Thursday, August 31, 2006

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Days?

You know the kind I'm talkin' about. The one where you wander around the house all day with a foolish grin pasted to your mug, disturb the cats, contemplate calling random numbers in the phone book just to "share" and mutter periodically under your breath:

The Finn is free of the wheel, set, skeined and awaiting the needles! I even think I've found it's pattern, although it remains to be seen whether I suddenly find myself in a fit of self-doubt and frantically begin seeking another, more suited to it's beauty.
I've been spinning for about four years now. Back when I first started, I was too much of a newbie to realize that there might be some limits to my skills. Thus, I was a bit more willing to experiment with different fibers. One of the first fibers that I spun that summer was silk roving and I now often recommend it to new spinners. It has a long staple, feels good to the touch and looks faboo even if you make every mistake known to man. The Finn has a very similar feel to it and almost seems to draft itself. I'd say it is an excellent choice for a new spin-ster and a nice ego boost for a Sheep who, while an experienced spinner, may or may not have had a couple of recent "episodes" involving recalcitrant sock yarn.
Dang it all, I wish I could take all the credit for this. But the majority of the skill here was in Sheila's hands as she is the one who dyed it so beautifully. I agree with those who commented on the "sunset" look to the finished yarn. And, wouldn't you know, the color on my monitor looks about dead-on. Too bad you can't feel it, though...I've been hugging it more often throughout the day than I care to admit.
In an effort to keep myself humble after such a fibery triumph, I decided that it was time to break out the flax. Now, I have never met a fiber that so desperately wants to be spun. However it wants to do things it's own way and this is not always in line with my artistic vision. I'm finding that dry spinning it results in a less smooth yarn, but one that I have a bit more control over. I think that may be the route I'm taking on this one. God knows, I have enough of this stuff upon which to practice! I was the beneficiary of a recent de-stashing and got it all for the cost of shipping. Will I live to regret this score? Time will tell...
Meanwhile, I'm feeling reasonably good about the spinning part. But, as is my wont, I have sort of flung myself into this without really knowing what the heck I'm doing. I have no idea whatsoever how to set the twist on this stuff. I'm assuming that it is similar to cotton and that I'm gonna have to boil it up into linen soup. Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm not above experimenting and it wouldn't be the first time I took the plunge only to have things go horribly and spectacularly wrong. Yet, it probably would be useful to get some input from the happy world of bloggers if any of my readers have ever spun flax.
If not, that's disasters seem to make for better blogging, dontcha think? :)


trek said...

I've never knit linen - you'll have to tell me how you like it.

Mia said...

Um... flax? Isn't that the stuff them hippies smoke? ::laughing::

Beautiful spinning though Sheepie.. I'd be proud too if I did that and it's ok to admit you hug your handspun yarn.. I thought we ALL did that ::laughing::

Great job!

Beth said...

Congratulations on a job well done! Unfortunately, I have no tips for you on spinning flax. I'll be interested to read what you learn.

Sheila said...

I've never spun flax either, so I can't help there.
I have to disagree about the Finn, I think your spinning is as important, if not more so, than the dyeing part. Your smooth spinnign really seems to bring out that soft sheen that made me fall in love with Finn in the first place.

molly said...

I've never spun. How do you learn spinning? I know, I sound like an idiot. I've been knitting forever, but never learned spinning. It sounds so exotic. Spppiiiiinnnnniiinnnggg.
If I learn another craft, my husband will leave me.

Anonymous said...

The yarn you spun is beautiful! Whenever I see handspun like yours I want to learn to spin. What are you going to knit with it??
I have no idea what to do with flax but I do know that google is a girl's best friend;)

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can boil, or just simmer, flax as you do cotton, ramie, hemp,any cellulose fiber. Have fun!