Actual Space

I’ve finished a full week – plus a little, of Spinning First.  I went over by a few days because frankly, I didn’t make the progress I thought I would.  Don’t get me wrong, I met the commitment. I spun first every day, I spun first when I thought of sitting down to knit, I left the wheel front and centre in the living room for a week and a bit – and I was right to a certain extent. More spinning certainly got done than when I’m not… um… spinning – but there wasn’t this massive exodus from the stash that I thought was going to happen. 

Perhaps that expectation was just as nuts as what I was talking about yesterday. This crazed idea that I’m going to get so much more done in the time I have even though it’s essentially the same time I’ve always had?  Perhaps that expectation was also nuts because it was "Spinning First" not "Spinning only". Knitting has continued at the same time. (I’m bashing out another Color Affection. The urge overwhelmed me.)

Three skeins is what I ended up with, and they’re pretty skeins too, and three skeins is nothing at all like no skeins, which is what I would have had if I’d not done this, and I’m not sure why I thought there would be so much more.  (See above delusion.)

I can tell you one thing I discovered though – I’ve clearly played this "let’s make room" game in the stash before, because that collection of spinning fibres is super light on the fast stuff.  The big braids of BFL that spins up quick into bouncy big yarns? Gone. The fun batts that practically spin themselves? They did. What’s left up there now is mostly slow fibre.  Delicate things intended to be laceweight, precious things too expensive to knock off for fun.. or dear things, gifts, souvenirs, pretty fibres that haven’t revealed their destinies yet.  There’s the raw fibre too… fleeces that need washing or carding or both, before they can be spun.  Obviously a week of spinning first isn’t going to change all that. 

As I sifted through it I realized that what I’ve done is a little like what would be left in your stash if you decided to knit twelve hats in a few weeks. The chunky, fast yarn is gone. 

This is going to take more than a week.  I see that now.  Next up –

This oh, so pretty Fiber Optics braid that I’ve been in love with for a while now.  It’s going to take a while, and it won’t create a lot of space, but it will be worth it.
As for the three skeins that I did get done? I’m going to take the advice of several of you in the comments and turn them loose.  Send me an email (stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca) telling me you would like it, and which skein(s) you want, and the best offer of a donation to my Bike Rally efforts gets it mailed to your house. (Remember it’s just handspun, and not even the most excellent handspun. The blue skeins in particular have some thick and thin parts.)  The blueish-turquoise is 50/50 merino/silk,  and it’s about 300+ metres of a DK to light worsted.  The multicoloured one is a mix of merino, romney, alpaca, bamboo, silk, Angelina, Firestar, silk noil and Starbright. it’s got a little sparkle, and it is about 160 metres.

Turning fibre into yarn does make it take up a little less space. Mailing it out of your house? That’s actual space.

66 thoughts on “Actual Space

  1. Steph! The yarn came out so gorgeous – however, I’m trying to adhere to my own yarn diet – so I’m writing to find out if I missed the instructions on how to donate to the Bike Rally?? I read the blog and I clearly saw that you instructed us to email you – however, since I’m trying to give others a chance to actually win the Yarn, I figured sending an email wasn’t the right way to approach this – Hope that wasn’t too confusing.
    Keep up the great work!

  2. OMG, I am so early in the comments.
    I am taking a technical spinning class and turning out at least one hank of yarn a week. It is hard work, but oh so much fun. I went to Stitches and bought “class supplies”. Yeah, that’s my excuse for increasing the stash. I need it for class!

  3. i laughed at this:
    “what I’ve done is a little like what would be left in your stash if you decided to knit twelve hats in a few weeks. The chunky, fast yarn is gone.”
    i knit hats almost exclusively, and so can do twelve hats in two weeks or less, using the worsted or the DK weight even.
    and then i thought — but what if you tried to make socks, robyn???? and then i totally got it.

  4. I think the delusion comes in comparison to the amount of time you have previously had during March Break versus the time you have during this March Break in particular. Would you have been able to do even this much spinning during the same week last year, or the year before? I imagine not. The perceived extra time is really a reduction in expected busy time. I think that much spinning over any given week is nothing to sneeze at, so don’t sell yourself so short. 🙂

  5. “There’s the raw fibre too… fleeces that need washing or carding or both, before they can be spun.”
    Do I detect a skittering, sideways allusion to the gansey wool?

