Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Welcome Burst of Color

I've been working lately on quite a parade of neutrals -- two gray sweaters, a pair of brown socks. No wonder that, after the first gray sweater, for my tall-elegant mom, a brightly colored handspun vest burst out of nowhere. Now I've finished knitting all the main pieces of the second gray sweater for my trim-athletic-dad, and the urge for color has struck again. I do love the neutrals -- they're classic and often just what a sweater should be -- but between a long stint of neutral-colored knitting and a short spell of dull drizzly weather, a shot of boisterous, jangly color is most welcome.

So I turned back momentarily to spinning. I had some "snakes" of rainbow-dyed wool I bought a festival season or two back from Delly's Delights. Why snakes, you might wonder. Well, as I recall, it's actually what they were labeled as, for one thing. But in fact I think that was because they were 30-inch-or-so lengths of roving heaped and swimming in a bin. I could say writhing, I suppose, but that's an unattractive image, and I assure you they were most appealing. They remind me more of the buoyant foam "noodles" that young children use as a swimming aid than of snakes.

Whatever you call them, they were perhaps not the most sensible purchase. I think they're actually intended for felters rather than spinners, as the ends are bluntly chopped in a slightly wince-inducing manner. The cut short fibers at the ends are unusable waste for spinners, but must not be of concern for felting. Nevertheless, I couldn't stay away from the bin. The short lengths of roving gave me a chance to sample lots of color variations while -- if carefully chosen -- offering opportunities for harmonious blending. All that at nominal cost and without major commitment of spinning time. And all at a time when I was just getting started spinning and hadn't tried anything but natural undyed colors. Well, it was just irresistible, that's all.

I braided some of them together to get an idea of how their colors would work together (tucking the cut ends carefully out of sight, of course.)

How did they look? They looked gorgeous.



They spun up into beautiful bobbins. I prattled and cooed with pleasure as I spun them.

I stayed up way too late.




And once plied, they made a skein of devastatingly pretty yarn.

Aaahhh. That hit the spot. I'm refreshed and ready to start thinking about the button bands and collar and seams to finish a classic gray sweater.

I'm happy to say there are more noodles where those came from. For the next emergency. :)

1 comment:

Robin said...

VERY pretty! Would look great with gray slacks!