February 14, 2011 0

Subsequently

By in Knitting, Uncategorized

Peasy in progress

The next top on the docket for IntSweMoDo2011 is Peasy, by Heidi Kirrmaier.  I found the pattern originally by looking for a basic cardigan, because I’ve been wanting to replace a falling-apart, but versatile and usefully-hued one that I picked up cheap from an upscale, unnamed store that is now closed.  Peasy moved to the top of the list when I saw the very cute tee modification and found that it would work with the LB Collection Baby Alpaca I had stashed.  The yarn had previously been destined for a crochet camisole, but the thought occurred to me that alpaca fiber not worn next to the skin was alpaca fiber wasted.  Thus.

The yarn is tending to snag on the join of my Addi Click interchangeable needles, which seems strange given everything, but there is nothing to be done at this point.  I could knit a little more loosely than at the moment, but I like the gauge I have.

I am quite excited to be participating in IntSweMoDo2011.  I very much want to become GREAT at knitting, because I love it, and want to learn as much as possible about it.  Further, I have these sweaters in my mind that I would love to put in writing and in yarn; I want a good foundation of sweater know-how before I do that.

Quince and Co.'s Tern yarn in a variety of colors

Tern, from Quince and Co.

It is winter here, in a way that one might notice.  So I am also making myself a pair of colorwork mittens.  To be honest, my ulterior motive in making the mittens is to have leftovers enough to make handwarmers, whose need is more greatly felt–lately when I am tapping away, my hands become icicles despite intermittent bakes in front of the space heater.  It never used to happen before, but I am more north and east than I once was.

I confess that I rushed to Quince and Co.’s website after reading its feature in Interweave Knits, and like many, was immediately seduced into extravagance of purchase (for my current situation, in any case).  But in the face of the yarn itself, I have no regrets.

February 14, 2011 2

Ta-dah

By in Knitting, Uncategorized

I finished my first adult-sized garment recently.

Josh modeling his vest

Dapper.

Pattern: Alberta, by Jared Flood, in 37.

This was a belated winter holiday present.  Because he is the most important person in my life, J’s gift was naturally the last one that I started.  He gifted me a beautiful Leclerc Bergere Rigid Heddle loom, and then, buddha-like, waited a month for his vest.

I haven’t yet decided how I like to knit my tops.  The Botanica Medallion Cardi I started was repetitive, but had an involved pattern requiring constant attention.  Alberta, being mainly stockinette, was repetitive, but did not require constant attention.  Alberta was completed, and Botanica has not been yet.  So we have that evidence; but I have been thinking lately that I am a sweater knitter in the sock fashion: one who likes to have a pattern to follow in one section of the round, and stockinette in the remaining.  It is as though the pattern were work, and the stockinette, rest: in a state of constant rest, one never actually feels the reward of rest; but when one picks up some small work, every moment outside of that work feels like a great vacation.  In any case, perhaps I will find out–I’ve joined the IntSweMoDo2011 group on ravelry, and plan to complete it.  So (wallet- and time-willing) there will be at least 11 more sweaters in my future this year.

As for the steeking of this vest: for a long time I was not worried, but when I realized that this yarn was too slippery-smooth for a crocheted steek, discomfort set in.  Securing the steeks by machine went fine, but it did not look so pretty as a crocheted steek would have, and I hesitate somewhat at bringing machines into the equation when the appeal of this craft for me is partly that it depends on none.  Overall, however, the steeking was not traumatic.  As for the finishing, though, we won’t speak of what happened at the underarms, because I don’t know myself and hope never to revisit the scene.  I was very tired when working that area, desperately wanting to be done, and I made some incomprehensible decisions.  I do not think they show negatively on the public side, but I know they’re in there.

I had a small panic when I washed the vest, worrying that it grew too much with the weight of the water.  (It’s my habit to wash and block things when done–it’s not finished if it hasn’t been washed.)  Overall, the fit is fine, though the width of the body was ultimately a little more generous than necessary.

Josh modeling his vest

Quite.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, 2-ish skeins

Colorways: Primavera and a brown whose name has been forgotten

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, 1.5-ish skeins

Colorway: Antler

The Malabrigo and madelinetosh were really nice and squishy, but ultimately I wish I had used something more hearty and “wooly” than these superwash yarns were–particularly because of the steeking, but also because of some mental image of how the vest ought to be, which I can’t articulate.  I think that the smoothness of the yarn in a garment such as this creates an expectation of a kind of mass-produced modernness, while the vest itself leans more toward the homey, unpretentious, and practical, even still being good-looking.  But I digress: it looks pretty enough.

