Branching out

17 Jan

Do you ever have that moment when it suddenly becomes clear you haven’t *really* been stretching yourself creatively? You’ve hit a plateau in your knitting or sewing or cooking or (fill in name of craft here). There’s a couple of techniques you’ve mastered, and you keep repeating them instead of doing risky new stuff.  Sound familiar?

That’s been my situation with spinning. I’ve been doing two-ply yarns and boucle and nothing else for at least five years. I had a bad early experience trying to make singles, and I’ve done nothing but plyed structures since. I have been adding interest to my yarns with dyeing experiments and making my own batts, but it’s still definitely time to branch out on the structure side.

I’ve put together a self-study plan using Pluckyfluff’s excellent book Intertwined. I’ve picked six techniques, and I’m going to try a new one each month for the next six months. January’s technique is Thick’n’Thin, with Nubs for February and Beehive Coil for March.

I’m really happy with how my first skein turned out. I have a tendency to over-twist my yarn, but this guy came out great. I will confess that it looked a little scary straight off the spool. There were quite a few over-energized bits, but 95% of them settled out after soaking and drying on a yarn blocker.

I have to say I owe it all to an extra-slow whorl – if you’re taking on singles for the first time, a slower whorl will probably save you a ton of frustration.

Any suggestions for what this yarn should turn into?