Monday, March 19, 2007

Scarfing it

Argosy. As it turns out, there's a lot of buzz

surrounding this particular pattern (check this out), and now I understand.

I was looking through my handspun, and found this skein, which is very dear to my heart.

As we were getting ready to move here to Germany, I carefully packed "comfort" items that would hopefully last through the trip. We had several weeks between the day that we moved out of our apartment in Georgia and the time we needed to arrive in Germany, so we spent the interim with family and friends, visiting and saying goodbye.

One thing that I packed was some Spunky Club roving that I hadn't even wanted to touch before, it was so pretty. It's handpainted in the "Berry Pickin" colorway, 100% BFL wool.

At my parents house, I started spinning it. I spun while I visited with my blogging partner Sarah, while I hung out with my family. I pulled the wheel out to spin a few more yards while we stayed in the hotel, even when I was too overwhelmed to knit, after arriving in Germany. I took my time with it, and finally finished it up at our new apartment.

(The following is how I chose the colors, so if you don't spin and don't want to read about it, feel free to skip to the next bold words in parenthesis.) =)

When I laid the roving out to study the colors, I noticed that much of the green/brown was concentrated in the first third of the length of wool, and the rest was purple.

I split the roving down the middle lengthwise, as evenly as I could, and then pulled the green/brown section off of each. I proceeded to rip all of the roving into thinner strips lengthwise, then worked carefully at drafting each strip out, and rolled them into fluffy little balls.

I ended up with the same number of purple and green sections (the green were shorter, of course), so I began to spin them alternately, to create a self striping yarn. (The singles were spun as thinly as possible -- fingering to laceweight -- to give me as much yardage as possible.)

I spun half of this on one bobbin, and half on another then plied them together. Surprisingly enough, for the first time ever, my singles matched up at the end, and I only had about one inch of excess on one of the bobbins. This has never happened before or since. (!) Another surprise was that the color sequences largely matched up to each-other, purple with purple, green with green.

This ended up as a fingering/DK weight

(OK, if you were skipping down past the techie spin stuff, you can start reading again now.)

This yarn will always have memories of The German Move, it's challenges, excitement, stresses, emotion. I needed to do something with it that would show it off to it's fullest potential. Suddenly, I remembered the Argosy scarf, from the winter edition of Knitty. I am bored with straight stripes at the moment, and the extreme diagonal looked perfect for this. I calculated the length of my 4 oz skein, and was pleased to find that I had the required 260 yards. (Plus, with a scarf, you can always stop whenever you need to, so it would have been okay if I'd run a little short.) What a happy thing!

I started knitting it, and was relieved and pleased to find that the pattern was easy to memorize, and grows like crazy! I cast on for this three days ago, and I can't even believe how much length I've got already.

I highly recommend this pattern for a soothing knit that has great results without being too brain taxing, yet is not boring either.

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