In Celebration of Singles

How is it March already?!

It was another whirlwind of a week last week here. The end of the month is always a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity as there is always something winding down and something new launching. This month, Mary Ann at Three Waters Farm & I announced our intentions to focus on spinning singles yarns with the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group and over on We Make Yarn on Instagram. There were some great articles on singles yarn in the latest Spin-Off Magazine and we were just inspired to get the community talking and working with them. For all you spinners out there, we’re kicking off our month of singles with a giveaway over on @wemakeyarn on Instagram, so be sure to check it out and enter to win before tomorrow when we will be drawing winners!

Truth be told, I’ve been totally into singles spinning lately. Partly because I knew this -along was coming, of course, but even moreso because it’s taken me a long time to really get a feel for singles yarns and now that I have that feel, I’m really just in a groove with making them.

This is Storm Clouds, a BFL + Silk 75/25 from Three Waters Farm.

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I don’t know what to tell you except that it’s seriously one of my favorite yarns I’ve ever made.

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It’s not technically perfect by any measure, but it’s just… it’s got something about that I am in love with. It’s just the right combination of low twist and these cool, blue-grey colors that I adore.

I also whipped up this awesome skein…

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The light is catching it a little weirdly in this photo, but in any case, it is called Quilter’s Magic on Rambouillet and it is also from Three Waters Farm.

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These singles… I swear, I think I’m really getting the hang of them! It’s been really fun to explore the ins and outs of singles spinning, to get a feel for how much twist I need, how to achieve the weight I want, how to not sweat the minor inconsistencies — the whole everything that goes into not just creating these yarns, but really enjoying creating these yarns.

I regret to inform you that I do not currently have details on either of these skeins yet. After getting them spun, I got them washed and dried and then things took a slight turn as I volunteered to cook dinner for one of my husband’s co-worker’s last week who had a birthday and, of course, two more people were invited along for a little mini dinner party. I was totally happy to do it, but for a day there things kind of stood still while I pulled it all together. It was great — learned how to make a new kind of roast, a new way to cook carrots, and found a yummy from scratch chocolate cake and frosting recipe.

While I took a mostly supervisory role in the cake baking as my baking daughter went at it, I was hanging around as she was putting on the finishing touches with the frosting. I turned to say something to my son who was emptying the dishwasher when I heard “Whoa whoa WHOA! [THUD] Oh no!!!

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The two layer frosted cake had hit the floor with the most spectacular THUD I have ever heard. The three of us stood there staring at it, mouths agape, for what felt like a long time. A really long time. Tears began to stream down my girl’s cheeks. I quickly assessed to see if any part could be salvaged, but it was so moist and hit with such an amazing splat that the impact basically annihilated the top layer and put a unrecoverable crack in the bottom layer. There was no possible way to pick it up without it disintegrating in my hands. It was a goner.

It was 3pm. I needed about 15minutes to prep the roast and 2 hours for it to be in the oven (at 100degrees coolor than I needed for baking a cake) and had company arriving by 6pm. A new cake would take 30minutes in the oven plus whatever time it would take to mix it up. I looked at my girl and told her that if we moved quickly and got it in oven in the next 10 minutes we could make a second cake and have it done in time. It was a total and complete whirlwind as we did our greatest Great British Baking Show-style baking to date, but…

img_0078 We made it, just in time, and it was delicious. In fact, there’s a good chance I am ruined for all other chocolate cake forever now.

That’s the long story as to why the yarn measurements did not happen yet. I could have waited an extra couple days to share them with you, but I did want to share the giveaway in time. I will, however, get that yarn info up on each of their pages on Ravelry when I get there and if you have specific questions, please feel free to ask away.

Cake and dinner party behind us, I did start another singles yarn…

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This is Cold Sunny Morning on Merino/Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk 40/40/20 from Three Waters Farm. It’s not one I’d planned to spin as singles, but I wanted to spin the blend as a single and hadn’t tried it yet and this was a braid I’d gotten in a destash, so I felt brave enough to give it a go.

