Sorry for the late post today, I went to the dentist, and it seems like my brain unfroze when my mouth did.  (Lucky for me, this is the last visit for a while. I can start trying to think of my dentist like the nice guy he is again, now that it’s over.) In the meanwhile, while I puttered, waiting to unthaw, this bobbin of single yarn is sitting on the wheel. Resting.

I’ve been told many times that singles left to rest for a day or two have the twist quiet down and are easier to manage.  Being me, I find this period of waiting almost impossibly difficult.  Difficult enough that I’ve actually asked several competent and renowned spinners over the years if the period of waiting is actually required or important,  or if it’s just some crazy made up thing designed to delay gratification for the betterment of our souls.  They always agree that the energy will still, the yarn will be easier to manage… the waiting, they agree, is helpful, and not personal.  (For the record, the only spinning teacher who’s ever technically disagreed was Judith MacKenzie, and all she said, when I asked her if I couldn’t actually go ahead and properly ignore the rule, said "You can if you like."  If you know Judith, then you know that when she says that, what she actually means is that it’s a terrible idea. If you asked her if you should set yourself on fire, she’d look stern, shake her head no, and then say, head lowered, eyes askance "You can if you like." It’s the strongest statement she can make, being the paragon of grace that she is.)  I’ve decided, since I want to chain-ply this bobbin, and it not being my very best thing, that I’ll wait.  No problem.  I can knit.

This here is my Color Affection in progress.  I love it a lot, but not tons.  I wanted one with low contrast, sort of a blur of the colours I like, something not too stripey, not too far outside the curve.

I wonder now if I’ve gone too far the other way. These colours are not similar in hue – but the are similar in value. A deliberate choice on my part that may have been too timid.  Still, I feel that I’m not far enough in to pass judgment, though really, I caught myself last night thinking that maybe I won’t know until I’m done, until the whole thing is there in its entirety.  Sigh.  Keep knitting.

Maybe I’ll knit socks. Maybe it’s just me, or people who live in a climate like mine, but I stared out at the snow yesterday and thought "TURN." I’m ready for a change. I feel right on the cusp of it, right on the edge of some big change, and for the life of me, I can’t help but think that it would all happen if the snow would stop. 

91 thoughts on “Rest

  1. But that orange is so pretty. The color should distract you from the snow…I hope. Take care!

  2. Omg am i first. I don’t like to wait to ply either. If I’ve spent all that time and I’m finally done, I want to see/ fondle the final product.

  3. Love those socks!
    I think the color affection will be wonderful. The stripey-stripey-ness of it is the reason I haven’t knit one. Perhaps all I really need is to tone it down like yours. I’ll be looking forward to seeing it completed!

  4. Love the colors in your Affection…but when I’m feeling “meh” about something in progress, I figure I can always gift it at the end…question: what’s a good starter lace shawl? (with written directions)

  5. I had hoped for a more mottled Color Affection (Affliction) when I knit mine in bronw/green/a mottled orange/orange and was kind of disappointed with how strongly the stripes stood out. One thing I found is that the wrong side was far more mottled and to my liking, so perhaps if you shoot to wear it inside out?

  6. I can so understand your feeling about the change – it needs to happen. It’s the vernal equinox, for crying out loud! I am waiting for the sound of the ice heaving and cracking on the lake so that I know the sunlight is here to stay for some months. This backloaded winter stuff is exhausting. Hang in there!

  7. I totally Love. Your. Color Affection. It’s perfect. If you don’t want I’ll gladly take it.
    And I agree on the snow. It started snowing today when I was biking to my yoga class. Two hours later, we had 3 inches of snow – and I live in the middle of Germany, not in Canada! It totally sucks.

  8. Glad you can go back to liking your dentist. Love the sock. Though I can see why your concerned about the yarn for the CA. I think it will probably do what you want if it doesn’t drive you bats while knitting. With this resurgence of winter we both seem to be suffering through you might need a different project. Something that makes you think of wonderful warm weather with beautiful flowers. Personally I think a CA in the colors of an iris would be just the thing. Now all that is needed is skeins of fingering in the correct colors. Patients with Handspun is so frustrating sometimes.

