Friday, February 20, 2009

Yarn Barf and other Musings

Today was the 5th of 6 days working this week, between both of my part time jobs. One requires my brain full time, and the other requires nothing but my presence and I don't know really which is more exhausting. This has been the second week of this 6 day a week schedule and so far, I am holding up well.

I have been relaxing when I can between studying, with my spinning wheel and I finished the last of my natural BFL fiber. I figured out how to set up the scotch tension with the help of the Ravelry boards, but probably made a mistake by switching in the middle of the bobbin. I am too new at this to have known which way the bobbin was actually turning in double drive and whether that changed when I switched to the scotch tension. From what I have read, they spin in the opposite direction, so the plied yarn is probably unspun and under spun. I had two bobbins, one fuller than the other, so I wound each into a ball with my ball winder.
I then plied from the inside and outside of the first ball with success and no issues, except that parts of the plied yarn are now a bit under spun.

The second ball, I plied part way through the ball and developed what is affectionately known as yarn barf as it twisted and felted on itself as I was trying to ply. I was unable to untangle it, so I grabbed a scissors and quickly cut the offending tangles, before I could think more sanely.

I found the ends again and continued to ply this ball on the wheel, and each time I arrived at a cut end, I found the other end and spit felted it and continued plying. This happened about a half dozen times, and eventually, I arrived at the end of the ball. What I learned is that one needs to be very careful with plying with the inside and outside of a center pull ball to keep yarn barf under control. I would have plied from the 2 separate bobbins, if they had been closer in size to each other, saving myself this step.

They say if you want something done well, ask a very busy person to do it. I have accomplished so much this week, in spite of my 46 hour work week. I went to the dentist early one morning and began catching up on long overdue mouth maintenance. Not my favorite thing, but I have found that the entire staff at the office I had been going to has changed and they are much better and nicer and more competent than the last time I was there. That's why it has been such a long time. A pleasant surprise.

Last Sunday, I took my spinning wheel on its first field trip to a newly formed spinning meetup for those of us south of Denver. She traveled well and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and the uninterrupted "me" time. We are meeting again this Sunday, and I will bring my camera to record the action.

Wednesday was Book Club and this month we read (I got through 1/2 of each) two books. The first was Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, which is a compilation of essays about dining and eating alone by assorted authors and foodies. It was amazing that some chose such elaborate meals and some resorted to repetitive simple meals. I fall somewhere in between. Over the last 6 months, I have rediscovered spaghetti! And dirty dishes. In the book, several used only one dish per meal. How did they do it??When I actually cook a meal, instead of my usual grazing through the Fridge, I tend to saute up some onions, chicken, and whatever veggies I might have on hand with either a teryaki sauce or Italian red sauce, or even just some olive oil and Parmesan and chicken broth, but I always prepare a large enough portion to allow at least two more meals of leftovers. This particular meal tonight was on brown rice instead of spaghetti.I add to the mixture as the days go by until it is gone and then I might do it all over again.

Of course, there is always a glass of Red wine handy. Cheap box wine, but I save the budget for the good stuff for when I have company. Can you blame me?
The second book was I Feel Bad About MY Neck by Nora Ephron which is a book of humorous essays about middle age women and our many quirks. Some of it is sarcastic and snarky, but oh so true in so many ways.


Iron Needles said...

I have the list of dates for the spinning. I really hope to make it one Sunday.

Ria said...

If you saw how big a pile of pots etc I create when cooking , you'd know why I love that curt doesn't mind doing dishes!

lunaticraft said...

Yarn barf... such a great title. =D

That meal looks delicious, btw.

Fran said...

Ha ha ha - yarn barf! I didn't realize it had a name. The food looks awesome.

cornchowder said...

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