Sunday, May 10, 2009

More foolishness

Silly things to do on a walk: No. 1


Imagine walking across this vast field on a lovely sunny afternoon. Be invisible (it's your imagination, you can do it) so as not to disturb two people having an intense discussion, one waving something in its hand in the air. Drift closer and discover it's us, me and him, trying to work out what/where that distinctive 'lump' on the horizon might be. Could it be the
theoretically visible Sharpenhoe Clappers? We need a compass, but haven't got one. So I pull out my iPhone, download and install GPS software from iTunes (the waving about was trying to get the best signal), then we waste 10 minutes trying to walk fast enough to get the GPS compass to pay attention to us. FAIL. Double FAIL, once for being sad enough to download and install software to use on my phone when we're meant to be walking in the countryside, and again for enjoying the experience and thinking it perfectly justifiable.

Here's another kind of fail... I am rapidly concluding I don't like spinning angora. The end result is soft (the Fetchings I knitted from a handspun Wooly Rabbit angora blend are lovely to wear), but the stuff sticks together even when it's not felted. I find it very difficult to draft; even semi-longdraw is proving problematic. Which is a nuisance, as I'd planned to spin it from the fold. I need to practice that.
But isn't it pretty? The brown is slightly pinker than I like, but it still reminds me of the sea washing over pebbles and sand. I just have to finish spinning it at home because two people at the spinning group are allergic to angora. It's part of one of Spindlefrog's Spinner's Sets, roughly 6 oz of luxury fibres dyed in the same colourway. Mine is angora, cashmere, silk, baby camel, baby alpaca, kid mohair. Here's the rest of the fibres, all their potential as yet untapped.


More foolishness. I'm beginning to realise my handspun falls into two quite clearly defined categories. One is
WOW!! I can't believe I made that. It's far to beautiful to knit. No pattern does it justice. The second is
Ho Hum. Look at this, and that... nope. I can't knit that, it's not good enough for any pattern.

Which is really silly. I know it's silly. I'm too new at this to expect perfection and yet, I hurt a bit when I don't achieve it every time. Look at this:
That's about 490m of singles spun from two 'Spanish Moss' Abby batts, part of a swap with Fernmonkey on Ravelry. It's a lovely silvery grey-green, the singles are reasonably soft, not over-twisted. I think it will make a reasonable, perhaps even a nice shawl (I'm casting on for one from the Icelandic shawl book Thrihyrnur og langsjol: Three-cornered and long shawls). But I feel dissatisfied with every inch of yarn passing through my fingers; it's too thin or too thick, there's a slub of silk... I really do have to get over this. It's MY OWN YARN, for pity's sake. I made it. It's a miraculous thing, the product of my own hands. I should love every inch of it.

Grrr. Perhaps I need chocolate?

No. I just need to remind myself that, barring accidents and other unpleasantnesses, I AM GOING TO SOAR!!









7 comments:

Lynn said...

Yes, you need chocolate. Everybody needs chocolate, all the time. And I found it hysterical to think of you two trying to figure out if that invisible hill was a real hill and which real hill it was, via modern technology.

Of course, I'm feeling very pleased with myself, as I have finally! gotten my computer to talk to the Internets, so poor Earle can take his computer away, so he can talk to the Internets himself. I think I deserve chocolate now!

And I am so glad you are coming to SOAR!!!

lyn said...

Deep appreciation from one of two. How sweet, I didn't know you were spinning angora at home to save my tweaky immune system on tuesdays, thank you. If you want to bring it out, just mail me and I'll hide! Sadly the downside of angora exposure means full decontamination routine and 3 days on antihistamines! At least you're not sitting next to me on a flight to scandinavia, That launches flashbacks ot a work trip that was a bit of a nightmare! Still, keeps me out of Monsoon.... And brushed up on my IKEA swedish - so how do you say "Please help me, I have been wiped out by an acute allergic reaction to angora rabbit garment worn by a fellow airline passenger" in Swedish? My command of swedish starts and stops at "SCUM" It mean foam. I learnt it from a fire exinguisher!

spinpygora said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're coming to SOAR!! We wanted to be there all week, but my best friend got some very bad news last week and can't really afford to spend extra money - so our workshop plans were dashed. Whaaaa! I could go down early, but then she'd have to schelp our booth crap by herself and I really didn't think that was fair, or the thing a friend would do to another dear friend.

We'll get there sometime on Wednesday (at least we still get to vend!!!). And I guess that means I'll have to go to SOAR next year for my workshop.

Oh - and your handspun? Embrace its imperfections. Seriously. I struggled with that for several years and am only recently able to do just that. Can't wait to see the shawl....maybe at SOAR??

torrilin said...

Hide away the imperfect stuff for a while. I always like my singles much better after they've sat a bit, and same for the spun yarn.

Joanne said...

I'm another "allergic to angora" person. Although I think the bunnies themselves are very cute, I don't miss spinning it at all! (and my dogs might just eat any rabbits in their vicinity...)

About perfection--it's unnecessary. Really, I think if I wanted something without texture and variety, I'd buy commercially spun yarns. As for my handspun/handknits, I see my mistakes and irregularities as a sign of the learning journey I'm taking. It's not as good as it could be, but that's ok. Occasionally it's spectacular, and that's always a great surprise!

lyn said...

you forgot "no pattern is good enough for this...."

Jon said...

Good news on the iPhone front: the new one has a built-in compass! It's as though Apple was giving you the perfect excuse to ugprade to a new toy: If you're going to go trekking, you absolutely NEED a compass, right?