Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grayscale



Sunshine's yarn.  Six colors blended from one black and white spotted sheep. 


And yes, there's a blue ribbon tied to it.  Don't get excited.  I was the only entry in that class ;-).  I left the ribbon on there to prove I got it finished in time for the skein competition :-).  And also, because I did make the effort to prep and (try to) spin really good yarn, even going so far as trying to count treadles while drafting, and follow the requirements and guidelines on presentation, thereby learning even more, it was a win. 

Still...even with all the care and effort, it's pretty much the same marginal yarn I always spin.  It's thick and thin, three skeins ended up bulkier than they should even though I used the same spinning ruler/guide throughout and I then had to scramble and spin more to meet the two ounce minimum.  While I am a completely functional spinner, I'd like to be a good spinner.  Practice, practice, practice...



So, the moral of this story?  Soap box number two (the first one having been a bit vague - enter a spinning competition and even if you don't win a ribbon you've still won the much more important experience!).  I've lost track of how many times I've heard, "My yarn isn't good enough to make anything."  Sigh.  Git ta knittin' (or weaving, crocheting...)!

I can will nitpick anything I do or make To. Death.  And nothing I've made with my handspun has ever gotten even a hint of a second glance from me in disappointment.  Yarn I thought was too bulky and overspun made a great woven rug in front of our couch.  Yarn I spun too thick for a DK weight sweater made a great worsted weight vest.  Yarn too underspun and soft made perfect weft for the Punkin throw.  Did you notice any bad spots in the Marcel sweater?  Neither did I :-). 

Nothing "wrong" with your yarn will ever "show" once it stops being yarn and becomes a finished item.  I promise.  Use your handspun, even your very beginner "practice" yarn.  Need a super small project?  What about a mug rug?  Hats are fun and easy.  You can never have enough mittens.  Knitting will teach you about spinning. 


Soft and sweet.  This will knit up just fine :-).


Never stop learning (and practicing, asking questions, watching videos, reading books, taking workshops, entering competitions... :-).

27 comments:

Jody said...

That yarn looks gorgeous to me. I find the nicest knitting yarns are ones that are more rustic and less perfect. I am working on trying to not spin so fine because I like the dk weights the best :-)

Andee said...

Congrats on your blue ribbon. Your yarn looks beautiful! I can't wait to see your hat!!! I am so excited about it. Can I stop working and spin full time? No. Boo. I wish I could practice more. Thanks for the pep talk! I needed that.

La Colline said...

Amen!

Tombstone Livestock said...

I am amazed that you could sort one fleece to get the 6 different shades from one sheep and that the white is really white. You earned the blue ribbon for all the work that no one else put in the effort. Fantastic yarn, you are my inspiration.

Sandra said...

Pretty Yarn :)

Alice said...

Your photos capture the artistry of your fiber work and your camera while your humble graces are a lesson for us all.
Sunshine must be smiling as well.

Mary Ann said...

The same is true for much of life...

I am drawn to gray more and more as I get older... in fact, am considering painting gray here in our house.. I think the colors of your yarn are beautiful!

I need orange said...

"Never stop learning (and practicing, asking questions, watching videos, reading books, taking workshops, entering competitions...) :-) "

Amen! :-)

Love your yarn. Can't wait to see the outcome of the knitting!

Maureen said...

I think it is beautiful! And I am amazed at all the hard work it takes to create... I shall never take a ball of wool for granted again.

I too adore the whole grayscale range you produced. Lovely!

Thirteen Sheep (Or More) said...

The yarn is beautiful!
Your "nagging" is encouraging and motivating. Thanks! :)

La tribù della valle dei cavalli said...

I gave up spinning all even and fine because some old women once told me I was selling commercial wool not handmade....so now i like imperfection, I put it on porpose because is the character of my yarn....but your Sunshine was a very beauty...and the yarn shows how sweet and tender she was, and the love you put in this work.

Nina said...

It's very pretty yarn and doesn't look all that inconsistent. We aren't machines and even when we draft perfectly, there are always a few imperfections.

That being said, if you're getting regular thin areas, just check to make sure you're not making your drafting length really similar to the fibre length, which can sometimes cause that thick and thin thing to happen.

Rebecca said...

Once again, I really needed to hear this post. I pick apart my spinning and am always disappointed with it when done. Maybe I need to relax and not try for perfection.

Michelle said...

I love that soft gray.

Jan baby said...

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT ! !

thecrazysheeplady said...

So maybe I'm drafting longer then the fiber length and that's where it gets thin?

Somehow I missed that (or didn't "get it") little tip on drafting - the true finesse of it. Makes perfect sense!

Thanks!!! :-D

YarnKettle said...

OK you inspired me, it is pretty much an ongoing process. I am going to have one or more crazy colored hand spun cup cozies. It is the perfect way to use up some of my what the heck am I going to knit this into yarn. I bet my Mom would like one out of the plainer stuff too.
Thanks again for the inspiration!

Terry said...

The yarn looks beautiful, and I love that little sheep charm on your knitting.
By the way, who is Ms. June on the lamb camp calendar? Is that Blossom? I don't think it's Maisie, but maybe it is. Such a cute picture.

thecrazysheeplady said...

That's Miss Blossom :-).

sheepsclothing said...

beautiful!

adriene said...

Ah yes... we talk ourselves out of so many things, how can we ever know what we are capable of? I do it all the time. Taking leaps is the only way we can learn to fly. Gorgeous yarn!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh you make me want to see if I could spin..I have a spinning wheel upstairs gathering dust..it is a someday project..the wheel is from Norway and very very old. I used to knit too..and I just love that stitch reminder sheepy thing:) Just for the record, I think you are a great spinner/knitter:)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Cup cozy - great idea!

Nina gave me a couple more pointers that I can't wait to try :-D.

Thanks everyone!!!

Stephen Andrew said...

That is amazing. Sooo pretty. And you're so on trend with the ómbre :)

gowestferalwoman said...

when i get brave i will try that...in the meanwhile I will visit your blog to watch you!

MarmePurl said...

Such very pretty yarn. I WILL get to spinning. This winter. Promise.
How could I not with that encouraging post?!

Shine said...

Oh my goodness! I am so glad I scrolled back to see this!!! GORGEOUS yarn. I think it would have won first prize no matter how many entries~!~
Inspirational....yes...that's the best word for this post:)
Blessings~~Shine

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