Nice buns!

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Hey, remember when I told you about plying my hair and throwing it in a bun? Well a couple of you asked for step by step instructions.

If you want to see how it's done, follow the instructions after the jump.

FYI

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pic_multipurposebox1.jpgI've changed my blog address from
http://marniemaclean.com/words/words.html to the more standard:
http://marniemaclean.com/words
Moveable type just doesn't really like that word.html bit and I decided it was time to sort it out and getting it working properly.
Let me know if you experience any problems with the new URL.

Peppy Long Stockings

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So I am weak. I had every intention of knitting a whole pair of socks on 2-circulars needles. I was going to force myself to become a skilled practitioner of the technique. I said to myself, "Marnie, you cannot judge a method until you have really learned it, so do a whole pair of socks this way."

But it's all I can take. The socks have gone their separate ways and are now to be knit on DPNs alone. In my defense, I did move them well after the production of both heels, so I certainly knit a full sock's worth of sock, these are just going to be particularly long socks.

And on the topic of long socks, my most current measuring efforts suggest that I should have no trouble reaching my knees with this babies. I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing. This may be a case of You Knit What? But I'm proceeding ahead regardless.

From what I can see, I am nearly doubling my knitting production, now that I'm back to knitting socks on DPNs (and yes, I am accounting for the fact that I was knitting twice the number of socks before). What really slowed me down was the pushing and pulling of socks and needles to get started on a new row. In general, I find it inefficient, but on a bus, it's nearly exasperating, as I contort to move everything around without touching my bussly neighbor. I'm as much of a process as product knitter, finding my fingers antsy when I have no knitting to do, but my process needs to be product oriented. Does that even make sense?

On a different topic, now that I'm back to spinning more regularly, here's some more Almost Solid Roving, this time in Corriedale in colorway, Pine.

For those of you for whom my ability to describe a technique, has let you down, here's what I meant by the thigh roll. I haven't been able to find a good example of the cabling method I described for both my hair and for the spinning.

Four Plying Out Loud!

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A certain someone gave me a wonderful little book recently on spinning.

This is a book one can read in a day but I have a feeling I'll be reading it a few times more, to really absorb what's inside. There are two techniques in particular that I've been meaning to try but haven't. The first, is the spinning of the spindle up or down one's thigh. It's not a particularly hard or scary prospect, I just never bothered trying.

Well, I'm here to tell you that if you feel hampered and slowed by spindle spinning, this is the way to go. I haven't spun much because I've been frustrated that I can't get as much spin as I can draft before the spindle hits the floor. Instead, I would spin, draft, spin again to get enough twist in my yarn. That bores me. It's probably why I find plying a bit of a bore too. It's a lot of spinning the spindle, but not much else.

Launching the spindle off my thigh, though, allows me to get more spin than a flick of the wrist has ever afforded me. I have had to get my bearings, though. Too much spin and the spindle goes a bit out of control, too little and the spindle goes off balance. But, like Goldilocks, I think I've found the right method for my little 0.9 ounce Golding.

This leads me to the second technique I've wanted to try; this one for an entirely different reason. Since starting the whole spinning endeavor, I've been using a standard Andean ply which gives me a nice little two ply yarn. This has worked great and since I prefer a rather fine weight yarn and I'm not a huge fan of singles, I get most of what I need out of this method. However, I'd always wondered if I couldn't just use the same method to ply the two ply against itself. I'd been meaning to try, but never had, because I worried that with all the time spent spinning my singles and plying them, I might bungle the whole thing and be left with garbage.

Well, take a gander:

It's a four ply, approximately worsted weight yarn, spun with some of my Almost Solid samples from Spunky Eclectic. If you are wondering, that colorway is "Redwood."

The technique is outlined in the book and it gave me the confidence to proceed with gusto.

This probably won't replace my usual two ply yarn, but it's a nice change. The four plies means that small inconsistencies in spinning, don't really show and the texture is delightful.

As a side note, I've been plying my hair for years. I used to wind my hair in the same way and then throw it into a bun which produced the most gorgeous woven effect.
If you have very long hair, you might want to give it a try. Put your hair into a ponytail, separate into 4 even sections. Take two adjacent sections, twist both in one direction and around each other in the other direction. Make sure you twist them around each other much more than you twist them individually so you have an over twisted ply. Secure with a small elastic. Repeat with the other two sections making sure to match the twists so they are both going in the same direction. Secure with a small elastic. Now twist the two plies together, remove both small elastics and replace with a single elastic over all the ends. Twist into a coil around the base of the ponytail and secure with a few bobby pins. You won’t need many because all the plies hold themselves in place so the bobby pins are more to secure the shape of the bun.

Panda wants to know when this turned into a beauty advice column.

Happy Campers are We

| 13 Comments

I thought it'd be fun to have my mom send me some pictures from when I was a kid. These totally crack me up and I hope they'll make you smile too.

Catch them all, after the bump.

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