  6. Your spun yarn is gorgeous. I’m trying to think of a reward for myself after chemo is done. Currently I’m knitting PICC line covers and hats, which I will need. But after it’s all over, maybe a spinning wheel will be a good reward. Hmmmm… I think maybe!

  7. It just hit me: stash is like energy.
    It is neither created nor destroyed. Instead, it just moves somewhere else, in a different form.
    Clever woman, our Harlot.

  8. omg…the only thing missing from those pics that keep it from being my idea of a perfect perfect morning would be lotsa cream in the coffee.

  9. I’d love to offer a donation but I was recently made redundant but this is just to say that if I get the job I interviewed for last week, that I have all my fingers crossed for, I will absolutely send you a Bike Rally donation. I’ve spent some of my unexpected free time in great employment – reading some of your books and back over the last two or three years of Yarn Harlotry that I missed while working in crazy busy jobs and forgetting to make time for knitting. So I will say thank you with a donation once I’m working again.
    I know you’re giving it away now, but a suggestion for the lucky recipient: the blue DK yarn is beautiful – would make for a lovely version of Loop of London’s baby wrap (Mignon on Ravelry). I’ve none of my own as yet but seriously considering knitting this for the hope chest (or a friend!). Like you, I’m not bothered by colour for baby gender.
    PS Happy St Patrick’s Weekend from a fellow Irisher (ex-Dublin, living in London).

  10. I would love to learn to spin. My friend Jolene is actively encouraging me to start. I have a spindle and have been playing with that. The only thing is that I don`t think that I have enough time to do it justice. I knit a lot and I have the feeling that the spinning would get neglected. The yarn is beautiful. Of course I am going to the Maritime Spinners Retreat in October here on PEI. Maybe there is a wheel in my future.

  11. Oh, no, you don’t. YOu’re not going to start taking over MY stash space with YOUR yarn, even if it is handspun. In fact, wouldn’t you like some of mine? Or a nice fleece or three?

  12. Ah, destashing – my local s n b is having a destash party today at our of our houses. I have destashed in preparation but realistically, will I come home empty handed?

  13. Hope some day to make yarn that beautiful. Off to practice my spinning — oh, wait, I promised this afternoon to putting beads on my Evenstar . . .

  14. my closet is also overflowing……wish I could suffer to add to it with your beautiful yarn, but I can’t justify it even for a donation…..

  15. Oh, that Fiber Optics braid looks absolutely delicious. It just needs a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and a latte to go with it. Why does yarn always remind me of food?

  16. Fortunately I just destashed 8 skeins of sock yarn that were pining away in my bin. I could not bear to look upon them any more knowing that I would never really use them. It was no one’s fault, we just weren’t meant for each other.
    I am so glad that space freed up!

  17. Good move. That yarn will make someone very, very happy. Not me, because I can’t afford to outbid the ravening hordes and my own favorite charities haven’t heard from me in too long, but someone.
    You have spun straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin is your name!

  18. What were the changes you made to color affection? There was something about a yarn over, but I don’t remember. Love your yarns, beautiful!

  19. Love that color combination for the Color Affection wrap! That autumn shade of orange is one of my favorite colors.

  20. Now, if you’d done that spinning while sitting on a bike saddle? You’d have been training and conditioning your tushy, plus making an early jump on your fund raising. I say this having just come from my spin class. ;^)

  21. I love that you are overcome with the need to knit another Color Affection. I cannot for the life of me stop knitting Lintilla scarves. It’s the amazingly squishy sock yarn knit into lovely garter stitch, the short rows – like magic! – turn into ruffles, and the ways the colors play in unexpected ways. The good news? My Christmas stash is growing!

  22. I just wanted to stop by and say what a gift it was for you to admit that at this stage in your spinning career (which is far beyond mine) you still get the thick and thin bits. Thank-you!
    Six skeins of my own went from the ‘fibre stash’ to the ‘hand spun stash’; so while I appreciate the offer and applaud you in your fund raising efforts…
    I got yarn. 😉
    I’m sure yours will find a good and loving home.

  23. Regarding those unprocessed fleeces: There are some very nice processors out there who will take them and return them as easy-to-spin roving. There is a risk they would be fluffier and take up more space, but would you rather take time to spin, or card fleece?