January 4, 2011 1

Now it can be told, Part II

By in Crochet, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

Truffle bag, dark brown with pink and tan ruffles, shown with hand for a sense of scale

A special, cousins-themed issue of the winter holiday gift wrap-up!

In this post:

Buddy BagFor a little cousin, or S

Striped buddy bag with a bear finger puppet.

Ready for adventure.

Pattern: Buddy Bags, by annypurls

This was a nice little pattern.  After meditating on her post about the subject for a little while, I decided to try TechKnitter’s Traveling Jogless Stripes technique.  It turned out alright, though the anti-jog action was somewhat apparent in the fabric, which could be very much the fault of my knitting and not of the technique.  All the same, I might stick with the stationary jogless stripe for the next project or two, because if an alteration is to be even a little visible, why not have it be even, in line?

S is at this point around 5 or so, so I thought the finished bag size of the original pattern might be too small.  I cast on 100 stitches instead of 80, and worked 8 rows in each color, instead of 6.  I lined the bag with (what I have, upon research, discovered to be) some Heather Ross Mendocino Seahorses fabric that was originally destined to become a tie.

Striped buddy bag with bear finger puppet and seahorse lining.

Beary pleased to meet you!

Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted, 2 skeins

Colorways: Golden Heather and Wave Heather

Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted, small amounts

Colorways: Doe, Fedora, and Ivory

I was pleasantly surprised by the yarn.  The cottons I’ve worked with previously have tended to be rather drying on the hands, while the Simply Cotton was quite gentle and smooth.  It did fuzz a little more than those other yarns, though, so durability may, in time, be revealed to have been sacrificed for softness.

Truffle PurseFor a little cousin, another S

Truffle bag, dark brown with pink and tan ruffles

Skirt or candy? A purse, perhaps.

Pattern: Waves of Ruffles Purse, by Bella McBride

This was a fun and simple little purse.  Most people think it looks like a skirt, while I can’t help but think of chocolates with delicious fillings.  I’m realizing lately that I tend to love knitting above all, but I would like to do more crochet in the future.  Who knows?  Maybe the winds of my hands will change–but probably not.

I lined the purse with some double gauze that was rejected from my plans for the Elizabeth quilt.

Truffle bag, dark brown with pink and tan ruffles, view of the lining

Double gauze lining.

Yarn: Fibranatura Links, 2.5, 2, and 1 skeins

Colorways: Joanne, Paulina, Barbara

This is a sturdy little yarn, consisting of fine cotton threads knit together to form a tube (as far as I can tell).  As a cotton, I found it a bit dry and unforgiving on the hands, but that was probably also a product of the kind of fabric that crochet tends toward–thick and stout.  I could see Links making quite a nice and enjoyable knit fabric; not having actually tested the theory, though, I’ll withhold final judgment on that.

Little Girl’s BoleroFor another little cousin, another S

Little Girl's Bolero in madelinetosh tosh dk, front view

Imagine more luminous colors.

Pattern: Flower Girls’ Knitted Bolero – Snowdrops, by Cotton and Cloud

Size: 5-6

I saw this pattern some months ago on ravelry, and knew, eventually, that I would have to make it.  Because, well, it’s darling.  I thought it would look very nice on S, and the rest is history.

The garment came out a little bit big for S.  For children, though–and indeed, everyone really–too big really is better than too small.  I don’t know how well this was finally received by the recipient since, at 5, don’t we all become more particular about our habillement?  And no matter how you fold it, it never really looks like a Pillow Pet.  Oh, well.  I’d make this again.

Yarn: madelinetosh tosh dk, 1 skein

Colorway: Calligraphy

Little Girl's Bolero in madelinetosh tosh dk, back view

A very pretty little garment.

I bought more skeins of yarn than necessary for this project.  I began with some Berroco Pure Pima, thinking that washability should be the priority; then, anxious, I decided that the pattern really needed a much springier sort of yarn–something with a memory.  So I went for Lion’s LB Collection Superwash Merino.  With this, I came in far below gauge while swatching, despite my relatively average tension; moving up needle sizes wasn’t going to give me the fabric that I wanted (read: not loose and holey), so that was ousted with much regret.