Having been acquired via a destash, it was a little compressed, so I did some pre-drafting just to make my life easier. This is what remains to be spun up…

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The little time investment in pre-drafting really makes the singles spin super easily. I’m a little unsure how I’ll feel about this one as a finished yarn. I have a feeling I should have maybe gone for shorter color repeats, but well, time will tell.

And with that, it’s time for me to get back at it! I hope if you’re a spinner, you’ll consider doing some experimenting with singles along with me and the rest of the community this month. I’m open for questions and advice should you need any!

22 thoughts on “In Celebration of Singles

  1. Beautiful yarns, if I could spin like you do I would never have to buy any yarn. Tell Delia this story. I madea3layer lemon coconut cake for my niece, her favorite. The layers keep sliding so I stuck blue straws into it to try and keep it from sliding to no avail. The cake split in 3 pieces, I quick outa bowl over it to hold it together! I took it like that. We put it in the middle of the table and everyone grabbed a spoon and we ate it like that. It was still delicious but it was an ugly mess. My worse kitchen disasters!

    1. Oh my gosh, Deb! I would have done the same! I will tell her your story! To add insult to injury, she had fumbled that last of her angel food cake, too, so she was especially wounded by the drop. We praised her a lot for making the best of it and getting the second cake done though, so hopefully that part sticks with her!

  2. Give your daughter an extra hug. I’ve been there, done that with baking before! And the second pic of single ply — I so want that yarn! Gorgeous!

  3. I so love your response to the disaster. Some moms would have never been that supportive and Delia learned a great life lesson (or several) – there’s nothing we can’t figure out or overcome if we have love and support. At the end, she was probably the proudest of proud instead of feeling badly about herself.

    Your yarns are so amazing. Your skill with singles is really showing and your colors speak to me. Kudos all around, both as a spinner and, more importantly, as a mom.

    1. She was a little embarrassed that everyone knew she’d dropped it, but we explained that the cake we ate was even more special because we basically made it twice!

  4. Oh i love those yarns, very pretty indeed. It looks like you have really mastered that singles technique. Maybe one day I will try it, but I am still working on just getting my wheel technique figured in general.

    Glad you were able to save desert! What kind of meal would it be without cake!?

    1. Especially a birthday meal, right?!

      Thanks for the kind words on the yarn. Singles are actually a wonderful way to really get a solid feel for twist in your yarn, so don’t feel the need to put it off. I mean, worst case scenario, you get too much twist into it and you ply it, right?!

  5. The spinning is beautiful, and you must get incredible yardage with singles. Hmm, I should think about doing some…

    The cake! Oh, I would have had tears, too! But you saved the day, and she can be proud that she made two chocolate cakes in one day!

    Here’s my hint for her for the future – vanilla ice cream goes well with cake, and if the cake is a disaster, vanilla ice cream makes a lovely dessert with a bit of maple syrup or chocoalte sauce. 🙂

    Of course, I like Deb’s story, too. Spoons and a bowl full of cake – it works!

    1. I had 2 kinds of ice cream to go with the cake! I actually had texted Mr TKS right away to tell him to pick up a cake — it’s pretty easy for him to manage food disasters for us — but I think it was so much better this way. It’s a memory we’ll never forget!

      1. It is so much better this way, and I bet everyone loved the cake! Did you tell them the whole tale? Even not knowing it, I feel certain they were impressed with the sproingy-haired chef’s skills!

      2. Yes, much to the chagrin of the sproingy-haired chef everyone knew of her little fumble. It was a hit, but super rich. I cut myself a small piece and couldn’t make my way through it despite it being delicious!

      3. It sounds heavenly! And in a few years, she will join everyone else in laughing about it. But I hope she also grows more aware of how amazing it was that she could whip up a second cake so efficiently!

  6. Your poor daughter! The second cake looks so good.

    Your handspun singles look good enough to eat! Between the gorgeous spinning and the cake, I wouldn’t know which one to bite into first!

    Talk about a high fiber diet….! 😀

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