  24. The yarn is beautiful, and so is the gesture. On another note, would you mind terribly posting a photo of the Color Affection that shows the edge? I’m struggling… I’m on my second “project to take my mind off the Color Affection while I regain my composure.”

  25. I too am starting another Color Affection, and it seems that you and I have chosen essentially the same colors!

  26. My husband’s formula for calculating how long it takes to build something (seems to work for spinning and knitting, too):
    1. Make your best guess as to how long it will take.
    2. Double that.
    3. Add half of your original estimate.
    And that’s if nothing goes wrong.
    So a reasonable person could paint that bathroom in 1 day; it will take 2-1/2 days. There is about 8 hours of spinning there; if all goes well it will take 14 hours. It’s surprisingly accurate.

  27. With all due respect, I’ve donated to several causes you’ve posted about and offered giveaways for. Now, I would give to good charities because that’s what I do, but at the same time I’ve considered this to be like buying a lottery ticket at the same time. I think it’s a little wrong to state you are going to do a drawing for goodies to be given away to the people who donate and then never do it. I still love your blog and read it, but I humbly put forth this point of contention. I recognize that this is your “living room” and you desire a civil conversation here. I hope that you simply consider this thought I’ve put forward. Yes, I do realize this particular situation isn’t a “lottery”, but I can’t even bring myself to try on this beautiful handspun after being burned so many other times. Thanks for doing all you do to raise awareness and money to support these worthy causes. You’re an amazing woman and I know you strive hard to do what you feel is right!

  28. I’ve been spinning a bit more the last couple of days, in keeping with the spirit of Spinning First. I don’t have much to show for it but perhaps that’s because I’m persisting with something that is not colourful, not thick, or fast, or interesting in a fun, kicky way. It is fine spinning of a fine fleece, to make a fine 3-ply yarn for a shawl. So far, from spinning all week, I have one bobbin filled with singles. This is plain-jane creamy natural sheep-coloured fleece and I think it speaks well to my stick-to-it-ness that I’m still enthusiastic about the project. Probably because I’m offsetting it by knitting lace scarves in exquisite colours in the moments when I’m not spinning.
    Wonderful idea to reduce the stash and benefit the Bike Rally with some truly lovely yarns, but sadly I won’t be in the bidding because my stash is starting to assume monumental proportions too.

  29. As a new spinner (or spinner wanna be), I was wondering what counts as “quick spins”.
    Not that I don’t have lots of fiber…but I might need to pick up some “chunky”.

  30. Stephanie, you make me miss my spinning wheel! It is a long way away across an ocean and there is no hope of it living with me for some time to come. Yes, I have a drop spindle and no, I can’t manage to make yarn with it. Your yarn is beautiful but I gotta tell you, it makes me long for home.

  31. Kim at 10:32: Do you have reason to think that Steph does not, in fact, give away the things she says she will? I’ve always assumed that it does happen exactly as she says. Why do you believe she doesn’t do it? Remember, a lot of people read this blog, and there are only a few giveaways. If you haven’t received anything, that in no way means that it’s not happening.

  32. Kim: if you are going to accuse someone of dishonest behaviour in such a public way to such a tightly-knit community,and in her own living room, you had better cite some evidence.

  33. I didn’t read Kim’s comment as an accusation; rather as an expression of her frustration in donating several times but never winning the “lottery.” Perhaps she has missed the blogs where YH writes about the lucky people who have in fact received yarn and other goodies.
    Kim at 10:32, I know you are frustrated. I sometimes share that feeling because I do occasionally participate in these invitations to donate. And have never won (but I’ve never won any lottery either so it doesn’t bother me, and in the end the money goes to a good cause). But you have to be careful with your words, because it almost seems as if you are accusing YH of skullduggery. And I just do not believe that to be the case.
    I mean, I donate to the pledge drives of National Public Radio where they are always offering a drawing for some fabulous trip or whatever. The fact that I never win doesn’t make me believe that the prizes don’t get distributed.
    In the end, as here, I choose to believe that my donation is going to a good cause.

