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Going Backwards, and other stories

September 26, 2005

Summer seems to have finally relaxed its grip on the mid-Atlantic, and coincidentally (or maybe not) the spinning wheel is purring again instead of creaking and grinding. I did a little cautious grinding of the footman with a drill bit to make the axle hole round again, and applied a layer of lithium grease at Liz’s suggestion. It seems happy. For now.

So, the last 4 ounces of my Wild Things merino looked like this on Saturday afternoon.

This is progress. On the other hand, the back of Venus, which had been knit on for 2 months, looked like this on Saturday afternoon.

This is not progress.

Turns out that I’d picked the oddball hank of handspun Cormo to start off with – it was thicker than all the others. So I swatched, established a gauge I liked, then just above the armholes started knitting with another ball, and this happened.

Even knitting with two different balls I couldn’t make it look right.

I still love the yarn but I don’t think I’m going to be able to start over for awhile. I hauled out some stash yarn and am thinking of casting on for this for Emily, in pink with grey cats. She asked me to make her something new, which she doesn’t usually do, and this seemed like the opportunity.

Yesterday I started spinning the wonderful magic bluefaced leicester that arrived in the mail from Lisa on Friday. In case there is anyone still uncertain that this woman is color genius, I’ll remind you of my little adventure with spindling Wensleydale. I was so delighted with the color that I wanted MORE, but in a fiber I’d love better. So I mailed the hank off to Lisa and asked if she could do ‘something like this’ in her bluefaced leicester. First, a picture came by email:

Then, another picture came by email, which you can see on her blog from earlier last week. It photographed light. I probably sounded insufficiently thrilled when I replied, unfortunately, because I was taking it on faith – after all, this is LISA we’re talking about. THEN, finally, a package came on Friday.

Isn’t it beautiful??? It photographs lighter than it is in person. Here is a picture of it being spun, which I tinkered with to try to give you a truer color.

Most fiber really shows its stuff in the sun, in bright natural light. Well, this one gets really dramatic in the dark. Yes, really. Last night I was sitting at the other end of the room under my Ott light knitting, and I looked up at the length of green fiber draped above the spinning wheel, and it was glowing in the half-light. Amazing.

If I can actually spin the weight I want, this green is going to be this. We’ll see. I’m sobered by the situation with my Cormo. Consistency may not be within my abilities!

The first sleeve of Arches is finished, but I forgot to take a picture yesterday. It has a lovely shaped cuff. The second one is past the dreaded short row shaping and is just a big tube now for awhile. I’m ready to wear this sweater. Why doesn’t stuff get done faster???

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    September 26, 2005 10:56 am

    The BFL is stunning – a bit of compensation for the demise of Venus, may she rest in peace. Consistency is an elusive thing for me too. What do you have planned for the Wild Things?

  2. Sam permalink
    September 26, 2005 11:19 am

    I have faith in your engineering abilities to sort things out and make the best use of the cormo, but it’s good to just step back, rest, and enjoy the heck out of spinning that beeyoootiful fiber! Whatever it becomes is going to look stunning on you. 🙂

  3. September 26, 2005 11:30 am

    Looks like we are all working toward consistancy! I feel like I don’t get near enough done either.

  4. September 26, 2005 11:44 am

    Wow that color is beautiful! It will look great in the cutaway!
    I know what you mean about consistency. I haven’t attempted a garment out of anything but bulky spun.

  5. September 26, 2005 6:07 pm

    The best way to stay consistent between skeins that I’ve found, is to tear off about 18″ off your target grist (weight/length) and tie it to your spinningwheel. Regularly compare your current spinning to this target sample. You’ll need to compare every few minutes initially. Just keep practicing.

  6. dorothy in wyoming permalink
    October 8, 2005 5:43 pm

    Yummy wonder if Liz will make that a regular colorway.

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