We Make Yarn.

I’ll catch y’all up on my holiday soon, but today I’m over the moon to be able to share a new project on which I’ve been working with Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm. It’s called #wemakeyarn, an Instagram-based month-long photo challenge for the month of January designed to inspire and connect the community of handspinners. We’ve worked hard to develop prompts that would help us all share and discuss about, as well as reflect and celebrate this beautiful craft.

For those who may be interested, this is the image and prompts that’ll be the cornerstone of the event…

#wemakeyarn

You can find the image on Instagram on my account, @knittingsarah, as well as the official Three Waters Farm account, @threewatersfarm, and also the brand new @wemakeyarn account where we’ll be curating beautiful and inspiring spinning photos throughout the event to share.

For those who were considering participating in the #spin15aday challenge for 2018, this is a fantastic way to get started with it. I’ll be using the month to really spring-board myself into a year-long habit of daily spinning. I hope those of you who are spinners will consider joining and sharing with all your spinning friends!

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The FrankenSkein

As a spinner, I’m pretty good as using every last bit of my singles yarn when I spin. If I’m spinning a 2-ply, more often than not I’ll use an Andean Plying Bracelet to use up every bit. If it’ll drastically change how the colors are handled and look I might not, but oftentimes it’s not going to make enough of a difference for me to notice or mind. If I’m doing a traditional 3-ply, I’ll often wait until the first bobbin runs out and then take whichever remaining bobbin has the most left and make a plying bracelet from that and carry on with the plying bracelet plus the ply from the other remaining bobbin. In this case (as well as a few others) though, there will generally be some leftovers at the very end.

So what to do with these leftovers?

A couple years ago, before I realized anyone else actually does this (and it turns out many people do!), I just started putting any leftover yarn that was mostly lightweight onto a bobbin. I didn’t discriminate at all so we’re talking all sorts of random colorways and fiber contents.  If I had leftover yarn, it went on the bobbin which I quickly dubbed my “FrankenBobbin.” And for about two years, this is just what I did and I didn’t think too hard about it.

I added a bit of yarn onto the FrankenBobbin just before the Tour de Fleece started this year and while there was still room for more singles, I thought it was a good time to just call it a day and see how this experiment would look. I could have chain plied it to keep the colors whole, but I figured that with such a wide range of colorways I would actually probably be better off mixing them as much as possible. With this in mind, I put the bobbin on my tensioned lazy kate and wound it into a center-pull ball. And then I proceeded to ply — 1 ply from the inside and 1 ply from the outside of the center-pull ball. Of course, I totally spaced on taking photos of the process — sorry! I was kind of excited to see how it would turn out and forgot to slow down and take photos.

I did, however, take photos of the finished yarn. Would you like to see the FrankenSkein born from my FrankenBobbin?

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Isn’t it wonderful?! I’m totally in love with it! Who would think all these misfit colors would create something so incredibly stunning?!

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Of course, it’s not a perfectly consistent yarn as it came from probably at least a dozen different spins. I’ve got one join that is… not pretty, too, but that’s easily dealt with when I actually go to use it. Any knitter who has been at it for a while knows and has dealt with a break in the yarn or a not-so-great knot or a weird spot in some commercially spun yarn. It’s no different beyond the fact that I probably could have and should have done a better job in that spot. But I digress. Because…

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It’s about 420yards of fingering weight yarn. I have no idea yet how I want to use it, but this is one of those experiments that’s turned out so well that I’m pretty happy just to bask in the beauty of it for a while.

I feel like my lovely FrankenSkein is a true testament to the fact that spinning is an incredibly amazing, wild, creative, and forgiving art. How odds and ends from a dozen or so wildly different colorways and fiber contents can produce such a pretty yarn — it’s totally beyond me. That said, you had better believe I’ll be starting another FrankenBobbin at my earliest convenience. If you often find yourself with leftovers from your spins, I recommend you do the same tout de suite!

This Week in My Dreams

This week, there’s just been a flurry of activity in my crafting. A lot of finishing is always so exciting and energizing and inspiring. This week, after wrapping up a lot of plying, my wheel is free for new projects and its about time. I give a lot of credit — as I said Wednesday — to my recent immersion in the photos and fiber of Three Waters Farm.

They do an AWESOME job of posting photos on their Instagram feed that aren’t just their beautiful colorways, but that also highlight different color combinations. It’s these combinations that just slay me. Every time a new one is posted I’m inspired and it’s just such a great thing. Since they’ve been dominating my crafty dreams this week, I asked if I could share some of my favorites with you.

Fall Sunset on Merino/Tussah + Bright Spots on MSWMTS

Fall Refrain + Next to You, both on Corriedale

And my personal favorite…

Heart of Hearts + Dirty Girl Redux + Agate, on Polwarth/Silk + BFL/Silk + Polwarth/Silk respectively.

What have you been dreaming of  crafting this week?