Not About the Socks

Remember these socks?

No? Well, if you’re interested, you can look here. If not, don’t worry…this isn’t about the (warm, cozy, comfy) socks. It’s about that lovely Corriedale roving.

Oh, those colors! They were like Italian water ice and gelato. Raspberry, blueberry, grape…Transluscent, saturated colors. I dyed the top/roving with Karida. It was our first hand-dyed roving experiment last fall. (She founded Neighborhood Fiber Company last year.)

Karida let me keep her Louet S10 at my place–a studio apartment…my husband’s so nice. (Well, with his trombone and trumpet taking up space, there wasn’t much he could say, right? But he’s still the nicest person ever.) So the S10 and I made friends while I practiced with some coarse Finn top they sent to me.

(Like my chaotic fiber workshop/breakfast nook? I’m happy to say that the boxes are finally gone and our mirror is on the wall.)

I’d never spun before, so it took a few tries to get it right, but my drop spindle experience really paid off.

(Check it out: We have a Murphy bed in that cabinet!)

Not that my first attempts at wheel spinning felt easy, mind you–the speed was challenging. It made sense, though: I looked at the wheel and thought, “OK, there’s the hook, there’s the place that acts like the drop spindle shaft (the bobbin), that’s the part that puts the twist in the yarn…” You get the point. It just made sense to my brain.

After spinning the Finn for a while I started getting a consistent, DK weight singles yarn. So I took a deep breath and switched to my beloved roving. I was afraid of “wasting it,” of spinning yarn the color of mud, the thickness of a pencil (I don’t care for bulky yarns), of breaking or overtwisting it into a useless ball of crap. But I didn’t.

Ta da!

Now, this all took place last fall. What a great learning experience! Books like the Twisted Sisters’ Sock Workbook and Deb Menz’s excellent Color in Spinning were invaluable. Because you can’t just grab a bunch of roving and spin! Oh, no, no, no. You have to prepare the roving: separate it into thinner strands, roll them into sweet little nests of fluff, and plan out how you want to use the colors. I tried the one-color-at-a-time method for a while, but wanted more colorplay. So I changed my plan and created a yarn with candy-stick color twists.

Oh, lovely yarn! Why did I abandon you for so long??? It took me weeks to get around to my decision to not ply–it homogenized the colors–and then to set the twist. Finally, washed and dried, my yarn was ready to wind on the niddy-noddy. The final product? Three bouncy, springy skeins (about 500 yards total) of gorgeous singles DK yarn.

Knitted up (I swatched it yesterday…nothing seems to happen quickly around here!), the yarn was drapey, with a subtle glossiness and long color changes.

Now…I just have to decide what to make with it. Entrelac? Maybe a smaller version of the Lady Eleanor Stole (from Wrap Style)? If you’re out there lurking, help me out! Suggestions are welcome…


2 thoughts on “Not About the Socks

  1. oh hannah, it’s so beautiful. i can’t wait to see it all entrelac-y. you could definitely get a scarf out of it. really gorgeous.

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