Last night, we got back from SPEM (a missions prayer group, among other things) around 11. We walked through the door, and my eyes fell upon my spinning. It was just lying there, calling to me, and I knew very well that it only needed another couple of feet of spinning before it was ready to ply. I was dead tired, and had a very long day. After all that, dear God, all I wanted to do was ply, but I told myself, “you should wait until you’re more awake to enjoy it… just wait…”
So I said, “well… I’ll just spin the rest of that so it’s really ready to go.”
So I spun the last of it.
Then I said, “I’ll just weigh it so I’m sure I know it’s the same as the other spindlefull.”
I weighed it. It was.
Then I said, “I’ll just slip it onto the chopstick before I go to bed.”
So I slid it onto the chopstick, and weighed both chopsticks with yarn, to make sure they were the same weight. They still were.
Then I said, “I might as well pick out the shoebox I’m going to turn into a lazy kate.”
I went to the closet, and the perfect shoebox was right on top.
Then I said, “It can’t be that hard to snip the notches in the shoebox. I’ll just do that real quick.”
So I snipped the notches.
Then I said. “I might as well see what the chopsticks look like in the lazy kate.”
So I did.
Super-clever, right? That Kelly is a quick one.
Well, you all know what happened next. Before I knew it I was standing up the coffee table, blearily plying up a storm, having to pause and hold it up close to my eyes because I was so tired my eyes wouldn’t focus on it far away. Right away, I wasn’t sure it was worth it.
It kind of still looked like poop.
But today I was right back on the horse, plying as soon as I was home. It was going super-fast, and my technique involved standing on the coffee table and letting it spin until the spindle was on the floor and my hand was brushing the ceiling. Then I had a brainwave.
Tadaa! Plying over the balcony. My ever-patient husband left the dishes he was washing for me to take this picture. I don’t know how he puts up with me. Here’s what it looked like from my viewpoint.
Upsides: I can rest my hands on the banister, and I can let the spindle keep going until it’s out of spin, which (I think) means that the final product is more balanced, and of course I don’t have to stop when I run out of room.
Downsides: It was really hot and super-humid and in direct sunlight. I could only do it comfortably in the morning, but plying goes so fast it probably doesn’t matter. More seriously, if I dropped the spindle, not only would my beautiful handspun get really dirty; I’m not entirely sure I could get down to that area down there to get it back. It’s on like a ledge above the pool and behind a couple of fences. Thankfully it didn’t come to fence hopping (you know I would have).
In a move I felt particularly clever about, I cut a 1-yard length of scrap yarn and adjusted my swift to be about 1 yard of stretched yarn in circumference. So when I wound the finished yarn onto it (don’t have a niddy noddy, though I want to have one just to have an excuse to say niddy noddy more often), all I had to do was count the rounds and I knew how many yards I had, approximately.
After a long, warm bath to set the twist,
And an evening spent hanging from a towel rack on the porch with a can of sweetened condensed milk, it was done.
I love it. It’s lumpy, it’s inconsistent, and it’s my own. This little skein is about 69 yards by my estimation, and it fluffed up to a nice worsted to bulky weight with bits about as thin as sock in some parts. By weight it’s about 1/3 of the roving, so if my measurement is right, I should end up with a nice 210 yards. Merino roving, don’t know where from, handpainted by the ladies at Cloverhill Yarns.
I’m resisting the temptation to cast it on before I even start spinning the rest of it.