There Must Be a More Difficult Way

Your local fiber obsessor is a glutton for punishment. Option #1 in my “In Dreams” yarn dilemma started out looking like this:

3000+ yards of beautiful silver silk/nylon cobweb. So fine, in fact, that if I were to knit a shawl out of it, it’d come out about half-sized.

I wanted to use it, and I knew it’d be great for a gradient, so I embarked on the long and tedious process of making it into a two-ply (4-ply, really, since it’s already a 2-ply) lace.

The first step was winding both skeins into balls. That took 45 minutes all by itself. Then I spent many, many hours plying these two balls together on my spinning wheel.

During this interminable process, I joined amputees in creating a market for one-handed video games. Plying these yarns only takes one hand – I just let the two plies slide through my fingers at regular, mechanical intervals – and it’s really too boring to do even in front of TV. I needed something more engaging. So I downloaded a copy of RealMyst from, and clicked through the fully-rendered version of one of my favorite golden oldies while plying my little heart out.

This was before the days of my beautiful K’Nex automated swift, so I had to make 6 mini-skeins by hand. My handy-dandy postage scale (one of the most essential tools for the truly obsessed yarnie) told me when I’d wound about a sixth of the yarn so I could start a new skein.

The end result was a lace that, while, still fine, at least would not leave me with aching eyes and an incredible beaded shawl for the next flower girl I met.

I would have taken pictures of my dyeing process, but it took a couple tries, was such an incredible mess that I was too busy continually cleaning blue dye off the floor to find my camera. Capillary action – guess what, it works! Leave a half a skein hanging out of a bowl of dye, and you will find most of your dye on the floor in the morning. But I’m pretty satisfied with the results – As I would put the blue on the outside of the shawl, it’s okay that there’s more on the blue end; it’ll make it more balanced.

All of that to show how major a decision it was when I finally decided which yarn to use…

The gradiant will be used eventually… it will just have a long time to be admired in the stash first. And besides… even though it took a lot of hours and a lot of tedious trouble to make the two-ply silk gradiant, the handspun lace that took 6 months to make wins in the category of torturous, tedious time investment.

One thought on “There Must Be a More Difficult Way

  1. So THAT’s how you came up with the gorgeous gradiant……well done! It is really, really nice. But yay for the denim blue. It will be great fun to watch you knit it into something super.


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