Flash Your Stash!

Flash your stash was totally fun! Although it was not great for stashbusting (I only had a net decrease of about 10 balls), it was great for replacing yarns I’d never use with yarns I am signficantly more likely to use. I sold a fair amount, bought some (for a song), and got a TON of free yarn. Since I did buy some yarn, I will call today my free stashalong day. AND, since I officially passed the 30-day mark before today, this is my free day for the second month, which means no more yarn for the remainder of my stashalong! Hurrah! I also left with a sunburn and $40. (The sunburn just keeps getting worse. I haven’t had a real sunburn in years. Normally I’m so responsible with the sunscreen.)

Unfortunately, I came dangerously close to replacing my nasty yarn habit with a nasty raw fleece habit, using the rationalization that I need it for the workshop. Which is true, but doesn’t begin to justify my excess. But I’ve officially vowed (giddy with pride over not finishing my truck stop donut*) to lay off the ebay for a week. Sounds easy, I know, but I spent all of my downtime last week looking at raw fleece.

Here’s where I point out that I have spun exactly 5 small balls of yarn, none of it from raw fleece, and yet I seem to think that I’ll need (oh, dear… I just added it up…) 40 POUNDS of fleece. I’m off my nut. So you see, swearing an oath was completely necessary. But at least fleece is pretty cheap. All of that only added up to…hm. That’s more than I expected, too… all those shipping charges…. Well, still. It was under $200, which is less than I’d spend on a typical Webs bender, so I should be happy. Or at least, not too mortified. Wow, that totally cemented my restraint.

Something about making yarn apparently fills me with a god-like sense of power. And she made yarn. And she saw that it was good. (Oddly, it’s really not very good. And yet, still: THE POWER!)

*Can you see my low standards for self-restraint, when I think leaving behind half a donut is a triumph of will that makes me swell with pride? I need to mention that I had just eaten dinner, so it’s not like I wasn’t already stuffed. And yet: terribly proud.

Enough of that! Let’s look at my new yarn!

First, the free/traders…

Let’s see, there’s an earthy Tahki Donegal Tweed, which I LOVE, part of a ball of something or other for the madball stash, orange Sugar & Cream and yellow Lion Cotton, which will go into some of those Mason-Dixon slipped-stitch dishtowels, 2 sk Pistachio Cotton Ease, which will be dyed a deeper color and become probably a halter, Lamb’s Pride Worsted in a kind of medium reddish brown (they call it Roasted Coffee, but it doesn’t look like any roasted coffee I’ve ever seen), Lamb’s Pride Bulky in a fantastic eastern blue, which has been my favorite color for the last year (except for red, but I count red as a given, practically a neutral), and a natural tan alpaca. The alpaca was a trade for a couple balls of a dark pink wool blend that I liked but that was a crap color for me. The rest was straight out of the free pile, or just handed off by kindly passersby!

Next in the free line-up, a thrilling assortment of mohair blends. 2 sk each of La Gran mohair in cornflower and sort of a worn-out lilac, plus 2 sk Musette Neveda. And that color looks nothing like the picture. It’s blue plied with a 2 ply strand of black and multi, which ranges from magenta to blue to lilac, with little corkscrewy, hairy slubs. Gosh, I don’t yet know what all this is for. It can’t touch the skin, it’s too itchy for that, but maybe all 3 could be striped into a lightweight sleevless thing to go over a tailored blouse? Any ideas? Kelly Sue suggested the La Gran for a scribble lace scarf, and it would be perfect, except I couldn’t take it on my bare neck. I almost want to say Stitch Diva’s hairpin lace skirt, but worn over a slip for itchgaurd. Except that I’ve never made hairpin lace. But I should learn, right? The fabulous girl who gave me all this (and the Tahki tweed), whose name I forgot in the excitement, selected a skein of handspun (not mine–some I got on ebay, and whose color didn’t suit me) to be polite, since the pick of the litter of my stash was already long gone. (Her generosity–and that of the girl who presented me with the Lamb’s Pride–inspired me to make a big FREE pile on my table, but it was too late in the day, and there were no takers.)

And finally, 12 balls of Plymouth Sunset  (rayon/acrylic blend), which I’ll overdye and make into–who knows? Gosh, there may be enough for a skimpy spaghetti strap dress. The woman who shared her table with me (and the source of the natural alpaca) must’ve dumped them into the free pile on her way out. I was eyeing them earlier, but knew I’d have to overdye, so I blew it off. If I’d known she was going to ditch them, I’d've given her something for them. Gee whiz.

And the steals:

8 100g skeins of wool/recycled silk for $2 skein. That will probably become a sweater, and I might even work in a little stripe of that Tahki tweed. The earthy brown-green looks pretty rich against all the purples. And from the same lady, a bunch of undyed yarn for $5. Most of it was unraveled, kinky balls of a plied worsted, but there was also a virginal single. I figure I’ll wind it into skeins, and wash and hang it, then use it for dying practice.

And I also have one new ball of handspun, which I call Rotten Watermelon. It was my first attempt at dying.

 

Here’s the dyed top, done with Kool-aid in the microwave. I was VERY sloppy with the temperature and dyed it twice (the blue barely appeared, so I tried again with just extra blue, but no luck. Anyway, my lack of attention gave me a slightly felted top that wouldn’t budge. I thought I was screwed, but then I just teased it apart a bit after I ripped it into strips & before pre-drafting, and it pretty much worked normally. I’m sure the texture was a bit less refined, but it spun up fine. At this phase, it reminded me of a raspa with way too may flavors of syrup, like when you try to get all creative with your flavors as a kid, but just end up with a mess that tastes like purple sugar.

OH, and by the way, I used my lovely new Maisy Day spindle. Beautiful! Spins forever! It’s just dreamy. And pretty? Oh, boy! I’ll snap a few cheesecake shots later. Plus, it’s big enough that I could’ve made easily 3x the yarn (since I don’t actually drop yet, just park & draft, I can spin as much as a I can fit on the thing).

After I pre-drafted, I had this, Melting Raspa:

But when I spun it, it transformed from Melting Raspa to Rotten Watermelon:

It’s reasonably ugly, but it’s most certainly yarn, and it gives me a notion of the possibilities. You know, if my dying didn’t suck.

  • Sandra says:

    Gosh, I think that watermelon yarn is BEAUTIFUL! Nice dye job with the Kool Aid but if you really hate it you could over dye with a darker color and it would come out like a moonless night…all dark corners with some streaks/suggestions of color.

    Tomorrow is dye day here on the farm…using natural dyes -including walnut, Osage orange, fungi and Jacquard acid dyes.

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