Can’t talk right now


Technically, those singles are done, and have rested overnight, and now I’m plying a delicious yarn – but it’s still spinning, and I’m so enchanted with it that I’ve given myself a nasty case of Spinner’s Limp from all the treadling, but I still don’t want to stop.

I tore the roving in half lengthwise, and spun each of those in the same direction, so if all goes well (like it sort of hasn’t before) they should match up as I ply, andย  I should have a self-striping merino/yak/silk heavy laceweight when I’m done. So far, so good, but usually what happens is that the singles start out matching up, and gradually come unmatched as I move through the bobbins, but hope springs eternal over here, and the suspense is killing me.

Will it work? Will it not?ย  Only more treadling will tell.ย 

78 thoughts on “Can’t talk right now

  1. I shall keep the hope eternal that the colors will match up. I have attempted that trick many times, but have never managed to pull it off. The last attempt ended up with me spinning the entire roving lot on one bobbin. I had mistakenly forgotten that I was done with one section and needed to do the 2nd. I believe it shall become navajo plyed…

  2. If it starts getting too far off, then just break one of the strands and rejoin at the correct color.
    It takes me weeks to spin up two bobbins ๐Ÿ™

  3. I wonder if you could fudge it up by breaking the yarn, winding off the single till you get to the next required color and then carrying on. You could keep one toilet paper roll for each color and use em at the end.
    But honestly, that sounds way too fussy for my liking. I’d just let ’em rip!

  4. I cling to the conviction that there must be some reason you’re choosing not to Navajo ply it (I know you can spin fine, so the only reasons suggesting themselves are yardage (you’re afraid that shortening it by two thirds will use up too much yardage) and sheer bloody stubbornness.
    Gotta be yardage.

  5. I just want to thank you for helping me get through the worst flu/walking pneumonia illness I’ve had in years. I felt so bad I couldn’t knit or read until I started reading Free Range Knitter and All Wound Up. They got me through some long sleepless nights and some boring afternoons. I began to chuckle and then I laughed and then I picked up my needles and cast on. I was back in business. Your writing is so enjoyable and thought provoking. Please keep it up.

  6. I wonder if putting the colors in the same place on each bobbin would help? I think even just the difference in position could throw off the colors from matching up when plied.

  7. Seems to me that the best way to get a perfectly self striping yarn would be to spin one very long single and then Navajo ply the whole thing, adjusting the triangle near the end of one color… but then you’d get a 3-ply…

  8. The only way I ever get the singles to match up is navajo plying. Most of the time I don’t care, though.

  9. Gorgeous! I was wondering what I was going to do with some unexpected free time I have right now and now I know!!!! ^_^ (So I get to get off the compy and actually do something GOOD with it! lol…)

  10. Beautiful! I saw an article recently that says “70’s Appliances” is the hip color scheme for 2012. I immediately thought of you and how that has always been your color scheme. You can sit at the cool kids table of glorious color all thru 2012!

  11. Carol, does this mean I don’t have to re do my kitchen after all? 70’s appliances- harvest gold and a green the name of which I can’t recall and dark brown. hmmmmm J

  12. It’s that need to know that keeps me plugging away at a project! Sometimes when I find out the answer (either yes or no), I’m done. I just needed to know…

  13. Jane, that 70’s green was Avocado. I remember it well ; ) I don’t think I’ll ever spin, but I’m willing to sit with a cup of tea and watch someone else do so! Relaxing, is how it looks to the mere observer.

  14. Jane @4:43pm – It is called avocado green, and the brown was autumn brown if I remember right. I absolutely LOVE the colors in those singles !!! No matter how they turn out I’m sure they will be beautiful!!! The “earth colors” have always been my thing, though. Probly cause I remember the whole 70’s color thing ( I hate to admit it, but I am 50! arghhh!!!)

  15. You’re correct about the initial match-up that doesn’t last, and I’ve been known to tear off lengths of color to make the plying continue to match. It’s fiddly and probably not worth the effort…
    Lovely colors!

  16. The colors on the bobbin are very pretty and should in no way be connected to the words “Harvest Gold” or “Avocado Green”. Ilived through the 70s too, and a muddier color set you couldn’t find.

  17. Not to be that pain in the tuckus, but what about Navajo plying? Yes, it’s 3-ply rather that 2, but striping is guaranteed ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. See, when I want the colours to do that I have always chain plied them. You are much more talented than I, so I expect it will be brilliant.

  19. *gg* You really need a Hansen MiniSpinner…for the sake of your legs and your spinning & plying – really constant speed helps a lot….

  20. Spinning is something one must do often. My wheel “yells” at me when I don’t pay her enough attention. She squeeks, moans and does not move easily when she is neglected. She won’t talk to me either with her humming as the great wheel moves.
    2012 is the year of the spinner!

  21. How exciting! I love wondering what’s going to happen when I ply my singles. It’s like magic sometimes.

  22. I’m with Rams. Navajo plying. I do it all the time, even with solids. Over spin, over ply, and it’s stunning and durable.

  23. You are making me REALLY want my spinning wheel to hurry up and get here! Ordered an Ashford Traditional last month and can’t wait for it to arrive from NZ. I want to spin again… your singles are gorgeous.

  24. You have inspired me.
    Since I had to miss fiber retreat this weekend( a sad tale of empty bank account), I shall dig out my unspun merino silk and go at it.
    God knows I should have enough unspun fiber in this house to keep me busy all day.
    If I can manage to ignore the family, it will almost be like retreat.