  9. sorry, don’t like the way the colors of the CA are setting up at all. I say get out while the going’s good. Love the sock though. Can you transfer the sock color into the CA? that might be really pretty…..btw I went to my dentist today too. Sweetest guy in the world. As he’s working on you, he is always murmuring, “i know,i know, i’m sorry” (as i’m whimpering in the chair)……glad it’s over for you, glad it’s over for me.

  10. This is the time of year I find it very hard to knit. I don’t want to be knitting warm woolly sweaters, and I don’t want to be thinking about cozy socks, but the weather is not inspiring me to summer shawls and lacy things.
    Fortunately (?) I have a very badly behaved sweater already on the needles. Or maybe it’s a great sweater and I need to learn to count. We shall see!

  11. I agree that you aren’t going to know about the colors until near the end. I loved my colors in the balls, hated them when I added the third color, and just started loving them again when I was about 12 rows from the border section. The small area I had them in before that just wasn’t giving me a good enough perspective.

  12. I love the CA’s colors – but am a little disappointed there’s no photo of the edge. Seriously, I think if I could just see what it’s SUPPOSED to look like, I could figure out if my yarn is just wrong or if it’s a gauge thing… maybe I need a smaller needle because the yarn is pretty narrow (not fluffy)? Help me, Harlot, you’re my only hope!

  13. Katie Metzroth may have it. (It is currently snowing HUGE fat flakes in Kalamazoo.) You don’t much wear pastels, but maybe a quick pastel something (STEP AWAY FROM THE BOBBIN)for a baby, impending or putative? Just till the first crocus? (It’s snowing harder.)

  14. Imagine the craptastic weather and NOTHING to knit or spin!
    Feel better now?
    As Sheryl Crow sings, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.” (Luckily, all we’re getting here this week is colder weather — 15F tonight.) Can’t say I really want it, but at least it needn’t be shoveled.

  15. I’ve frogged many starts of Color Affection for that very same reason. I’m to the point where I should start it with two colors that I think clash.

  16. I often wonder if advice about crafting has empirical evidence to back it up. True, respected teachers can teach us alot. But I think you need to test it yourself by spinning four bobbins, let two rest and ply the other two. Ply the resting bobbins after a day and see if there’s a difference. Hard to do a blind test this way, though. I just can’t see that much can change in the ply while it’s wound on the bobbin.

  17. I love the colors. So warm and cozy 🙂
    And heads up Steph – your post says 8:12am when it was posted. Pretty sure that’s not right.

  18. Your CA shawl will be lovely. I love the colors, but I agree it’s very autumn-esque. I’m sure you’ll adore it, just blitz it out and hide it away ’til fall. Spring demands brilliant yellow! Vibrant Purple! Strong Green! (I’m trying to convince us all that spring is coming). From 50 degrees back to 30 and raining/snowing 🙁 Spring is so fickle.

  19. I think you need springy something, too. (Just to be an echo). I can feel it in my, too. I am knitting with dark Purple, grey, green and deep blue, and I seem to be thinking about cream and pink and pale green all of the sudden. I also have terrible startitis. Although that can be chronic, it seems to be pushing me to pretty, light, and cute. You need to start something new. 🙂

  20. I like the muted Color Affection. It’s mellow and warm, what we need to remember to be when March teases us with some mild days and then dumps a foot plus of snow on us.
    I’ve regretted every time I’ve plied unrested singles. My solution is to have lots of bobbins (only 7 really). That way I can let something rest and work on something else to distract myself

  21. I, too, feel on the cusp of change – not just in the weather, but in life. I’m impatient to get on with it, but MinneSnowTa is teaching me that impatience is rewarded with more of the same. Last year on this date it was 80 degrees in the Twin Cities. This year? 15. Keep pushing through, and have faith that what you’re waiting for will come in its own time.

