Friday, September 4, 2009

How to Spin My Posy Toes Batts--Sweet Peas

I apologize for being a few days late with the blog post. I ate some eggplant on Monday that didn't agree with me and have been sick for several days. It was not wasted time, as I started work on a Christmas present--can't say who or what because they will read my blog and spoil the surprise. At any rate.....

For the second technique and pair of socks, I chose the Sweet Peas colorway because....well, I just wanted purple and deep pink socks! And I know that the worsted technique described on my handout as 'stripping the batt lengthwise' will yield long repeats of color. I usually spin up 1-1/2 batts onto a bobbin and then ply it on itself from a center-pull ball, then repeat for the second 1-1/2 batts. This mixes the colors in a way that I enjoy. I started by unrolling the batt on my dining room table.

Then I split the batt down the middle, leaving about 1-2" still joined.

I then split each of those halves in half again in the same direction, leaving a join at the ends. With this batt, I split the batt so each color would have just a bit of the next color included. Once I have 4 sections split, I start from the other end and split those 4 in the opposite direction, leaving a join at each of those ends. When finished, you should have 8 sections of the batt pulled apart lengthwise like a series of Z's. When I was a kid we used to cut a piece of paper in this fashion and open it up to make a long 'rope' of paper (we were easily amused kids).

The next step is to attenuate these Z's into a useable 'top' and rolling it into a ball. Starting at one end, with your hands about 5" apart, gently start to seperate the fiber as though you're drafting to spin. Actually, you ARE predrafting the fiber. Doing this makes spinning a fine yarn much easier as most of the work is done for you before you sit down at the wheel.

This is the yarn I've spun up on the first bobbin. This bobbin has been plied and the sock begun, but we'll talk about that next week.

I'd like to end with a little philosophy I learned in the last few months. As you've heard me mention ad nauseum, we've moved into the family home which my oldest brother occupied for many years. He managed to alienate himself from just about everyone and almost lost his life because of it. He had a 45-year long argument with the next-door neighbor who wanted him to cut down the walnut trees, and they haven't been on speaking terms for 20 years. It was this neighbor who called the EMS when the wife noticed that my brother had not been out of the house for 3 days, and she thereby saved his life. Tonight I delivered homemade soup and muffins to them because she's had a hip replacement and can't be on her feet long enough to cook (no, her husband can't cook--he can't even boil water!). And WE haven't cut down the walnut trees either, although we did have them trimmed thoroughly, and they've stopped asking us to cut them down. It was so simple to have a conversation about pruning the branches that hung over their yard and solve the problem instead of the name-calling and silence that had ensued for 45 years on BOTH sides of the fence. Life is too short to hold grudges and hate people (unless they're dangerous). Most problems are solvable with good communication; silence is the weapon of the truly stupid, and it NEVER works the way they think it will.

Off my soapbox and on to the knitting.....


Doris Sturm said...

What an interesting post. Even though I'm spinning inept and don't understand it even when you explain it because I don't know spinning terminology, I enjoyed the colors and appreciate all the work that's involved. The color combination reminds me of sweetpeas...very pretty!

I agree with you in that good communication is the key to success, unless you are dealing with the illitate, in which case all the communication in the world can't help. When I moved here, I was horrified to discover that there are still very many illiterate people in this day and age. I had to change my way of talking so that they could understand me (one neighbor actually said to me: "you and all them words...") I'm an immigrant from Germany who barely spoke any English upon arriving in this country, so how can it be that people born here don't know how to read and speak proper English? I'm shocked! I don't accept the "being poor" excuse becaue I don't come from money either.
One can learn if one has the desire to do so. I didn't go to school to speak or read English. I learned from people by asking questions and always tried who were smart because I was determined to not be illiterate. I was educated in Germany and would not want anything less as an American citizen.

AlpacaFarmgirl said...

Love the yarn! Lovely.

But I have to tell you. Some neighbors are from hell. Glad yours turned out to be ok. I'll tell you about ours once we move. Let's just say - they always start out nice...Lol!

Feisty said...

Mostly I would agree about neighbors, as I've had my share of bad ones. But, my present house had been here for 53 years, then the surrounding land was developed and a whole streetful of neighbors moved in in 1964. I babysat for most of them. Which is how I knew exactly what would stop the ones next door from continuing the 'family feud'--instead of letting the guys handle it, we ladies solved it with 2 conversations! These folks aren't new neighbors, but old friends.

littleredrobyn said...

I love that colorway! It is gorgeous!

Sea Witch said...

Greetings Feistywoman: Wanted to thank you for swimming by and saying hello. I have been spending a few days in the lovely New England area and am now in full gotta spin, gotta knit like mad mode. I spin most of the year except over the hot, sweltery days of summer in Georgia. Now I'm in full bore drive again and live to hold folder in my hands. Will stop by often to see you and check out your lovely yarns and projects. Sea Witch