Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


OUCH - rest up and enjoy your unexpected day off. Can you learn to treadle with your right foot?

Love you!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:17 AM  

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Monday, August 01, 2005  

Yo Rebecca - don’t you worry - I rested most of Sunday. Oh, I thought about finishing up the kitchen, but it was so much fun to just look at the already cleaned up parts, I never got around to creating more of them. Every time I’d walk through the kitchen I had to open each drawer and sigh, open both lower cabinets and just stare, bemusedly, at tidy, organized, dust free surfaces. Had I been ambitious, I could have cleaned the cabinet under the sink or the one with all the fancy dishes in it. Had I bustled just a tad more, I could have cleared out the corner where all the cookbooks are. Alas. I was far too satisfied with what had been done to prompt myself to do more.

And now it is Monday and there isn’t time.

Add to that the fact that I wrenched my ankle on a walk with BD just as the sun set -Handsome Prince Consort hurried back and got the coach, to transport HisQueen back home - and I really ought to spend the day in bed, with my foot up. Ought to and shall, in fact. Mr. Horoscope may say that today is one in which to seize life - I believe I shall seize Harry Potter instead and finish it up, lying on my bed with the fan pointed directly at me.

Alas. Twisted ankles mean no spinning for me. Boo Hoo Too - since I had just thought of something I wanted to try with this week’s color. BTW, I got 84 yards of pretty red yarn from one bobbin full of singles. Plied it from a center pull ball. Then I waltzed into the den where I rummaged through the bag of W-0-C fibers and chose the warm spring green for this week. Since it wasn’t all that late in the afternoon I experimented around with yarn design.

All this fiber is basically mohair and some slight to moderately coarse wool, carded together with a bunch of bits and cuts and odds and ends of different colors, though all still the same 2 fibers. This means that now and then there are little half inch curls of mohair lock tips or tangles of wool or mohair that guarantee a slub. It seems to me it has been through a high quality electric carder one time, since some of the blending is very well mixed and some is not. The actual spinning experience varies from a relaxed hold on the well blended, where I mostly sit and let the yarn pull out of the bat on its own, to a very active process, like playing serious ping-pong or racquet ball, where my fingers have to be ready to pounce or draft, leap or backspin, vary my treadle, and decide quick quick quick that this is acceptable yarn before it zips onto the bobbin. At these active times, I do a good bit of stopping and re-spinning, breaking off and joining again, but not more than is fun. And the next thing you know, I’m back to the smooth self-spinning stuff - just in time to give me a break.

No matter what I do with this fiber it is going to spin into textured yarn - be it highly textured or only modestly so. The spring green fiber, though, seems extraordinarily well blended and I thought I’d have a go at spinning a thick and thin slub yarn and ply it against a tightly spun smooth fiber. I have some Finn, undyed, but it would do for a sample piece. Making those fat slubs, the sort of horrible things you made when you first picked up wheel or spindle, followed by thin sections that are not over spun, but twisted just tightly enough that when you ply them they will match your smooth worsted spun single in twist and grist is Hard as H**L - but it’s also a deeply rewarding challenge to meet. The thing I was least satisfied with, while spinning the single, was how long the thick bits were and how great a distance between them the fiber tried to stretch out. And thank goodness for that second bit of frustration, for it lingered in my mind so that when I had plied the sample yarn and wet set it I was still obsessing about it. Looking at the finished sample, though, I realized that, for knitting purposes, I really want those slubs far apart. I want to knit a moderately smooth fabric with random slubs popping out on the surface - not an overall bumpy fabric.

Best of all! I realized that this is true for when I add beads to the yarn as well. I don’t want beads all over the place - I want them to pop out here and there on the surface of a somewhat smooth fabric. So! Just the sort of thing to go into the Project Notebook (which I have yet to buy) so that I will look wise and scholarly and as if I take my craft seriously - or else really anal. No, no. I am sure the urge to make a Project Notebook is pure mnemonic. Like writing notes in a lecture, it’s a way of reinforcing the learning process. And maybe it will give me an opportunity to brag. But it will also give me a chance to share and teach and show others what I did and save them some time. Ahh the dual nature of TheQueen.

If I were going to spin today, I'd spin up another slubbed sample, this time with longer stretches of smooth yarn between the slubs. But there shall be none of that today. I treadle with my left foot - this week’s twisted ankle foot - so instead I will knit away on the socks or drop spindle a wee bit of the merino top - both of which I can do in bed. And read.

I am enjoying HP, but I can’t seem to stick with it for long stretches. Perhaps my brain is too scattered these days, or I am too ADD, or ENFP-ish to stick with anything, even an HP novel. There seems to be a humming going on in my brain that makes focusing particularly difficult these days. When I spin, I can let the humming have its will with me - but when I am reading it’s a decided nusicence. Fortunately, HP isn't so riviting I can’t put it down and pick it up after my brain cools.

The important thing is to Rest That Ankle so I can function properly the rest of the week. So. I am off to rest. That ankle, of course. But perhaps I’ll hobble through the kitchen first, and look at Clean Cabinets.

posted by Bess | 8:27 AM