30 September, 2018

yes sir yes sir one bag full

So that bagful of related fibers I started spinning last entry is, well, spun. I've got roughly 750 yards of worsted in a BFL/silk/I dunno, something woolly blend. I was expecting more purple and blue; I am a little surprised by the prevalence of the golds and greens. I think the greyish cast is mostly from variations of lavenders plus the light in the room, and that, when it's knit into whatever it becomes, the overall effect will be more purple-y. 

This is my contribution of beauty to what has otherwise been an ugly couple of weeks.

15 September, 2018

now is the autumn of your discontent

I am feeling cranky and at odds with... everything? Not really combative, more restless. Like I should be doing something but I'm not, and whatever I've forgotten/am neglecting is going to bite me in the ass. This is what happens when Type A personalities have nothing on the immediate agenda. I'm like a border collie without sheep. Pretty soon I'm gonna start chewing on the furniture and digging in the garden and okay, letting this metaphor go now.

Part of it's the university teaching quarter starts in 2 weeks, but the HS class already started, like, a month ago, and I'm in that limbo between working my ass off and having something to do one day a week for 3 hours. My just-finished novel (RORY TWO)  is off at my agent, and I haven't gotten the editorial notes on the first book (formerly SRP, now How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, aka RORY ONE). I'm not writing anything at the moment. Not that I don't have ideas. It's just I don't want to go launching into a new project when I know revisions are coming.

Instead, I'm spinning a lot of fiber (like that bagful on the right. It's, like, 4-5 hanks of compatible colorways all mixed up to be spun out at random).  I'm making Christmas socks (2.5 pairs of 5, or halfway done!) and bingeing Netflix and Prime series. (The Good Place has to be one of the best things in a long time.) We've gone hiking a couple of times, now that things have mostly stopped burning. But the last couple of weeks I haven't had anything I had to do except the HS class.

Maybe that's it. I'm freaking out because I'm not under any deadlines. I'm...taking a vacation. It feels weird.

20 August, 2018

the spiral rug

Or, that time I successfully felted BFL blend handspun. BFL is, IME, a PITA to felt. Merino, Icelandic... look at it crossways and it felts. My last rug, even with a merino strand, required two rounds of agitation in hot water and throwing it at a floor (that works. It's magic.).

So. Before felting:

 Note the stitch definition and the large gaps between threads; I deliberately used a bigger needle than the yarn weight called for in hopes that the extra room would allow for extra agitation in the felting process.

Also note that amazing blaze of color in the center. I think all four skeins were the same colorway, but the first and last were definitely a different dye lot. (The first might be a different colorway; the orange is pretty distinctive. I don't know because I get fiber from M's excess stash and it's not labeled.) Anyway, also note the grey striping makes it seem wavy and wrinkled, but I assure you, it's flat.

I was so damned happy to be done with this rug that I forgot all about bagging the project and sticking a towel into the cycle to give it something to felt against. I just threw it in hot with a drop of Soak and let it go. Maybe that's the secret, although everything going through the washer for the next few days is going to sport tufts of wool.

I wish I'd remembered to measure it... unfelted, it was about 36 inches in diameter, I think. Here's a before and after with Murdercat for scale.