Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musings about Yarn

I spent all day Sunday spinning.  Spinning yarn, that is, not bike wheels.  When my spinners/weavers guild sent a sign-up for demonstrating at Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest and Festival, I knew I HAD to volunteer.  Held at the old movie set spot, Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, it was the perfect place to spend a spring Sunday.  Of course, The Professor offered to tag along and help carry my spinning wheel and provide nutrition (read: hot chocolate) when I needed it.  With my hands and mind deep in to fiber, I spun and spun, showed boys, girls, teenagers, men and women how yarn is created.  Other demonstrators were weaving, spinnning and making bobbin lace.  Perhaps it was just the crowd, those who love bluegrass music also love hand made anything, but we were busy all day long.

Now that I'm back home and settled in to teaching, correcting, and planning for the last weeks of classes, part of my brain is still focused on yarn.  It's hard not to be thinking about fiber when it's everywhere around me at home.  Currently, I have a nearly finished cap lying on the ottoman in the living room.  Made from variegated blues and grays handspun super wash wool, it's a feast for my senses--touch and sight.  In the family room the cap's matching fingerless gloves are waiting for me to make a change in one--I miscounted rows early in the pattern and one glove is longer than the other.  And you know, usually, hands are the same size, so I need to change one.  There is also a skein of yarn snuggled up next to the gloves.  It's waiting for me to cast on and make it in to a sweater for one of my niece's twins who are scheduled to make an appearance in a couple of months (or less, knowing twins).  But that's not all the yarn that's around Willow's Cottage.

There is, among many other yarns and projects, a sweater languishing in a paper gift bag. I spun the undyed brown Cowichan wool into a fine yarn a few years ago.  It sat there waiting for the perfect pattern to appear magically.  Finally, I decided to design a pattern myself.  I used the Charmed Knits pattern for the Weasley Sweater as my inspiration.  Instead of a plain stockinette stitch I worked the whole thing in ribs with occasional simple cables.


The sweater is nearly finished, and guess what.  I don't like it.  The neckline is too wide--I wanted a wider neckline so the wool wouldn't sit up against my sensitive skin and make me itch, but I over did the wideness.  I've tried all kinds of fixes but it's just not working.  Also, I have to ask myself why I keep knitting wool sweaters when most of the year it's just too warm in my climate to wear it.  I already have the wool, and I want to be a good steward of my resources, so I endeavor to use up what I have.  I think, finally, I've admitted to myself (and now to the world) that I need to unravel this thing and start over.  Maybe it won't be a sweater again.  Maybe it will become hats, scarves or socks, or even an afghan.  I certainly have enough of the stuff to make an afghan. 

It gets dangerous around here when I begin overthinking my yarn projects.

7 comments:

ellen b. said...

If you decide not to unravel it you could always give it to a swimmer because usually they have really wide shoulders :0)

ellen b. said...

Silly me...when I first read the title of your post I thought it said Musings about YAM!! :0)

Roxie said...

Love your design on that sweater, even if the neck IS too big. An afghan's worth of yarn will make enough hats for a platoon - more or less! Knit on!

Bethany Hissong said...

I think it's so great that you share your talent with the community! I would love to sit and watch you spin! You know, it's good for me to hear that sometimes projects don't turn out for you, being such a fantastic knitter, because then I don't feel so bad when mine don't either!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Your special day of spinning sounds like fun. I'd love to see that someday. It is rather encouraging to a novice knitter like me to learn that an experienced spinner and knitter can still make the occasional miscalculation. (Is that a backwards compliment? Gosh, I hope not!) Regarding wool, I've not yet been brave enough to buy the expensive stuff and try knitting with real wool yarn. But I do still enjoy the occasional scarf out of something less dear, the latest being one of cream baby yarn with a tiny shiny thread through it. I'm keeping that one for myself. I've got my mind all set to make another one in orange....I know if I were surrounded by all your gorgeous yarn it would be hard to get my mind off it.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Oh no --it must be so frsutrating to work on a project and then not like it in the end. Is there any way to add on a collar of some sort to the sweater to make the neckline smaller??

Knitting Linguist said...

That doesn't sound like overthinking to me! It sounds like good planning for your projects and their future as usable items (rather than mathoms that sit about gathering dust). It sounds like we both got the spinning bug at the same time! The fiddle festival sounds wonderful - as my older daughter gets further into her fiddle-playing, I'm going to have to start keeping an eye out for those.