Concurrent to this, I had bought 6 skeins of madelinetosh tosh dk for a sweater I was planning to make for myself.  Suddenly–though it happens frequently enough to remove any element of surprise–I decided that the yarn was All Wrong for that sweater, and would instead be perfect for the Sage Remedy Top.  This left me with some extra skeins of the tosh dk, and I decided that–what the heck?–it could be great for the Flower Girls’ Bolero.  Thus.

My photos were hastily taken, so they do no justice to the color of the yarn.  Trust me, it is very beautiful.  I would use madelinetosh for a great many things, if not everything.

Gnoming Around PouchesFor less little–indeed, rather grown–cousins, D and J

Gnoming around pouches.

Not quite long enough for pencils.

Pattern: Cash and Carry by Atkinson Designs

Fabric: Gnoming Around by Michael Miller, among others

I acquired both the pattern and the kit at the Edgerton Quilt Show a few months ago.  The kit actually contained enough to make three purses; I made one first, as practice, and then these two.  Practicing was a wise decision.  Though I’ve technically been sewing longer than I’ve been knitting, I’m rather much worse at sewing, having for so long been of the “if it isn’t falling apart, then it’s perfect”–otherwise known as the “pattern, shmattern”–camp.

January 4, 2011 1

Now it can be told, Part I

By in Knitting, Sewing, Uncategorized

Twisted Flower Socks in progress

I made all of the gifts that I gave this year, on the occasion of the 25th of December, 2010, by hand.  It felt like a great feat to complete so many projects within a two-and-a-half-month timeframe; yet now, with an even and succinct retrospective inventory of the projects, it also feels–in a way–like I really didn’t do that much.  What’s more, there is one gift left unfinished, and one still yet to be begun; so the timeframe is really three months, and the feat remains only a partial one.  But, in any case, let us steal a glance at what we have so far.

In this post:

Twisted Flower SocksFor Mom

Twisted Flower Socks, close-up

Sumptuous socks.

Pattern: Twisted Flower Sock, by Cookie A., as published in Knit.Sock.Love.

I really enjoyed this pattern; I think I have fallen in love with making socks as a result of my encounter with it.  Normally, I might balk at having to make two identical items, but these were fun.  Or perhaps my patience in knitting has grown.

One thing to note is that the ankle motif is not particularly stretchy, so if you have a wider ankle/calf, it might do to modify the pattern in some way to accommodate the width beforehand.  These fit my mother well through the feet, and became somewhat problematic past the heel.

Twisted Flower Socks, full view

Full view of the socks.

Yarn: madelinetosh sock, 1 skein;

Colorway: Oxblood

The yarn is very beautiful.  Initially, I thought perhaps the pattern would get too lost in this colorway, but it seems that that fear was generally unfounded.

Otherwise: the yarn was smooth and easy to work with; I’d use it again.

Emmer Earflaps HatFor Dad

Emmer Earflap hat, front view

Emmer earflaps, from the front.

Pattern: Emmer, by Jan Boyer, modified

My father made a request sometime early in the year for an earflap hat (originally, a hat with flaps or an attached neckwarmer/scarf?), and I filed it away as a later, winter project.  I bought, it may be recalled, a skein of Plain and Fancy Wool Co. Sport at the Estes Park Wool Market in June, which–while I did not reveal it then–was particularly for this hat, as a dark grey color had been specified.  This is what became of the request.

Originally, I had planned to develop a hat pattern on my own; but as the days marched closer and closer to my departure for home and the winter celebration, it became clear that such a plan would be Madness and Folly.  I had previously seen Emmer while browsing for hat ideas, loved it, and marked it for something else, since it didn’t fit the project as-is; now I brushed it off, took it out, and changed it to work.

Modifications:

- Earflaps.  The original pattern is meant to make a hat that covers the ears well enough, but when ear protection is the central desire, a flap could only improve (so went my thinking).  I knit the two flaps first, then cast on the rest of the needed stitches between them with a cable cast-on, and joined in the round.  I then worked the setup row and continued as usual.

Emmer Earflap hat, view of the lined flaps

Garter lining.

The earflaps wanted to curl, so I knit two matching flap shapes in garter stitch and sewed them to the inner side as both stabilizer and extra insulation.  I finished the hat with a border of single crochet, since beginning with earflaps made an i-cord cast-on, as called for in the pattern, awkward.

