The Cannonball

 For me, fiber arts is much like shooting an arrow — you aim, fire, and hit the target. I pick a project, create it, use it, and then start the whole process again. Knitting is simple in this regard. Find yarn, pick pattern, knit pattern, wear item — easy, right?! Spinning is a bit more of a wildcard. Usually I mostly know what type of yarn I want to make and barring serious objections from the fiber, I go with it. I may not have a particular finished object in mind, but I go into most spins pretty much knowing what their immediate result will be.

Why am I rambling about this today though? Excellent question! It’s because every now and then I stumble into something by accident. And last night, I was spinning away and I realized that was just the case.

You see, it all started when I pulled all my Three Waters Farm Rambouillet and Superfine Merino for spinning in the Tour de Fleece.

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I pulled it out and unfortunately for my very patient and understanding family it sat like this on my empty loom for 2 or 3 weeks. I’ll admit that as untidy as it is, I like to set things out like this. It’s like letting wine breath. As I go about my life, I see the fibers and I think about them and I start imagining them in new ways. The result in this round of ‘letting my fiber breath’ resulted in my decision to spin the 2 colorways book-ending this photo together.

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Luminous Dusk on 100% Superfine Merino

and

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Supercell on 100% Rambouillet — both from Three Waters Farm.

I decided that it would be really interesting to break up each braid into 8-10 roughly equal lengthwise strips, spinning the singles thin enough to create a finished 2-ply yarn that is about a sport or light worsted weight yarn. 1-ply of the finished yarn would be Luminous Dusk and the other, Supercell.

As I shared last night, I started spinning…

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Because of how both Rambo and Merino might poof up after it’s washed and set, I’m trying to spin a bit on the light side so that at the maximum I wind up with a worsted weight yarn. I haven’t been spinning perfectly consistent because that tends to be what happens when I’m trying to spin for a certain weight. In any case, I’m not worried — it’ll be what it is and I’ll find the right pattern for the finished yarn.

In any case, as I sat down after dinner last night and started in on this spin, I was lost to the lovely colors and really just enjoying it. A couple hours passed and as the bobbin filled up I was feeling quite pleased with myself. I’m very excited to see the finished yarn — I’m still relatively new to conceiving my own fiber combinations and I’m oh-so-curious. I thought to myself that I’ll be seeing it in no time. And then I reached into my little fiber bucket and was shocked. The bobbin was 1/3 full and I’d barely made a dent!

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It was at that moment that I realized that the 16oz I’d prepped was indeed a very big project. I didn’t recognize this fact when I was knowingly prepping the 4 – 4oz braids, filling up these two good-sized bins. Or when I was having trouble keeping the Luminous Dusk nests in their bin. I was thinking one thought, “Luminous Dusk + Supercell is going to be awesome.” Period. End of story. This was not my normal ‘like shooting an arrow’ approach. This was the fiber arts equivalent to doing a cannonball into the deep end of the pool. No real danger, not really any forethought, and the resulting splash is always bigger than you think it’s going to be.

And so began the story of what I’m calling “my accidental sweater” because what I’m going to have at the end here is likely a sweater quantity, possibly a decent-sized woven shawl. I’ve been a little sweater yarn crazy lately so I’m thinking that’s where I’ll go with it. Again, this is a cannonball, not an arrow so I think only time will tell where the last ripple takes me. In any case, you’ll be seeing a lot of this spin for a while because it’s definitely going to keep me busy for a while. Who saw that coming?!

9 responses to “The Cannonball

  1. I, too, like to set my yarn out and ‘live’ with it and let it speak to me for a while. It also just brings me great joy to walk by and absorb the beauty! I’m really glad you had such a happy accident – those colors are WAAAAY too pretty to only have enough for a hat!

    • I agree! I find having the yarn and fiber out where I can see helps me to see beyond the projects I *think* I want to make to find the best possible ones. ❤

  2. Good for you!!! That yarn will be amazing. And yes, it will take forever. My combo spin grew to twice that size, but I went for it. I love the result, and that is good as it will take me all summer!

    • That *is* good! I think I used a little over 2 braids in my last handspun sweater, so I’m hopeful 4 will be plenty. I may also weave it… We’ll see. In any case, I’m really enjoying the spin. I think I’m about halfway through the first color now, so probably 12oz to go!

      • You are so lucky to have 2 braids be an SQ! The three I did recently was enough(so far!) for a vest. So nine should be more than enough, lol.

        Weaving will be gorgeous with that combo, i can see why you would be tempted in that direction.

  3. I find the larger amounts of fiber to be deeply satisfying. On the spinning end, and most especially on the yarn stash end. Knowing that I’ve got enough yarn to do whatever I want without feeling like I am going to run out is wonderful!

    • Agree 1000%. It’s interesting to shift gears from the shorter spins though to a longer one. I think it’s so important for me to continue to mix all the things up like that.

    • I hope so! I think I made it about halfway through the first color yesterday. I’m really trying to cruise through this project as I have a habit of kind of burning out on these bigger spins. We shall see!

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