Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yarn Along - We've Got Yarn!


20 and I are ready for the Iknitarod!  


1,454 yards from 31.4 ounces, averaging 740 yards per pound of aran weight Maisie yarn. There is still about 3 ounces of roving left tucked in the corner of the bag.  I've pretty much talked myself into spinning up about 2 more ounces before the Iknitarod just to pad my yardage a little more.  I'd like to keep just a tiny bit of unspun fiber, just for a keepsake, but it will be there if I need it.  Surely not...but it is Maisie after all ;-).

Before we got to a big bag full of yarn, let me back up and share a possibly handy tip.  I ply from center pull balls all the time, especially for big projects.  I've never really had much trouble with that...until Maisie.  Anyone who's done any plying from a center pull ball can see what's fixin' to happen next.


A big twisty tangle of yarn is getting ready to flop out of both the middle and right hand balls.  Some of those clumps are very, very hard to untangle. When I first started plying Maisie's yarn, I found that out the hard way.  Over and over and over.  Talk about slowing you down!


I'm not sure what possessed me to try sticking my water bottle down inside, but it worked.  I guess the bottles gave just enough extra tension inside the rapidly emptying balls to keep the single ply yarn moving smoothly.  Probably everyone already knows this trick and I'm just late for the party, but just in case...file it away.


Here's a picture of how I pulled the yarn straight up from the balls and fed it through my right hand, using my fingers to tension each strand as it spun into a three ply yarn and wound onto the wheel. Did you catch that?  A picture of my right hand?  Taken with my big girl camera.  I'm pretty proud of that one ;-D.


Let me share one more near "disaster".  All together now, "I just don't know how this stuff keeps happening to me."  See that black oil coating a section of Maisie's yarn?  I've never had this happen - the yarn flipped over the side of the bobbin while I was winding it off into a skein. Twice.

I tried washing it out with Dawn, thinking grease cutting, but no dice.  Then I remembered some weird stuff Auntie Reg gave me called Grandma's Secret Spot Remover.  It took it right out. Whew!


Here is the yarn before it was washed.  See how it's rumpled and almost stiff looking?  Like the three strands really hadn't gotten the chance to "know each other".  A good soak in warm to pretty warm (depending on the fiber) fixes that.  I use a little detergent as well.  Mrs. Meyer's Lavender is my favorite.  I give it a couple good rinses and add a little Mrs. Meyer's Fabric Softener to the last rinse.


Tadaa!

This is actually closer to the actual color than the golden shot above.  The clouds were starting to move in by now...but that almost always give you a better photograph.  See how much more relaxed and smooth the yarn is?  Much softer.


Here's closer view.  Quite a bit of the VM (vegetable matter) worked it way out during the plying and washing...


...but there's plenty more to spare.  Sigh.  I should have caught that before I sent it to the mill, but I mostly think it's funny now.  Classic Maisie, just the way I wanted it.


If you've stayed with me this long (Thanks so much for all the very kind comments on the very long story from yesterday!) you probably look much like Kate, who was trying hard to stay awake with me on that warm, sunny Sunday morning.

"This yarn stuff is really boring.  Really. Boring."


Do you remember how fast Maisie ran as a little lamb?  She was very fast, crooked legs and all, probably the fastest lamb I've ever raised.   She still digs in and "gets it" (she's in the lead here the other day, as usual ;-) and that tail still spins around like a propeller.  Here's a link to an adorable video.  No super fast running, but some great bouncy running.  Baby Maisie playing in the yard.

Speaking of bouncy, here's a very short video showing how bouncy/stretchy Maisie's yarn is. I've never knitted a big project with yarn this springy.  You good knitters out there - is there anything I need to take into consideration because of that or is it just going to be super comfortable sweater because it's knit out of "elastic"?


So what am I reading listening to this week?  Yep, another Mrs. Murphy mystery.  Tilly and I are hooked on them ;-).

Joining in with Ginny...




24 comments:

Auntie Reg said...

Don't be surprised if the yarn is out of the bag when you go to the wool house this morning. I don't don't know a lot

karen said...

so much goodness in this post. The spinning is divine!! I bet you love handling all of that spun fiber and veg matter is what matters most :)

steph said...

yarn stuff boring????never!!!!!!!!!

Auntie Reg said...

