with it!! I too wound love to spend a day or two on your porch just soaking up all of your yarny goodness. Now I want to learn to spin also!!!! You've cast a Harry Potter spell upon me!!!
    And then there's Doc: doing his bit of magic as well. 😎

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    1. Thank you, my dear. I'd love to spend the day with you, too! xoxo

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  7. I am in awe of your talent, it is beautiful. I wish I lived nearer so that I could sit on your porch watching and learning.

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  8. Oh its SO beautiful, I would love a spinning wheel! One day. :)

    xx

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  9. Your yarn looks yummy. I love the barber pole look. What will you make with it? I hope you show us :)

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    1. I haven't decided what to make yet--I'm open to suggestions! What would you make with it?

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  10. I laughed so loud (actually squealed with delight) upon seeing my name in the blog. Something new for me! Bouckville NY will now be put on the fiber radar map. Artichoke French folks will now be satisfying their habit with one more food stand available of this amazing stuff. Besides making truly delicious food they are lovely and gracious people who work so hard. Great work spinning, but everything you put your talented, gifted hands to turns out beautiful. Stay well, enjoy the sunshine (finally) and craft on.

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    1. It's one of those special Fair Foods I look forward to all year. Totally delicious. :)

      xoxo

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  11. Wow! That is beautiful!!! I tried to spin once, and even though the idea of spinning my own wool is quite appealing, the reality of it does not fit with my temperament.

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    1. My own efforts are always accompanied by some cursing, I admit. :D

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  12. Your yarn is beautiful. I'm so glad to hear about the fiber fair. When I lived in CNY, we used to go to an antiques fair in Bouckville.

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    1. I've been to that fair, too--holy smokes, it's HUGE! Worth the trip. :)

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  13. Oh that yarn you made is SO BEAUTIFUL! I love love love all the colors! I'm so excited to see what you make. My hubby and I used to raise alpacas (2003-2009) on our little farm in SW Washington state and I had a barn FULL of bags of fleece! Oh I wish I would have known some spinners then. I knew a few, but they were all alpaca owners and had plenty of their own fleece! After all these years, I still lug around with me on our moves, two big tubs of the most gorgeous darn chocolate brown fleece from our first baby alpaca born on our farm. I can't bare to part with it. When we moved from Wash., I tried contacting spinning groups in Portland, OR and one gal came out and took a few bags (for free). We had some gorgeous pinkish gray (wish I still had it) and lots of white and golden colors. I thought one day I would spin. Now my hope is to find someone where I live who does, who can spin me some beautiful dark brown yarn for something to wear to commemorate our years of raising those lovely creatures. wish I could join you on your porch! Hugs.. Marilyn from Oregon

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    1. When you said "pinkish gray" I actually gasped out loud! It sounds just beautiful. I'm hopeful you find an alpaca spinner nearby to help you with your fleeces. :)

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  14. That yarn is absolutely stunning! I love how it turned out and your spinning is just right. I tried spinning but always ended up with art yarn so I got frustrated and have "quit" for now, but knitting is still a passion that will ever die. I see all this lovely roving at our fibre festival and just wish that I had a good wheel at home and the true ability to spin it up. Such a feeling of satisfaction to make something that you have made from scratch!

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    1. Art yarn! See, that's the way to look at it! I love that. Until you're getting the results you really want, consider it Art Yarn. Perfect. :)

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  15. Who would be complaining about that little pile of loveliness - it is really cool. what are you going to do with it, other than drool over it obviously?

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    1. I'm not sure what to make with it, and I'm looking for ideas! :)

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  16. Gorgeous colours and it brought back memories of the homespun yarn my nan used to make. WOuld like to have seen a picture of your hubby kilted up, definitely a genius idea.

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    1. He looked so handsome--I should've taken his picture, you're right! :)

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  17. I need to hear more about your husband and his kilt! Like, he wears one all the time?? I was telling my husband recently that skirts are superior to pants and he was scoffing.

    Your yarn is just color heaven to my eyes. I think I would take well to spinning - I am not a perfectionist.

    And please do a porch rhapsody!!! It is so hot here that it's not even porch weather - it's hide-in-the-air-conditioned-house weather.

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    1. No, he doesn't wear the kilt all the time--he does always wear them to Fiber Fairs, though, and to the occasional Burns Night or Celtic Festival, and also sometimes just around the house because it's comfy. Skirts are superior to pants--your husband would love a kilt, I know it. :)

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  18. That is absolutely stunning! I love a good yarn festival, full of fluff and smelling like sheep!

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