The New Order

As predicted, I finished and blocked these the other night:

Rose Mitts Finished

And a good thing, too, because apparently this is continuing to be the Year Of Yarn Supply Surprises. Just when we thought it was safe to go into the water…? Just when we were all set to go full steam ahead with #3, the Frozen Margarita? Well, there was some kind of screw up with the (say it with me) base yarn supply, and where we had thought we were looking at guaranteed availability of the required amount of undyed Panda Cotton for the full production run…? suddenly it turns out we’re not. Very much not. And won’t be for some weeks. So we’re doing a quick re-group and shifting into full-steam-ahead mode for York and Lancaster instead, and the Frozen Margarita will become a late summer knit instead of a high summer knit. (I’ll be working on both patterns simultaneously, so that as soon as we do get the Panda Cotton we’ll be able to shoot them out in relatively quick succession - but I have to admit I wouldn’t mind very much if one of these days there weren’t quite so many punches to be rolled with.)

Note to self: post and send out Official announcement to this effect.

So all in all I have good reason to be glad that I’ve just had a refresher on this design!

Mind you, the patterning on the mitts is only a subset of the design for the sock. But the shifting of mental gears still applies. And I’m pretty happy with the mitts themselves on their merits.

The overall design is very simple - garter stitch edges, side “seams,” nothing fancy in the gusset shaping - and the fit quite snug but not at all constricting.

Rose Mitts Finished

I really like the funny little double line of double decreases shaping the thumb -

Rose Mitts Thumb Shaping

- and though it’s nothing out of the ordinary I am happy with the shaping and placement of the gusset -

Rose Mitts Thumb Gusset

- and I’m ridiculously fond of this ringlet stitch edge…

Rose Mitts Thumb Edge

… which I think gives it a nice tailored feel. You’ve seen this stitch before; you’ll see it again.

And yeah, I’m perversely pleased with the asymmetrical placement of the roses. Me all over.

I’m pleased with something else, too, and I very seriously deserve to be:

Castille Laceweight Finished

Check it out. I have spun laceweight.

Obligatory penny shot:

Castille Laceweight Finished

Oh - it’s not cobwebweight (actually… OK, busted, it’s not true laceweight either - it’s about 24 WPI); it’s not perfectly fine and even, blah blah blah. But seriously - this is the first yarn I’ve spun that I would actually really want to knit with, and it’s only the third finished yarn I’ve spun EVER, and it’s soft and pretty, pretty fine and pretty even, not over- or underspun, not over- or underplied. So yeah, I’m pleased.

There’s 57 yards of 2-ply here, made from the incredibly generous sample Mardi gave me of her “Castille” Merino/Mohair (I see how it goes… now I’m going to have to order some, aren’t I, because just LOOK at the subtle lovely colors, and what am I going to make out of 57 yards?) - spun and plied on the half-ounce resin spindle from ButterflyGirl.

I love it truly and deeply.

And the other reason I’m pleased - the reason I said I seriously deserved to be?

This little project wasn’t all beer and spindles. The spinning was - it was easy and smooth and enthralling. But the plying became a heartstopping lesson in what it feels like When Very Bad Things Happen to Very Good Spinning.

I had wound off the two cops of singles into two little center-pull balls. I thought. I was wrong. Turned out I had wound one little center-pull ball and one huge disastrously kinkified MESS.

No, I did not take pictures. I thought about it. I really did. But where my stomach was strong enough - just - for the hours of agonizing painstaking remedial desnarling… it was not strong enough to entertain the notion of taking, or wanting to keep, photographic evidence. Not until after the nightmare was over. I ended up with four separate chunks of salvaged singles, wound in increments onto a strange assortment of mini-bobbins, and I got them onto the spindle and pieced them together, then wound the whole thing off onto one of the bobbins of my lazy-kate and plied from there. (Which I think is what I will ALWAYS do from here on out with the finer singles - mind you the other center-pull ball worked without a hitch, but after what I went through last night I no longer consider that a good gamble.) And miraculously came out within a yard of being perfectly even.

And then AFTER the yarn was safely plied and skeined and soaked and whapped and blocking… THEN I took a picture of the remaining bit of the Horror, the few yards that I couldn’t salvage for the life of me.


Be glad that’s all you get to see of the carnage. Be very, very glad.

And do admit: I seriously deserve to be pleased - very, very pleased - with the yarn.


