If you’ve been reading along here for a while you know that I subscribe to the Three Waters Farm Top of the Month Club. I try very hard to keep up with it. I’ll be honest here when I admit that I loved the January installment — ‘Birds in Holly’ — so much that I ordered a second braid. I held the first braid until the second arrived and then… well, I was kind of afraid to touch it. I could not for the life of me decide if I should chain ply it and keep the colors whole or barberpole it or what. I was really stuck.
I didn’t manage to snap a ‘before’ image, so I’m sharing one courtesy of Three Waters Farm just so you can see how pretty this braid is.
Then an online spinning friend and I were writing back and forth about this & that and this colorway came into the conversation. I voiced my indecision and was essentially told, “Just go for it. You can’t go wrong.” Realizing she was absolutely right, I dove in.
Following another friend’s advice on maximizing a barberpoling effect, I split both braids into about a million little nests, one braid of nests starting from one side of the colorway and the other from the opposite end.
And I started spinning.
And then I saved them while I spun a million other singles so that I could ply them all during the Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate test.
When I started plying, it became a little bit of a running joke because the plying took me a long time. Partly because I was really busy running & doing the Big Clean of our house with my family, but mostly because it was A LOT of yarn.
As a spinner, sometimes it can be hard to gauge how much yardage you’re actually spinning because so much of it is influenced by perspective. If I’m plying and dying to get to my next spin, whether it’s 200yards or 1500yards it’ll feel like the plying is taking forever. If I have a lightweight spin and for some reason I think it seems wise to choose keeping it all in one skein over using a speedier flyer, it really feel like the plying is taking forever. When I finally started to wind this one into a skein, it became apparent relatively early that I had a lot of yarn on this skein. My internal monologue went something like this:
“Maybe I’ll get 500yards.” Got to 500 yards. Still a lot left on the bobbin.
“Maybe I’ll get 600yards.” Got to 600 yards. Still a lot left on the bobbin.
(a little bolder) “Maybe I’ll get 800yards.” Got to 800yards. Still a lot left on the bobbin.
“Am I seriously going to hit 1000 yards?” Got to 1000yards. Still yarn left on the bobbin.
“Holy jeez. No wonder plying this took me so long.”
The final statistics for this skein after washing and snapping and drying leave me with a light fingering weight yarn of about 18wraps per inch of which I have 1160yards.
My dream for this skein is to knit up a Featherweight Cardigan in it and then wear it everyday for the rest of my life. According to the pattern specs I have enough to make one in my size, but ideally I will eventually pick up an extra 4oz of this colorway and replicate the spin as best I can so that I have some extra and can maybe extend the body & sleeves a bit beyond the slightly cropped waist & 3/4 length sleeves. I do live in Wisconsin, after all.
So it turns out I really couldn’t go wrong. In fact, I really really went right with this spin. I think this goes to show that sometimes when you’re frozen in indecision you just need to go for it. Take a chance that you might totally screw something up and just take the leap. You just might make the greatest yarn (or knitwear or dinner entree) you’ve ever made.