Friday, September 01, 2006


I am a whopping 2.5" into the Rogue. Which makes for a very boring picture.

So, look! Pomona!

I had a seriously dumkopf day yesterday, starting the body of the Rogue 3 or 4 times and each time getting to about the seventh or eighth twisted stockinette round of the hem facing before discovering that I'd somehow twisted the stitches before joining...I have never done this by accident before, yet I did it three or four times yesterday (I'm vague on the exact number because of the repetitive wall v. head trauma).

(This is about how I felt. This picture is posed, I stuck her lip to her gums and took the pic.)

Here's the finished yarn, which varies from 9-11 wraps per inch (there are ten in the pic, but you can see there's room for one more) and knit up to 4.5 sts per inch on a size US7:

The fiber is 80% merino/ 20% tussah silk in lichen colorway available by special order here under "Dyed Merino/Silk and Corriedale". (shameless plug)
Scroll down for the sticker shock, believe it or not that's well below Louet's retail price.

The fibers were all so aligned I spun with out predrafting or splitting the top, sometimes spinning from the fold. After all, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. ;p

I initially wanted a three ply; I had a thick and thin fatter single and paired it with two relatively consistent thinner singles, but I didn't dig it for the whole look of the Rogue.

So I spun two more plies like the first two plies and went for a more standard yarn. It's pretty skooshy and soft and the silk has a nice sheen and strength to it, so I'm very happy. I love knitting with it and it held up to the repeated ripping like a champ so I have high hopes for low incidence of future pilling.

Pomona gives it two paws up:

The pics I have in this post probably give the impression that she's left her shyness entirely behind. This is unfortunately not true.

She has moments, hours even where she forgets that we are Evil and will snuggle. The other day, I snuggled her for hours and she eventually put her head on my chest while I was reading and I thought my heart would just burst out of my chest with happy contentment.

But she seems to have her fear hardwired in her brain.

If we let her, she would still just hide in corners all day, so I mess with her by moving her around from the couch to the bed, to another couch, moving her to cuddle and pet her and she loves her walkies most of all--she even wags her tail! For the first few minutes or so, anyway, then something makes her remember that she's terrified, but she still loves the walkies, on the whole, so I think it's good bonding, and breaks things up.

We're trying to give her nothing but positive experiences, positive associations, nothing but happiness...but it's hard, because the fear switch trips in her head so quickly.

Yet she shows perhaps some progress: if people are walking away from her, she shows interest and wants to follow them. She'll still shy and cringe if they reach to pet her, but at least she's showing an interest in something besides hiding, and she definitely enjoys walking with the whippets more than walking alone so that's a good sign too that she's becoming a little more engaged.
Although Belu bit her today, so that's not a help. B(tch.

It's funny as Pomona seems much less shy in the routine and clamor of the kennel. She likes going out, she likes being in a group of big dogs, sneaking up behind or from the side for pets as part of a group, going back in, sleeping in her crate, eating her food, chewin' rawhides...just one of the thirty. But she won't go to a home like that, content as she seems in the kennel environment, so hopefully we'll help her become a more confident dog, slowly slowly slowly overwriting the fear.

Enough about the darn dog already, yeah? Or at least, for this post anyway.

Monica had a question about the plying card and how it was held. It really isn't a necessary thing, just makes it all a bit easier keeping an even tension on the strands being plied and keeping track visually on the amount of twist. I think I became fixated on the idea of it after browsing through Alden Amos' Big Book of Handspinning.

I hold it in my left hand and control the twist with my right:

(if I had thought about it, I would have flipped it over before stringing through the strands, I forgot I might take progress pics. It looks very brand-y. sorry.)

This may be opposite for other spinners. I spin "opposite" from most people, with my left hand being my forward hand, my right controlling the source. I surf goofy too. This was recently a topic on one of the lists, so I know I'm not alone, but I thought I'd clarify for those who might be looking at it and thinking, "wait, am I spinning with my hands the wrong way?" No. You're not. As long as you're getting yarn you are happy with and your hands are comfy in whatever positions you put them in (heh, heh) you are doing it just fine.

If you have your wheel adjusted just right, with the right ratio and adjusting the takeup so it pulls in at the right rate, you don't even need to hold the yarn while plying, you can just treadle and use that free hand to hold your drink. Wheeeeeee!

It's good to stop and check your twist every now and then, whether you're holding the plies or not, just to be sure you've put in the right amount of twist and the yarn is balanced. I have a tendency to tweak and tweak the adjustments on my wheel and treadle like mad, and occasionally have to pull sections back out to add more twist or let the twist run up more because I got a lil carried away.


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