Posted by: mick | July 8, 2011

spinning therapy

The process of buying our house went very quickly at first, but then it hit several bumps that made it incredibly drawn out and stressful.  In the midst of all that stress, I decided to do a bit of spinning, and it really calmed my nerves.

The first batch was some border leicester that, if I’m being honest, I kind of hate.  I got this from a local farm vendor, and the prep was just terrible; it was still full of lanolin, to the point that the fiber felt sticky.  I couldn’t get it to do anything other than a thick and thin single, so I navajo plied that for about 90 yards of bulky yarn.  Love the colors, but this will probably never get knitted up.

After that experience, my nerves weren’t really any less jangled, so I decided to dive into some of my favorite fiber from the Knit Witch club J got me a few years ago for Christmas, a 50/50 SW Merino/Tencel blend.  These colors really sang, and I’d been holding off on spinning it until the time was right.

I tried my hand at fractal stripes thusly: split the fiber in half, right in the middle of the length, so I had two equal halves.  Then, I spun one half as is, so I got nice, long repeats.  Then, I split the second half into half lengthwise, so the repeats fall in the same order, but are much shorter.

I tried for a fingering weight, and that’s exactly what I got, about 420 yards of it.  And, oh, it’s the best yarn I’ve spun yet.  I took my time, really concentrating on getting my singles even, and it paid off.  This yarn is by no means perfect, but I am obsessed with it.  When the house deal finally went through, and we were packing away, I left the yarn on a shelf and petted it whenever I walked by.  My precious.



  1. Ummmm, WOW! Now I need to go into a quiet space and repeat to myself, “I will not take up spinning. I will not take up spinning.”

    How are you enjoying home ownership? Hope you are having fun with decorating!

  2. That last skein looks really, really good–congrats! Can’t wait to hear more about the house, and sweet Toby!!!

  3. That is some beautiful yarn! And to commenter Lisa, DOOOOO IT! I was resistant to spinning for years because I “didn’t need another hobby.” But there is something about spinning that is so unlike knitting. It is fulfilling in a whole different way.

    And I will have to try this fractal technique!

  4. Lovely yarn, Mick! I love the fractal technique. I sort of tried this once, and I think it’s something I will have to try again. Hope homeownership and your new adventures are treating you well! 🙂

  5. GORGEOUS work. amazing how spinning calms me. (note to self: get out my wheel!) so are you in the new home now?

  6. That yarn is so pretty! I hope having it nearby made the move go that much more smoothly.

  7. The merino/tencel blend is just gorgeous!!! I’m going to try the fractal stripes method you used and see how it comes out. Thanks for sharing.

  8. […]  I finished this yarn when we were in the process of buying our house and preparing for the move, and I’m suprised […]

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