- Sport-weight yarn.  The original pattern calls for worsted, while my yarn was sport; and I was hell-bent on using it, because it was bought specially.  I knit a swatch in the pattern and calculated that to get a largish head circumference, I’d need 11-12 repeats of the motif instead of eight.  I went for eleven, on the idea that a little snug is better than somewhat loose for a hat as this, with five repeats to the front, one centered on each of the two earflaps, and four to the back.

I worried about having the earflaps come out in the right place on the head, and while the hat is ultimately fine, I think it wouldn’t have hurt to do six repeats in front and three in back instead of five and four.  Furthermore, the hat is a little tall; if you pull it down so that the top touches your head, the flaps really cover more jaw than ear.  I wasn’t sure, while it was one the needles, how much length the crown decreases added, so I opted to err on the long side, and that is what I got.

However:  it is still a beautiful and enviable hat, if I may say so.  I would wear it, and I would make it again.

Emmer Earflap hat, side view

In which the proportion of front pattern repeats to back is visible.

Yarn: Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool Co. Sport, <1 skein;

Colorway: Black

The yarn was very soft and squishy and, in that, lovely to work with.  I worried early on that the single ply made too smooth a surface to really showcase the pattern, but I think the effect is, ultimately, rather nice.

I may protest that the dye came off onto my hands and bamboo needles like no one’s business.  I soaked the hat in soap a few times, in vinegar a few more, and in water many more, before it stopped hemorrhaging and left a relatively clear bath.  I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if the yarn had some dye left in it the next time a washing came around.

However: The yarn was so delicious that I would use it again.

Skinny TiesFor Brother, otherwise known as J

Skinny ties in cotton

The left tie is a couple of inches longer than the right, inexplicably.

Pattern: Father’s Day Tie by the Purl Bee, modified for a skinny width

Fabric: Regrettably, I don’t remember.

My brother sent me his very nice, lightly-used Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118 for really no reason at all except that he is a generous and compassionate being, so early on I decided that his gift should be sewn.  Additionally, he lives in California, so it’s harder to guess what kind of knit item might be of use in any case.  Enter these ties, which–as luck might have it–don’t actually require machine sewing.

I finished these while on the actual winter holiday visit back home, instead of prior to departure.  In fact, one was finished by the 25th, and the other was finished a week later.  The pattern was workable enough, but I would seriously consider finding a tie pattern elsewhere to avoid all the wiggling entailed in taping eight or more pieces of computer paper together.

Skinny ties, close-up

Please, do not judge the seam too harshly.

The interfacing pattern was a little problematic overall.  Mine, all taped together, came out too long to fit on the length of heavyweight sew-in interfacing that is specified in the pattern, even when placed diagonally on the cloth.  Someone else seems to have had this issue in the comments below the pattern post, so either it’s an easy user’s mistake, or an error.  Initially, I split the pattern in half and sewed the two resulting pieces together to line the first tie; ultimately, I ended up buying a longer length of interfacing to fit the pattern fully, and redid that first tie as I completed the second.

More elaboration on how to modify the interfacing width for a skinny tie would have been greatly welcome.  Since I took 3/8″ off of the edges of the actual tie fabric, I figured the same would do for the interfacing; but in the end, that made the interfacing rather too thin in parts.  I ended up doing the ties just up to the point before the interfacing was needed, then tracing the tie shape onto the pattern in an attempt to get a better fit.

Hopefully, however, the ties are nice enough, even if only as a gesture.

November 30, 2010 0

Goings-on

By in Crochet, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

Knitted and crocheted projects

I’ve been working on a range of projects, making all of my winter holiday gifts by hand.  Individual project write-ups will come a little later.

In-progress shots of a plaid quilt top piecing project

Plaid quilt-top piecing project: can you say it five times fast?

I’m also working on a quilt top.  I’ve decided that these are not flannels, simply plaids with a bit of a brushed surface.  But I’m still not sure.  I’ll ask when I go back to the store for some backing.

Lately, the varied way that I have been photographing my projects up to now has been bothering me.  The finicky, perfection-craving editor in me wants my Ravelry project page to look like a beautiful grid, instead of a mish-mash of adequately representative photos and up-close nightmares of beautiful items looking rather gross, hastily captured before I gave them away.  Most of my documentation has been of the school that says, “A picture is better than no picture; if it happens to also be a good photograph, then so much the better.  But, eh.”

Examples of my poor knitted/crochet project photography

Top left: the beautiful cables and heathered yarn are washed out and flattened by flash; and what's with that background? Lower left: Why is the project cut off at certain corners? Why...is anything in the picture the way it is? Right: Okay...but there's lint on the mittens! And, what's going in the background?

