Sunday, November 11, 2007

Perchance To Leap

The Great Sock Yarn Project of '07 has been a lengthy saga, to say the least. I first began spinning this yarn way back in the sunny summer days when I was on vacation and had all the time in the world with which to play. I honestly thought that I would have it off the wheel before the first day of school rolled around. But I didn't make it. And, with work days back in the schedule, things slowed down considerably. Pesky job...

In addition, I really, really wanted to make this work. I abandoned my usual "let's just see what we get out of this" philosophy and thought long and hard about how I was going to spin this wool. I "made a plan." I never do that. But, I did this time. I thought about what I was looking for in a sock yarn and what commercial yarns I like. I thought about color and how I wanted the shades and tones to blend from one to the other. I debated on whether to use all the colors in the available palette or if I should select just two. I thunk on it.

For, you see, this yarn came to me as part of an amazingly generous package sent by none other than the talented Susie. And when I say, "talented" I mean, "holy cow, you should see what she does with color!!!!" Seriously. If you don't believe me, go check out her Etsy shop. This is just a small sample of what she does. I keep a drool cup by the computer in case I am going to be perusing her wares on any given day. It saves the keyboard.

When she emailed me offering up some of her roving, I was thrilled! Imagine my surprise when the promised superwash roving came to me buried in a large box filled to busting with many fibers for spinning and the direction to "play!" And, as it arrived shortly before the start of my summer school vacation, play I did! But, the Roving That Was To Be Sock Yarn, was set aside until I was sure of my plan. I wanted to do right by it.

Susie is really rather amazing. I suspect that she may even have instincts that go beyond that of the rest of us. She has, on three separate occasions now, sent me a token or a kind word at exactly the right moment. Once, I could pass off as coincidence. Twice...plausible. Three times? That is something noteworthy.

The first such occurrence came after I had a rather dreadful sock knitting experience with some cheap yarn that didn't want to knit the way it should be knit. Susie stepped up and offered me some of her very own handpainted yarn as a replacement and what almost became my abandonment of the sock knitting turned into a passion for handknit socks of every color and kind. Now that I think of it, those were the very socks I was finishing up around this time last year...

The second amazing intervention was the aforementioned fibery care package last spring. I was battling my second bout of pneumonia in as many years and a bit overwhelmed by the new reality of my respiratory existence. I was feeling a little blue over the whole matter and the arrival of such a generous gift did some pretty amazing things for my outlook. The early part of the summer was marked by the fatigue that comes with bouncing back from the Pox and it was wonderful to have some little projects around the house with which to play on those days when I was just too tired to go out and do anything.

The third time is inexplicable. It came via email as I was pondering the feasibility of a Largely Unbloggable Mammoth Project. I questioned whether this undertaking was within my skill set and was doing some note taking and research on available resources in a somewhat half-hearted attempt at seeing if this was doable. I told no one of the LUMP. Not a single soul. Not knowing if I had what it took to really do it, I didn't want to set myself up for one of those uncomfortable "public failure" kind of moments. And yet, somehow, there was an email in my inbox from Susie with words to this effect: "You can do a LUMP. You should do a LUMP."

And so...the LUMP is in progress. It remains Largely Unbloggable...but it is in progress. Because you don't ignore an email that comes at just the exact, right moment.

I don't believe in guardian angels...much. But if they do exist, I would imagine that it kind of works something like that.

Hence, you can imagine how much I wanted to respect the roving and make something beautiful. It was going to require that I let go of some of my usual tendencies with spinning and that I have a little faith in my ability to spin something a bit finer than my usual yarns. But, I took the leap.

Mostly, things went well. My color choices were the right ones and my whorl selection was justified. In an attempt at getting a nice, firm yarn, I do believe I overplied it a bit. But that was manageable.




