Monday, August 10, 2009

travellin' yarn

I do complain, but life is actually very good. For example, I went to Pennsylvania to visit my family, and came back with this:

Oh yeah, and let's not forget this:

(It's not as dangerous as it looks--that's merino and tencel, not mohair, so it's very soft. If I ever took pictures in the daylight, you'd see.)

It ended up being a pretty hardcore trip. I was driving my Miata (mountain roads!! It would have been a crime to leave it home!), and that's not a car with a lot of cargo room. My spinning wheel barely fit in the trunk, with my teeny laptop crammed in the teeny remaining space, clothes in a backpack on the passenger's floor, and snacks in easy reach on the passenger's seat. Luckily I don't have a passenger.

Dudes, let me tell you, that trip was made for the Miata. When I did it last winter in a rented Kia, it did nothing for me. But this time, I had a blast. Even though it took 12 hours and I arrived in the middle of the night and I accidentally bought myself 24 extra miles by getting back on the highway in the wrong direction after a gas stop (duh! south is not how to get to Pennsylvania from Alabama!), when I arrived, I basically bounced out of the car and, with a rebel yell, cried "more more more!"

It really was a great trip. I got to see lots of people I hadn't seen in forever, and I got a lot of spinning time. In the first picture above, the blue yarn is from a Little Barn dyed then combed blend. Love it! The other is from something I bought from Yarn Expressions, but unfortunately exactly what is lost in the sands of time. It's color combination I never would have done myself, which was exactly what I was looking for when I bought it. It's fuchsia, olive, and tan. It's really cool, but it is surprisingly felted. Not impossible to work with, but not easy, either, especially in all that PA humidity. (It rained almost the whole week I was there.) Also, when I started spinning it, I decided to split it lengthwise and try to do a two-ply where the colors match up, at least mostly. Well, a lot's happened since then, and I really don't remember what I could have been smoking when I divided it, because the first "half" was about 2/3 of a bobbin, and the second "half" was a full bobbin plus a pile of wool still unspun. I ended up with a whole bunch of barber pole, which is pretty but the opposite of what I was going for. I haven't decided yet whether to attempt to make at least some of it match up. (Heroic Andean plying to get the current remaining singles into a two-ply, and then re-attempt the split trick on the rest? Navajo the singles and split/two-ply the rest? Give up and let the yarny chips fall where they may?)

The crazy merino/tencel in the second picture is a Fire Lizard reject--I dyed a pair of the same thing in my Love colorway, and this one ended up getting overprocessed. It appeared to be quite felted, so I declared it defective and claimed it for my own. To my surprise, though, it's been spinning like a dream. Not sure what's up with that, but I'll take it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

they say it makes you stronger


I apologize for the blog silence all this time, especially right after declaring a contest/giveaway! What timing. I've been having some rough times, which I'm not going to talk about because this blog is about adventures with yarn, not woe is me. But everything has basically been a seemingly impossible mess, only obviously it is possible because here I am.

So, without further ado, the winner of the green Phat Fiber mix yarn is l33t_dreams. Congratulations, l33t!

I'm also happy to announce that I have my new studio set up, or at least semi set up. Well, ok, it's a disaster. But I managed to dye some yarn, and that is anything but a disaster.

It started out as autumn woods, but due to some unusual circumstances, it came out much more purpley and sun-dappled than any other autumn woods I've ever dyed. Rest assured, it's still fully set, colorfast, and light fast as always, but this batch is so much more beautiful than usual and probably impossible to duplicate. What a comeback! Every time I walk past it, I just have to stare at it and take in all the nuances. Well, and then I fondle it. I am a yarn maniac, after all. If you want some, you'll find it on Fire Lizard Studios as Autumn Woods 2009 Special Edition.

Also, I just found out Phat Fiber was giving away a skein of my yarn. We're too late to win it (drat! look how great it looks! Even I want to win it!), but I wanted to give a shoutout to them anyway. The Phat Fiber Sampler is a super cool thing run by really nice people. Look for Fire Lizard Studios yarn, or maybe even spinning fiber, in September's box.