Above all, the difficulty is good lighting.  I probably need to spend more time with my camera.

November 13, 2010 0

Decisions on something to dream about

By in Quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

I first saw and was captivated by the Elizabeth quilt pattern at a local quilt store, but shied away from it because it looked to be a few notches above my skill level (no skills whatever).  Later, I decided that–what the heck!–I could do it, so I bought the pattern and made plans to go ahead.  However enthusiastic and foolishly fearless I may feel at times, though, the reality that I need more practice has slowly persuaded me to hold my horses.  This pattern deserves to look fabulous when it becomes a quilt, so I’ve decided to do a couple of other projects before embarking upon it.

Basic color layout of the Elizabeth pattern

Elizabeth's basic color layout.

That doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t give myself something to look forward to, so I’m planning the layout of the quilt top.  Initially when I would edit my fabric pile for the final selection, my tack was to pull out the stack, arrange the cuts in a couple of ways, and stare at them real hard.  Yes, that could work, –or, well, hmmmmm.  But– sort of– what if?

Left to right: a sawtooth star block, a delectable mountain block, a four-patch block.

Left to right: a sawtooth star block, a delectable mountain block, a four-patch block.

I was losing the staring contest, so I caved and made a mockup of the pattern, into which to insert the fabrics.  I am generally happy with how the delectable mountain and four-patch blocks look, but am still contemplating the sawtooth star blocks (the eight-pointed stars with squares in their centers).  I am settled on using a pinkish floral for the centers of half of them; the centers of the other half are the question.

Sawtooth star center options for the Elizabeth quilt layout

Possible sawtooth star block centers.

The option to the left lies somewhere in-between the blue turquoise striped fabric and the lighter green found elsewhere in the quilt top.  Because it is so light, the eye passes over the stars and doesn’t quite latch on; the gold squares and triangles nearby are so much bolder and more toothsome.  The option to the right uses a darker fabric of the same kind of hue, but the very simple, if pretty, pattern still lets the eye run off into other haunts.  The effect is a bit flat.

Sawtooth star center options for the Elizabeth quilt layout

Better star centers?

These options pull in a more visible print.  In the left option, the pink contrasts somewhat with the strong yellows and blue-greens elsewhere and is able to hold its own; the right pulls the ashy grey from the border into the middle, and is a little offbeat.  The print, a dark grey with salmon flowers, doesn’t quite match any other elements in the quilt; it echoes them.  And so I think I like that option best, but really, all four are on the table.

I’m buying the fabric for the centers (as I have for everything else in this quilt) online, which means that even though the swatches look like they could work on the screen, they might be off by a just a hair of a hue in person.  But, cutting losses is what planning ahead is all about, so given what you see, which do you like best of the above?

And while we’re at it, assuming, for instance, that I went with the fourth option, what binding is best? In this case, we’re looking at the thin border around the quilt top.

Binding options for the Elizabeth quilt layout

Possible bindings.

And finally, the implicit question that comes before these is: do you like the other parts of the layout of the quilt?  Is there anything that you hate, that I haven’t even brought up for discussion?

The future is long, and feedback is appreciated.

October 28, 2010 0

Morsels

By in Crochet, Knitting, Spinning, Uncategorized

My hands have been a little warm lately–

Yarn balls and nostepinne

Accidental eggs.

A first pieced quilt, which is waiting for its binding (post to come);

Some yarn balled, awkwardly, on a new nostepinne, which was acquired at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival (post to come);

And the beginning of the winter holiday presents: a Buddy Bag for a little cousin, and a Waves of Ruffles Purse for his little sister.

Buddy bag and ruffled purse

On the needles and being hooked.

I have also begun a weaving class at the lovely Fiberwood Studio.  I worry that I will come away from the class dearly coveting a 4-harness (at least!) floor loom.  Luckily, though, that would be one instance in which it would be materially impossible for me to give in to my foolhardy enthusiasm.  Save it for other things, I suppose!

August 18, 2010 0

Indulgence and ambition

By in Quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

Woven fabrics for a quilt.

I think I’m somewhat settled, now, but those hours of the day that are now freed from the tumult of transition demand to be filled with work–and not that of the crafty kind.  It seems that all I do is buy things with plans to make, instead of making.

Japanese fabrics for a quilt.

Beautiful birthday gift.

Fabric, all folded up.

It will be almost a shame to undo the perfect neatness of this stack.

