Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Daydream Spinner

A study at my guild on how to achieve a balanced ply had me looking more closely at my spinning and I realized it had gone downhill over the years, and what is worse, I’m not sure I really care.
The guild is fortunate to have Patsy Zawistoski as a member, and she is an excellent teacher. Her program focused on how to achieve a balanced ply and included a really cool visual aid—but I won’t spoil it for you in case you want to take her class. Looking at all the lovely plied yarn got me thinking about all the crazy plying in my own recent spinning repertoire.
There was a time my spinning was much better. I dug into my stash and found some yarns I’d spun years ago. They were much more even, and nice and neat then what I’ve spun recently. Shown is some yak spun and plied so it is 18 WPI. I did this maybe four years ago. As you can see, it’s not bad. I suspect it’s because I was paying attention since it is yak and I really wanted an even and fine yarn. The light colored stuff is some Targhee I spun up maybe a year ago. The fiber supply was well carded, but I’m pretty sure I was daydreaming through most of the spinning. So the yarn doesn’t look that great. When knit up in plain stitch, however, it does have a lot of texture, so it is useable, but rustic looking.
Do I care? Should I make myself pay attention while spinning, or should I just let my mind relax and roam? More and more, spinning has become a therapeutic exercise, de-stressing from life, so maybe I should enjoy the moment. I don’t mind the rustic look—commercial machine made yarns even try to achieve it. And right now, my spinning is aimed at weaving highly textured rugs, so texture in the yarn is good. And if I wanted to knit a project requiring smooth, even yarns, I could support my local yarn shop—plus if I got my hands on cashmere, I know I could spin fine and even. For now, I’m going to think of my daydream spinning as a design element. I love rustic.