Tag Archives: roving

Spin, spin, spin

Last weekend, we went on a lovely little weekend trip to the Olympic Peninsula, and on the way back we stopped in Port Gamble for lunch.  Port Gamble is a rediculously pictureesque little vilage.  Built on rolling green hills that lead down to the water, all the old-fashioned houses are painted bright colors with white trim.  There is a fantastic little cafe where we stopped for lunch, a quilt store, and two fiber stores!  (I know- heaven!)

After lunch, my mother-in-law and I stopped into The Artful Ewe, one of the yarn stores- and it was like stepping into some sort of yarn-themed Harry Potter story.  The tiny store was made housed in an old house, and literally ever surface was full of wool!  The floor was strewn with giant baskets full of fleeces, tables were overflowing with yarn, and the walls were decked with racks and racks of hand-dyed roving.  There was even a tree in the middle of the room, hung with skeins of wool in every color of the rainbow! I should have taken a picture- but I was too distracted.

And there was a pair of two tiny, proper, little greyhounds sitting in a wing-back chair-  one of which was wearing a string of pearls instead of a collar.  Like I said, this place was like something out of a storybook!

So, of course, I had to buy some wool.

I didn’t have a project in mind, so I first gravitated toward the big skeins of squishy hand-dyed sock yarn- always a good choice.  I had almost picked out the skein I wanted.

But, then, I saw it- a gorgeous braid of roving: soft-as-a-kitten Polwarth wool, blended with flecks of shiny, shimmering silk, and dyed in the most intense, brightest jewel tones.  Amethyst and emerald, sapphire and aquamarine.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHonestly, the picture does not do it justice (for some reason I had a crazy hard time photographing this roving-  you’ll just have to trust me- it’s absolutely divine!)

I wavered for only a minute (seeing as I’m not a big spinner) before making a beeline to the cash register.  (Stopping to pet the pups on the way, of course.)

I spent the day yesterday spinning up about a third of the wool (I’m not very fast) into a fairly even, medium-sized single.  It’s been fun to watch the different colors shift and change as they go into my spinning wheel- but maybe I’m just easily amused?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight now, I’m planning on making this wool into a worsted-ish 3-ply, but who knows how it’ll really end up.

What do you think I should knit with it?  Or should I just keep it as a pet?

Funfetti Yarn

From time-to-time I like to stretch my fiber-arts legs and try out something other than knitting (heresy, I know!).  Sometimes, I roll out the ol’ spinning wheel and, well, take it for a spin.

This time, I impulse-purchased a big bag of bright white roving, and little tufts in a dozen bright rainbow colors.  I couldn’t tell you what kind of fiber I bought, because, well, it’s taken me more than four months to finish this skein, and any notes or labels I might have had when I purchased the wool are long gone.

I spun the roving into singles with alternating long white stripes and short-ish (about 3 feet long) sections of random color.   Then, last week, I finally plied the yarn into more than 250 yards of squishy 2-ply loveliness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOK, it’s not perfect…  I did my best to keep the yarn an even aran-ish weight, but with the weeks-long breaks between bouts of spinning, and my less-than-stellar spinning skills, the yarn ended up with a bit of a thick-and-thin consistency.  And my first attempt at 2-ply yarn left it with less-than-perfect evenness.  Oh well!  It gives the yarn character, right? Right?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADespite it’s quirks, I’m happy with this yarn… now I just have to figure out what to make with it.  (Or maybe I should just keep it to look at.)

Have you ever tried spinning?  How did it turn out?

Inspiration: It’s Way Too *#^@ing Cold

We are firmly in the SECOND cold snap of the winter, here in Seattle.  Seattle, where I was promised damp, cloudy, and 40s for most of the  year.  Seattle, where I moved to get away from the excessive cold of the Midwest, and the ridiculous hot of the South.  Seattle, where I expected to wear nothing but wool sweaters and flannel shirts for 90% of the year.

It is currently (at 11:30 in the morning) 27 degrees.  27!

And, there’s snow and ice all over outside.  (In November!)

It’s not right.  It’s not fair.  And I don’t like it.

All I want to do is roll myself up in a big wad of roving and go into hibernation until the temperature is back in the 40s.

Unfortunately, that’s not really approved of by society in general, so I suppose I must make do with the next closest thing.  Thrummed knitting.

Thrummed knitting involves working little tufts of roving into your knitting (traditionally mittens, but right now I would consider murder if it meant I could get my hands on a thrummed sweater).  It’s a little futzy, but not terribly so.  And, you end up with knitting that’s completely lined with glorious, fluffy wool (think of shearling, but knitted, not leather), and dotted with cute little heart-shaped stitches.  I can’t think of anything better than walking around with my hands (and feet) swaddled with woolen goodness.

Try these mittens, for some traditional thrummed action:

Yarn Harlot Thrummed Mittens by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Outside:

2895409293_91de82094a_z[1]Inside (I know, right?!):

2873388824_e07708cb94_z[1]Or, if you’re like me and have ice cubes instead of toes, these slippers would be fantastic:

Cadeautje by Ysolda Teague

cadeautje_medium2[1]Now, I’m off to go see if I can fit another sweater over the one I’m already wearing… Wish me luck!