Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Purple Fire: a lesson in funky plying

Purple Fire is fresh off the wheel. It's spun from hand painted, domestic wool roving (I painted it in the colors of Lilacs) that I then handcarded mixing some of it with sparkle fiber. The single itself was spun worsted weight with slight thick n thin variation. There are some sections of flame, but they're not extreme. Then I plied it with a thick, rayon thread. The kind that Cascade sells as a carry along, but it's a different brand that I can't recall at the moment. I got it on closeout a couple of months ago.

The skein is a lesson in plying. In fact, I'm in the process of writing two articles on plying, and the art skein photos will detail the funky plying instructions. The plan now is to submit them both to Knitty as a kind of mini series on the subject. This venture was originally conceived as one article featuring both regular and funky plying, but I soon exceeded capacity. The regular plying article alone sits at 6 single spaced, 8.5" by 11" pages. Yeah....I might have to trim it down a bit. I'm contemplating emailing Amy for a bit more guidance concerning article submission, but I don't want to be pest. Insecurity, indecision....I'm not sure what the best course of action is. The article is good - it's what I wanted to know when I first started plying compiled: how to photos and step by step instructions, the finer points of plying, determining the amount of twist, setting the twist and troubleshooting when things don't go as planned. Of course I compiled the info and wrote it, so my opinion of it's worth is definitely biased.

Back to the yarn. It's got: 3 different plying techniques, knots, beehives, super coils, and faux boucle going on for it. Firmly in the worsted category at 124 yards and 3.5 ounces. I wouldn't want to be bored spinning it, now would I? The funky ply article covers everything except the beehives and the super coils. But there's a current article at Knitty about that.

I don't know what it will be yet. Right now, the satisfaction and the art are in it's creation. It's actually extremely beautiful to look at and hold - art yarn is a tactile medium and is better when held. I've jokingly told my husband that I need large glass bowls and containers to display my yarn in; cheap and seasonal decoration. I haven't done it yet, because of the twin two year olds, but don't think I wouldn't but for the practical considerations.


Tasha C. said...

That's some funky, cool yarn. If you're not sure about the article, I'd say contact Amy. I bet she'd have some guidance on how to trim it if trimming is needed. Or maybe it's a three part article? Anywho, nice work on the articles and the yarn.

Abigale said...

That really is awesome stuff! And I'm sure you really didn't have to worry about boredom setting in. I'm really hoping that article gets published in Knitty - plying is probably my weakest strength in the whole spinning process.

Thanks so much for sharing!!


Sarah said...

I'm not a huge fan of 'art' yarns per se. For me as a spinner, I want to be able to knit something with it that I'd wear. (and this I realize is a completely individual thing).

This, however is great art yarn to me!

I love the color combo, and the different techniques, you used lots of different things, but didn't go overboard on any of them!

Pretty, interesting, and knittable!


Hilari said...

Ooh that yarn is absolutely luscious!!! Hope you get your articles in Knitty!