Sunday, September 20, 2009

September Challenge

AbbyBatt - Fairy Farts
We're back with another months' spinning. I'll have to admit I've snuck this in under quite a few headings with some creative designation. First, this was my "vacation spinning". I spent two weeks with my family "back home" and we limited how much we were bringing along by quite a bit. This wasn't a huge hardship (and avoided that nasty checked-bag-fee) but it did mean that I was extremely selective as to what exactly I brought along. I brought my sock knitting, and one small spinning project--an AbbyBatt (created by Abby Franquemont) called "Fairy Farts". Second, I spun this up under the heading of "Fleece to the Finish", an effort on the "Friends of Abby Franquemont" group on Ravelry to support each other in getting a fleece finished. Of course, I wasn't about to pack a fleece in my luggage. So this worked. And last, but not least, this is my September entry in the Spindler's Challenge.

The batt was silk, wool, and angelina (a synthetic sparkle) and it lived up to its name. It also fit the spindler's challenge for this month of "Night Sky". Of course the first thing that comes to mind is blue-black fiber with silver spangles; that's certainly the sky I remember from camping out in my childhood. But there are plenty of other amazing night skies. This AbbyBatt in particular, brings to mind the low-bellied clouds of summer thunderstorms, pressing in so tight that they reflect the street lights bright enough to seem like day.

I really loved getting to spin this up at home. I like talking about spinning, and I like sharing it with just about anyone that will listen. I also think it's pretty funny to spin outside and let my kids (or my niece and nephew) chase the spindle around, although I can get pretty dizzy keeping ahead of them! I spun on my Bosworth Midi (22g) which is a great travel spindle. Made of Cherry wood and birch, it's sturdy. Bosworth hooks are rock solid and a challenge to bend out of shape. I wasn't worried about packing it in with everything else, or even loosing my race to the kids. They really couldn't do much to it unless I gave them plenty of chance to try. In addition it has great balance (nary a wobble) and I can work it through a nice range of speeds for creating most yarn I like to spin.

Over the course of two weeks I slipped in enough spinning time to finish the one-ounce batt I brought with me, completing the last of it on my final day in town. At home I was able to wind off, measure things out and determine that while I love 3-ply yarn, it was only going to get me about 110 yards. 2-ply would be closer to 180, and likely between lace and fingering weight. I debated and paged through Ravelry quite a bit, trying to decide if I should use it as an accent in another project or on its own, and happened across a pattern for fingerless mitts that suggested 175 yards of yarn.

So there we have it, I went ahead and created 175 yards of lovely 2-ply yarn that will be just about perfect for a pair of fingerless mitts. I can't wait to get knitting!

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