Sunday, March 1, 2009

And our intrepid spinner changes direction a bit...

Well, not really. I have gotten another large chunk of Bahama Blues done:

It's now waiting for me to do a good wash and whack to it. :)

However the Spanish Peacock recently said something about wrist distaffs for spinning. So, today, I decided to try it. However, I decided to try it with one of the first spinning efforts I ever made:

As you can see from the uneven textures in that second picture, it wasn't what I'd call one of my best efforts (I've gotten better). It was pretty damned good for a first effort, but it's not something I really wanted to knit with, and it really wasn't much. Maybe 70 yards. So, I decided to do something with it: Make a wrist distaff! :)

So the first thing I did was try to stretch out lengths of yarn, so I could twist them together. When I was a kid I used to make bracelets this way, only with shorter lengths of yarn. Best place I had to put this was the bedposts, so I used two knitting needles that I could withdraw easily, tied some string around them and onto the bedposts, and started to wind back and forth:

Then I withdrew the needle on one side of the bed, reinserted it into the loops created, and started to twist the yarn around in one direction over and over and over again until it was twisted so tight it couldn't go anymore, like one would do with a skein:

(pardon the stuff in the hallway, it's laundry day)

I then took the end in my hand, doubled it over to meet the one at the bedpost, and attached the loop in my hand to the bedpost while putting both bedpost loops on the same side:

From the middle, I started letting the end in my hand twist back together:

At this point, I had the equivalent of a skein, about 25 inches long:

I left the original ends of the skein dangling loose so I could tie the ends together later. I then found the center of the skein, and hung it from my wrist by that center. I took some embroidery floss and wound it around the skein at a point where the entire thing could dangle from my wrist, and tied it off:

Then I inserted a chopstick (a knitting needle will do) into the skein in such a way that the two ends of the skein were now dangling, and fastened it back to the bedpost like the original start of the skein had been:

I inserted the two knitting needles into each dangling end of the skein, and twisted it in the opposite direction of the knitting needle, like I was cable plying the yarn. I then allowed the two ends to twist back in the other direction to finish plying it, and tied the ends together:

Then I took more embroidery floss and tied the ends together again just to be sure:

And I am now wearing it with a nice handful of Garnet colored Merino on it for the March Spinning Challenge:

Yeah, every once in a while I need to do something like that. :)

Best part is, because of how I set it up, if I ever want to use the yarn, I just take it apart and use it! :)

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