TdF Day 7: Rolling more-or-less merrily along

Continuing the Saga of the Sweater Batts

Once I spun up a three-ply sample from the Romney batts, I started having serious doubts. I wore the sample around my arm for a while, so I could see how we got along together.

As it turns out, we didn’t hit it off. (Elbows don’t lie.) And after reading your comments on your experiences with Romney, I realized: Time to let go and start over.


This, of course, meant turning the house upside down and tossing the stash yet again. (My poor stash. At least I can verify that there are no m-ths in it.) (Note to non-knitting friends: We do not speak the name of the winged enemy. Ever.)

I finally decided that a certain stash item had aged sufficiently so that it was now usable.

This is BFL/Silk,  from SOAR 2009.

I had spun a sample of this previously, so I knew it was silky and soft and absolutely perfect. But I still gave it the arm test, just to be sure.

It TOTALLY passed the elbow test. This yarn and I were meant to be together.

For some reason, at this point I always feel like I’m donning gear to become Xena, Warrior Princess and Defender of The Drumcarder.

Next question: Do I have enough?

I am positive that I bought four 8-oz bumps of this, and possibly five. However, the Great Stash Toss of Ought Twelve resulted in the uncovering of only three bumps. (Perhaps the Fae took the rest to make mischief. Mischief managed, I’d say.) Three bumps is 1.5 lbs, or roughly 700 g. That might be enough for a small person sweater, but not for a Sandi Sweater.

I managed to find more brown BFL, some ivory BFL, and some white silk, totaling about 7 oz. I blended a couple sample batts to see if I could get something in the ballpark of the original shade…with a bit of pink added because everything is better with pink. The roving at left is the original; my carded batt is on the right.

Definitely in the same corner of the ballpark. And see what I mean about the pink? I love having just a hint of colour in my neutrals.

In marathon carding sessions over two days, I blended the whole 7-oz-plus-pink into small batts. I then divided the new stuff evenly amongst the original bumps, and batted up a couple of Final Version batts.

The tiny batt in the center is the original. The ones on either side are my mixtures.

Very close. VEEERRRRYYYYYY very close. High five!

Buddy says that he would high five me if he could balance on two legs, but he can’t. He hopes this does not affect the receiving of his new fave treat promptly at Treat Time of the Day.

Now, there will be more carding until all the batts are in the belfry, and then I need to spin like a crazy person to finish up by the end of the TdF. I’m running behind near the back of the pack, but I plan on spinning this long draw from the fold, so it will spin up quickly. (Bad news: Three-ply. Good news: The zombies will not arise and bring forth world-wide devastation if I don’t finish on time.)

Good times, good times

I’m so glad I listened to that little nagging voice of doubt about the green batts. I could have talked myself into continuing, but I would have been unhappy with the results. Still: There’s that dreadful moment, the one where you realize you really do have to let go of all the work you’ve done so far, in order to start over. Since we are natural bean counters, we little sapiens, we all stop at this point and add up the hours we have already put into the project, hours we now must admit have only led us back to the beginning again.

I don’t call them “wasted” hours. After all, this is supposed to be enjoyable–fun even! Whenever I have to rip back my knitting, I always try to say to myself: “Yay! I just made more knitting to do!” There may be a tad bit of sarcasm in there, but it’s true. Starting over means you get to do more of the thing you like doing. Usually for me, it also means that the second attempt will move along more quickly (all that practice in the first go-around!), and end with a deeper sense of satisfaction somehow. I think that having a do-over makes me even more proud of the end result, when I finally get an end result. I got that fab end result, not by following some recipe, but through working out the problems for myself, being creative and smart and clever and resourceful.

Now THAT’s fun.

I Swear I’m Not Batty All The Time

I am doing other things in the midst of this fibre frenzy. Really I am. Tiara building, pattern wrangling, other writing, and, of course, knitting.

Oh, and filling out paperwork for the permanent resident card. That stuff is FUN. (not) As follows:

  • Write down every address and phone number you’ve had since you were 18.
  • Write down every organization, association, or club you’ve belonged to since then.
  • Get marriage certificates, divorce certificates, whatever paperwork you can possibly think of, and copy the information in the little boxes on the forms before you send the certificates and the forms to the government. (This only makes twice as much work and uses twice as much paper for everyone. Why? Why do they do this? Some information they ask for on three separate forms, same stuff. Dudes! Government Peoples: Wasteful much.)

Last but not least, I made a fun batt for a young friend:

It’s several shades of pink (I know, you couldn’t tell from the photo, could you?), a few shots of purple, plus some secret surprise colours on the inside from snips of silk. That, plus a spindle for her and a spindle for her mom, was dispatched just today, so we’ll see what The Amazzzzzing Ms. Z thinks of it soon enough.


Need a kitten cam? How about a seven kittens kitten cam? Sure you do. (Thanks to JJ for the link!) And here’s a Siamese kitten nursery cam. You’re welcome.

It takes 50,000 Gummy bears to make an evening gown, just in case you were wondering.

This blogger. She’s good. I find her writing to be a  breath of fresh air in a very emotional and distorted debate.

Did you know that there will be giant crocheted lions at the Olympics? Yup. True Facts.

Speaking of turning the house upside down

And last but never least: We all need a calming manatee now and then.

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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8 Responses to TdF Day 7: Rolling more-or-less merrily along

  1. Sybil J says:

    Sandi, it is good to hear an expert talk about ripping out work already done. I was down in the dumps about wasted hours of knitting I had done. You helped me see that “time” in a new light, thanks.


  2. Carol Ann Burden says:

    What wonderfully beautiful yarns are going to make their way into your life, congratulations!! BTW have you ever seen anyone who needs a gummy bear or two more than that poor model with 220 pounds of dress hanging off her emaciated body?


  3. molly says:

    sagging – the model was definitely sagging from the weight of the bears…poor child….the batts are beautiful! and hooray for you for switching horses in mid-stream – sometimes it’s the only logical thing to do….(not easy, mind you, but logical!). hooray for you!


  4. Tamara says:

    I got my Silver-stranded Yarn today!!!! I wish there was a way to post pics (I’ll send them to you) and all my pretty chotzkes! Thank you!!!

    The first batt on the left looks like cousin Itt; the last pink batt looks like Doris Day. Now you can’t see anything else, can you?

    I looked in on the kittens when they were still asleep, and so left them, and suddenly there were these weird noises coming from my computer–and there they were! Sooooo adorable.

    Love the Fat blogger. I belong to a cookbook club and teh book we just cooked from was entitled Fat. Bring it on. I bought some beef suet, and added it to some hamburger, and suddenly, the hamburger smelled (and tasted) like hamburger from my childhood–like food! People really know so little about nutrition, it’s best just to listen to your own body.

    And thanks so much for the manatees–I didn’t know I needed them until I saw them. ❤


  5. agujasblog says:

    You were absolutely right about the touch of pink. Looks great!


  6. Natalie says:

    The new stuff is lovely and the makeup of the batts sounds perfect. And no, you don’t have to finish it all during the TdF, although I’d completely bow down and be impressed if you did.

    My only problem with all this was that I was hoping to come back and you’d have figured out the best thing to do with my already-spun-up Romney, saving me time & thought. No such luck. It’s in my handspun bin and one day it’ll meet its destiny.


  7. Sharon says:

    Hi Sandi. Another great post. Enjoyed reading it. And I loved the Siamese kittens being born. Been there, done that!


  8. Arla says:

    All I have to say is you rock!!! many blessings to you!!!


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