Archive for July, 2012

Once upon a time, I tried to spin a yarn to represent the dashing and improbably perfect Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson. Remember what happened? I decided it wasn’t up to snuff, and ended up relegating it out of the Project and into general stash circulation (go over here if you want to find out its eventual fate, if you haven’t seen it already). It’s funny how plans sometimes just don’t quite go according to … er, plan. (Wow, English fail there, Kat. Well done.)

Happily, though, I evened up the score a couple of weeks back. It was a stunning winter’s day, and my girlfriend and I took our spinning wheels into the backyard to spin in the sunshine and soak up the rays. I planned to spin something quick, wild, funky. I was in the throes of multiple long, fine, endless spinning projects that were sapping both my energy and my enthusiasm, and I was over it. Also, our adorable teapot needs a teacosy, so I resolved in an uncharateristically spur-of-the-moment decision to spin a yarn for a teacosy. (Teacosies, in my opinion, should be extravagant, gauche, and shameless. Thus you can picture the sort of yarn for which I was aiming, right?)

I selected a set of batts I got from AtomicBlue while I was getting her club shipments a while back (brilliant club – get thee hence!!! I mean it!), as well as a “sample” that came with another Etsy order, from Leanan. I say “sample” because this thing was huge! Pink, purple, blue, with tons of sparkle indiscriminately heaped in, it was the perfect sugary foil against the organic texture of Sara’s club batt. This baby was a revelation of fibre. Nary a sparkle came into it, but lots of snips of rainbow-coloured sock and novelty yarns, neps and scraps and drips of various and sundry fibres, ribbon and all sorts of other deliciousness. The batt actually didn’t seem to look like much before I opened it, but then…oh, the goodness. The dazzlement. I tried to get pics, but the brightness of the day and the fractious breeze conspired against me and they are horrid…nonetheless, I want to share. Here you go…

The whole spin took under two hours, I’d say, and for some reason as I was pondering its future name, my thoughts turned to the Unseen University’s compost heaps in Reaper Man, which come to life due to a combination of an overabundance of life hanging around (after the sacking of Death) and their inherent liveliness. The “upcycling” of materials into these wonderful batts made me think of making the most out of something, of life created where there was only waste, of unexpected directions. And so, it seemed inevitable that this become the next Pratchett Project yarn. I haven’t measured yardage yet, and this is still destined to become a teacosy…but not for our teapot.

Mischievous Old Lady

Why, hello there! It’s so lovely to be back. And look, I have a finished yarn to show you! Here is the first skein of Topsy-Turvy, as dyed by KnittyandColor, and double-chain-plied by me. I don’t mind telling you, I’m very excited to see how this knits. I think the fabric will be very exciting, and I’m toying with different ideas to really show off the spun-in stripes.


The technique went well, on the whole, except that I had difficulty spinning the black Ashland Bay merino with a worsted draw, so ended up doing a mix of semi-worsted and supported long draw throughout, which led inevitably to a considerably finer single than the coloured blue-faced leicester single. This caused me some problems during plying, but leaving aside the dozen or so breaks in the black single that I had to repair at some cost to my spinning serenity, I’m pretty pleased with how it worked out. And how fun is this yarn? It’s quite fine – about an 8-ply weight, I estimate – and ever so bouncy-squooshy.


And yes, that is a technical term.