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


Oh, Bess, is this the woman you were just telling me about a few weekends ago? What a sweet story, and what a lovely finish - it's always too soon, but this seems peaceful and blessed, and there is certainly need of that...

By Blogger Amie, at 10:26 AM  

RE: the brown fibre -- perhaps something felted? A chic bag or svelt fedora?

R.I.P., Mrs. B. God bless.

By Blogger Margaret, at 12:17 PM  

Mrs. B sounds like a good example for many of us. How good to know of her late-stage-in-life love/happiness.
Your blog posts about spinning & fiber are mini-tutorials for me - can't wait to have a Robin wheel that will allow me to try all these great fibers.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005  

That does it, Margaret - I’m going to go ahead and spin the spider web. I rather like knitting with very fine yarn sometimes - especially in that magical way you can knit it on surprisingly (proportionally) big needles. And the fact that I can spin so fine is so intriguing I simply must explore the idea. I wet set the little 3 yard sample I made and a lot of the unevenness smoothed out.

But what has been fascinating me the most this week has been spinning different fibers into boucle. I’m taking advantage of the fact that I have some empty bobbins to pull out some of my deeply stashed fibers. After my satisfying effort with the Azalea Boucle I had to see what I could spin for the body of the jacket type sweater which is to be embellished by the boucle shawl collar. (whew! how did I fit all that into one sentence?) Truth is - I don’t care for either of the fat bags of brown wool I have. The boucle is so silky - it’s made from kid mohair - and these two wools - one is a very low count merino and one is an undetermined lambswool - are very springy and bouncy - but a little stiff. So far, I can’t seem to spin a yarn that I like. Of course, I am still inexperienced enough to have to depend a lot on mood and energy levels and the alignment of the planets to spin a particular yarn. My technique is way far from a master’s level.

I don’t actually know what I want to spin to go with that boucle - I only know the color. But while I had the brown wool out I thought I’d try it spun up as a boucle. And then why not try that Wenslydale and the mohair/wool blend? I’d already plied some of that (m/w blend) with the brown lambswool and quite liked the result. But what about that tencil/merino blend hiding in the bottom of the chest?

So I made up some little samples and practiced my technique at the same time. The brown wool makes a very spongy textured yarn. I love the look of it, but I’m not so fond of it’s scratchiness. Something tells me there’s a use for it but I can’t think of it right now. The mohair/merino blend has qualities from each fiber - there’s a sheen and a bit of looping from the mohair, but the merino keeps it from really forming those fat lush circles you get from 100% mohair. The Wenslydale mimics the mohair with it’s round loops and it’s sheen, but it’s not quite as soft as the mohair. The merino/tencil turned out to be my favorite. It’s very soft and silky - and lush and squiggly. It doesn’t make circles, but it makes fat half loops. I immediately thought of silver astrakhan fur when I saw how the sample was making up. So I spun a second sample of it to see if I could get a little more size to the loops and knit it up.

And I will have pictures of all these later today! I don’t have a digital camera - all the images I put on this blog are scans made with the public scanner at the library. One of these days I’ll buy and learn how to use a digital camera - but it will be one of those days off in the future.

I’m going in late today because I’m going to a funeral. It’s not a sad funeral. It’s the end of a 99 year old life and Mrs. B has been out of touch for a long time. She was an avid reader the first 15 years I worked at the library - and an interesting conversationalist. She had been a divorcee at a time when that carried some social stigma but in her 80’s she was swept off her feet in the most romantic courtship, by a tall handsome fellow who courted her like a princess and filled her world with every beribboned token of love a woman could desire. They had about 8 years of joy before he died and, though it was sad she had to lose him - their love seemed to buoy her all the way across the bridge to a point where she couldn’t remember anyway. The end came gently, a clock winding down, a spring uncoiling. And when I go to pay my respects today - they will be the most admiring kind. She never gave up on the possibilities of love. I hope I can follow her joyful lead. I hope we all can.

posted by Bess | 8:53 AM