02 September, 2011

In Which I Make Yarn

I always have a nagging suspicion that making my own yarn is ridiculous, especially given how much commercially-spun yarn I already have. On the surface, it's a no-win situation: the fiber costs just as much as yarn that's already made, it takes for-ev-er to create, and in the end I'm left with yet another material as opposed to a finished product.

But spinning is more than that, somehow. It is meditative in a way that knitting often is not. That isn't to say that knitting is not meditative; it's just a different kind of meditation. One that recently has involved a disproportionate amount of swearing, in fact. Not being able to count tends to hinder proper knitting.

The meditation of spinning comes in the rhythm of treadling and the quiet whirr of the wheel; on my cherry wood Schact it sounds like rain and sometimes I can almost smell wet earth.

For a long time I've neglected my spinning for one reason or another. Some of those reasons are pretty small - as in less than 10 feet - but they make a difference and I'm suddenly interested again. For this project I wanted to try lining up the plies of a 2-ply to make a self-striping yarn. It's more difficult than it looks because unless your spinning is perfectly even, there's bound to be some differences in thickness.

Clearly my spinning is not even.
In retrospect I probably should have done a simple, straight-up spinning project first to remind my muscles how this whole process works and to iron out my singles. That pile of wasted singles definitely took some of the meditation out of plying, even if I did have a disc of Fringe season 1 to keep me from shrieking obscenities at no one but myself.

All in all, however, I'm pretty chuffed with the finished yarn:
Girl on the Rocks 100% merino in "Bright Fig." 716 yards, 2-ply, 101g. 
I'm looking forward to winding it into a yarn cake and showing you all how cool it looks. Now I just need to find a pattern...