spinning is so much more

It feels so good to have Opposite Pole off the needles.  Such a relief.  The final product truly is stunning and super comfy!  Now that I can take a step back and admire it from a distance I can appreciate its beauty.  I am excited to hand it off to Tammy, whenever I see her next.  Then I will post some proper photos of the sweater in action.  In the meantime, I can move on to other projects, guilt-free.

The first thing I did was pull out some dyed roving from my stash.  This was combed top, to be more precise, but everyone seems to colloquially refer to spinning fibre as “roving” regardless of its preparation, so for simplicity’s sake I will do the same.  When it comes to fibre, I’m such a sucker for bright, multicoloured roving.  LOVE IT!  If I see some dyed roving at a yarn shop, resisting it takes every fibre of my being (pun unfortunately intended).  Part of the satisfaction of spinning comes from watching the way one colour transitions into the next.  The braid of fibre transforms, and even if you prepare your fibre meticulously, there is always an element of unpredictability as it makes its way onto the bobbin.  Once I spin a single, I stare at it, humming and hawing over wether or not it would look good plied.  Although I can partially envision the final product, the end result of plying multicoloured singles usually comes as a surprise to me.  More often than not, a pleasant surprise.

Whenever I decide to start knitting something new, I usually always know what it will look like when it’s done.  Either I have a pattern from which to work so I can see a photo of the final product, or I develop my own pattern to suit the project that I have in my head.  In both cases, I know what to expect.  That’s not to say that knitting doesn’t come with its own surprises along the way – far from it!  But ultimately, I’m pretty good at working backwards; knowing what I want, and knowing how to achieve it.  When it comes to spinning, I find I am able to completely let go of that rigid, structured mentality and just let my creativity flow.  No.  To be clear, I’m referring to spinning those colourful dyed braids.  I am certainly capable of turning spinning into a very structured process.  If I know what I want in a yarn, I am able to create it.  But I occasionally need the freedom of expression that I allow myself when spinning bright, colourful yarns.  It’s the material equivalent of stream of consciousness writing.  I let myself go; spin, spin, spin, without a pre-planned expectation of how the skein will look in the end.

It’s funny though, because I have no interest in knitting with those skeins of colourful hand spun yarn.  The enjoyment comes from the process, and once the yarn is complete, that’s the final product.  It doesn’t need to be turned into anything else.  Have you seen my knitting?  It’s usually always earth tones anyway.  So I thought I would do a giveaway through my social media accounts.

IMG_1626

These are the two skeins I completed right after I bound off the Opposite Pole cardigan.  They are very soft and squishy. 100% merino. About 150 yards in each 50g skein.  The winner of the draw will be announced on Monday.  The giveaway has been great for growing my audience, but I really like that it’s helping me get more involved in the online knitting community.  It’s also a way for me to give back to the people who support me.  This has been a pretty fun experience, and I look forward to doing more in the future.

On Wednesday I cast-on for the Arika cowl by Jane Richmond.  Today I bound off.  That was a fast and fun little knit, and I got to use up the majority of the handspun Coopworth I had from the West Coast Cardigan.  It’s currently blocking, so hopefully I can get it seamed up and fringed up by Sunday.  Then it’s back to work on Monday. Like work, work.  Like my real job.  Climbing trees.  Oh boy, it’s been a long winter.

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