Mitt-A-Long

You guys. I didn’t plan to participate in Spin Off’s 2020 Mitt-A-Long.

I spin too slow.

I ply even slower.

My knitting is, frankly, awful. (If you follow me on Instagram, you know what I mean!)

I have too many spinning WIPs already.

I am so far behind on my Angelique shawl. (And I need to write an update for that sad saga.)

Really, I don’t need another fiber project.

And yet, here I am. My friends are all enablers – er, I mean, supportive and inspiring! – and after seeing everyone else’s posts on Instagram and Facebook, I succumbed.

A braid of hand-painted top, and three empty Spanish Peacock bead spindles... a recipe for trouble!
A braid of hand-painted top, and three empty Spanish Peacock bead spindles… a recipe for trouble!

I had already promised to knit fingerless mittens for my youngest, so I mean, it’s not really a new project, right? I let her pick the fiber from my stash, and of course she picked a lovely Hobbledoy Fibers hand-painted top, a blend of merino, bamboo and tussah silk. I already knew I would enjoy spinning it. Miraculously, I even had three Spanish Peacock bead spindles available…

And then, the complication. I was going to make a three ply yarn – but just a standard three ply, not a chain ply. I figured I could break the braid into one-ounce chunks, and spin each chunk on a separate spindle and then ply the three together. Easy peasy, right?

Except the intended recipient wanted the color gradients preserved. (Such as they are in this braid.)

But I don’t want to chain ply.

No worries, right? I can break off about three ounces of the braid, and then split it into thirds, and thus preserve the color gradients. Right?

Haha, silly me. I have never tried splitting a braid lengthwise before, and had NO IDEA what a nightmare I was in for.

Laying out three ounces of braid to split into three even (haha) pieces lengthwise
Laying out three ounces of braid to split into three even (haha) pieces lengthwise

It sucked. There is no other way to describe it. And it was very inaccurate. I now have three mini-braids, all of which way TOTALLY different amounts. One of them wasn’t even a full ounce! (*Sounds of me banging my head against the wall.*)

To make matters worse… I don’t actually know how much yarn I will get once I’m done spinning and plying three ounces of fiber. I’ve never tried making a yarn for a specific knitting project before. Because I am a “process” spinner, I spin for the joy of it and then try to find an appropriate knitting pattern for it afterwards. This whole experience will be something new for me! And they may end up being a VERY short pair of mittens.

Stay tuned for updates…

Anybody else out there participating in the Mitt-A-Long? And if so, what inspired you to join? (Or if not, why not?)

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