October 05, 2009

twenty-second skein

The stealth skein can finally be revealed, now that the festival skein and garment competition has happened.

Handspun division, novice class.

First place in class, needlefelting kit from Thistledown Alpacas
Leslie Woodward memorial prize, $25 gift certificate from Mangham Wool & Mohair Farm
Best of division, $25 gift certificate from Stony Mountain Fibers

Stony Mountain Fibers owner Barbara Gentry tossed in an extra dollar and tax since I selected two pre-measured bags of fibre that added up to $26. (Sorry to bore you with the details, but I promised to disclose any gifts that I get that could influence my blog content.)

For this skein, I selected colours that went against my type. I did this because I wanted to disguise the fact that I made it. I also had noticed that a lot of people in our guild favour autumnal colours and since the judges were drawn from the guild, I wanted to increase my chances of the skein's colour appealing to the people who were likely to judge it.

I have very strong colour preferences myself, and ever since I was "colour draped" as a child I have stuck very closely to winter colours for my own clothing.

However, when I select colours for other people, for gifts and such, I squelch my ideas of what's hideous and pay attention to the colours they wear. Some people are so attuned to what colours they like, they make it easy for me to discover their preferences because they mention their favourites in conversation quite a bit.

I find it delightful the enthusiasm they express over purple or hot pink or whatever has their permanent fancy. They talk about indulging cravings for their colour the way people talk about chocolate.

Back to the skein. The fibre is Ashland Bay merino top in buff, mocha, and olive. Each colour was spun separately in 40 wpi singles on a lightweight drop spindle lined with a paper quill, transferred to the lazy Kate, run over and under through a box impaled with chopsticks to add tension,* and made into 3 ply yarn on a regular drop spindle. Set with hot water and weight, then reskeined on the niddy noddy to even out the strands' tension again.

*Thanks, Annie, chopsticks worked well.

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