Is it a matter of making time to make, or does time simply come about when one is making?

August 5, 2010 0

Interlude

By in Knitting, Spinning, Uncategorized

I have just uprooted from my native Colorado to brave the varied charms of a completely different landscape.  There is still a hill of boxes whose contents need new niches, and work owed to a few different projects, but as a measure of sanity I have reminded myself of the easy grace of a spindle and some cotton yarn.

Spun gold.

Spun gold.

I began spinning the remainder of this roving while in Colorado, with a view towards creating a yarn to complement my first in a hat.  It is so very fine, though, that even plied it may be overly thin against the ample slubs of that voluptuous premiere.  I had thought at first to spin the entire thing as one length, and ply the two ends from the center and outside of the resultant ball together; but, daunted by the task of managing such a twisted, winding mass, I ultimately opted to split the length into two separate strands, for sake of future sanity.

from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

Garterlac Bath Rug on the needles, from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

I also started this Garterlac Bath Rug, which I discovered in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.  I am really enjoying working with the entrelac technique; it feels fresh and strange and straightforward at once.  I do worry that the yarn will run out prematurely, though, because the pattern calls for a 16oz. cone of Peaches & Creme, and all I found were 14oz cones of the same.  Cotton has quite the enjoyable squish to it.

Back to work!

July 1, 2010 0

With Abandon

By in Spinning, Uncategorized

In lieu of work, on Tuesday I pushed through to complete my first true yarn.  I had thought my next post would be about a cluster of Ds–directions, documentation, diversity, dearth–in regards both to spindle spinning and board loom knitting.  And there is still time and space for that discussion; but for now, the glory of a first.

Great balls of fiber!

Great balls of fiber!

I have a small and temporary collection of books on the subject of beginning spinning thanks to the ever-bountiful Denver Public Library, and initially I was finding the guidance found therein for spindle spinning frustrating, if generally workable, for various reasons.  After some time, and the addition of a couple of tomes to the pile, that frustration has mitigated.  Yet my feeling is that this owes more to practicing on my own than to those volumes.  It can’t be denied that there is a lot of good information in some of the guides; I do want to go through them, because I know they have things to teach.  But the act of hand spindling is so sumptuously felt, that the learning curve is as much beyond words as it is guided by them.

So?  Toss the books aside, and enter this funny, humble skein of two-ply yarn, about 61.25 yards all told.

Inaugural skein

The inaugural skein.

The gold part of the yarn was my third single–my third attempt at spinning–and was an exercise in firsts: my first successful suspension of the spindle, as well as my first breakages, where the thread was likely too thin and too twisted to support itself.  Near the end, though, I felt rather confident in what I was doing; I was approaching consistency in the width of the yarn, and a thinness appropriate to the spindle weight.

Gold single

Yearning for a partner.

Then came the ivory white roving.  I had this idea of a yarn in pillowy white wrapped in the thinner gold that I had just made, so I committed myself to spinning something thicker and slubular on purpose for plying against it.  Early on it became apparent that my spindle was rather too lightweight, and my drafting too slow, to handle a thicker yarn.  Backspinning happened often, but I persisted in this dream of marshmallowy pillows traced in gold.  My left arm became a little sore because of the finagling and intermittent parking and drafting that had to happen, but I got my fat slubs in the end.

Plying was an interesting exercise and an object lesson in the importance of appropriate posture.  I didn’t actually figure out what the appropriate posture was, but a grasp of its necessity was learned, all through my left side for a day or two.  When I got to the end of each of the balls of yarn, I had trouble keeping them from unwinding all the twist that the first act of spinning had built up in them.  There were also some breakages for which I improvised somewhat half-baked solutions, and even with an abundance of caution I ended up with an extra length of thin gold thread once the white had run out.  I plied it onto itself for the last length of the yarn–a funny little touch, in the end.

Full spindle

A sated spindle.

What also became apparent was that the white and gold singles combined made way too much yarn for my poor little spindle.  It held up well enough to do the job, but I wonder if a larger, heavier spindle won’t be in order for such substantial tasks.

First yarn, up close

Marshmallows and butterscotch.

I’ve set the twist and the yarn has bloomed beautifully.  It isn’t quite all thin gold around white pillows, as the white wasn’t consistently fat at nor was the gold consistently thin (it was somewhat thicker in the beginning), but I enjoy the effect.  Spinning is somehow deeply satisfying.  Is it the ever-unfolding outcome? Perhaps.