Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giving New Life to Some Old Fiber

So, a couple of weeks ago, my friends Denise, Channyn, Linda and I got together. And we had a plan. We planned to do the thing that every fiber hoarder secretly hopes will happen at least once in her life. Yes, friends, we organized the stash. Note that this was Denise and Channyn's stash, and it is only a subset of the various stashes of which they have been hoarding. We organized the yarn, and just the yarn. While we did take the time to co-locate the bins of roving and fleece, our mission on this particular evening was to organize the yarn. And, as it turns out, you can learn a lot about of person if you touch every skein of yarn they own.

Denise had conditions for our effort. "I want the yarn organized by weight, and I want it grouped into clear plastic bins." Personally, I wouldn't have gone with clear plastic, but by the time we got through the project, it became clear why that would be an important criteria. You need to be able to see what you've got when you have multiple craft collections, after all. Also, Denise wanted each skein labelled. And she wanted each bin labelled. And she wanted each skein lovingly photographed so that she could load it all up on Ravelry. 

Oh goodness gracious. I'll cue you in on something - Linda and I had to stay overnight, because there was that much yarn. And I fell asleep at least once the next day while sorting through the yarn because there was that much yarn. And we sorted everything - even a drawer full of cast off leftover yarn scraps from previous projects.

We also had a donate pile, because somehow commercial acrylic yarn had leaked into the stash, and these girls do not use commercial acrylic yarn. 

Also, Linda and I wandered off with some yarn. So here are two examples of the yarn that I took. First, there was the Zain yarn. The Zain yarn came with a story. Denise's son Zain wanted to knit his girlfriend a gift, so he went through the yarn collection and picked out some yarn. Unfortunately, it turned out that this was not yarn, it was pencil roving. Pencil roving looks like yarn, but really, it is roving that has been pre-drafted but hasn't been spun yet. This must have caused some consternation. So I volunteered to take the roving, which I think was 15 or 20 years old, and spin it into yarn. And from there it seemed like the nice thing to do would be to knit something out of the yarn. 

So here's what got knit for Zain and his girlfriend: Two hats, one cowl, and one scarf. 

I love the scarf the most. I learned how to knit a cable this week, so if you look closely at the lighter blue green section on the right you can see my cabling. 

Channyn taught me how to block this week, so here's what the whole scarf looks like:

Next we have what I like to call "Channyn's Twine." The story on this was that Channyn had bought some fiber when she first learned to spin and she made up some yarn, but she didn't like the yarn because she said it was too rough. I swore that it was not rough, and Channyn said that if I would wear it on my head for an hour, then I could have the yarn. 

Go ahead, give me a challenge. I wore it for an hour. Please forgive my bald head. I've just finished chemo so I don't actually have much hair just now. Look at how nice and thin Channyn spun that yarn - and it was some of her first yarn! It took me a solid year to get to spinning thin like that, maybe longer.

So anyway, I took the yarn home and contemplated how to cure it. I considered plying it with a softer yarn, but that would be a disservice to the softer yarn. I finally ended up plying it with itself, resulting in the very lovely yarn below, with the nasty twine-like texture of a scratchy wool. If anyone can think of a way to use this, let me know. For now, it is on a shelf, making me itch just thinking about it.

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