  22. Snow comment – agree. Color Affection colors – Love! The thing I love about Color Affection is that one can go as bold a contrast or as subtle a contrast as one desires and it still looks great!

  23. That happened in one of my color affections. I changed one color and I loved it.. go with your gut… and Yes, socks are the best. Sorry you had to spend time with your dentist…

  24. love the colors, won’t talk about weather (you can guess where I live or maybe should say don’t live, hint, shovels in this part of the world is for sand…) Love the idea of the bright yellow, vibrant purple and strong green – connie at 7:51. How about mardi gras colors? Hang tough, change is a comin’!

  25. I think your Color Affection is going to look great! I’ve seen some beautiful ones that have more subtle contrast. I think yours will be one of them 🙂

  26. I LIKE that there is no strong contrast of colors. It’s more of seeing the whole forest of trees instead of a pile of leaves which has no organization. 🙂 I’m not a ‘Fall-ish’ color fan for me, but I’m thinking if I ever get to the place where I have time to make an ‘Affection’ I would pick more similar in hue, or color, to have a more subtle effect.

  27. All I’ve been able to think watching it snow the last few days is “make it stop”. And yet it keeps on.

  28. I agree, we’ve had a lovely long wintery winter, and enough already. Did you notice the bulbs are also on the cusp of big change? One day of sunshine and that touch of warmth, and out they sprang, ready for action. But then… more snow.

  29. I add my voice to the chorus telling you to try something in one or more spring pastels — even if it’s pair of socks for one of your family. Otherwise, you might get severe cabin fever, sort of like “The Shining,” and find yourself shaving the cat for fiber to spin.

  30. Great colors for ca. Has anyone done a ca in changing values of same color or close relatives -blues teals &green come to mind. Think tropical water. That’ll get ya past the march blues

  31. Maybe you’re doing the colours in the wrong order? Would the brown be more muted compared to the orange instead of the green? It seems like the brown ties the other two together and so should interpose itself between them if you want less excitement colour-wise. Looking forward to seeing how the singles ply up!

  32. Chain plying – let the singles rest! If you hadn’t admitted that this technique sometimes causes you trouble, you probably wouldn’t be super frustrated by twisty, kinky, sproing-y singles. When I chain ply, I get *ample* practice at joining a broken ply, again & again, that the added challenge of exuberant singles is not needed! With a standard two ply, fresh singles are fine for me (though one bobbin has likely rested). 3-ply it seems to matter again that one is fresh and two are not. My control is better if all three have had a day’s rest.

  33. We’re so tired of snow too! Another foot of the damn stuff fell in the last two day accompanied by Arctic wind. Sigh. One, maybe one & half more month(s) of it to get through. Then we can start hoping for spring.

  34. Those colors are lovely! Chiming in with everyone else who’s noted how autumnal they are. You will adore this scarf in September; it’s just not right for March.

  35. Happy first day of spring! 😉 Might not feel like it now, but every day that passes is another day we get closer to sunshine and temperatures above freezing. Hang in there.
    (PS – absolutely love the colors in your Color Affection. I say keep at it. It will be beautiful no matter what)

  36. I just finished knitting a pair of socks in autumn colors. Can’t imagine what I was thinking. They just seemed to take forever.
    The next pair is already OTN, with white and pale blue and pale gray and I’m back to my usual “I love socks!” feeling.
    Color can make such a difference.

  37. I am going to chain ply my yarn too. I have been spinning first this week, thanks to your challenge, and am now half way thru the B in my ROY G BIV evolution yarn. Yay! I leave for Kansas (bleh) tomorrow so I have to leave my spinning at home and get to knit again. That will be nice. 🙂

  38. So, I’m sure someone’s told you this already, but the way you get over the “rest for a day” is to wind off the singles onto a cardboard spools – the kind used for sectional warping. (find them here: Some of these, plus a bobbin winder and you’ll be winding off your singles and then plying the same day. Winding off evens out the twist and makes for a much more enjoyable plying process. Trust me. Actually, here … hold my beer. I’ll show you.

