Fastest Spin Ever!

Next time I’m in the middle of 5 large projects with no end in sight remind me of the week I finished ALL THE THINGS! Also, remind me to spin a few Rainbow Rolls because those things spin up FAST!

A month or two ago I bought two Rainbow Rolls because they were on sale and I was curious. A Rainbow Roll is a roll of predrafted, unspun fiber. It’s 2″ thick and about the size of a dinner plate.

noro

After I finished my Rumplestiltskin yarn I needed a palate cleanser, and this seemed like a quick spin. I had no idea how quick it would be though. Here’s what I had after an hour.

first

The next day I finished spinning my singles (2 1/2 bobbins worth).

bobbins

I plied the yarn (first time plying from 2 separate bobbins! Woohoo!), and now I have 3 beautiful skeins!

skeins

It’s like a magic trick! Tadah!

Rumpelstiltskin

Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, “I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold.”

The king said to the miller, “That is an art which pleases me well, if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to-morrow to my palace, and I will put her to the test.”

And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said, “Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die.”

Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone. So there sat the poor miller’s daughter, and for the life of her could not tell what to do, she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she grew more and more frightened, until at last she began to weep.

But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and said, “Good evening, mistress miller, why are you crying so?”

“Alas,” answered the girl, “I have to spin straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it.”

“What will you give me,” said the manikin, “if I do it for you?”

“My necklace,” said the girl.

The little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the wheel, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three turns, and the reel was full, then he put another on, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three times round, and the second was full too. And so it went on until the morning, when all the straw was spun, and all the reels were full of gold.

By daybreak the king was already there, and when he saw the gold he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy. He had the miller’s daughter taken into another room full of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to help herself, and was crying, when the door opened again, and the little man appeared, and said, “What will you give me if I spin that straw into gold for you?”

“The ring on my finger,” answered the girl.

The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, and by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold.

     The king rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not gold enough, and he had the miller’s daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw, and said, “You must spin this, too, in the course of this night, but if you succeed, you shall be my wife.”

Even if she be a miller’s daughter, thought he, I could not find a richer wife in the whole world.

When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time, and said, “What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time also?”

“I have nothing left that I could give,” answered the girl.

“Then promise me, if you should become queen, to give me your first child.”

Who knows whether that will ever happen, thought the miller’s daughter, and, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, she promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he once more spun the straw into gold.

And when the king came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller’s daughter became a queen.

     A year after, she brought a beautiful child into the world, and she never gave a thought to the manikin. But suddenly he came into her room, and said, “Now give me what you promised.”

The queen was horror-struck, and offered the manikin all the riches of the kingdom if he would leave her the child. But the manikin said, “No, something alive is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world.”

Then the queen began to lament and cry, so that the manikin pitied her.

“I will give you three days, time,” said he, “if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child.”

So the queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had ever heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and wide, for any other names that there might be. When the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after another, but to every one the little man said, “That is not my name.”

On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to the names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the most uncommon and curious. Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or Sheepshanks, or Laceleg, but he always answered, “That is not my name.”

On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, “I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and shouted –

‘To-day I bake, to-morrow brew,

     the next I’ll have the young queen’s child.

Ha, glad am I that no one knew

that Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.'”

You may imagine how glad the queen was when she heard the name. And when soon afterwards the little man came in, and asked, “Now, mistress queen, what is my name?”

At first she said, “Is your name Conrad?”

“No.”

“Is your name Harry?”

“No.”

“Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?”

“The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that,” cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.

~Story by The Brothers Grimm (found here)

I am no Rumpelstiltskin, but I feel like I have spun gold.

Started December 29, 2016

Finished May 9, 2017

Recycled Sari Silk spun worsted, plied with silk thread and beads

Approximately 700 yds!

Works in Progress

I have a lot of things I am actively working on. And a lot more things I want to start…. Here’s what’s in progress.

My Fibonacci Blanket: the 3rd square is almost done. It only gets bigger (much, much bigger) from here.

blanket

Pink Floyd Socks: One done. Now to start the 2nd…

sock

Raindrops and Wildflowers cowl: I’m 2/3 done knitting this. The pattern is written, but needs revision.

raindrops and wildflowers

Half Granny Shawl: I am surprised by how much I enjoy this and how easy it is to work on. It’s growing by the day.

granny

Rumplestiltskin yarn: My singles are spun, and I’m 1/3-1/2 done with plying. The main hurdle is stringing 63,871,688 beads. It’s so pretty, though, that it’s worth it. Pattern suggestions for when it’s done? I’m thinking a shawl.

rumplestiltskin

Languishing

This has been a happening week! Several things are almost done. Do you ever do that thing where you only need to put in an hour or 2 of work to get a beautiful finished object, and yet for some reason it languishes unfinished? I have a sweater that only needs a neck modification to be perfect, and yet it has sat in my drawer for months. It is madness, I tell you!

Exhibit A: Pink Floyd Socks

We see the first sock finished except for a heel, which I have since begun (but not finished)

sock

Exhibit B: Rumplestiltskin yarn

This is actually a partial success. I had just a few lengths of fiber left to spin, and it is now all spun up! I now need to string eighty jillion beads, because I am going the whole way with this yarn. It is going to be amazing.

I hope for it to look like this. Except, you know, yellow.

artyarn
This is ArtYarns Beaded Silk Light. Yum!

Progress on the yellow yarn was imperiled by a crack in the pulley on my spinning wheel. I emailed Majacraft (the maker) and they said I could glue it, so glue it I did. It’s terrifying to think your precious wheel might be falling apart!

Do you let your projects languish?

Thoughts on Spinning

I really enjoy spinning, but sometimes it makes me want to tear my hair out.

tangle

This weekend I made a discovery to help me avoid tangles such as this. Normally when I finish spinning a spindle-full of singles I wind them off into a center-pull ball and ply from either end. This method works well to use up every single bit of spun yarn, but it does result in rather a lot of tangles since the inner and outer plies are not held at the same tension and because at some point the center of the ball will collapse. I recently read Spinning in the Old Way and the author suggested that a spinner ply with a nostepinne inside the the center-pull ball to prevent this collapse. I don’t have a nostepinne, so I improvised with a US 35/19 mm knitting needle that I bought once on a whim.

almost

This solved the collapsing problem, but not the tension problem, and I ended up with ever so many tangles. I was keeping the ball on the floor at this point. Everything changed when I decided to hold the ball on my lap where I could tension the strands very close to where they came off the ball. Voila! My problem was solved!

lap

As I got to the end of my singles the spindle became very heavy, making it hard to wind on. Instead of holding the weight of the spindle in my fingers I began to wind from the ground. Much more comfortable.

winding

Soon almost all my singles were gone. I realized the center-pull ball wasn’t much of a ball anymore. And it was very stretchy.

I guess I’m a sucker for portable spinning.

Here is the finished skein ready for a wash.

blue

In Progress

It turns out that if you actually work on your projects, they get done (I know I say that a lot, but it’s embarrassing how often I forget it). I started these socks almost a year ago, pulled them out in September when my feet started to get cold, and found them again earlier this month. I am determined to finish them by the end of the month. I’m about to start the second heel, so it seems a realistic goal.

socks

I also plan to finish spinning this electric blue soy silk by the end of the month. It should end up as a sport or light worsted weight. What should I make out of it?

spinning

This shamrock wasn’t long in the making. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

shamrock