Sunday, March 28, 2010

Warning! Sunglasses Alert!

DANGER! Do not proceed to read this post without an infallible pair of polarized sunglasses firmly placed on your nose.You have been warned!!

Several weeks ago, Roy announced that his only pair of formal socks had become listless and wan from years of washing. Please, could I create a fresh pair of socks that would exactly match his tuxedo?

I ordered a set of merino batts from Knitty and Color that precisely matched Roy's extensive written requirements. When the batts arrived, they immediately melted the 99-cent sunglasses I had foolishly donned as eye protection.


 I raced out to an optician and purchased the darkest pair of shades that the guy had in stock. Then I stripped the batts lengthwise to produce a continuous succession of  color, and ramped up my Hansen e-spinner.

The resultant yarn is equally eye-searing.



 As I was cajoling the camera lens to stay open while I took some photos, Cheeto scuttled into the room, whimpering "Mama!!!."


The reunion was tender, until I pointed out that, while the skein did seem to match his coloration, the texture was way off. Cheeto ignored me and demanded another touching family reunion photo.


For those interested in the technicalities, this stuff was spun using a squinting long draw and Navajo-plied in the dark. Heh. Just kidding.

Obtaining a smooth, lofty finished product is easy if you undertwist the singles and overtwist  the final yarn. If you overtwist both the singles and the final spin, you will end up with a tightly twisted yarn that lacks both smoothness and elasticity.

When I presented the ball of yarn to my collection of knitting needles, the entire pack rolled away screaming about union rules, toxic yarn, and my appalling lack of consideration. Cheeto valiantly snared a pair hiding under Harry, and we achieved cast-on shortly thereafter.


I haven't decided if these need bobbles. I will keep you posted.

35 comments:

Carola said...

Those batts are to die for. Such awesome colors!!!

Sligo said...

That's all well and good, but I want to see the tuxedo!

Sheiladeedee said...

My thoughts exactly, Sligo. We want pictures!

fleegle said...

Sorry folks. The tux is at the dry cleaners and will remain there as long as I hand a weekly payoff to the owner.

domesticshorthair said...

Wow, that hurts my eyes! I'm no longer in need of my afternoon espresso... Oh, do put bobbles, I have never seen them associated with something so wild.

Roberta said...

Your wonderful humor does not override a beautiful spin and artful Navajo ply. : )

Batty said...

This has got to be the most incredible eye-searing yarn ever. I frequently buy sock yarn with an eye towards eye damage. Maybe I should follow my eye doctor's advice and go to med school after all... make money off of all the eye damage my socks must be causing people.
If I hadn't just said I was going to slow down with the fiber buying, I'd be desperate to get my hands on some of those batts.

Jen said...

At least with those colors, the socks will have a hard time getting lost.

Batty said...

Maybe work a little "pocket" onto the outside of the sock, the type they have on the outside of cargo pants. With a flap and a tiny little button (could be glow-in-the-dark). That would easily hide a battery pack.

Yarndude said...

I've always wondered... if you underply the singles and overply the plying, won't your yarn be unbalanced? How do you compensate for that? The yarn is awesome!

fleegle said...

To Yarndude:

The ply is set by wetting it and letting it dry. Most fibers have enough resilience to absorb considerable differences in twist. In Japanese embroidery, for example, all threads are hand-twisted. To make a tightly twisted thread, you under- and overply tightly. This thread is slightly bumpy. To make a smooth thread, you underply the singles, overply them, and then wet the resulting thread to set the twist.

Deborah said...

Your spinning is spectacular. However, I have a question. What exactly do you mean by: "underply the singles and overply the final yarn?" Are you plying the yarn twice or are you referring to twist as in "undertwist the singles and overtwist the plying?" I love your yarn and would like to try your technique.

Angela said...

That's fantastic, loved Cheeto!! I love the colors for funky sock yarn, your spun up yarn looks so good. Can't imagine the tux though!!!!

Laritza said...

Love the colors! sunglasses is right!

daywoods2 said...

Whoa. That may just be the. Most. Awesome. Yarn. Ever. I so wish I could spin. I've added Knitty and Color to my favorite sellers - if she ever lists more batts like that, I am so buying them. Just in case I ever do get a wheel... 'Cause those colors will always be awesome. Oh darn, I just noticed she does custom colors...

Rosemary said...

I Love This Yarn! You are a wonderful spinner, and gosh, those are going to be the most wonderful socks ever!!! Cheeto did bring a tear to my eye, however. If you have some yarn left over, maybe you could knit him (her?) a little pair of socks or claw-mitts?

ritsukurimono said...

Gosh, that is really bright. Does it really match the tux?

yarnlot said...

Roy must have done something terrible that you treat him this way! You have not contracted UV-active Spring fever I hope? Never saw such a serious case, LOL...

knitterPat said...

Such bright colours and beautiful spinning!

Kitty Kitty said...

You have totally made my day... I love the new yarn. It is going to be so fun as socks.

rebekahsyarn said...

Wow! That is unbelievably bright!

Judi said...

Oh yes, bobbles please - and fringe - and beads!

KPiep said...

I'm not letting my girls see this post...or I'll wind up spinning some of that too....

Judith said...

auuggghhhhhhh, my eyes! Add the bobbles, pailettes and rhinestones - this way they should match the tuxedo should you ever run out of $ to bribe the cleaners. Beautiful spinning and thanks for the "getting lofty yarn" tip!

Awwwww, are you giving the leftovers to Cheeto?

Carol said...

Holy crap! You weren't kidding about the sunglasses. Seriously. I was squinting at the monitor. (Yes, I foolishly ignored the sunglasses warning. Next time 'll know better)

gayle said...

Will Roy be unnerved by Cheeto trailing him around and hugging the socks/feet?

Marilyn said...

Thank you - for the chuckle. I enjoyed your narrative.

colorlessblue said...

Wow, in the time it took for me to see those batts and favourite them on etsy, you bought them, spun and started knitting! They're even more bright than I thought. Someday I'll get something similar to knit a Revontuli with, and then I'll never fear being run over by a car again.

MalcolmandMarcus said...

My eyes! My eyes! Such even spinning - I hope to one day produce such lovely (even if blindingly bright) yarns.

Jane said...

I thought I was having an acid flash back for a minute there! At least Roy will clearly be seen in crosswalks at night :-) Super spinning and thank you for the technical info on how to get a loftier 2 ply.

LittleBerry said...

WOW - I Have to say I love the vatts, I love the yarn and I love how the socks are coming out too... have missed your posts. Hope you're well...

vickicastro said...

Definitely bobbles needed. That is some fancy yarn and those socks will be Something Else!

KnittyAndColor said...

This post totally made my month!!! I hardly ever get to see what I dye spun up so this is SO AWESOME! I have got to take the time to make some socks like these for myself in the next millenium :)

BadCatDesigns said...

That is some gorgeous yarn, sun glasses or not. I can't wait to see the finished socks.

MoniqueB. said...

The colours I could live with (not to long though).
But I'm absolutely gobsmacked by the even spinning you did. The yarn is perfect! Balanced, twisted, evenly... Amazing.

That little critter is so happy to see his fake relative.. don't crush his heart, please...