Sunday, August 16, 2020

It's Going to Be a Nail-biter

As of right now, there are five more days of Stash Dash. If I want to hit my 15K goal, I need to make up a gap of just a little less than 1,300 yards. I don't think this skein of handspun is going to take care of all of it, but it'll get me much closer.

The singles were finished yesterday, and though I was very excited to start plying, I made myself wait until today to let the singles rest overnight. (That's strictly not necessary, by the way, but I've found that letting the singles rest allows the spinning twist to calm down a bit, which makes plying a bit easier.) Once I started plying today, though, I really couldn't rest until I was done.

I'm really pleased by the way the colors mixed and mingled, and I was pretty consistent, too, because when one bobbin ran out of singles I had only a bit left on the other bobbin that I Andean plied in order to use every last bit in this skein.

For those of you who think my yarn is perfect coming off the wheel, I present the following exhibit -- how most of my skeins look when they've just been plied:

Many spinners will tell you that the goal of spinning is to get a balanced yarn -- that is, the amount of twist you put into the singles is balanced out by the amount of twist in the other direction that you put in when plying. I don't necessarily think that's the goal for me, and in fact sometimes I like more plying twist because it can help to create a more elastic and thereby more durable yarn, but I share this picture because you really can't tell for sure whether a skein of handspun is balanced or not when it comes off the wheel. In this case, the plying twist is most active because the singles were spun prior to plying, so all that kinking up you're seeing is from the plying. The wonderful thing about wool is that when you get it well, it reawakens the crimp in the fiber and the twist in the singles, so the twist in both directions works itself out.

The skein has been washed and is now sitting out on the porch to dry, so we'll have to wait and see what the final yardage is. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I have some happy news to share! Yesterday my brother and sister-in-law welcomed a new family member. Meet Leo McGarry!

He is a 10-month-old Boxer/hound mix, and he is super sweet. They found in at a shelter in West Virginia and drove down yesterday to meet him. He's still settling in, but based upon the photo my brother texted us last night, he seems to be happy in his new forever home:

I still would like a dog of my own, but we're not quite ready for one just yet. So in the meantime I'll be happy to be "dog aunt"!

12 comments:

  1. Oooh that handspun yarn looks lovely. You share good information about the plying and the twist. I love it when people adopt dogs out of shelters.

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    1. What Jane said! (although much of the information you shared went right over my head #goals to someday understand all that! I totally get twist and plies as it relates to the finished yarn, but how it gets there is still a mystery!)

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  2. More beautiful yarn! My daughter has an amazing dog and if I could get one like her, I might consider - I might!

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  3. Congratulations on my being a new dog aunt! How fun!

    Your yarn is gorgeous. I love how the colors play together. Good luck with the last few days of the dash!

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    1. I guess being a dog aunt is like being a grandparent -- all the fun, none of the responsibility!

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  4. Love those colors, that yarn, and Leo McGarry! (I'm also a West Wing fan!)

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  5. Awww, he is such a cutie!! Do you want to have a boxer, too, or another special breed?

    The spinning came out so beautiful, seriously. I admire you so much for getting the yarn you want - most of my stash is sitting unspun, because I am still dumb enough to be afraid to "ruin" the fibre and mixing up bright colours to something very dull and blergh.

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    1. We would like to have a small dog; my daughter wants a Westie right now. But unfortunately a small dog is not so easily found at shelters!

      I'd encourage you to get over the fear of "ruining" fiber in your stash. First, it's highly unlikely, and second, even if it doesn't come out great or as you wanted, sheep are always growing more wool!

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    2. Westies are so cute! I hope you get lucky soon (although I can understand that it's hard to find at the shelter, the local shelter here has mostly stafford terriers, boxers, etc.,too).
      You're right about the spinning!! Maybe I can get something done after completing the list. ;)

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  6. Oh, that is one lucky dog. He looks so content--and quite happy with his auntie!

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    1. He is a very sweet pup! My brother reported that he spent his first night patrolling and then pooped in the living room, but I can't say I blame him!

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  7. Beautiful yarn! And what a cute pup!

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