That awkward number, “2017”, is starting to sound as familiar as all the previous ones did. I look back on all the new things I learned last year and am feeling good about the plunges I took and bobbed back up from. If nothing else, I learned that I can adapt to anything I throw at myself. This year I’m moving on to knitting!
Just before Christmas, I dug in and started spinning the lovely blue-dyed mohair that I took from Eddy. Trial and error, my best learning method, showed me the value of some of the steps that spinners do not skip. The main one was “carding” the fiber. This is when you use tools to pull and separate the clumps of fiber so that they all are lying in the same direction.
Thinking that this was an unnecessary step, I jumped right to spinning and I discovered that it was very hard to do. The threads were lumpy and ripped apart each time I got rolling so that with a good deal of swearing I had to restart every yard or so.
Finally, I gave in and went to the pet store to purchase two big dog brushes. I placed a handful of mohair on the first brush and then pulled against it with the second until all the hairs were separated and fluffed up into a cloud-soft puff. Surprise! Spinning became as easy as pie!
So far, I have spun four nice skeins of blue 2-ply yarn. The second two are more uniform than the first, due to gaining experience (and carding), but other than that there isn’t much visible difference. I think I’ll get at least two more skeins before I have used all the fiber from the first shearing. Then I’ll start on Ely’s gray-black hair.
I have never been good at knitting. Keeping track of the numbers and manipulating two needles at once are both challenging for me. I have crocheted a bit but even that is inconsistent and sloppy. Still, with all this mohair lovingly processed by hand, I really must take it to the end and create some of my own stuff. That is on the 2017 list.