Ending the Radio Silence..
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve even hardly been keeping up with my Instagram, which is waaaay less time consuming! This summer really got away from me. Summers are always super busy, even though we think they are going to be relaxing. Here in Boston, I think we try to stuff them full of all the wonderful summer activities that we only have a few weeks to enjoy, being outside, getting tan, swimming and enjoying the outdoors. I’ve been knitting and spinning, but both of my beloved hobbies have fallen by the wayside. The lure of the sunlight is too strong, and sticky heat and humidity do not mix well with fuzzy wool. I know you’re all going to suggest knitting or spinning with plant fibers, but I cannot. They always hurt my hands and I think I just knit too loosely for them. The stuff I make out of cotton always looks like a pile of crap.
However, I have proof that I haven’t fallen completely off the wagon. I made a giant chunky yarn of rainbow goodness!
It’s super cool, right? I’ve been having terrible trouble spinning thicker yarn, but I deliberately tried to mess up how I normally spin. I put the biggest whorl on my spinning wheel, didn’t really prep, and just let the fiber be the delicious fluff that it wanted to be, Speaking of the fiber, the colorway is called Extravagance and Cruelty, and it’s a custom blend from Countess Ablaze. To be honest, it’s kindof the bomb. I’ve had really good experiences with all the indie dyers that I’ve purchased stuff from, but her fiber is a little unusual. It’s really combed out so there are zero tangles. It has a lot of air in it, but the fibers are all pretty nicely aligned. This means you get a yarn that’s really smooth, and you can basically do whatever you want with it as far as the thickness is concerned. I could just as easily have spun this as a laceweight if I had wanted to, but I wanted a big fat yarn that would show off the really dramatic colors. Speaking of which, I should show you a before pic 😛 I tried to take one myself, but my camera was so full of hate for all the colors, so I stole some from the Countess Ablaze website.
It’s a pretty nifty blend too. It’s mostly really soft and smooth merino, with a little bit of black alpaca, angelina (sparkles) and seacell, which is a fiber that comes from seaweed. The chunks of seacell felt a lot like silk to me, very smooth and slick and soft. I pulled big chunks off of the braid and then tore each chunk into lengthwise strips with one or two colors in each strip. I do that a lot with spinning if I have really great colors that look like they’ll bleed into each other if I let them blend too much. I think the yarn I ended up with is very true to the colors of the braid, which makes me super happy. It’s also soft and super cushy. It’s going to be a yummy hat for me! I got about 150 yards of a chunky yarn, which should be plenty for a hat. Do you have a favorite slouchy hat for a busy yarn that wants to knit up at 3.5-4 stitches per inch?
I have to admit, I get a little bit of a chuckle out of the fact that I created a yarn that a) looks a bit like a cheap novelty yarn and b) is similar to what I was turning out when I had just started spinning. It’s lumpy and thick and thin, and the plying job was a little haphazard because I don’t know how much twist really needs to go into such a big yarn! But this time, I did those things ON PURPOSE, instead of by accident slash by default, so that has to mean something, right? I spun something different and I love it. I’m also happy that I have two braids from Countess Ablaze left, because I’m already jonesing for her super smooth prep. Seriously her roving feels like it’s predrafted when you get the braid. It’s awesome. The other two are much more tonal, which I am somewhat conflicted about. I get bored spinning tonal yarns instead of the delicious multicolored braids that I favor, but I’m always confused about what to do with the rainbow ones once they’re spun. I can find tons of projects for tonal yarns because they’re definitely what I prefer to knit with. So, we shall see. My next spinning project will be an attempt at a proper three ply. We’ll have to see how it goes!
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