July 14, 2008

In which I am all over it

Moments after I typed "I can do it" on Friday, I felt a wicked sense of foreboding. You know that feeling where you look at a friend and say "I'm sure he'll show up" or "There's no way that could happen" or "I know I've covered all the bases" ... that feeling where as soon as those confident words are out of your mouth, you know that sure as anything you've just about guaranteed that you're about to get a face plant into a pool of muddy humility - assuming you dodge the immediate lightning strike?

Usually for me, I feel that feeling and then the planet takes a look at me and my cocky self assurance and says "Listen, I can't let you carry on thinking that you know what's going on here. Your perception that if you get it together you'll have it together is wildly wrong. I'm in charge here, and I'm a fickle, unsteady, mercurial planet, who mixes things up for no other reason than it's Wednesday, that oil spill has me seriously pissed off and you're getting a little big for your britches. I'm flooding your basement. Have a great day Little Miss I-can-do-it"

I had that feeling. I said "I can catch up, just give me the weekend" and I felt a shiver go down my spine. The basement window did leak during the last storm... it was cocky to think I could get back on board with two days... but dudes: Behold the power of positive thinking.

1. The Baby Mine sweater is moving right along, after only two rips back, both in the very embryonic stages.


This part is now working perfectly, and I know that there is no way that this will take a total rip back at this point. Sure, the yoke and I might get into an unseemly wrestling match, but this part? Licked.

2. I finished spinning this pretty, pretty fibre from Clouds of Fiber. (I'm pretty sure this is her website here... but my note taking at the time of acquisition has clearly failed me. Let this be a lesson. Do not think that fibre is so memorable that you will remember from whence it sprang. You will forget. No matter how lovely it is, no matter how stellar the day.... you will forget.)


Similarly, I'm not sure what sort of fibre it is. Clearly a down breed, maybe merino... something really springy and cushie for sure. What it is now is 140g of a nice, soft, thick two ply, perfect for a hat or mittens for the winter. My original spinning teacher told me that part of being a good spinner is being able to spin what you want - and that all spinners have a tendency to spin thinner and thinner with experience. She advocated spinning a thicker yarn from time to time, lest you lose the knack. It was clearly good advice, since it's way harder for me to spin thick than thin these days.

3. More. This is a pretty batt from Spinderella, one of her mixes that I love called "thrums".


Now it's a gorgeously sparkly skein of three ply yarn. These thrums are mixes of tons of stuff. Wool, sparkle, nylon, silk, bunny, silk.... bits of cut up yarn. They're deliciously fun to spin, though the mix means that they resist all urges to spin them as a very even single. You're spinning along and you hit a snip of yarn or a clump of silk and that's it. You've got a thicker spot and there's nothing you can do about it.


What I did was rely on the magic of three ply, the way that any handspun single looks smoother, rounder and more perfect when paired with two of its friends. I navajo (or "chain") plied this. It's a tiny skein, only about 90m and 60g, but I love it.

4. That fun led to going back into the stash and pulling out another of her "thrum" creations. This one has wool, mohair, alpaca, nylon, soy silk and "other"....


which turned out to be wee snips of navy, marine blue and cream yarn. Big fun. Seriously big fun.


Churned out 160 metres (120g) of three ply, which despite its clearly non-Stephanie stuff (namely the sparkles, which usually move me not) is a yarn that I adore and makes me think of things like the Ice Queen or cool sparkling brook water, spilling over rocks.


This latest push in the Tour De Fleece means that I've spun a total of 580g, with 14 days to go, meaning I still need to spin 65 g a day to meet my goal, but I think I can do it.

(Note the careful use of the word "think". I'm not pushing my luck with any more absolute statements.)

Posted by Stephanie at July 14, 2008 12:25 PM