  39. I never wait to ply. In fact, I don’t like the sort of dead feeling in the yarn if the singles sit on the bobbin for any longer than necessary. Sometimes a spinning project gets interrupted and the singles stay on the bobbin a while, but I’d always rather ply right away.
    The good thing about spinning–as about knitting–is that we each get to do it the way we want to.

  40. Lemons and oranges and their leaves in those colors. Hmm. I wonder if I could mail you some lemons from my tree and not have them go off before they get through Customs. There is nothing that smells quite so perfect, so cheering, in cold weather.

  41. I love the sock colour. I have just started my first pair of these socks and it is a great pattern, thank you.

  42. I live in the same area as you do, and I don’t mind the snow at all. It bears no real threat of staying – after all, spring is here – it’s just a bit of pretty decoration. As long as the temp is around freezing, the field at my kids’ school will stay frozen, they can play on it at recess AND not wear snowpants. Best of both worlds!

  43. It is turning – just not as fast as we could want. The Equinox happened, the sun crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere, and the days are lengthening. Soon!

  44. Jean at 3:10, follow the link to the sock pattern. It’s called “Old Joe” and you can get it on Ravelry. I’m almost finished with my first pair of socks and I love how the pattern is coming out. I made it for me from stash yarn, so the color/s are a bright salmon/pink/red but the striping is very subtle, so it doesn’t overwhelm the pattern.
    I know YH suggested a solid color, which would be great for the pattern, but I just couldn’t resist! And it’s turning out to be my anti-winter-blahs project because the colors make me happy!

  45. I looked at the weather yesterday and quailed a bit inside. The forecast for tonight was more snow. Admittedly a pathetic amount of snow, a dusting, but I’m past the point where the idea of a dusting makes me feel better about the weather. Some day I will get to take Victor out for a walk without wondering what snowy obstacles I’m going to encounter along the way.

  46. There is a 9 foot snow drift between my house and the garage next door. My husband had to shovel the vent for our water heater out which is 5 feet off the ground on the south side of the house. And it’s snowing again.
    I’ve given up. It’s never going to stop snowing. It’s just going to bury my house. Fortunately I have lots of yarn and as long as I keep the steps shoveled off, the mailman is happy to deliver more.

  47. I am feeling your pain. March in Canada is like an endurance test you have to take even though you’ve decided you’re done with the marathon.
    Everytime it snows (again) a little part of me dies.

  48. I, in Ohio, feel your seasonal pain. Every morning I get out of bed, look out my window and have to fight the urge to burst into tears that it’s rainy/ice-y/snowy or whatever outside. The first day of spring, it snows from noon on. There is an inch of snow on the ground now.

  49. Ok, what is this waiting period you refer to? Does the yarn need to rest or something. It’s not fully explained, and I feel like it’s something only a hardcore spinner would understand. I don’t spin (unless you count the wheels of procrastination – I do spin those wheels well when there’s Internet eye candy).
    As for the weather, it’s blastedly cold here in the Midwest, but no snow, thankfully. I’m about to launch an Easter short sleeve wool sweater today. I think I can get it done for Easter Sunday. I think I can, I think I can!

  50. I can’t look out the window without feeling like crying… I want all those feet of snow to melt, right now!!! Arggggghhhhh!!!!
    To try to fight my cabin fever/winter blues, I’m working with a light pink yarn.
    It isn’t a very successful antidote…

  51. My Color Affection has two “similar in hue” stripes, not so much in value, and I had the same misgivings. The third was way different in both = a pop of complementary color. In the end I came to love the subtlety. I think you will too. And we still have snow and cold in Central PA and are expecting more over the weekend. I keep reminding myself that if I want different weather, I should move to Florida…….

  52. I’m looking forward to this Color Affection. The stripiness in a lot of the combinations is exactly what’s holding me back. I like a blur of color, myself, not the shout of direct contrasts.

