Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Things

I've been in the mood to spin. I didn't have a real project going, but sometimes that urge to spin is well nigh unstoppable.

I wanted to spin so much that I began spinning the beautiful little bits of stuff that I'd felt were too nice to use up. Or maybe that I wasn't a good enough spinner for. It didn't matter.

I had some braids, from the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival of 2007, of hand-dyed fiber by Fleece Artist, of Nova Scotia. Only 50 grams of each. I think I loved them for their beauty just as they were. Those colors! But their time had come.

First was the braid in the upper right corner, merino top in soft lavender-grays and greens and pinks. On the bobbin, the colors somehow separated and strengthened.

I spun it just to spin, not worrying at all about the thickness. After plying, it came out somewhere in the range of fingering to sportweight. And the colors fascinated me again as they combined. The finished skein is stronger and greener than I'd expected, but complex and subtle. And the yarn, my first pure merino, is bouncy and lofty. What a pleasure.

That was so much fun, I had to have another. Next, I spun the braid of Bluefaced Leicester wool in the lower right corner, the one in pink and gray-blue and creamy vanilla. I spun it at a fingering-to-sport weight again. I enjoyed watching the colors draw out, emerge, and mix, and liked the result so much that I wondered how I could have waited so long to spin the fiber.

It seems like it must be tiresome listening to me rhapsodizing fuzzily about one fiber after another. So about the last braid of Bluefaced Leicester, I'll just say that I kept thinking of tangerine and raspberry sorbet as I was spinning it. It made me hungry for dessert. :)

The plied skein is a little darker and stronger, but still, it surprised me when a friend commented, "that's a good autumn color." Of course, she's partial to the brightest of the bright, so perhaps that had something to do with it!

Incidentally, the finished yarn of Bluefaced Leicester wool turned out a little differently from the merino. Still fluffy, it has a bit less bounce and more drape. And both were nice to spin.

So I have 50 grams each of yarn in three colorways, and pretty much no idea what I will do with these small quantities. (Although I must say that a friend has been admiring that merino skein so vociferously that I might just decide to make a gift of it to her.) They're not enough even for a scarf. I need some itsy bitsy projects to make with my itsy bitsy skeins. I think the longest one is about 150 yards. Though I'm a bit short on the yardage, there's a pretty cowl in the latest issue of Spin-off magazine made with about two ounces of sport-weight handspun that just might work. Perhaps I'll make a wardrobe of fine-gauge cowls!

But the question is, what on earth gave me these wild spinning urges?


Torhild Reidardatter said...

What fine yarns you made. When my kids grow up I will start playing with fiber. oh- those colors.
Happy Easter

Robin said...

All three are really pretty! Spinning to me is akin to felting and knitting lace. The finished product turns out so differently - is transformed - from what you start with.

Anonymous said...

The urge is going to come on over and over and over. Gorgeous yarns!

Knittin' Diva said...

They are all gorgeous! I'm partial to the pink/orange myself, and I just love BFL! Can't wait to see what you decide to knit with them :-)

cathy said...

Thank you all so much! I really love playing with all the pretty colors, as you can tell. :)