I just needed to employ my high tech blocking system. It's too complicated to explain, I'm afraid. And the equipment might be cost-prohibitive for most people...unless you can afford a can of soybeans and have an advanced degree in Hanging Things.
It blocked out beautifully. And, by this afternoon, it was dry enough to present to the blogging world. And so I give you my new yarn:

Aptly named: Leap Of Faith
There is only one little thing that didn't really work as I'd intended. But, it is actually a rather happy discovery as far as I'm concerned and in keeping with my latest knitting experiments. For all my thinking, planning, debating and caution, I do not have fingering weight sock yarn.


I have laceweight.
I didn't know I could do that...
SA


22 comments:

Emma said...

Ack! That is gorgeous!

Marianne said...

Ooooh Spinning Sheepie, what a lovely story and that yarn!!! that YOU MADE!!! is seriously wonderful in that I AM just absolutely full of wonder gazing at it... freakin' lace weight!
Now that's exciting...

Julie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Try as I might, I can't think of another thing to say; it's just absolutely gorgeous!

Teri S. said...

Oh.My.God. That is un-freaking-believable! If I visiting you, I would be dancing about your living room with sheer joy. In fact, I might do a little happy dance for you right now! Woo hoo!

Ronni said...

You have absolutely gorgeous yarn! It's beautiful and you made it all by yourself. I hope you're as proud of it as you should be.

I can't wait to see what you do with it. If it were me, it would sit around being looked at and occasionally petted for months before actually being knit with I think. Only I'm nowhere near that good at spinning yet.

kmkat said...

Lovely stuff. Laceweight socks, perhaps...

Mouse said...

Laceweight? WHOA dude. Excellent job.

Rabbitch said...

Dude.

I'm coming to your house to steal your stuff.

Just thought I should let you know.

mehitabel said...

That's gorgeous. Fanta-stinkin'-tabulous! I know you didn't ask me, but I think it should be a shawl--Icarus, maybe, or Flower Basket. Just not something you walk on!
And good for her, sensing that you had a LUMP there that needed some confidence to come out. Yay for good friends with psychic abilities!

Susie said...

Talk about serendipity...after the day, nay, the week I've had, to come home and settle down to read blogs and find such kind, generous, loving words spoken about me. Annie, I have four soggy kleenex sitting next to me now. No finer compliment could be paid than your words. You've made it all better...




...and made me durn proud, too. Fabulous spinning, m'dear!

catsmum said...

That is some seriously gorgeous stuff - just pardon me whilst I go burn my wheels.

Jacqui said...

give... me... a... moment...

to catch my breath!

that is amazing!!

trek said...

That is lovely sock yarn. I truly mean that - LOVELY. Ya done good, Sheep, wicked good. When you are done with the socks, would you send me an inch or so of the leftover yarn? I will put it in a Lucite casing and keep it near my wheel for inspiration.

PS - Believe in guardian angels. And in human people who help them do their jobs.

PPS - I have a hank of Susie's beautiful dyeing. I can't knit it right now because then I wouldn't have a hank of Susie's beautiful dyeing.

Beth said...

Congratulations! It's beautiful!!! I am so very impressed with your yarn and you. I agree with Mehitabel - it would make a lovely shawl. I'm really happy for you!

Anonymous said...

That is stunning!!
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Anne said...

Stunning, just stunning! It is... well... stunning. There - I ran out of good adjectives - that should tell ya something. :)

Nice work, sheepie!

Mia said...

Oh wow, that is absolutely scrumptious looking!!!!

Alwen said...

Three little words:

I WANT IT!

The drool cup is a good idea -- I want that yarn! [ponders the long walk to Maine and the fact that I have no black Ninja clothes]

Oh, well, it's probably safe.

Annie said...

Beautiful. This sheep has very dextrous hoofies!

Lorraine said...

I'm speechless! Pretty, gorgeous, beautiful . . . they all fall short. Well done, SA, WELL DONE!

Nancy said...

That is beautiful yarn!!!!! I mean it. I'm going to come over and steal it. Wait, should I have said that???

Maybe I can distract you. Look! It's a ZOMBIE!!!!!

Lazuli said...

Wow, what beautiful yarn! I'm so impressed! I hope that I can spin pretty, thin yarn like that one day.