I really intended to just work on my shawl this week and finish the edging. Really. I want to finish this shawl so I can wear it (when it gets cooler and less humid) and so I can brag on how it only took me 2 years to finish. OK. So I can just brag that I finished it and we won’t mention that it took me 2 years. But whatever.
Anyway, the point is that I just hit a wall and couldn’t knit on it anymore. I was chomping at the bit to start any other project so long as it didn’t involve lace weight yarn and beads. Lots and lots of shiny beads. Ooh! SHINY!
Awhile back I dyed some mill end roving I got from Sheep Shed Studio.
This was not one of my better attempts as the roving got slightly felted. One very important lesson I learned from this dye attempt is that you CANNOT rush the process. Especially the part where you let the roving cool down on it’s own and don’t “help” it by immersing it in cold water. That’s what causes the felting.
But despite being ever so slightly felted, I really liked the way the colors turned out. I let them dry on their own (to not felt them anymore than they already were), petted them a bit, braided them up and then stuck them in my roving cabinet. And essentially forgot about them for awhile.
But then yesterday, because I was going a little crazy from knitting the same thing over and over and over and over and over, I decided that I needed to do something else completely different. Anything different. But I was feeling a little guilty about abandoning the shawl until my good friend Elizabeth reminded me that if you spin to get away from the knitting, it’s not cheating. Because, hello! It’s spinning, not knitting. I immediately felt better about my need to be sidetracked with a diversion. That’s right! It’s a diversion!
It’d been a ridiculously long time since I’d playing with roving and my spinning wheel. Like an embarrassingly long time. So this was an excellent diversion. And while we got off to a little bit of a rough start, it ended up being a lot like riding a bike. Once you get back into the rhythm of it all, piece of cake. Mostly.
I actually dyed two different colorways and then spun them both up together. The blue/green colorway is really easy to see, but the other is roving that I “spot” dyed with blue/green/purple and is so much more subtle when it spins up. The spots sort of bled together a bit, but I really like how it turned out. Here it is in its unspun glory.
I spun my little spinny heart out yesterday and loved every moment of it. I even stopped to take the time to draft my roving before I spun it. Mostly because, you know, I had to. You know, to unfelt the roving. I think I actually might start taking more time to draft my roving before I spin. On the whole, I seem to get more consistent yarn when I do that. Not always, but mostly. Anyway! I had about 7 small braids and did my best to spin it all up on one bobbin. I got all but a very little bit of the last braid on the bobbin. And then I Navajo plied it all.
I’m mighty pleased with the way it all turned out. Now I just need to set it and knit it up. I’m thinking cute, short fingerless mitts.
And now? Now I feel like I can get back to my shawl without begrudging it. Mostly. Maybe right after I spun up some more of my stash…