March 9, 2012

Product

Today's a quiet day here, and in between work and writing I sat down and plied up the BFL I've been spinning for ages. 

When I'd started this, I'd taken the two big bumps of roving, and using my handy dandy scale, divided it into three equal piles.  Each of those was spun up into singles, with the hopes of ending up with a beautifully bouncy 3-ply.

It remains to be seen if it's beautifully bouncy, but it is a three ply, and if my measurements are okay, it should be about 270 metres - which is enough for... well.  I don't know what it's enough for.  I actually have no idea at all what I might use it for. 

This happens all the time to me.  When I started spinning, I thought that I would mostly use handspun - which has clearly not turned out to be true, even though I produce more than enough.  I thought I would buy fleece or fibre, imagine what it would be, spin it, then knit it - all with a specific "thing" in mind, but it's turned out to be nothing like that.  It happens, sure.  That time that I got the Jacob fleece I knew exactly what I was going to make.  I got the fleece knowing I would make a graduated shawl, and that went from start to finish just the way I always expected.  (More or less.  I'm not a good enough spinner that what's in my head is always what my hands can pull off.  Bit of a crapshoot some days.)
Those times seem to be a little rare though, and mostly I find myself spinning the way I knit... for the experience of the thing.

I don't always even want the yarn that I make - I've given away pounds of handspun over the years, and the knitters I give it to always seem shocked that I'd let something so dear go - but the truth is that by the time it's spun, it's done its thing.  The fibre's gone from one state to another, from fleece to yarn, or roving to yarn, and I've sucked all the satisfaction out of it that I need to.  Sure, if I knit with my own handspun there's another layer of satisfaction - there's almost nothing that feels as good as starting with a sheep and ending with a hat, having only your own two hands to thank for it - but for me that must be like some kind of bonus round, since I regularly buy and spin fibre that can't possibly become yarn I like. 

This yarn, I really do love.  It's plain and traditional and those two skeins are totally something I would use, and as I took them off the heater where they were drying, I realized I have no plan for them.  None. Zip.  I don't think I'll give them away - but I realized that as I lifted them up and hugged them (they are pretty bouncy) that what I was thinking was "Good. Finished" instead of what I always thought I would think - which is "Good, next step?"

This yarn doesn't seem to want to be anything, except for yarn, and I need inspiration.  You know the way there's product knitters (knitters who knit to get the stuff) and process knitters (knitters who knit because they like knitting)?  I think I might be a process spinner, and now I need help figuring out what the product part should be.
It's about 270m of what looks to be a light worsted. 
Can you tell what it wants to be?

(PS.  A few words about the wonderful comments on yesterday's post.  I know there are a few exceptions, but by far and away the debate was civil, respectful and reassured me about people's ability to treat each other decently, even when they disagree fundamentally.  Thank you for making it possible to have these conversations.) 

Posted by Stephanie at March 9, 2012 1:17 PM