up to mischief, as usual

Spindlewood custom redwood burl spindle; hand-blended batt by Nada Jones. Sam the TapeMeasure by Yes.I.Named.My.TapeMeasure.Sam. Squirrel courtesy of my weird twisted mind.

This post is for Renee, who wrote me such a lovely note last week…I need reminders like that one every now and then! Thanks, Renee.

Up to lots of good

There has been life on Planet Sandi. The sun is shining here in Ontario, and the first day that I had free to go sit out on my porch and spin was glorious…until the workmen from the landlord showed up a week early and proceeded to power-wash and paint the front porch AND the back deck.

However, one can still spin indoors, and that’s what I did. I’ve been working on spinning up the batts I made out of my Birthday Shetland Lamb Fleece, the one that Lynn gave me. (The first part of the story, with photos of the fleece and the first batts, is here.)

I ended up with 117 grams of the Expresso Batts (dark), 224 grams of the Cappucino Batts (medium) and 340 grams of Milky Oatmeal (light); 681 grams in all.

Here’s a small bit of an Expresso Batt.

Expresso Batt and plying ball:

I wanted to spin a yarn very different from my standard thin, shiny, firm, embroidery floss sort of yarn. I wanted thick and bouncy and fluffy…which meant I had to figure out how to adjust both my wheel and my habits for this floofy sort of yarn.

Cappucino Batts:

I switched whorls, I adjusted my treadling, I tightened the drive band, I did this and that. I learned a TONNE about my wheel in the process, and I loved every minute of it.

Milky Oatmeal batts:

At this point, I have one 2-ply skein of each colour:

I just love this yarn. I would spin another Shetland fleece in a heartbeat. Fortunately, I have at least half of this one left to spin and ply.

Milky Oatmeal plying ball:

Vest? I think maybe a vest. For me. Gradual colour shifts, light at the top, dark at the hem.

I’ve been trying lots of fun things, allowing myself to play more than usual. For example, I got this lovely sample in my goodie bag at Stringtopia:

It’s hand-dyed by The Painted Tiger. (Do not click on that link if you have money troubles and also love colour gradients…just a friendly warning. AWESOME colours!) It was only a wee sample, but it was enough for me to use as an experiment in how to spin a gradient. I chose to spin it all, from one end to the other, across the width, so that the singles came out as nearly equal lengths of each colour. Then…well, what to do next? If I plied it back on itself, it would make Unicorn Farts Barf, and while Unicorn Farts Barf can be really fun in some cases, I wanted to keep the rainbow effect.

I looked around for something to ply it with, and realized (ta-DA) that I had a few yards of silk singles left over from the Karmic Sewing Thread. So, I plied the rainbow singles with the royal blue silk singles…and I really love the results.

It’s funny how folks always ask you “What are you going to do with that?” when you show them some pretty handspun yarn. In this case, there’s only 55 yards of it, so truly, the answer to That Question is: I’m going to hang it on the wall and occasionally take it down and unwind it, and wind it up again, and rub my face in it, and then put it in my pocket and touch it until it’s time to hang it up again.

And you thought all of us spinners were rolling in gorgeous handknits made out of our very own handspun yarn…heh. Nope. We’re all just rubbing our faces in the skeins, carrying balls of it around in bags and pockets, fondling and fondling and fondling the lovely pretties that we made with our very own hands.

Handspun yarn, you see, doesn’t need to become anything else. It already IS. And what it is is sufficient unto itself. It is whole, it is complete; it is beautiful, it brings joy and good things into the world.

In the end, what more could anyone want anything to be?


I…I…well…there’s this guy…and he has a dinosaur outfit…and oh I can’t. I just can’t even begin to describe this. Just go here.

One for the Geeks And Legos category: Firefly’s SERENITY ship has been made into a Lego kit. It’s not clear to me if one can actually buy these yet. But the story of how it came about is wonderful.

A crocheted turtle cover. Just what it says, folks.

Thought-provoking snippet.  Really, I can’t say more or fire will start coming out of my nose.

Hair styles for the hipster alpaca. About a thousand folks must have sent me this one. How can alpacas be so cute and so funny-looking at the same moment?

We need a cute animal pic, don’t we….hmmmmm….well. I don’t have baby animals, but I do have unusual photos of unusual animals, how about that? Start here, then go here, and maybe look at this, and don’t miss the series on Ramen Noodle. Superb photography with a heart for animals.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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14 Responses to up to mischief, as usual

  1. Tamara says:

    Re: beautiful plied rainbow yarn–yes, it is. and that’s all it needs to be.

    re: thought-provoking snippet–it’s almost torches and pitchforks times, my friends!

    Re: Firefly/Serenity legos–I love and would want the lego people–but I think they need to give more thought to River–she looks too bland. It also looks like it’s not ever going to be a true LEGO kit, but the guy who’s doing all the work is going to send out instructions for people who want to make their own.


  2. Suze says:

    Oooh, I thought I was the only person who fondled her stash. I finally decided that is really the reason I buy anything, be it yarn, fabric or books. I just want to look and touch and touch and look somemore. I don’t really want to make anything!


  3. teabird says:

    I’m with Tamara: torches and pitchforks.
    I love, love, love the rainbow skeinlet.


  4. InJuneau says:

    Yes, yarn as a valid end product. I have problems convincing people of that.

    Thank you!


  5. Naomi says:

    I disagree. I don’t think of yarn as a finished object, not really. It’s a good stopping point, and it doesn’t have to immediately become something else, but it’s not a Thing as “just” yarn unless I declare it to be String For Tying Things or something like that.

    (This does not mean I think your handspun isn’t lovely as a not-finished Thing, because it is. Especially those Shetland batt yarns.)


  6. Sharon Calvert says:

    Oh, Sandi, it’s all so beautiful! I love the rainbow yarn, though.


  7. molly says:

    tamara and teabird: count me in…
    all that aside – such beautiful yarn! and yes, it could be a finished object if you wanted it to be, and yes, it could be a good stopping point, and yes, it could be the basis of something wonderful! and isn’t that why we love fibre? it is complete and lovely at every stage…


  8. molly says:

    sheesh – you think i could spell my own name –
    let’s try again –


  9. I didn’t realize the blue silk you had mentioned was from the geese. I feel super special now! It turned out so pretty, and I think I’d just pet it, too…..or weave a little bag front out of it. Also, the dinosaur thing? Crazypants!


  10. Bonnie Craig says:

    I feel that even store-bought yarn doesn’t have to be made into anything else. Some skeins are art. They sit on my bookcase, they drape themselves lovingly out of bowls, they travel in my bag so I can pet them. If I had made that beautiful handspun, I would do exactly as you’re doing! Good work.


  11. Pat says:

    The yarns are beautiful! and soo tempting. (I have too many hobbies & stuff! I cannot add another one. I feel that if I keep telling myself that it will at least stall) It was so good to see your post! I kept reminding myself that bloggers who are not writing are living their life, but your comments and insights were missed. I pray that some of the rough spots are smoother and that you are well.


  12. Jerri says:

    Thank you for the alpaca hair style show. It made my day!


  13. Natalie says:

    Lovely Shetland yarn! And yes, it’s totally normal to have handspun to fondle. I recently spun up a small sample because it was shiny and pretty. It’s not enough to do something with, but it’s lovely to look at.


  14. ikkinlala says:

    I love your Shetland yarn!


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