I keep trying to find entertaining tidbits to dazzle and enlighten, but the truth is I’m not doing anything the least bit exciting on the textile front at the moment. The skein for the county fair is off and the sock is in that row after row of stockinette stitch part. I’ve even spun all the Merino I combed for the bobbins of singles. So what am I doing now? Fiber prep. Sorting, scouring and flicking. I haven’t even gotten back to the pointy dangerous tool bit.
For those of you who were here for the whole COE thing, I realize this is a letdown. First the COE, and then the Learning Exchange and now… fiber prep? Yes, I hate to break it to you but I am one of those types who generally works on a project until it’s done. I may have two or three going, but rarely more. Right now, there is a knitting project, a spinning project and a loom-configuration project, in addition to the ongoing may-take-forever spindle project. I’ve got some ideas for other things, I’ve toyed with a few samples, but I haven’t actually started anything.
Since I finally finished scouring the first lamb fleece from last summer (there are two more to go, remember,) I’m continuing with the spinning of it. I’m basically going to spin three full bobbins of single and make sock yarn, which will be used for legwarmers and wrist warmers and possibly some socks. The Boyfriend has expressed an interest in gloves. Several of these things will come from this first batch. If I need more yarn, well, it was a four pound fleece.
I like to spin a bunch of yarn all at once because I get better yarn. If I do all the singles first, they are more likely to match. And if they don’t, I can still do something about it (like decide I want a six-ply yarn instead.) I also do better if I ply all at once. Now with full bobbins of fine single, that’s going to mean many bobbins of 3-ply yarn. But I can ply a full bobbin in a couple hours at most. I usually do it in one sitting. I count treadles when I ply, so I set aside an afternoon when I have nothing else I have to do and nobody is around. I don’t answer the phone. I even got some extra bobbins so I could do several at a time.
All this is about as far as you can get from the gee-wiz school of spinning, where one is in it for exploring the unending parade of possible fibers, colors and textures. I like to pick something and do it for a while until I feel I really understand it. Add to that my preference for large projects and it can easily take years to finish something. When I finished the COE, the one thing I most wanted to do was make something. After such a long time of doing nothing but samples, I need to produce a finished object just to see that I still can. It didn’t help at all that many of those yarns are things I would never choose to do for myself. “Ok, I did the novelty yarns. Can I go back to fun stuff now?” Bobbin after bobbin of technically precise yarn is the fun stuff.