October 17, 2007

In which I use the word commingled

I woke up this morning with a magnificent cold, but I am not bummed out, for it is two days until I go meet the knitters in New Jersey, and three sleeps until I walk among the forces of Rhinebeck. Wool heals. I feel this.

That's why, in the interest of healing my cold I am going to spend all day knitting and stash managing. If I didn't have a cold I would totally spend today cleaning and doing laundry. Totally. I'll need to start new socks since these are finished.


Monkey socks, Hazel Knits, Sailors Delight (currently sold out, but she's got a mailing list going on and is dyeing as fast as she can.) A portion of each sale of this colourway goes to Doctors Without Borders, and it's beautiful besides.


Modifications: I changed the top of the Monkey to a picot edge.

I read all the comments from yesterday, and the advice is overwhelmingly in accord. Wash the yarn first. Since I always do as I am told (stop that laughing) I'm washing it. A couple of people asked how I would wash the yarn if it was on the cone, so I thought I might explain before somebody tries that and blames me for the ensuing disaster. You can't wash yarn on the cone. (I feel sure that this is definite.) I went and got my niddy-noddy, and I put the cone on the floor and started reeling it off.


When I'm making my own skeins I always try to keep in mind that I don't want to make one bigger than I can eventually wind on my ball winder.


I tied it very carefully in 4 places. (There are instructions here on how to tie a skein.) I will leave to your imagination the absolutely gory consequences of attempting to wash a bunch of yarn if you haven't prevented tangles properly. I shudder to think of the sodden heap of hopelessly commingled yarn that would result, and you can trust me, it does result. Thus secured, I removed it from the niddy-noddy and pitched it into a sink full of very hot soapy water.


(I used dish soap. I don't think SOAK or Eucalan would do it.) I let it sit for a few minutes to become thoroughly wet, then swished and squeezed it for a little. (I am not worried about this yarn felting, but it might be a concern of mine with a different sort of yarn, so if you try this, don't forget to use your brain.) I pulled it out and squeezed as much water out as I could, repeated with rinse water, then rolled it up in a towel and stood on it to get more water out, then hung it outside to dry. I'd guess that the total time investment (especially if you do not take pictures
) is about 10 minutes per skein.


(It is tied to that chair pretty darn firmly, lest yee think I forget the squirrel.) I happened to toss a washed and dried and an unwashed skein on the ground while I was taking pictures of the one on the chair and looked down.


I was struck (again) by the incredible difference between the washed (left) and the unwashed (right.) You guys were right to insist on the washing. The clean wool looks so much more appealing, it's going to be way more pleasant to spend time with, which is good, since I've decided to go down a needle size. I was on the knitalong page for the Sunrise Circle Jacket, and saw a note from Kate Gilbert where she said that you want this fabric firm when knit, which, since I love this yarn so much I want to marry it, totally means I won't be using another yarn and also won't be getting gauge, which means I'm going to refigure the thing, which means.....

Well. That this yarn and I are likely going to be spending a lot of quality time together.

Posted by Stephanie at October 17, 2007 12:44 PM