It’s taken me two weeks to get far enough down the to do list to feel happy about frittering my time away sitting and carding wool even though “make batts for shop” was actually on the list (and still is on the list because I haven’t done it. Yet). For anyone who is taking notes, I have a new drum carder. It’s more than a couple of weeks old now but I’ve not been counting it as mine until I’d sold the other one. I was for a brief period a two-carder household but the Ashford is now in its new home where I hope it will be busy and happy. The big advantage of the new one is that the handle doesn’t extend beyond the base which means that I can plonk it in the middle of the table and sit down. At the moment my once-dodgy knee is behaving itself because I’ve given up sandals in favour of sensible lace up supportive shoes and so I have no trouble standing to card. There have been times recently when standing has not been an option and that’s when I made the decision to change carders. This is a Jumbo Classic carder and my Etsy shop has bought it for me. Wasn’t that nice of it? I suspect that Santa will be bringing me the smoothing brush for it in due course (get your heads together dear family members because two would be one too many).
One of the things on my to do list is “tidy wool heap” and that’s still there because I haven’t done it. Yet. This yarn helped a bit in that it moved two things out of the wool heap and into the yarn bins by way of the carder and the wheel. Back in February 2011 I knitted two baby blankets from handspun superwash bfl, one was turquoise and the other slightly greener. I’d dyed three batches of fibre but one was a reject because the colour just kept on running. I know turquoise does do that but this just ran and ran. I decided that I’d dye more for the baby blankets, I’d keep the runny batch for me and either wash the yarn until it ran clear or heat it with acid to try to set the dye. Months passed and for reasons that are lost in time I decided to card the runny turquoise with some jade silk. The batts have sat in a bag ever since and when I dusted off the wheel I decided that they would be the first thing to go through it, if for no other reason than it took a bag off the floor. Also in the wool heap was a 40g length of superwash merino and shiny nylon that I’d dyed an apple green so I tidied that through the carder with the bfl/silk batts. I really enjoyed spinning it, I haven’t sat and spun in months, not since I suspected it of causing my dodgy knee (it turned out that the cause was spending the day barefoot rather than spending the day spinning). The funny thing was that when I came to finish the yarn I was expecting the water to flood with blue and it didn’t. I know that I kept this wool because it ran so I can’t explain how it is that the rinse water was crystal clear.
I did flag a bit once the sleeves were joined in, the rows seemed very long and there was a lot of knitting before the first decrease row of the yoke. Now that I’m decreasing merrily towards the neck I’m enjoying this again. I haven’t decided whether this is going to have a collar or not but I can think about that when I get there. I also haven’t decided whether I’m going to use the leftover light yarn together with the bfl/merino/silk/nylon I just made, I think it needs a touch more green in it to work well. I’m not convinced that I want to make another of these, half of the stitches are increases or decreases and there’s not enough meditative (“plodding along”) knitting for me. I would have been happier knitting simple stockinette stripes but then it wouldn’t have looked like I imagined it. If you want to make your stripes bend then you have to work at it, you can’t have plain knitting and chevrons too.