I don’t suppose you saw the Belmont Stakes, held just outside of Brooklyn. We looked for Jenny, Marie, and Heidi but didn’t spot them, but we did spot a missed investment opportunity. Two dollars would have won you $8,268 if you picked the trifecta.
I did not have two dollars down. But I did have a trifecta of a weekend. Knittin’, spinnin, and gardenin’.
I know summer will get here in earnest eventually, so I am committed to making this the year that I finish Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, the little cotton tank I started 2 years ago. In fact, when I pulled it out of its project bag I found I had finished both the front and back as written in the pattern. I had to admit, however, that a woman of your age should not wear a tank cut off at the natural waist - which was what I was looking at.
You know what I’m going to do next, don’t you? Yep - hack into my knitting and add length. I threaded the needle through the last row before the edging, clipped the yarn in the edging and unwove it, and ta-da! ready to knit downwards. The only dicey bits were at the side seams where I had to be sure that I caught all the stitches as I removed the edging in the seam (don’t ask me why I knit this in pieces instead of tubular to begin with - or why Rowan wrote the pattern to be knit in pieces to begin with).
I almost started doing a jogless stripe in the round, but I decided I didn’t want even the subtle diagonal across the piece. My side seams were messy enough - a few jogs weren’t going to make a difference. This may end up being a favorite piece as I personally love the colors, but it ain’t gonna be a state fair entry, that is for sure!
Saturday was garden day, and some friends visited to admire the pac choi, beans, potatoes, and peonies. How do you like that mulch? (And how is that for a segue to Sunday’s topic, spinning?)
Here we have two more rare breeds - Dorset Horn and English Leicester. The Dorset Horn was the fiber that combed up so nicely several posts ago. It’s spinning was equally notable - it was like spinning a stretchy sponge, not a bunch of separate fibers. Very enjoyable, and very springy and cushy. There is some discoloration in this sample, what they call Canary Yellow. I’ve read that this occurs when there has been high temps and wet sheep, though I’m not sure about that. What I am sure about is that it doesn’t wash out. Over-dyeing is one option. This 3-ply woolen spun sample may experience just that.
The English Leicester should get everyone’s juices flowing. This sheep is one of the genetic bases for so many of our beloved fibers, even for those of you who are using yarns others have prepared. Can you say Blue Faced Leicester? Polwarth? Wensleydale? Yes, we owe a lot to this sheep. I spun this worsted - 3 different colors, implying 3 different sheep. And yes, they varied from sheep to sheep. All were long in staple and lustrous, but that middle color, the taupey one, so silky and smooth. I did a marled 3-ply for fun, but when I ran out of the taupe and continued with a 2-ply, that is when I sat up and took notice. That little sample in the middle of the picture is the 2-ply, and the hand of that yarn just shouts lace. I have some more of all of the colors and this is what is going to happen to them - 2-ply for lace working from solid brown, to brown/taupe, to solid taupe, to taupe/cream, to solid cream. Then we’ll see what gets knit from it!
On the wheel right now - Jacob. These are the pintos of the sheep world, often tri-color, and often with extra sets of horns, too. I’m doing a marled yarn here, too, but this time just a 2-ply. The grey I’m working with is more brown-gray. It has been lovely to spin, just flowing out from the roving. I occasionally pluck a bit of kemp from the fiber. It’s easy to spot - looks like a bit of plastic scrap in the roving, it is that thick. See the bit in the sample in the picture? At one time I was intimidated by fibers that said “may contain kemp”, but this rare breed spinning has cured me of that and is building lots of new skills.
Tomorrow I’ll rely on old skills - negotiating security lines at the airport as I head to North Carolina for a university visit. I hope your current trip is not taxing your skills overmuch.