It Could Definitely Be Worse (Probably)

Sometimes things end up a bit of a disaster.

When I got my fiber club installment from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber in the Spice Cake colorway dyed on the most luxurious Organic Polwarth + Silk base, I did my best to get right to it.

spice cake braidLike most of my spinning projects, the first 4oz flew by and I was beyond excited to finish up what I knew was going to be a drapey, gorgeous 2ply shawl yarn in what I anticipated being epic yardage. That’s why I did a 2ply, after all, was to get a whole lot of yardage.

spice cake on wheelI spun and I spun and I just fell head over heels in love.

And then somewhere along the line something happened.

Something truly not great.

Somehow the singles got very mucked up in what I’m sure was the direct result of me trying to whiz through the last half of the fiber too fast and trying to spin through a whole lot of interruptions. Whether it was that I changed the ratio unknowingly or I managed to get the twist going the wrong way (my stomach churns at the thought of that last one), I struggled during plying to recover what I could for a couple of hours one night and then went to bed and struggled for another hour or two in the morning. Finally I had to make the heart-wrenching call of pitching a whole bunch of my beautiful singles and just use what I could.

It shook my confidence to the core. I’ve been spinning just a handful of years and I’m by no means super skilled, but I’ve never, even in the very beginning had a mishap like this. To have to ditch this beautiful fiber in such a rich colorway kind of made me sick — it was like adding insult to injury, kicking me while I was down and all that.

But you know, these things happen. I think. I hope. And I had no choice but to make the best of it.

full skeinAnd what I could salvage wasn’t half bad. In fact, it’s beautiful.

orange detailI love the pops of orange amid the browns and purples and as I said before, it is an unbelievably rich colorway.

spice cake looseIn fact, the only thing I don’t love about it is that I know I could have a lot more than 330yards if I hadn’t had the incident.

It’s taken me a couple months to share this skein. Partly because I’ve just been busy, but partly because — you know — what do you say when you have this kind of disaster? When you have to scrap hundreds of yards of some of the most lovely base there is? The words that have finally come to me are that I’ve learned some valuable lessons. Take your time. Note your ratio. Take your time. Note the basics (like is the wheel spinning in the correctt direction?). There are some times — when there are loads of interruptions — that I simply can’t be spinning. And, oh yes, take your time. I also recognized that it was really time for me to have my wheel in a permanent place where I could easily spin daily, so once the Christmas tree came down I left a spot in the living room for it.  It helps to have everything in one spot and to not have to shuttle the wheel from place to place. The experience provided a healthy dose of humility & self-forgiveness, too. I will still make mistakes and that’s ok. It has to be ok or I will not get very far in this craft. And finally, the silver lining. For all that mess, I still managed to create 330yards are pretty spectacular yarn. It could definitely be worse (probably).

14 thoughts on “It Could Definitely Be Worse (Probably)”

  1. Oh, Sarah – that is heartbreaking! We do all have fails when we are learning or distracted or sometimes just because, no matter how experienced/skilled we are. What you have left is lovely, I know you will do something wonderful with it. And you learned important lessons (plus found a spot to leave the wheel set up all the time – good going!)

    1. That’s how I’m trying to look at it (all of what you said). I feel really good having the wheel set up in the living room and I have some excellent fiber in my stash and coming via clubs that should help keep me going! Plus, the weather should maybe turn nice again soonish (although it snowed last night) so I can start spinning outside again which I really love.

  2. Sending you a cyber hug and sympathy; you are not alone! The stories I could tell (sigh). The fiber you do have is out of this world beautiful and that much more precious. Hope you will share how you finally use it.

    1. I will definitely share! Historically my handspun has been used as gifts mostly, but I’m going to make an effort to start using it more this year. It’s one of my unspoken 2015 goals!

  3. I’m sending you good fiber vibes! one of my recent spinning projects was just a nightmare to do, and I ended up having to pitch a bunch of singles because they were RUBBISH. it’s heartbreaking even if your process has been super frustrating! I love the remaining yarn you got, it’s lovely.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been in my boat lately — good fiber vibes back at you! I think it was most shocking just because it hadn’t happen before — at least not like this. You are right though, what I could salvage is really great and I’m glad I didn’t just pitch the whole project (I almost did).

  4. Well, what’s left is still gorgeous! And, as I find myself thinking very often when knitting, we can only learn when we muck up. Live and learn!

  5. We can only move forward, you know? (Well, also not completely true, but that’s the point!) It’s easy for me to sit here are tell you this, and also, “Forgive yourself, Sarah. We have ALL done something similar in our haste to get our crafting completed,” so please know that it helps both you and me when I tell you these things today. And know what? That skein in fabulous. Most of all, it’s just as it should be.

    1. That is very cool! I will bookmark that! I have the book, too, just haven’t had the time to really dig in. In the back of my head I’m hoping this summer is going to be my big spinning time, but we will see how it goes. Thanks so much for the tip — it will be used!

  6. gut wrenching 😦 that really is a beautiful yarn to have to throw away. But you’re right, what you’re left with is beautiful too, and I would think it’s still plenty for a nice scarf or shawlette at least!

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