Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spinning and Stashinization

(the art of fitting your stash in an Ikea wardrobe)
A thousand thank yous to my dear friend Anj--she graciously and willingly helped me tackle my stash. We went through everything and by the time she was ready to bike back down to South Philly, I had myself a nifty Excel file, detailing not only what was in my stash but also what I wanted to do with my stash.

It's no surprise that the bulk of my projects in waiting are socks--18 pairs are waiting to be knit. What was surprising--and kinda disappointing--was the overall amount of yarn in my stash: not more than 170 balls! I asked Mike to guess how much I had, telling him that if he guessed more I'd be entitled to purchase enough to reach that number. And, if he guessed less, I'd be able to buy more yarn simply because he's unable to correctly guess, therefore I win. He guessed low, but I'm going to hold off on purchasing yarn. At least, I'll wait until he graduates in May.

Here's a rundown of the projects I have in stash: 1 shawl, 2 cardigans, 4 sweaters, 3 felted bags, 2 felted guitar straps, and a half dozen assorted hats, scarves, and mittens. I also have yarn for about 20-30 unknown projects, including the 20 balls of cashmere I won at Sam's benefit.

A big surprise in the yarn sort-out was discovering how many needles I have... When my mom was up on Friday (she was helping me with Phase I of the craft room, which was to basically make it accessible as a room), she called me a yarn whore because every time she blinked she found yarn and 2 or 3 needles. And I KNOW I have a lot of needles... But, Excel tells me I have a problem: 17 sets of 5 DPNs (85 needles total...), from US0000 (apparently, I have 2 sets of these...) through US 10.5; 37 sets of circulars, ranging from US0 to US35; and 53 pairs of straights (106 needles!), from US1 to US17. This does not include the Denise Interchangeables I got for Christmas!

Going through the stash is very satisfying, though. In some ways, it felt like I was finding new yarns--not that I'd forgotten about any of the yarn (in most cases, I told the story of how that yarn came to be in my stash. Then I realized such tales might be borderline annoying...). But, I rarely take out all of my yarn at once. Seeing everything was more inspirational than overwhelming and I'm finding myself rather content to be stash-knitting. Further evidence: today I was in Chestnut Hill walking along the Avenue. I passed TWO yarn shops and entered neither. Willpower or not? Who knows...

Onto the spinning!

BFL doubles.

This is the fiber I cut my teeth on. It's the sort of fiber that nearly spins itself, especially once one gets the hang of a wheel.


Once I got the hang of spinning the BFL, I pulled out the fleece I picked up at MDSW '05. It's a natural color with dark fibers (blacks and browns randomly) and flecks of nearly fluorescent yellows, oranges, and greens. Spinning it on my drop spindle proved to be a pain in the ass (the spindle was too light for the heavy fiber). You can see, though, that it spun nicely on the wheel.

Little Louet that could.

Thick and thin BFL, supplied to me by Anj, via Boogie. Dear Ms. King: I cannot wait to come up to Maine and sleep on the fiber.

The spinning has taken over my craft life these last few weeks, I'll admit. In fact, several work days had me itching to get the hell home just so I could spin the day away. While there's about half of the original BFL left to spin, my MD fiber is all spun up. In fact, it's been rinsed and thwacked, and it's all now hanging in the shower, drying. I ended up with one skein of doubles and three and a half skeins of thick and thin (mostly thin) singles. There should be enough for a felted bag!

I will treat myself to some fiber, but not just yet. I've got a couple of other projects that are nearly finished, including these socks for Mike:

Austermann Step

I'm pretty satisfied with these socks--basic top-down pattern, no major surprises or pattern notes to mention. I also like that I managed to match the striping. Mike's been a very patient man, so these socks--being so close to the toe--really need to get done.

Other projects, like cross-stitching and machine sewing and jewelry making, are sort of taking over after I finish the second sock. I think, though, that the next knitting project should be for ME.

Next update: bottling home-brew hard cider. Is it drinkable, or is it apple cider vinegar?

1 comment:

Amy Boogie said...

YAY spinning! I get so excited seeing new spinners. BFL is amazing stuff. You're welcome here any time.