Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Monster Plan (or "Teaching Yourself to Spin the Hard Way")

So, as I said before I could not resist the Inferno roving from Copper Pot Woolies. My pictures really don’t do it justice. (I need to work on better picture taking but that is another post) And I’ve been drooling over it and wondering just how the heck I’m going to spin it up. (And if you decided to chime in folks, I’m working of a drop spindle here, none of that fancy wheel nonsense!). So far I have managed to leave the Inferno Monster safely in its plastic baggie but I can’t promise I won’t take it out and pet it in the future.

Spinning newbie

Inferno would be the 4th bunch of roving I have ever attempted to spin. Some would think I’m nuts and that I should practice practice practice first and not waste my first attempts on something so beautiful. Well, that certainly is a valid opinion (and certainly easier on the wallet!). But my thought is, I want to enjoy all that practice right? So why NOT work on something beautiful and lush to the fingertips? Inferno was $15. Sure, I could get cheaper stuff (the Apricot was only about $7 or $8) but it was kind of hard to work with being stiff and scratchy, and regardless of the fact that I over spun the heck out of it, it’s not soft enough to wear. So I’ll practice on the good stuff thank you very much!

Learn by doing
I’m working on the Spring Mix roving right now but that doesn’t really require any thought on color management. THAT is my practice batch. I’m working hard on getting the thickness fairly even. But I’m finding that I have difficulty spinning thick stuff. For some reason, thinner singles are much easier for me to work. It came in one loooooooooooog length. I split that in three so I could spin three singles to ply from. For the first rope I spun, I just split it in half and spun from a think chunky mass. Then, like a smart person, I did some research on pre-drafting. Yes, I should have done that first, I am a fool, but we’re going with the “learn by doing” axiom. I will eventually buy a book or take a class one day. For the second length, I have it divided into thin pencils that I pre-drafted out. I’m interested to see if there are noticeable differences in the length of the color changes. I’ve split this section probably into 8 bunches or so I’m noticing the blue sections on the second rope to be much shorter. But there could have just been more blue on that section of the roving. Spring Mix is helping me get some of the basics down, before I have to worry about color. On to Inferno!!!

Begin at the end
I’ve been thinking a bit what I want the final Inferno yarn to look like. I loved the Mother of Pearl but it’s a little on the stripy side for me. I’m hoping that I varied the length of the color changes enough in Spring Mix to make it not so stripy, but we’ll see what happens! I like yarns that are more variegated not striped. Then I was thinking about separating the three colors, spinning each separately into singles and then plying all three together. While cool, I think it would be a little too uniform. In my minds eye I see the orange popping out of the finished item and the purple oozing into nooks and crannies… But I don’t want any one section of completely solid color either.

So my plan is to separate out the three colors into single strips. I’m going to combine those three strips into three singles in the following color combinations: Orange & Pink, Orange & Purple, Pink & Purple. So from these three singles I should have a final yarn that then has sections of two color combinations. I think. Now this all works “on paper” but I’m not to sure it is going to work in real life yet!

That’s part of the fun!

I’m excited about this but I do have other things I have to get thru before diving in. My Sock 2 for SKP2008 needs to get done, as well as the Spring Mix roving and I do have the skull shrug not to mention oodles of other project. I will win the lottery so I can be creative all day long!

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