Sorry for the crazy message. The rest of my comment is I don't know a lot about knitting but I think you are going to have to put a pull string in the bottom of the sweater and tie it around your waist to keep the Maisie sweater on your body.

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

OH kwap, just lost my post because I had to look at yesterdays post which I did not get...grrr beautiful story, yes they know their jobs! NOT boring. Now, today's posting....fantastic yarn, yo done it!! will remember Mrs Meyers fabric softener when I finish spinning my Herdwick:) There shouldn't be a problem knitting with the springy Maisie. Your sweater will be Very warm.
I never ply from the center pull, only from bobbins but know some people who do and will tell them your trick. Imagine Maisie yarn flipping off the bobbin when plying........imagine that haha

Gemma Garner said...

Not sure if my comment went though or not so I am typing it again. Good thinking on putting bottles inside the yarn. I don't mind finding little bits in my yarn occasionally, reminds me of where it's come from which is nice. I find your process posts really interesting. Keep 'em coming! :)

Donna said...

Your yarn looks lovely! I love a good three ply yarn. That was a great idea with the water bottles. That certainly is some stretchy yarn. What a great sweater you are going to have!

ineedorange said...

I'm almost as interested in yarn as I am in dogs. :-) You write in such a thoughtful and coherent way -- I'm up for lengthy posts on anything you wish to share with us. :-)

Your (and Maisie's) yarn looks beautiful. I am not an expert knitter of handspun, but I would say -- be extra careful of your tension. Keep it loose. Otherwise, when it hits the water, the stretch will remember itself and make the knitted piece smaller? I wouldn't guarantee that's correct, but my intuition tells me it is.

Laura at Beehive Rugs said...

The Maisie video is a riot!! Love all your yarn. Good luck spinning it, that looks like a lot of fun!!!

Tyche's Minder said...

OMG, the stretch video. Lots of good tips here!

Brienne Moody said...

Wow! What an interesting post! It's fascinating to hear about the plying process - I had no idea.

Natalie said...

The bottle trick is new to me, at least. Thanks for the tip. Fantastic photos by the way.

Thirteen Sheep (Or More) said...

You wouldn't expect Maisie yarn to be anything like other yarn, would you? I hope she helps when you start knitting!
I love the Nilla Waffers on the counter behind 20!

Far Side of Fifty said...

:) :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wow that is some stretchy yarn! I loved Auntie Regs comment. I love the Maisie yarn even with the VM...it is going to be a precious sweater:)

Vermont Grand View Farm said...

I can hardly see the yarn for the bare ground peeking from behind and the sun shining down on Kate!!!!!!!!! (Can you tell I have not seen the ground for several months now and snow clouds still hang out over our farm?)

Ok...now for the yarn! One word...just one word..... Yummy!

Tombstone Livestock said...

Glad to see 20is guarding the 'Nilla Wafers, Can't wait to see your new barn sweater, Kate's expression is similar to looks I get from Dollar

Michaele said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I love that yarn. Knowing where it came from and how it got to be yarn is such a good story and I am glad to know it.

LannieK said...

Maisie, through and through :-) She's still a cutie! It's beautiful yarn - and will be a beautiful sweater.
Thanks for all the great tips and hints! I will give them a try.

thingsherelately.com said...

Ah, Maisie! She is nothing, if not, consistent, yes?! :) But, oh, her yarn is just beautiful! I CANNOT wait to see your Maisie Sweater all knit up. *hugs* :)

Plain and Joyful Living said...

Oh how wonderful to be working with your own yarn!

RuusVerd said...

My yarn flips off the bobbin like that all the time, and I'm not sure why. I've started moving the bobbin to the lazy kate before winding off to avoid getting oil on the yarn.

Alice said...

You have done an amaising job of spinning Maisies fleece so consistently!! Tri-pli no less!! Now rest up..... Get the lantern ready to light...( new batteries?) ...and have those needles ready for Iknitarod 2015!!!

Lisa Smith said...

Oh what an amazing video! (Was that Comby in the background I saw?) Since I didn't find your blog until July, 2014, I wasn't here for the "baby a-Maising" time. (Recently I started reading from the beginning of your blog to try to catch up!) She was the sweetest little lamb ~ I can see why you are as invested as you are with her. Thank you so very much for taking the time and energy to document this!

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