  34. I would love the blue/turquoise merino silk! Thanks for creating a little excitement in my day!

  35. I would NOT like to ask for the any of the skiens as I have A LOT of my own fiber to spin up and reduce the stash…not enhance it. I hope the person that wins has a lot of fun with it. As for me…I have not got much spun either but…I will continue to apin some each day because, I forgot just how much I like to spin!
    I have no immediat plans for what I have spun..but I will leave that to the new yarn. They will tell me what they want to be.
    Thanks Steph for getting me spinning again.

  36. My first Color Affection is the same colors, but I started with the dark brown, ended with orange.
    I also started, in place of my Car Sock, another CA. Lime, creme and navy. No explanation for starting it, I have lots of deserving socks…but he CA is wonderful for meetings.
    LOVE your new yarns!

  37. Well done 🙂 At least some progress was made! You couldn’t expect to spin up all the fibre in a week 😉

  38. If I had that yarn, I would pet it and stroke it and never knit it into anything! I love the blue yarn especially!

  39. I really like the look of the multi-coloured and I’m intrigued it contains so many different fibers!

  40. I LOVE the blue. All the colors in that skein are my favorites, and I definitely have room in my stash for such a special handspun. It would be such fun to have a Yarn Harlot skein! You do so much for so many good causes. You were my inspiration to making an annual donation to Doctors Without Borders, and I would love to make a donation to your Bike Rally of $100 US.

  41. I don’t know if it’s any consolation, but I have the same delusion about what can realistically be accomplished during any given period of time. I think I’ll have to adopt the time estimation method proposed by capsize.

  42. Space…the final frontier…These are the spinnings of the spinning wheel….
    OoOo Ooooo Oooo…Wah OoOooo… Whaaa Waaaa Waaa OoooOooo oooo…

  43. I would donate because I would love a skein of handspun yarn! – but I cannot support every charity, and these days the Leukaemia Foundation is the one closest to my heart because they helped my son so much.I give all my charity dollars to their fundraising.

  44. I also LOVE the blue ! I will doante $50 to your biking efforts and joyfully add the blue to my “okay so now what will I knit with my handspun” pile. BUT I have a request that you respond to my invitation to visit hte Knitting Guild of the Desert sometime in ‘season’ which is winter in your part of the world !

  45. I don’t want to make visiting the Desert Guild a requirement – just please consider the invitation
    … I will gladly donate to the bike rally for a skein without adding the visit – just please think about saying “yes”. .. I reread my note and decided I wasn’t clear !!

  46. Wish I could make a donation. They are very beautiful yarns. Hope someone is able to support a good cause and have a fun time knitting!

  47. I’m all about space reduction by way of yarn use….but I’m not spinning, I’m looking at abandoned WIPs, and thinking about how I can take my expensive investment and bring it back to life in some way. E.g.” a fair isle beret that I stopped because I didn’t like the way the decreases were lining up (dumb, I know, who will notice?)…I’m frogging what little was knitted…and I’m seriously thinking about doing a Fair Isle vest in the round, where I think the decreases will be minimal. Great save! (Except I haven’t cast on for the vest, yet).

  48. If I were you I would select a fiber that you are totally in love with and spin it. Don’t worry about it taking longer to finish. You’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of spinning something that gives you pleasure than slogging through a lot of fiber just for the sake of getting it done. At least, that’s my opinion.

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  51. I am knitting first pair of sox. Think I have died and gone to knit heaven!. Started kniting less than a year ago, at age 74. Afraid I will not live long enough to knit everything that I want to knit! But at this point am in love with sock knitting! Loved hat knitting too. Of course, have discovered that I really do like to knit in round or with double pointed needles Why did I not learn this sooner . . . . Am still working part-time and even take the knitting to work and knit during lunch and break! Oh for more time. You young folks are amazing with your knitting/yarn knowledge. I admire you so much.
    Have read 3 of Stefanie’s books and am such a novice, but have a house full of yarn already (husband is complaining) and am surprised when looking through the stash (when I have not purchased more . . . for some reason . . . )
    Believe that when I enter a yarn shop I go into a trance . . . ?????
    Does anyone know if Stephanie will be in Arkansas in May? I heard a rumor and would love to see her, listen to her, and watch her. Would be as exciting as when I saw, listened-to, and watched Frank Sinatra sing live in St. Louis about 30 years ago! Must be on my bucket list along with Grand Canyon and Oregon coast. What a list! Barbara

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