  53. Well, I seem to be in the minority on your CA colors. I do agree that they’re autumnal, and beautiful for that time of year. But, you know, if you subbed out that third color with a bright springy green from your stash, I bet you’d feel more like knitting it up RIGHT NOW. Or–go put together a more springy, cheerful collection of colors that’ll make you happy to be knitting them now. You know–to sort of hurry spring along. Bright green, lilac and pale blue? A symphony of spring greens?

  54. It’s subzero in Scotland too. This is not usually the case in March, usually there are crocuses and daffodils and pretty baa lambs(and often howling winds too but let that pass). I am not surprised you are knitting the socks. You need something GREEN.

  55. Alison in Scotland – its snowing way down here in the English Midlands, too. Cold, dull, yuck. I am knitting spring socks in pink and lilac – don’t need socks, but it cheers me up no end!

  56. If it’s any consolation, last year in Indiana March was *hot* – seriously, uncomfortably hot. The apple trees thought it was summer and bloomed. Then we had an April freeze. Result: NO apples at the local orchard.
    The cold is bugging me, too, but I keep reminding myself that this is really good for the apple crop. In September I will be glad this happened!

  57. I always have something waiting to ply, but that’s because I keep combining things to spin for projects. So one bobbin is never all of it and is never enough. I have 5 or 6 bobbins of alpaca waiting for plying. I think you’re wise to wait if chain plying is not entirely comfortable for you (as it isn’t for me). And I’m also done with winter. We even still got a dusting of snow down here in the mid-Atlantic last night. My morning run is still (again) dark and cold!

  58. When Rams and Presbytera agree, I’m with them. Swap for something springy.
    Probably, once spring is in full swing, or in the heat of summer, you’ll look at those colours again and sigh, “Oh, for a muted, rusty, beautiful autumn!” But when it’s snowing… again? After all, you waited a little at Cabarete, didn’t you, when the colours didn’t match the mood?
    How about a buttercup baby sweater? I have one in my stash that needs finishing… want it?

  59. For what it is worth, I LOVE the your Color Affection colors. Each time you show a photo I drool little (Figuratively, not literally, that would be too messy). Four years ago we moved from the NJ to FL. Every year, just around mid-September, I start to feel desperate for wool and autumn colors. I have already written myself a note re: your Color Affection. It should suit that mood perfectly. Thank you for thinking of it. 🙂

  60. I’m right with you on the weather front. I feel like I could do anything and everything if the snow would just go away. Lose 10 pounds No problem! Finish the multiple WPIs on needles No problem! Clean the house from top to bottom No problem! Knit myself a cute little spring sweater in time for my April birthday No problem! I’m sure it will all magically get done if only the snow will go away and I can open the windows. Sigh, a co-worker just walked in saying it is snowing again.

  61. Poor baby, …you’re sounding a little snow-crazy.
    I can relate to that state of mind when the wind
    wails here for days (‘if only it would stop’).
    Just know,
    I understand;
    and, yes, the Universe will eventually shift.
    Be ready!

  62. OMG, I just went to the basement to check my handspun for a wedding gift afghan thinking that I would have to spin some more. Not so. In the 7 years of spinning there is a s…t load of it.

  63. One of my criteria for spring…Husband ditches long johns & multiple layers before heading out the door.
    PS…this isn’t the aha week after all (retired Jan-every week so far it’s been less than my expectations-although I’m very thankful for the sprinkles of wonderful during said period) Just returned from visiting 92 year old dad and it’s Thursday-aha week must start on Monday! Color me quirky.

  64. I love those CA colors. I want them. Did I miss the color names, and brand? Please share!

  65. Will everyone kill me if I mention I’m enjoying the daffodils in full bloom in California?

  66. Hmmm, I’ve always been confused about the word ‘unthaw’. If it means what I think you and everyone else means it to, then why do we have the word ‘thaw’? Wonderful knitting, as always!

