Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Order from Chaos

I've been trying to get myself to write a post all through August, but just couldn't bring myself to do so. It's not that I'm not enjoying blogging, but rather that I was just way too overtired to even think about trying to sum up, condense, or explain anything.

In short, I needed a vacation, so I took one. I have quite a few blog post plans that have piled up throughout this time, some of which I will get around to, some of which I won't, but in the meantime, on the kids' first day back at school (they had an extra week of summer this year, and believe me, we have all been ready for a return to routine by the start of that week, particularly the kids, who were ready lightning-quick this morning and pulling me out the door on the way to school), I'm just going to try getting back into the swing of things with a quick post about a current project that I love.

I'm really enjoying spinning this Polwarth (seen below on the dash of my mom's car) that I bought from The Loop at Kensington in Calgary. The top is dyed by Sea Turtle Design, a local dyer. I was going to buy one of the more sedate colourways, thinking that I probably wouldn't wear anything made with this one, but hey, it's not all about the wearing, (and if nothing else the kids like bright colours); in fact, it's rather more about the spinning, and why not give it a whirl? The colourway is called “Chaos Theory,” but is perfectly well-planned.

The creamy white sections are doing a great deal to tone-down the brightness, and they are also helping to reduce any muddying of the colours. Sometimes the colours are blending, but mostly, I've got a barber-pole style effect going on.

The general consensus at my Friday knitting group (not that I'm there every Friday, much as I'd like to be) is that chain-plying will be the way to go with this, and I quite agree. The colours gradually transition (on average, because there still are dashes of mixed areas throughout) from green to blue to purple, to red to, well, I'm not quite there yet, but it looks like it finishes up on orange so far, with a bit of blue and/or purple and/or green in-between. Chain-plying would be the best way to keep this effect intact, so I'm going to try to learn it.

So far, I've enjoyed this set of instructions, largely because of how I really, really dislike trying to learn from videos (works great for so many people, but just not my cup of tea). I had read about the technique before in Abby Franquemont's Respect the Spindle, but it's great to have a quick refresher that suits my learning style just a quick link away.

I might spin up a quick sample to practice on, but we'll see if I'm actually that patient. As it is, I need to free up my plying spindle first, and I'm maybe half-way through that batch of plying.

I can't explain just how lovely this fibre feels, but you can see the fine crimp if you hold it up at eye level while drafting, you can feel an elastic spring to it, and it drafts and spins rather effortlessly. Also, I have trouble putting it down because I just want to see what this next bit looks like. And this next bit. Oh look, there's a new colour coming up next....

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