16 Responses to “The New Order”

  1. Robyn in the Northwoods Says:

    Um, yeah. HAPPYDANCE!!! That yarn is beautious beyond love. And *my* favorite color is red, so that heathery red/gray scrumptiousness is delightful :O)

  2. Cassie Says:

    I predict that true laceweight, froghair even, is right around the corner. What do you think was the clincher for this yarn? The type of fiber? The fiber prep? And where’s it from? It’s gorgeous.

  3. onafixedincome Says:

    Some people just deserve a smacking for their abilities, that’s all I can say here….You think YOUR mess was horrid? Remind me to tell you sometime about The Kidsilk Haze Plying Game…..the rules are something like, Run yarn around three hands–preferably someone else’s, because yours will be busy holding the yans and managing the plying–and with tremendous patience and total confidence, proceed to tie all three people together as tightly as possible while totally screwing up your yarn and requiring scissors to get far enough away from the wheel to even THINK about beginning to untangle.

    Trust me, lady, you done REALLY GOOD. REALLY REALLY good! :) My compliments, and watch the mail for your package…. *evil grin*

  4. Deidra Says:

    Beautiful laceweight. But the mitts! I want the mitts with a deep, burning mitt desire. Are they perhaps going to be nice pattern we could buy to help you support your new habit? Or are you going to hold us hostage to see how many of us offer fiber from our already built-up stashes to get it? :-)

  5. Melanie Says:

    Ahhh, can’t wait till I can spin laceweight, though I think I have my problem figured out. (I just started spinning a few weeks ago too.) I have been doing fine for the first ounce or so (I have no idea if it’s an ounce, I’m guessing), then I start getting thicker parts. I had a D’oh! moment the other night when I realized, I’m letting the spindle get too full and heavy. It’s already a 1.7 oz. spindle and not precisely balanced, I’m probably doing pretty good to get really fine yarn at the beginning. So I’ll be ordering a lightweight spindle from here soon.
    Your yarn is lovely, by the way. I want to hug it.

  6. Melanie Says:

    That link I sent you above? I dare you to look at the spinning wheels while you are there. Not what any of us can probably afford, but truly art.

  7. ZaftigWendy Says:

    Reminds me of my own Navajo plying Disaster of 2005. I can’t say more. It’s still too painful. And I didn’t even end up with pretty yarn.

  8. Sharon Says:

    Yarn End Salvage - any mileage in felting it? Or are you too frantically busy for further activities?

    Love the York & Lancaster mitts, though it’s currently too warm here to do more than look at the design, & maybe consider knitting them!

  9. Linda Says:

    mmmmmmm…….those mitts! mmmmmmmmm……… I don’t suppose that “concept” will make its way onto paper, will it? I use office mitts a lot from fall through spring, and those would be as close to heaven as any I’ve got. yumyumyumyumyum

  10. Linda Blowney Says:

    Yes - a pattern for the mitts! They are really wonderful - so many fingerless mitts are basically shapeless.

    And, completely off topic, I got my Cleopatra kit in the mail yesterday. Oh. My. Goodness. It is sitting on my desk at home, mocking me. Challenging me. Laughing at me. Can I really do it?? I can’t wait to take the pattern on! Thanks so much!!

  11. Glenna Says:

    oooh, pretty! I see something pink in my future!

  12. rams Says:

    *Base* yarn? I’d say they were positively venal!

  13. Roberta Says:

    Oh, yes, please on the mitt pattern. It would solve at least 3 Christmas gifts.

  14. Janice in GA Says:

    You haven’t really seen tangled yarn horror till you’ve tried to ply from 2 ends of a center-pull ball of a tightly-spun single.

    Yeah. Yarn carnage ensues.
    If it happens at our spinning guild retreat, we call out the PERT (Plying Emergency Response
    Team.) A group of spinners magically assembles to pull your yarn out straight until you get the end of that ball spun up. Sometimes the yarn stretches across the room. Much laughter is generated.

    I’ve learned now just to wind the two plies into a tight ball and ply from that. :) (I put lots of twist in my singles usually.)

  15. Xeres Says:

    I’m happy enough with this because it is *ridiculously* cold here this winter, and I can’t really imagine wanting to knit a summerweight sock just now! Another couple of months will make all the difference.

  16. U is for Un-imaginary Friends « Hither and Yarn Says:

    […] the lovely fiber she is drop-spinning, which she had stashed about her person.  Notice the lovely York and Lancaster fingerless mitts.  In the direct center, a party in the corridor outside Holiday Yarns, no doubt blocking traffic: […]

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