January 28, 2009

Spinning my wheels

Both literally and figuratively. The workload is insane right now, and after complaining bitterly about the 14 hour workdays and how even with working 14 hours I'm still hopelessly behind, it finally occurred to me that I should be really grateful that it's possible to earn a living this way, even if it now takes 14 hours a day. I also had a huge pang of irony as I finally got up from my desk last night and thought "Wow. I'm so glad that I'm done working for today" and promptly went to clean the living room, restore the kitchen, fire in a load of laundry, put away the groceries, call the phone company, sort the bank account, do the green bin and recycling and take a run at uncovering the dining room table - all while parenting snarky teenagers. (There's a feminist rant in there somewhere, but I think it's been done.)

(While I'm at it? Note to teenagers: I am not "cranky". I am working hard and on several deadlines that support you. There is a very clear difference, and you will understand it when you are 40. I will laugh the laugh of the righteous that day, as I laughed it last night when you told me that you are "too tired" empty the dishwasher. Wait for it.)

As I am hampered by wage earning, the actual spinning of literal wheels has been rather limited - if by limited you understand that I mean that I am not (yet) ready to meet this goal by replacing sleep with spinning. I've got a whole bunch of singles spun, and a whole bunch left to go, and all of my bobbins were full. Now, in the interest of making a consistent yarn, I want to do all of my plying at once when I'm done with the singles. Taking the advice of a whole lot of you guys, I've wound a bunch of the singles onto a dead sexy toilet paper roll collection, which I have decoratively arranged for you here.


You can see that what looks like a solid colour on the bobbin is really several colours in the ball, and I think that's going to be part of the thrill of plying - and I expect plying to be plenty thrilling, let me tell you. February Lady, the project for this yarn, takes about 750 yards (694m) of worsted weight yarn, and the gauge is 18 stitches to 10cm/4", measured over garter stitch. I'm spinning singles with a mind to making a three ply. That means that three strands of my singles put together should add up to a worsted weight yarn, or at least, what I'm expected to think of as a worsted weight yarn.

In reality, I think of 18sts to 10cm as a heavy worsted. The way I was taught, a worsted hangs out at around 20sts to 10cm, and a yarn that knits nicely at 18 stitches to 10cm is called an Aran. Mind you, I learned my yarn weights way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, nobody had a cell phone, you had to carry cash and yarn came from the wool department at The Bay. There are days were I cannot understand the current yarn standards at all... they fly in the face of my personal history. I get hives when Aran and Worsted yarn are spoken of in the same breath, as though they are one and the same. (I bet that I'm not alone on that one. I can't be the only knitter with a little yarn weight OCD.)

Lecture aside, and no matter what you want to call it, I need a yarn that looks great at 18 stitches to 10cm (coughthatsanarancough) and since I didn't sample this yarn before I spun this much, it should be an exciting surprise to see - once I begin the ply-fest, if that's what I'm getting. Maybe I'll need a 4ply. Maybe I'll do a cabled yarn... oh.. a cabled yarn. That's sexy. Maybe I'll chain ply, which is sort of a three ply but not really, but would change the way the colours worked... Maybe... oh yeah... maybe I'll do a five ply... I've never even thought about a 5 ply! Maybe three plys will be too thick.... Maybe I should change the gauge on the sweater and do a three ply no matter what... Maybe...

Maybe I need to finish my singles.

Posted by Stephanie at January 28, 2009 2:47 PM