Friday, February 6, 2009

I have plied (or plyed) Yarn! And it looks KNIT-ABLE!!!

First of all, I don't know if anyone else has this much trouble positioning photos in their blogs, but I can place my curser somewhere and the photo goes at the top anyway. Well, fine, I can move it later. Except half the time I get one-letter wraparounds so you have to
one letter at a time.

I KNOW there's a "preview" button, but it doesn't show things anywhere near the way they lay out once you hit "Publish." And then there's this other thing that happens. After I bring in a photo or a few, suddenly the software throws a bunch of hard returns after each paragraph, even paragraphs where no photos have been. I delete all those in the edit box, and then the photo moves. Each new photo? A bunch of totally unwanted returns. This is the screwiest software I've ever seen, and I even have a website on NetSol, which is another do-it-yourself publishing setup with the expected limitations. But this one? Totally unpredictable insanity.

Okay, done with that rant. Except I'm not done with the photos yet and I'm removing no less than 38 returns between each two paragraphs. Really!!

Picking up where I left off, I plied up the rest of the two singles where I had the big fat wad and a smaller one on paper towel holders. I went as far as the smaller one lasted, then decided to treat the remainder on the fat paper towel holder as a separate skein and deal with it later. I gotta get a plying spindle (loooong shaft) and would even consider a CD/dowel spindle for that. Anyway, I got quite a bit onto the niddy noddy (LOVE that niddy noddy!). Then washed (and rinsed even though it says not to -- there were freaking bubbles in the yarn that made noise when you squeezed it and that just didn't seem right). And salad-spinnered it. And wrapped it in a bath towel, and whacked it about 5 times on each side.

The whacking is fun, except it makes me really sad. The first time I whacked yarn, Bella Dog who I've decided is way more Pitbull than Boxer and can look reeeeally vicious when some delivery person comes... when I whacked once, and onto the floor no less, she immediately stuck her tail between her legs, put her head down and ran out of the room. She did it in a way a dog would do it if a dog had been hit. Or beaten. I have no idea what happened to her before I got her at the Rescue. She's somewhere between 3 and 5 years old and from time to time I see telltale signs that make me think somebody's hit her and she knows what that is. In any event, someone has punished this dog, because when I come home if she's made a mess somewhere or gotten into something, I know it before I even get the keys out of the door. She looks absolutely guilt-ridden, won't make eye contact (except to steal glances at me to evaluate how bad this might be) and sometimes even hides. It's really sad to see. I know someone has been really strict with this dog, and I think I'm putting it very mildly. So while I hate that, if she HAS done something bad, when I discover it, here's what I do. I make full-on eye contact with her (in dog language, that's a challenge/confrontation). My expression is angry and disappointed (it's been proven that domesticated dogs read human facial expressions... their living depends on knowing what we're thinking). And I raise my arm straight out and point at her. Total silence. Just the glare, the expression, and that intimidating point with the whole arm and the finger stretched out as far as I can get it. (Hey, I gotta do something, otherwise she'll keep doing the bad things.) Oh, she knows. She knows that I'm not at all happy with her. But that's all it takes. She winces as though I've just hit her. It's sad, but I'm glad she's that sensitive.
Anyway, living with a dog 24 hours a day, you learn to communicate on big and little things, and I kept telling her it's okay AS I was doing the whacking. She finally got the idea I wasn't going after her even though I sure as shit was a human whacking... something! At which point she started thinking it was a game she should join into, I almost think like prison mentality. "Play with them and they won't single you out." And she somehow decided there for one session that the game is who could make the most noise. I'd whack, and she'd slam her big heavy solid rubber livestock grain feeder bowl against the cabinet door, then look at me to see if that was a good thing. I'd whack again, she'd slam it again. Then later, she decided it wasn't the game, but there was SOME game inherent in all this, so it became easier to bark every time I whacked. Omigod, think of what THAT would sound like to a neighbor! Whack! (Hysterical shrill bark). Whaack! (Hysterical shrill bark).

Anyway, I know what's coming next, I can feel it. She's shown signs that she might be thinking that towel is a tug toy. I just know these things. Hmmm. Maybe I oughta whack her just once with it.

