Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A rebellious yarn

It's true, I have a rebel in my stash. However, in my opinion, a rebellous yarn, is a rebel without a cause.

This all started two days ago, when I was searching for some sock yarn. I had not really stored yarns purchased over the last several months, and in the process of doing that, I came across a box of handspun yarn. I decided it was time to get all the handspun into one container. So I got all the skeins together and laid them out on the table.

Now I know this was a perfectly good photo opportunity, but I wasn't really thinking blog at the moment. And in truth this was not _all_ my handspun yarn, just the skeins I will not sell. That's either because I really love the yarn, or really hate the yarn. If I love it, I want to make something from it. If I hate it, well, I am too good hearted to take someone's cash for it.

I will admit, it made a pretty picture seeing all that yarn on the table. I got enthused enough to start pulling 'project' bags from the pile. One bag of 14 skeins of natural colored yarn for a sweater for me. One bag of big bulky black welsh mountain for a felted kitty bed. Several bags of hats, mitten, scarves for whoever. I do not have specific patterns yet for these bags, but I will, thanks to my many knitting books, or Ravelry.

So, that's when I found this: my rebellious yarn:
I remember very well spinning this yarn. I hated it, and posted at length at the time how I hated it. It was a scratchy wool blended with linen. I hated spinning it, and it shows so now I hate the yarn. It's overtwisted in spite of being washed, slubby and unevenly spun. It's only good quality is the very lovely lilac color that it was dyed. Since I purchased it in sealed bag, I had no idea of the quality of the fiber, and went on the color alone. Not wise, but pretty.

It continued to be rebellious this morning as I tried to wind it into a ball. OK, I was lazy, and should have used the swift to hold the yarn. The skein was winding off by itself oh so nice at first and lulled me into thinking I could continue that way. And then of course you hit all the kinkiness of the overspun yarn, and that rebellion rears it's grinning kinks again. It was only because I was on my front porch in the early morning coolness, coffee steaming on the table beside me, and birds filling the air with song, that kept me calm, as I worked through all the tangles and finally had it into a relatively tame ball. Besides, I consider it practice for later, when I have to once again untangle the ear buds of my mp3 player. Ever notice how yarn like those are, and how they seem to tangle the second you take them out of your ears?

I have four skeins of this yarn, close to 800 yards. Yes, I will use the swift to ball the rest, I learned my lesson. And I am too thrifty to toss this yarn. But fortunately I had a gleam of a possible project in mind for it.

One of the state fair categories this year is to weave an article from handspun. Now I am not really a weaver, nor do I have a functioning loom. I do however, have nail looms. A large shawl size triangle loom and two small sampler looms 12 inches in size.

Now I didn't want to make a shawl from this, I doubt I could stand to have it on my shoulders. I could have made two and joined them in the center for a tablecloth, an idea I want to do sometime, but not with this limited amount of yarn. So I decided to play with the sampler looms and see how the yarn looked.

There is nothing better for rebellious yarn, than putting it under tension again. And the weaving is going well. It's almost addicting, in that 'just one more row' kind of way.
Here's a closer look for details of how the yarn is pulled through the loom.

I am not going to go into details on the weaving right now. I had to consult the internet to learn the process and had to look in several places before it made sense and I was weaving. Once you learn, it becomes easy. The only difficult part is at the very end, when everything is very tight. Getting the yarn pulled through is hard work. You have to weave every nail, or the square will not stay together.
In fact that was my biggest doubt as I did my first square. I just couldn't believe that it would just dissolve into one big ravelly mess. But to prove it doesn't:

Now I normally would not show something so unfinished, but it's proof of two things. One, the square does stay together, and two, the square right off the loom is no where near finished. Whatever project I decide to make out of the squares, will definately be sewn together after a good washing and blocking.
But that yarn doesn't look quite so rebellious anymore, does it?

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