Realizations

Realization #1: I think I might hate plying with a spindle.

I can’t say for sure because I’ve never plied – or spun – with anything else.

It may be that I don’t like plying. I plied some of this from a center-pull ball and some from 2 separate cakes. Neither was pleasant and I still have several small balls of singles left over from when things got too difficult or tangled and I had to cut the yarn and start over.

It may be that I don’t like this spindle. I’ve been spinning with a very small, light, top-whorl spindle, but I plied this yarn with my first spindle – a larger, heavier, bottom-whorl. I am reminded that I gave up using this spindle after about 6 months because I found it very uncomfortable to use – too big for my small hands, too heavy to get it spinning easily.

So, the jury’s still out, but I do know that I really enjoyed spinning this yarn but did not enjoy a moment of plying it. It’s making me a little nervous about continuing with the sock yarn I’m working on right now, because if I keep spinning it then eventually it will need to be plied, too, and what then?

Realization #2: These socks are taking forever, and today is the deadline for pair #3. As you can see, I’m not even to the toe on the first sock. This is partly my own fault. I shortened the cuff in an attempt to finish these quickly, but then I decided to keep the slipped-stitch pattern on the sole of the foot instead of working the sole in stockinette as the pattern calls for. (After the work I’m putting into these, I don’t want the sole to wear through too quickly.) So, the foot is taking longer than it should because I can’t just zip through the second half of each round knitting every stitch. I have a plan for pair #4 that will keep me on track overall, though.

Realization #3: OHMYGOD I LOVE PROJECT BAGS. Why have I never had one of these before? I see them up for grabs on Ravelry all the time and never claim one. I just think, “that’s cute,” and move on with my day. I now must have ALL the bags. Since receiving the one in this picture I’ve arranged trades for two more.

This one came yesterday, and look what it’s the perfect size to hold:

The yarn baskets are soon to get both more organized and prettier, I think.

18 thoughts on “Realizations

  1. Are you going to try to finish the mate today? You’re awesome if you can. I couldn’t tell, is that stranded? They’re pretty. And have fun with the project bags.

    A lady in my Thursday morning knit group raises alpacas and is learning to spin so she can knit with their fleece!

    1. I just decided that since I couldn’t possibly finish the socks today, I wouldn’t worry, and I knit a sweater sleeve instead. I can easily knit the other sleeve tomorrow, then I’ll still have a finished project for the weekend.

    2. Oh, and the pattern (Aquaphobia Socks) is not stranded, it uses slipped stitches to break up the pooling in a multicolor yarn. The main pattern on the leg is worked sort of like a heel flap – one row of slipping every other stitch, one plain, row, etc.

  2. Project bags being bags for special projects? Or just pretty bags for organizing? Either way, I am reminded that I am in your debt for the mass of fabric you gave me. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to sew for you! It may take a little while, as I still haven’t troubled to get my sewing machine fixed, but I have embraced hand sewing.

    1. Project bags being bags big enough to hold a single project – so far I have 2 small ones, perfect for a pair of socks, and a medium one on the way. I always have so many projects in progress that I want to collect a ton of bags so every project has its own pretty outfit to wear and so the yarn baskets stay less tangled.

      Also, I gave the fabric freely without expectation of anything in return. I was just happy to see it go to a good home where it would get some love. But, if you really want to make me something, of course I will allow it.

      1. Ah, I use some of my large collection of free advertising totes for my projects. Not as pretty as yours, but they get the job done. šŸ™‚

        I do want to make you something!

  3. Yeah I hate plying too, I personally think it is a pain on a spindle, which is why I’m investing in a wheel (only for the plying). If it helps, I think your handspun is looking wonderful, I think that it would look lovely knitted up in a hat! I really love the project bag too : )

    1. Glad to know it’s not just me. I do think the yarn looks pretty – this is the first of my spinning that feels like real yarn to me. Everything else has mostly been little samples or just such small amounts they felt like practice. I’m not sure how many yards I have, but I know I have enough to make something, so that’s exciting. I think I’m going to at least try to test drive a wheel at NH Sheep & Wool this year to see what I think.

  4. I hate doing everything on a spindle. Grrr. But you suddenly made me realise that I might not be the problem (or, strictly speaking, my spindle). I’ve got small hands too, and I never ever stopped to consider that. Maybe I need to give it another go with a different spindle…

    (Love that project bag)

    1. The size of the spindle made a huge difference for me. I think getting a top-whorl instead of a bottom-whorl helped, too. I find it very difficult to get the spindle spinning fast enough just by flicking it with my fingers. With a top-whorl I can roll it against my leg and get a lot more speed. I got my little one here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunniefairy but it looks like she doesn’t have anything up for sale right now.

      1. That’s really useful – thanks, I’ll check that out. I’m going to make trying various spindles one of my (many) Wonderwool Wales missions…

  5. I’ve plied on both drop spindles and wheels. It’s soooo much easier on a wheel! Don’t get too discouraged. It may also be easier if you use something like a chopstick or spare knitting needle to put the singles on to ply them. Less mess that way. Good luck!

    1. I might try to rig something with some spare needles and a shoebox for my next try at plying. I don’t want to give up on spinning, and I don’t want to only spin singles, so until I can afford a wheel, I’ll have to make some kind of peace with the spindle.

  6. I’ve heard from quite a few spindlers who don’t like to ply on spindles. One true master of spinning laceweight on support spindles plies on an electric spinner, and quite a few ply on a wheel. I am working on the third single for a three-ply I am working towards, and I think I’ll at least try plying on a spindle.

    1. I am so glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. It seems like it shouldn’t really be any different than spinning with a spindle, but there’s just something about it that I find so frustrating and difficult.

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