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too much twist

One of my favorite Beatrix Potter tales growing up was The Tailor of Gloucester, a story about some mice who help a tailor during the night. They finish everything but one button-hole, so they leave a note that says “no more twist.” I’m not even sure what they meant by twist (anyone know? was it thread?), but I found out the hard way that the opposite can definitely happen with a drop spindle. I was feeling much more confident after my first attempt with my handspun yarn… I guess a little too confident… assuming I was only going to get better from here on out, so I started going faster, moving on from the “park and draft” method to actually letting my drop spindle do it’s “drop spinning.” It was exhilarating, so I was being much less careful, and I guess I also wasn’t taking as much time to make sure my drafting thickness was even. Along the way, I started seeing these little kinks at the thinner yarn, but I assumed they would work themselves out in the end… not so. Once they were plied together, they were there to stay. I was very bummed, and had to keep telling myself that I got this roving for free, I’m still learning, etc… but I decided to make it up into a cowl anyway to see how it knits overall. It’s pretty fun to use these size 15 needles for the first time.

hand spun yarn with too much twist

I knew I had to redeem myself quickly before I gave up spinning entirely, so I started on a little bit of much thinner yarn, and spent more time making sure there were no kinks, and that the ply was more even. I’m much happier with the results… it looks much better, and it’s a fairly even dk weight… so I’m back to being excited about spinning again.

handspun drop spindle dk yarn

I also took a break during my spinning attempts to make this little hedgehog (free pattern by Amy Gaines… the same designer as the penguin) for Mae’s friend’s birthday gift. She wanted to give her a pet (of course), but I told her that wasn’t the best gift coming from a friend, but she could give her a stuffed animal pet. I asked her what she thought her friend would like… maybe a dog or a cat? But she said “a hedgehog”, so I got excited because I had this cute hedgehog pattern in my library. It reminds me of my other favorite Beatrix Potter story, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. It was meant to be a joint effort… Mae made the scarf… mostly. 🙂

knitted hedgehog pattern by Amy Gaines

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9 thoughts on “too much twist

  1. The hedgehog is so adorable! I love the color of your “kinky” yarn and personally I love yarn with a lot of variation of thickness and lots of character. Your thinner yarn does look a lot more even, you must be a fast learner. You are so making me want to spin again…but I’ve got too much to do yet. I’m having a art and yard sale this weekend. After that…I still have lots to catch up on. I guess it will just have to wait until it’s cold enough to have a fire going in the woodstove. Something to look forward too. 🙂

  2. Gorgeous hedgehog, what a sweetie! Ooh, your spinning looks great! What a fantastic first few attempts. Love to see how your cowl turns out. I’ve just found out some wool in my stash to make my first ever cowl. Been spinning all evening, but think I need to just sit down and relax now. Great post!

    • Thank you very much! I’ll post the cowl when it’s finished. I actually finished one version (only took about an hour with these huge needles!) but I didn’t like it very much, so I’m going to rip it out and do another… maybe in just straight garter stitch to hide some of the “character.” I’d like to see your cowl when it’s finished as well. Here’s to spinning… and relaxing!

    • I’ve heard that I should wash it, but I was too impatient with my first attempt, and not anxious to set my kinky twist. I will probably wash my dk yarn, though. I haven’t heard of thwacking, so I will definitely Google that. Thanks for the advice!

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