So I hung the whacked skein onto the hook and OMIGOD!! It was a PERFECTLY balanced skein. Not even a hint of a turn in the skein! I was shocked. I did NOT take photos of that skein, darn it. I may never see a balanced skein again. But it was one fat, nice, hunk-o-yarn, I'll tell ya. I really loved the way it felt. I thought this would be super scratchy yarn, but I'm starting to think maybe not.

Anyway, I took the skein (photo-less) and looped it over the back of my camp chair, and wound it into a ball. Except hey! (reeeeally cagey smirk)... I found THE perfect Nostepinne! I mean, it's even a better nostepinne than what I could buy for God-Knows-How-Much-Ridiculous-Amount-Of-Money-That-Could-Go-Toward-FIBERRRRRR!!!! It is such a fantastic, kickass Nostepinne! Lookie!!!

This is a Hoof Dressing Brush I bought from Dodge Feed & Grain for $3.79. (It's for painting a horse's hoof with medications.)
I mean take a looka dat handle!

5/8ths inch diameter at the top, about 10/8ths at the bottom near the brush metal, and 7 inches long, all smooth wood, from the tip of the handle to the metal brush encasing.
$3.79 !
Well, I now know what and how a Nostepinne works, and this shape just could not be better, period!
So here it is again in action. I don't know how it'll be for a thin yarn, but it sure is great for a fat yarn. And the brush makes a pretty good hold-onto part.

And that's one fat ball of fat yarn, too. I held my breath as I pulled it off but it LQQKS like it's going to stay put! I tucked the outside end in among strands, and pulled out what appeared to be "the" center strand. Hah! Either it's a fake-out strand that stood out from all the rest and looked like it was "the" center strand OR it really is, but just way long. But I'm gonna have to use it, I've pulled too much out, and can't find any other strand that looks like it could be "the" center pull strand. Even if it means yet another knot (not). I mean weave-in. I'm going to cut all those knots out because I do know how to switch to a new thread without a knot.

Okay, so having learned, I did take pictures of the smaller skein, which was the remainder of the fat wad on the right-sided paper towel tube after I exhausted the small wad. So here's the yarn.

And another photo that shows the worst of it, meaning just how fat the fat parts are in some places vs. how skinny the skinny parts are.
Aw, shit. I forgot the obligatory penny stuck under a wrap. That always gives a pretty good feel for how thick what you're looking at is. Anyway, the yarn ranges, best I can tell, from about 9wpi to about 4wpi. I'm calling it an average of 7wpi because a lot of it is in that range. That is, unless I see a pattern I love that's another wpi, in which case I'll call it that. But that's what I've got. A whole range of wpi to choose from calling it.
And finally, a close-up (sorta) of my Niddy Noddy so you can see the wood.
Lookie dat patina! I love the way Kromski does stuff.

And for Vicki, Peggy or anyone else who doesn't mess with this stuff, this is what a Niddy Noddy is for. This one makes a 2-yard-long skein. Note that two of the ends of the cross pieces have a non-bump side and two have the bump on the end. The non-bump sides are so you can slide the skein off, even though it's under tension. Such an ingenious invention, this...
So now what to MAKE with the yarn? All told, I have approx. 184 yards. Out of 8 ounces. And that includes the trial ounce Jenny showed me how to ply with. That's everything except what I think will end up to be another 2 yards, once plied. (The part I had to cut off when I tried plying center and outside pulls direct from the paper towel holder, bah.) So it's just a fat yarn. I did find one scarf pattern that's a no-brainer and said it was great for "showing off" thick/thin yarn. Well, if you have this degree of thick/thin, I guess showing it off is probably reverse psychology, and sounds good. Except that pattern "as is" would not tolerate the number of knots (weave-ins) I will have, so I'm thinking of combining it with another pattern and I guess you'd call that "designing" a scarf. Actually, I call it "finding a way to get that stitch into the scarf without dealing with the knots" which would be really hard with the pattern as is.
So once I figure that out, sho 'nuff, I'm gonna do another post because this is a fun time for me, learning something so totally new. It's a work in progress, all of it.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Ohhhhh that is BEAUTIFUL!!! I am so ridiculously impressed with your yarn and your abilities. My first skeins SUCKED compared to yours.

I'm about to die I'm so tired so I'm going to close the GD LAPTOP and go HOME, but i'll talk to you later.

That story about Bella makes me sad, but also makes me happy that she's found you, who would never do anything to hurt her.