Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

dizzing a batt...draped over a many layers casserole of stuffs

This will be one of those posts that hugs a central 'theme' but wanders comfortably around some chatting material all the while. Oh, and picture heavy to boot. If you haven't run away, screaming, just yet - hey! Welcome!

I'm up feeding the wood stove on what is only the middle of a very cold snap. You know it's cold when the single digits seem like an optimistic goal. I just went over to the online weather source and they clocked us at an impressive 1.8 degrees F. I mean, not zero, but just escaping it by the skin of our teeth. So, I'm glad to have these spicy skeins of yarn sitting by my side. These are the 'Red Silk Kimono' batts from this month's Happy Hooves club - all spun up and ready to be knit into a shrug for me....should I ever crawl out from under the pile of guilt holiday knitting. But, rest assured, this late in the game - we're not going to speak of holiday knitting, anymore. red silk kimono 007 Nope, we're going to look away and pretend we don't see those two socks still sitting in the knitting basket - their little dpn's hopelessly strewn about them and making them look like mangled yarn violence. uh, uh, We simply REFUSE TO SEE IT and it, surely, cannot get the better of us. And, may our decorative card-stock (handmade - heh!) IOU's be a reigning in and sort of beacon of wisdom to help us see our lofty and errant goals for gift knitting in the future. Or, if not, just don't let the guilt and feeling of general desperation and hopelessness return until the same time next year - LOL! One of my favorite ways to spin a 2 ply from such bold colors is to mix and match the gauge of yarn. red silk kimono 110 For this one, I made two of the three batts into a fingering wgt. yarn and then spun the other batt very fine. This helps to elongate the colors so that you get an even spread of boldilicious yarn. .So, from left to right we have: one little skein of 2 ply - dk wgt and 55 yds and to the right of it, a bigger skein of 2 ply (200 yds). Two little skeins of ends were Navajo plied and total 80 yds (they're hanging out all casual-like on the bottom right) and the 'mmmmmmmmm' skein on the far upper right is one strand of the 'red silk kimono' batts and one strand of a 'so sari' batt from the shop. Richy filled with sari strands and unashamedly BOLD. They are pairing up with that 50/50 wool/silk yarn I dyed red - waiting with my malachite wood knitting needles from Autumn Hollow Farm to be mine, all mine - should that thing we're not going to be talking about (gift knitting) ever be done with.....taps fingers restlessly on counter....

step 1 - on the other side So, I get this question more and more and it generally goes like, "How do you spin from a batt?" Now, there are a million answers to that one question but no one really asks it because they want to be TOLD what to do. They ask for the same reason I ask - because they are formulating their own 'way' of doing it. You know, you find your jumping off spot and try to be well informed and then - $#@#splash$$#% - you swim your own way. Most of the time, I just pull the batt open and start spinning. But, in a certain situation, such as was the case with the bold color contrasts of these batts, I think dizzing the batt is the way to go. Note: the pics I will show you of dizzing a batt are MISREPRESENTATIONS. Seriously! They aren't really the red silk kimono batts AT ALL. I've long since missed the opportunity (read here, forethought) to include a pic of those batts being prepped. It was a primal thing that overtook me and they were on the wheel before I knew it. I did diz them, though, I just have no proof that I actually did so, you'll have to take my word for it. snork I began by laying the batt out flat and beginning to tear off a long strip of fiber down the length of the batt, stopping just short of severing it entirely so I can start tearing a noodle back down the other direction. step 1 - doneIt shouldn't provide me with some perverse pleasure to tear the strips and leave the entire mass connected so I can have one long, continuous ball of roving but, it does, so there you have it. I strive for it which makes me a genuine dork but, here is the whole shebang with not one really severed end.

step 2 - dizGently pull the roving through the diz, after loosening the mass behind the diz - it's a hand to hand rhythm that you'll polish with your own technique once you've done it a time or two. Just don't tug too hard or you break the magic noodle and, well, actually nothing really happens other than the roving is broken into smaller noodles but, I'm all for drama so I like to pretend it's really important! Then, you wrap your noodle (or noodles)into a big ole ball and you feel rightly proud of yourself. step 4 - roll roving into a big fat ball! Let this linger a while if you can because you just never know how quickly that satisfaction can transform into growling should the wheel and fiber be out to play tricksey and make you spin all wonky in spite of yourself.

Now, the topic shifts wildly to a little Solstice Spin-In that we're partaking in in the Ravelry group. Do join us - the only rule being you must make something for you. solstice spinning 001 You heard me right and I know it is truly scandalous to think of doing such a thing when those things that we're NOT MENTIONING here are still not finished. The gift socks are talking to me - oh nooooooos! These batts will become a vest. Really, they will.

I've been talking to many of my friends, lately, having realized a while back that I had become far too focused on only the family and not necessarily giving the friendships the time they deserved - because they are the well from which I drink and they are so very important. It would seem that many of us have had a rocky road to walk in 2008 and the holidays, for some of us, just don't have their usual magic and warmth to them this year. So, I just wanted to be sure to send out some loving cyber/fiber hugs and say thanks to the many people who've been kind, open, and every steady friends from the ole blog-thingummie. Ya'll rock.

In the rocking department, I always place Susan. Susan is one of those beautiful people who always says something that makes you feel great - even if you thought yourself too sad or glum to believe you could. So, I got this card from Susan the other day (mwah! thanks, Susan) and it was just so beautiful. I've read it every day and only after the first few did I finally stop choking up and getting all teary-eyed. Once, I bashed myself for being such a goober that I didn't even send out Christmas cards this year....but I stopped that right away because that was just silly and also not a credit to the beautiful sentiment of the card. So,without further ado, I leave you with this and a glass of fire whiskey to keep you warm on the inside!

a card from Kathy Davis Studios:

The Greatest Gifts:
May we break boundaries, tear down walls, and build on the foundation of goodness inside each of us. May we look past differences, gain understanding, and embrace acceptance. May we reach out to each other, rather than resist. May we be better stewards of the earth, protecting, nurturing, and replenishing the beauties of nature. May we practice gratitude for all we have, rather than complain about our needs. May we seek cures for the sick, help for the hungry, and love for the lonely. May we share our talents, give our time, and teach our children. May we hold hope for the future very tenderly in our hearts and do all we can to build for a brighter tomorrow. And may we love with our whole hears, for that's the only way to love.......