Sometimes, you have to wonder

Mostly, my brain is settled to the idea that I am a hopeless, disorganised incompetent.

There is plenty of evidence to support this position… and much of it is piled in crates in my workroom, defying all resolutions to stash bust, for one good reason or another. Take the case of the Seductively Orange Pencil Roving, for instance.

I have spun Merino pencil roving. It and I did not get along together very well. In truth? I hated the experience and it caused me significant pain. It’s not easy stuff to work with – and yet, I went ahead and bought two bundles in shades of orange. I believed that they would tone together. They do not. I believed that one day I would magically be able to spin pencil roving without a struggle. I can not. Not yet, at least.

The orange stuff was relegated to the crate marked “weaving materials” — for later experimentation.

Fast forward to this evening.

I  found myself purchasing a new knitting pattern – something that I need as urgently as a hole in the head.

Worse still, I seem to have bought the pattern with the idea that I shall use handspun for the knitting.

It requires around 200g of light fingering, in two colours 50/50.

I knew that I wanted to use natural BFL for one of my yarns, I have large quantities of BFL and have already begun to spin it. A pity that I was aiming it at lace weight, really… but there is plenty left for me to attempt a thicker spin.

The second yarn should be a variegated colour, I thought — and so I rummaged in the crate marked “rovings and tops” – it is full to the gunwales and could easily bear a little stash busting procedure.

I assumed that I would use the purple BFL that I knew was in there, but I tried a few different rovings with the BFL and dispensed with all the easy ones. No, I had to settle on one of those bloody orange pencil rovings as being the best colour combination.

So. Here I am, faced with BFL tops that I naturally spin too fine for this project and a pile of Merino pencil roving that I can’t spin at all… and I am aiming to make two yarns of equal weight. Not just that –  but  of a specific weight.

You think that’s a challenge? I do! So why factor in the additional challenge of making the yarn and knitting the shawl before the end of July? When I have sample and test knitting to do as well?

It would seem that while most of my brain knows me to be a hopeless incompetent, at least part of that organ has the idea that I am some kind of Superwoman.

I  hate that part of me. The clever sod part. I wish it would shut up and leave me alone to my pedestrian ways.

Anyway – I’ve been trying the pencil roving out on the Traveller. The colours are highly seductive. My hand hurts already but I know that I shall keep on going. Perhaps just a little at a time, though.

I cannot say that I am not daunted. I can say that I am intrigued. I really want to know if I can produce two yarns of closely similar weight and character that can be knitted together in a single project — and from such very different base materials. I also want to know if I can stick at it and finish the project. This will be the first time that I have spun with a definite end in mind.

I’m not fixated on the before the end of July part. It’s an aim, not a deadline.

What am I making?

Wait and see. Or try and guess. There may be a prize for a correct guess.


  1. June 17, 2011

    I’ve only got as far as knitting with the pencil roving itself! It seemed a much easier option.

    • June 17, 2011

      It made a lovely tea cosy 🙂

      Interestingly, when I did spin the roving kindly sent to me by she who shall rename nameless, I followed her instructions for pre drafting. It took an age as I had to counter the small twist in the roving before drafting it out. When I did spin it, it constantly flew apart in my hands. Made a nice yarn though and completed a hat with it.

      Last night I attempted spinning without pre drafting and drafted as I went – I found so long as my hands were well apart, this worked so much better for me.

      If I can find the patience, this is going to be a gorgeous yarn. I love the way that the colours perk up once the pencil roving is liberated.

      What are you up to? With the exam marking over, I imagine your summer is your own?

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