Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Snakes (or Noodles)

Sometimes I rush headlong through my knitting, and sometimes I get stuck. Right now I'm stuck.

I have buttonbands to do. It's not that there's anything that difficult about them. I have a little uncertainty about whether to knit them on horizontally, picking up all along the edges and knitting just a few long rows, or vertically. The Rowan book seems very fond of a technique in which you knit a very long strip a few stitches wide and then sew it onto the edge. I'm not at all fond of this idea, myself. It seems like asking for trouble. But I found an interesting technique in Judith Durant's book, Never Knit Your Man A Sweater, for knitting a band on vertically, picking up the edge on every other row. That looks as if it would create much the same effect. So, as I said, I'm not sure about the best way to go. But that would soon be remedied with a good determined session of swatching. It's not really the uncertainty. It's really more that I just need to work up a good head of steam to do button bands.

I'm distinctly deficient in that kind of steam locomotion at the moment. Here's a pretty good indication: on my last couple of airline trips, I haven't brought any knitting along. I even have a pair of socks underway that would be good travellers. But there they sat wistfully at home wondering what it's like to fly on an airplane. Those buttonbands were looming, and I needed a break from knitting until I'm ready to tackle them.

Spinning, on the other hand, has no such baggage. And I had more of those roving snakes -- or noodles -- whichever one wants to call them. Either way, a sampler's delight. I've had no project in mind, I've just been playing. Here are a few of them. I suppose they do look a bit snakey, but in the most cuddly possible way.

What I did generally was to choose two or three snakes in what looked like compatible colors. I split each one lengthwise into four parts, and then I used them to make matching bobbins with long repeats. One from column A, one from column B, one from column C, repeat. I thought they might make Noro-like color changes. And if it didn't really turn out that way, that was OK. No garment depended on it.

That particular combination of colors in the last photo made these interesting-looking bobbins.

And plying and skeining made them look like this.

I was having so much fun, I did it a few more times.

Of course, when I finally finish making interesting yarn out of all the snakes, I'll have to figure out what to do with it. I have somewhere between 50 and 150 yards in each skein, in a loose interpretation of worsted weight. The yardage depended on whether one, two, or three snakes went into the colorway. That apple green, for instance, looked too startling combined with any other color, so it got a whole skein to itself.

So, what on earth, I'm wondering, will I be able to make out of small amounts of so many different colors without ending up looking like a jester?

Well, I'm not sure, but I guess I'll worry about that another day. After all, I've still got two snakes left. Fiddle-de-dee!


puffthemagicrabbit said...


Beate said...

Nice yarn you make Cathy.. having fun?

Christina said...

Bressay Hap Shawl? Rowan 42

That's what I plan to do with "all my experimental spinnings" - o - er - when I have some....

cathy said...

Oh, what a good idea. I've been trying to resist getting caught up in that Rowan-numbered-issues habit, but Rowan 42 has been tempting me mightily!