  25. I have a solution that my Mother used when I was about 5 yrs.old. She had surgery and could not use the treadle. She made me her treadler. I loved “helping”! So look for a helpful 5 year old. LOL

  26. i got my shirt today, That sh#** will block right out. Can’t wait to wear it to my LYS. Thanks for the link.

  27. It’ll be fabulous! Yarn is never prettier than when it is seen alone before it is made into a garment. It is full of mystery and promise.

  28. I remember those 70s colors so well! When I was a teenager my parents bought their very first house, after years of living in Navy housing, and my mother was thrilled to death to be able to purchase an Avocado Green refrigerator, stove, can’t remember if there was anything else. It’s not my favorite color, not by a long shot, but it has good memories attached!

  29. *sigh* I have to admit… Every time I see a photo of one of your spinning projects it gives me a fierce desire to learn the art.
    Maybe that spindle I bought last year will finally get a workout this weekend.

  30. You are truly gifted, Stephanie! For us non-spinners, thanks for this vicarious look into this artform.

  31. Can you retrofit your wheel to have two treadles? That way, you’d have equal damage to your legs… :o)

  32. Can’t wait to see what you get!! I think I sort of accidentally did some fractal spinning the other day and I am excited to knit with the yarn and see for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Not to be a buzz-kill, but I’m guessing from my own experience it won’t work. BUT, the yarn will be even more wonderful than if it had, so–it’s all good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I’ve got one word for you. Hansencrafts E-spinner. Okay, that’s two. I have arthritis in my right knee. It’s a lifesaver.

  35. Oh. those colors are just BEAUTIFUL – and such wonderfully even spinning! I’ve just reunited with knitting after far too many years away and am OBSESSED! Trying to find an affordable spinning wheel too, so I may spin again as well.
    I’m reading your book and LOVING it.
    Be well!

  36. Spinner’s Limp! I’m sorry to hear about that!
    Does anyone have any advice for circular needle-induced tendonitis? Or shall I just go back to straights and sell my interchangeable kit on Ravelry?

  37. But it would be a wonderful effect if the colors aligned for a while, and then drifted. So you would have long runs of the same color, and then it would gradually move into a tweedy look. Could be very interesting!

  38. I thought of all kinds of ways to casually say hey I’d help you out if it pools when it plies and you find you don’t like it, but they all sound too… Smug? Eager? Selfish, definitely. You know you make nice stuff, always.

  39. Spinner’s limp, tendonitis, we all seem to overdo a bit when messing with textiles. I have figured out that changing the chair you sit in when spinning can make a huge difference. Personally, I prefer a rocking chair. When knitting, there are days when I need to remind myself to relax the shoulders. Much trial and error goes into figuring out the most comfortable space for yourself.

  40. What’s the best book for a beginner spinner? I was gifted with a Louet spinning wheel on New Year’s Eve by one of my guests!

  41. Spinner’s limp, tendonitis, we all seem to overdo a bit when messing with textiles. I have figured out that changing the chair you sit in when spinning can make a huge difference. Personally, I prefer a rocking chair. When knitting, there are days when I need to remind myself to relax the shoulders. Much trial and error goes into figuring out the most comfortable space for yourself.

  42. I wasn’t the only one missing the spinning posts. There’s always something new to learn. I just bought my first commercial yarn in many, many months because the last year I have been on a mission to knit from my handspun stash. I haven’t finished that supply but needed a bulky mohair yarn and I didn’t have enough mohair. I hate it when that happens. Maybe I’m just a control freak but I love being able to dictate my yarn so that I have just what I want in the color I want.

  43. I love navajo plying when I want my colors to stay separated. Plus, a 3-ply yarn is nice and rounded.

  44. I love navajo plying when I want my colors to stay separated. Plus, a 3-ply yarn is nice and rounded.

  45. I read or heard somewhere about rewinding the bobbins so that you are starting to ply both singles from the end you first started spinning and that will help keep the colors together….I haven’t tried this yet, so not completely sure it works or is worth the effort, but thought I would mention it.

  46. Seeing your spinning makes me want to spin too lol I received a drum carder for christams a Louet Elite and i’m wanting to try spinning some of My Romney wool I have in the basement ( the equivalent of 6 sheep worth ) hahah before spring and sheering starts again, and since my cousin owns a Sheep farm on Vancouver Island It makes it that much more apparent that I have to spin some of my stock If my Husband won’t think i’m crazy for wanting more sheep in the basement hahah I think Today is for spinning ๐Ÿ˜€

  47. I would TOTALLY knit that lovely stuff into a lengthwise scarf if someone gave it to me. They would not even have to insist just sayin’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. Dearest Harlot,
    You are the best sock knitter. Truly you are amazing. So, I have been knitting two years, and all your socks inspired me to try my first pair. My husband, lovable bear of a man that he is, insisted that he wanted the first pair, like he wanted the first hat (a disaster that he wears with pride, an acrylic monstrosity that needs to be put down)His foot is a size 16….
    So after trying to find a pattern, and then attempting to make my own, crying the last 3 times to the froggy pond, I was wondering if you could tell me an easy first sock that would fit a size 16 Mens? He said they could be near ankle socks the last time I lost it, lol
    Thanks for your inspiration and for sharing hope for all psycho knitters of the world

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