  67. There’s nothing timid about the CA colors. Anyone who loves autumn colors will die for this harmonious combination!!

  68. I’m with you. This morning, scraping the frost off my windshield, I thought TURN. By the time I left my daughter at school I felt (weirdly) like I could *smell* spring in the air even though it wasn’t warm enough for it.

  69. I always use live singles. Right off the bobbin. For everything I do. I can’t wait either.

  70. I like the CA colours! But I’m a fall-colour-lover like that. One beef…PLEASE do not use the word unthaw. That means freeze. We don’t need any more freezing. Besides, my mother uses the word ‘unthaw’.. And I’d like to not think of my mother while I read your blog!

  71. My issue with the “rest the singles” business is that I am such an intermittant spinner, that 24 hours can (and has) become 24 months. I too am on the fence on your stripes, but I think that is because I am much more of a black brown gray navy blue person. {I am beginning to suspect that I am the only person on the planet that is thrilled that winter is sticking around. I just love it. (Time to duck and hide.)}

  72. Stephanie, I certainly wish I could send some of the sunshine and warm weather that we’re having here in the armpit of Texas. I’ll trade you for snow any day!

  73. Charlene Schurch once told me that you can pop your bobbin of singles into the freezer for a couple of hours instead of having to wait overnight or for the day. Give it a shot!

  74. I would just like to go on record here and say that I rarely wait to ply. I almost always ply right way. The only time I wait is if it takes me a while to get the bobbins spun. With practice your yarn management skills are sharpened and the stupid stinking waiting can go away.

  75. I was squinting when opening the post, and the first image with the bobbin and flyer hooks looked just like a bear claw.

  76. Ready for a change….that’s my problem. I live in SoCal and it is relentlessly sunny and perfect, sunny and perfect, sunny and perfect. Yeah, I know…such a problem to have, right? But it gets old. I would kill for a snow storm or even a decent rain now and then. Hubby and I spent Christmas in Oregon totally snowed in at a cabin on the Metolius River, happy as clams.

  77. I keep reading that last paragraph over and over. I’m waiting for my baby to be born any day, and it feels like it won’t happen until spring happens. And unfortunately here in Michigan we’ve got more cold and more snow predicted. This baby and spring are late. I guess they didn’t see their due dates on the calendar this week.

  78. You’ll probably use it a lot.I know I would. It won’t compete with what you’re wearing, just enhance it. I found I wasn’t wearing my Color Affection very often, so I took the narrow end and attached it to the first neck section with a chain stitch, spiraling it around till I reached the end. Now I have a circular capelet that stays on, doesn’t get caught in car doors, drop in my food and drink, or drag behind me. Getting a lot more use out of it!

  79. I’m certainly not a famous, well-known spinner, and I’ve never writen a book but I have been spinning for 35 years now. Yes, the twist will settle down if you wait but I’ve never had a problem plying right after I finish the bobbin unless it’s really been spun with a lot, a whole lot of twist. But if it does sit for a while, I always ply with a bit more twist than looks balanced while you’re plying it. If I don’t add that extra twist when plying a ‘relaxed’ yarn, the final yarn will be under plied after washing because the original twist in the single will pop back in when it gets wet and have the effect of making the ply undertwisted.

  80. I like similar-value color affections just fine. I’m not a high-contrast person, my scarves don’t have much call to be.
    That said, I think Judith means what she told you. You can, if you like. What’s this following rules that go against the grain and just asking for expert advice? I didn’t know you were French :-). I’d suggest what Judith herself would say if you asked: you go now spin some singles and then ply them immediately. If the extra energy drives you crazy, then you’ll be motivated to wait in the future. But personally it doesn’t drive me crazy, some things do (like waiting) but not that. So why Follow The Rules without testing them out for yourself??

  81. Hi, Steph,
    I just found out about poutine and it sounds wonderful! I must say that I love the autumnal colors of CA, but the spring-like colors agree with me just now, when we seem to be locked in the never-ending winter.

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