I made this.

Published on Monday July 24th, 2006


Look, we’ve got plying!* Singularly terribly plying, admittedly. I don’t know what happened, but my scrawny little strings of overspun roving somehow morphed into these loose luxurious locks when I took them off the spindle. I don’t know how practical they are as yarn. But they’re sooooo soft, like fronds of mermaid hair. That’s what they felt like as I gently dunked them in a Eucalan bath to rid them of handpaintedyarn.com’s typical vinegar scent and all the grime I’m sure they picked up from my sweaty fingers during the last three weeks. Now they’re hanging in the shower and they look like Mingus might if I put him through the washing machine. (Not that it’s sounding like such a bad idea . . . he seems like he could do a with a quick cold cycle, doesn’t he?)

hot_mingus.jpg Poor little goober. He’s been in one variant or another of this position for days.

Anyway, it’s a good thing I took pictures of the handspun before I washed it.

Axel_Foxy_hydrangea.jpg Axel_Foxy.jpg Axel_waves.jpg

As you can see, I was more successful with Axel. I had that spindle orbiting like Tom Cruise to make sure the ply was nice and snug. Of course, it helped that I achieved much greater consistency with the teal singles. And look, we’ve even got barberpole action! W00t!** The middle photo is the best of the Foxy handspun, and the difference is still marked. I’m really proud of Axel, and rather surprised that it issued from my own fingers. Spinning is cool! I can see why people cave in and buy wheels, though: spindling a pile of roving is like racing banana slugs (only less slimy and distasteful).

Tomorrow, on Weather-Appropriate Knits: Prairie camisole!

*This photo shows the technique I invented for plying. I’ve always been a fan of containing a ball of yarn in a bowl, especially if you have to draw from the outside of the ball, and that gave me the idea to use these handy Chinese bowls with chopstick holes in the sides to keep my two balls of singles orderly. In this shot, I’m down to one ball with no mate, so I just took the yarn end from the center and the one from the outside and plied them together. Worked like a charm. But is it a faux pas to do it that way? Technically it means I’m working against the direction of the fiber on one strand.

**I asked Mr. Garter to explain the origin of this weird exclamation after he insisted I spell it with zeros rather than o’s. He says it’s early computer game shorthand for “Wow! Loot!” which is somehow so endearing to me that I’ve decided to get on the w00t wagon.

11 Comments to “I made this.”

  1. Lisa Comment Says:

    That Axel looks amazing. I can’t believe that it’s one of your first attempts at spinning! I guess I shouldn’t be that amazed – you have such a natural aptitude for all this fiber stuff!

  2. gleek Comment Says:

    ooooh, look at all your fibery goodness! great job with the plying.

  3. Becky Comment Says:

    Hehe…I almost hate to admit it, but my own “woot, woot” (used on my blog often since who knows when) is actually from – get ready for this – Arsenio Hall. The fairy godmother says it in “Shrek II”.

    (Yes, I used to watch his show!)

  4. Jessica Comment Says:

    Beautiful handspun! Way to go, that was a lot of spinning!

  5. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    Great job! I love your use of those bowls!
    PS: Thanks for taking the time to explain “woot” – I mean, w00t! 🙂

  6. gina L. Comment Says:

    The orange is absolutely fabulous. The color is very well saturated. I hope you are enjoying your new home!

  7. minnie Comment Says:

    no, it’s not “illegal” to do that. in fact, it’s the best way to deal with a small amount of singles that you don’t want to navajo ply. i’ve done it numerous times (granted, i was wheel spinning) and you couldn’t tell the difference.

  8. Jenn Comment Says:

    You’re fast on your way to being fluent in l33t speak!

  9. Virginia Comment Says:

    hmmmmm…..that looks yummy! Great idea using the chopstick bowls. New craft fair knitting item!

    ps- color is really awesome on the orange!

  10. Jen Comment Says:

    Beautiful! And what a clever use of those bowls. Can’t wait to try spinning.

  11. Blue Garter » Blog Archive » Season’s progress Pingback Says:

    […] I hope all who celebrated it had a joyeux noel, and that there were ample food and drink and chiefly harmonious interactions with relatives and plenty of yarn and knitting books under the tree. I meant to post to this poor neglected blog before the holidays, but the demands of the above (and of the press to finish the Yuletide knitting) kept me away from the computer. Now I’m in Colorado for a reunion with Mr. Garter’s family and — hopefully — for a little skiing. I have brought the Fishtrap Aran to crack away on, since another big storm is expected tomorrow and it may be a few days before we can get to the slopes. On the plane, I finished as much as possible of a rather retro brioche hat for the husband of the raven mittens neighbor, using my handspun of last July. Yes, I missed the Christmas deadline, but fortunately he has a birthday on January 3. I also worked up the first of my Axel fingerless mitts in the teal handspun. Quick, quick knitting, those mitts. The second should be done in no time. Hopefully I’ll have pictures for you soon, but in our race out the door to the airport we forgot the memory card for the camera. We’ve been meaning to get a back-up card anyway, so if we can find on on offer here in Frisco, we’ll have pictures of the vacation and the recent knitting. […]