Saturday, January 10, 2009

That was painful...

Twist much? Argh.

I finished off the rest of the Bermuda's Triangle Corriedale today. In doing so, I learned something important: when you get to the point where you are yelling at the fiber, when you are hurling profanities at it, it is time to step away because really? It's probably not the fiber's fault. Well, not completely, anyway.

This was not fun yarn to spin. I know I'm new at this, and I fully accept that there was probably some user error going on in the process (ahem), but wow...this fiber fought me the whole way. I don't know enough about spinning and fiber yet to know if Corriedale is always this persnickety, or if it was just this particular roving, how it was prepared...? 

As if spinning it wasn't hard enough, plying it didn't prove to be much easier. I had one full bobbin and one only about 1/2 full (enter user error when it didn't occur to me that I didn't have enough to fill two full bobbins). So I plied until I ran out of the partial bobbin. That's the hank hanging on the right side in the picture above. 

What to do with the remaining singles? I guess I could have left it as is and used it as a singles, though I've already started using it in a garter stitch afghan as a two-ply, so for consistency sake, it would work better that way. So, I opted to wind it into a center pull ball and attempted to ply it that way, pulling from the center and the outside -- this has always been my plying method when using my spindle. I learned another lesson here -- this works far better when your singles isn't so over-spun that its jumping around like an over-caffienated bunny rabbit. I had more tangles than you could imagine (the profanities increased exponentially at this point), and I just started hacking tangled knots of fiber off the plying bobbin willy-nilly. (What I did get to ply is the tiny little bitty hank in the center.)

Finally, with nothing else to lose, I decided to try Navajo plying it. I was still working from the ball (not having the wherewithall at that point to put it back on the bobbin), but only using the center strand, so it worked much better. I've never Navajo plied before, but I watched a little how-to video on it the other day. It's fun! The yarn, again, being so overspun, made the whole thing difficult, and because I was treadling faster than I was manipulating the yarn for the plying, it is now not only over spun but also over-plied, but it is plied, and it is, as far as I can reason, usable. So there. I'm done with it. It is hanging and drying and I hope to never mess with something that contrary again. (Ha!) 

The Navajo-plied hank is on the left in the picture. What I really liked about this one is how this technique allowed the yarn to ply with itself so that like colors stayed together. You can kind of see it in the picture. Instead of blue being plied with green and purple with blue, etc., the blue section plied with itself and then moved on to the green section, and then to the purple, etc. Very cool. I will definitely have to try it again sometime when I'm working with singles that were spun better to begin with.

I still have the rest of the Briar Rose to finish up, but first I really need to finish knitting my MIL's sweater. Really. 

1 comment:

cosymakes said...

it's so fun watching you spin!!
and learn ;)

i haven't found corriedale particularly hard to spin... hmmm.