Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spindling Adventures - Part Two

It is done. The fiber is now yarn – 325 yards of fingering. A flaw or two, here and there, but that infamous horseman riding by will never notice. Kindly admire.





As for what happened along the way, well --

Plying was no problem. A few hours standing on my trusty stool and reaching up to the ceiling (not so difficult as you might think; the stool is only about a foot off the ground and very sturdy) and one skein was done. Those 2 ounces of fingering look like nothing on this spindle, because the spindle is huge. This is the first time I have used my new plying spindle, and I love it. It was madly inexpensive too – only about $20 I think. And no problem getting the stubby little Bosworth spindle into the plying box. I used a straw to extend the shaft as Delighted Hands suggested; worked like a charm.


Finishing involved the use of steam (to prevent the dye from bleeding out and overdying the light shades, as it wanted to do), a technique I have never before attempted. But I pulled out the yarn pot, which is not nearly as large as it looks in the picture. The stove is very, very, very small. And rummaging in the cabinet I discovered that this canning pot had come with a canning rack. Good news.


I found that turning the canning rack upside down inside the pot worked perfectly. I could drape the yarn around the rack and have it easily 3 or more inches above the water. About 40 minutes seemed right. And so it was. A little drying time on the clothesline, and the yarn was dry, relaxed, and happy.


I followed the same process with the second skein, but things did not turn out quite so well. Somewhere in the steaming process something happened. Either a few strands fell into the water or the steam got too hot in general, because the dye bled out of a short length of some of the strands. Those pale gray strands along the bottom of the picture? Nope, not the original color. When I poured the water out of the pot it was a deep purple. Another clue.


At first I was so upset I wanted to heave the whole thing into the garbage. But then I took a second look and realized it wasn't a big deal. Only a few inches were affected on less than one third of the strands. So just for fun I reskeined it, from a 2-yard niddy to a 30-inch niddy. In theory, reskeining rearranges the colors so that different ones adjoin; it's supposed to give the skein a different look. And in practice, that's exactly what happened. The light gray bits are still there, but they don't look so overwhelming when randomly distributed.


Both skeins are not quite the same color though, since there is no light gray in the first skein. So for socks it would probably be best to make the cuffs of both socks from the first skein and the feet from the second. Should work.

8 comments:

Leigh said...

Oh my, this is easy to admire, it's lovely! Very good idea about the canner too. I will have to remember that, along with the lesson learned form your experience.

Delighted Hands said...

So happy for you-the pictures are beautiful, I just love the smell of wet wool! I think the problem with the second skein was that the pot when steaming, drips and does wash out areas of color-common problem which is solved by making a paper tent over the wool to catch the drips so they won't do this-I think I would have done just as you have and use it anyway-it is just part of the process! Beautiful, impressive work!

Kath said...

Wow, when I was looking at the two skeins side by side I didn't even notice the difference.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Your yarn looks great.
Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. In answer to your question. It's a sweater drying rack and you can buy them at amazon.com. They are great for drying wool and hand washed items.

Marjorie said...

I think it looks beautiful. I think that when the colors play out as you knit the yarn, the overall look of the knitting will be just fine.

Nancy K. said...

Your spinning is beautiful and your knitting admirable! I envy you your talents...

;-)

Sharon said...

Your yarn is absolutely lovely. I am astonished at what you accomplish on your drop spindle. As for finishing, it has recently come to my attention that some spinners are nice to their yarns. I punish mine horribly in the hopes that it won't shrink much when I knit it.

Helen said...

Pretty, pretty yarn. I never noticed the color fade until you pointed it out.