Monday, February 12, 2007

What became of the green yarn?

I really enjoyed the opportunity to Spin in Public at our event on February 3rd, and to answer questions about spinning and wheels and fiber. Thank you, Megan, for organizing such a fun event! There's another one on February 24th, if you missed it. If you did get to see me there, I can answer one of the oft-posed questions about my fiber: no, that green does not wash off afterwards-- off of the yarn or my hands! (It was not one of our rovings from the shop, but an unidentified fiber festival purchase.) The color managed to stay in the yarn, but bled like crazy when I set the twist. A final rinse in white vinegar completely took care of the problem, and often works on commercial yarns that bleed as well. The smell does fade.
Another question I was asked a few times was, "What do you do with the yarn you spin?" For this yarn, here's this post... I had about 90 worsted-weight yards of the green yarn after plying, and I aimed for mittens. To avoid running short, I striped my handspun with a pink commercial-spun yarn of a similar weight, which is a good trick for stretching one or two hundred yards of handspun into a whole project. The mitten pattern is from a Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Noro book, called "Forsa Mittens." After the mittens, I had way too much green yarn left over to abandon, so I wove it up into a tiny camera pouch and a (currently handle-less) purse.
When I only have a minimal amount of precious handspun, I frequently turn to two great resources: One Skein Wonders (by many people, including some from Hilltop!) and One Skein by Leigh Radford. Both books have lots of options for different gauges. Another one I don't have yet, but love to flip through at the shop, is Spin to Knit by Shannon Okey, which is made for exactly these concerns. Sure, sometimes I will spin enough for a sweater, but I find it more fun to try out new fibers and different color combinations. Spinning is like "inventing" yarn-- It has practical purposes, but it's hard to beat the thrill of discovery!


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