Sunday, February 25, 2007

Success: it's not just string after all.

That's Sundara's aran silky merino in a non-repeatable colour, black over blue used to make Wendy's 'Something Red'. I had 5 skeins, 1000 yds of the yarn and used about 3 1/2. I have plans for the rest... this stuff is so soft I want to wear it next to my skin. Oh, and the colour scarcely ran at all when I washed it which, in my limited experience, is extremely unusual for something this dark. There are many very good reasons for Sundara's yarn selling out within minutes of its appearance.
The pattern calls for a single large button placed just below the bust. I wasted ages (procrastinated happily) searching for the right button online and in every haberdashery/antique shop I passed, without success. Then I thought of a brooch I'm fond of that's too large for everyday wear. I think it works, although it's a shame it hides the buttonhole. I'm very proud of that buttonhole, researched the best technique and everything. I prefer the photo above, even if I don't understand why it looks as though there's a line across the sleeve and I do like the brooch. I comfort myself with the thought that In Real Life relatively few people will ever be looking straight at me as I crumple with laughter at his efforts to use my little-ass camera. Shortly after this he stalked off saying "If I WANTED to use a camera I'd get an SLR." Many more people are likely to appreciate the side view as I walk elegantly through any available crowd. ON LEGS. These photos are definitive proof that legs are slimming.




On to other news. Apparently it's not 'just string'. He said. Want to see what made him understand this?

Nacy Finn's 'Chasing Rainbows' fibre from Teyani at Crown Mountain Farms. This is 50/50 merino/silk in 'Hydrangea', a light DK weight after plying (it looks larger in this close-up). The intensity of colour in this fibre is simply amazing: the photos absolutely do not do it justice at all. Its ability to stun may be judged by the fact it changed his mind about fibre!
That's to record the colour repeat: there are about 2 7/8ths repeats in the roving I'm working on. The skein above is one colour repeat spun from lengths of roving so that the colours match at beginning and end (think blue-green green-blue blue-green), then 'Andean' plied
on itself. It's incredibly pretty. Next colour repeat will be spun to make two lengths of matching repeats to ply so that the colours match. Last one will be whichever I like best of the two. But what on earth do I do with this? I've got 4oz which, with luck and a following wind (that's 'wind' as in 'Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly') will yield roughly 300m of yarn. Socks too beautiful and fragile to wear? I could carry them around for others to admire... I don't really do scarves, and at this point I can't bear to contemplate parting from it. I'm thinking instead of spinning what I've got and, over time, spinning more in similar colourways. I'm thinking about a loose cardigan/kimono,* perhaps knitted vertically to stripe in interesting ways. I'm slightly intimidated by the way that the possibilities inherent in a stash of yarn are multiplied in a stash of fibre that can be spun to be almost any weight the spinner desires.

Speaking of spinning, I'm re-reading Jonathan Raban's 'Bad Land', an exploration of the homesteading of Montana.
Books and many other tangible fragments of lives still lie in the farmsteads abandoned as a result of drought and the Depression. I have many of his books; even more than McPhee he inspires my thoughts to explore beyond the boundaries of his writing. I've read online of spinners falling in love with wheels in antique stores; some paint pictures of previous owners sitting peacefully at the wheel, spinning to relax as they themselves do today. As I read Raban, I find myself considering the accuracy of those pictures, seeing instead a woman determined to produce the yardage promised for a sweater, socks, anything to earn hard coin. I'm sure both have been -- and still are -- true. It's just that I am incredibly lucky to be spinning for love rather than money.


* to be worn over a fitted top with a v-neck, OK?

6 comments:

HPNY Knits said...

very handsome top! the broach works well! I can't believe how warm it is over there, so you can be in short sleeves and not turn blue in minutes...

La Cabeza Grande said...

That's definitely not "just string!" I've not been bitten by the spinning bug, but I can certainly see the allure.

Your "Something Red" looks quite fetching. Pair that with the slimming legs and I'd say it was a good look! :o)

Kath said...

Thats a lovely looking top and the brooch looks smashing with it!
Your spinning looks lovely - the colours are really yummy and makes very beautiful yarn, you should be very proud!

Joanne said...

That new sweater is so flattering! Congratulations--I know how much you've been thinking about this, and in my opinion, you struck on something perfect.

It's so important too to get the support or compliments of our partners, even if it takes a while...it makes me value the "not just string" phrases even more. That yarn is stunning, and it will be even more fabulous knit up into whatever it becomes, one day.

I think of past owners of my old spinning wheels every time I use them. Even if spinning was a chore, it may well have been a relaxing one compared to, say, laundry or chopping wood.

I too am surprised by the warm weather. We've got our first daffodils, but that's it, it's still cold.

knitseashore said...

Your new sweater looks incredible on you! I like the addition of the brooch.

Teyani said...

your spinning looks fabulous! I'm delighted that you are enjoying it, AND convincing the entire world it's not just "string".
Yet -I can't take the credit for dyeing that one, it's hand dyed by Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks (a good friend, and a master dyer)
thanks also for the nice comment on my blog ;-)