In Which the Pirate Plies.

I bought this merino-silk blend from Cloverleaf Farms at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2009. A few months later, I brought it with me on vacation to spin, and according to my notes I finished the singles in September and “set aside for plying some other time,” probably because I had been very frustrated with spinning the singles. The fiber stuck to itself and didn’t draft as smoothly as I wanted. About a month ago, I plied a bobbin full, and was left with quite a lot of singles. Those sat on the bobbin and looked lonely until this past weekend, when I got annoyed at my procrastination and finally finished it off.

There was too much to wrap around my hand and Andean ply, so I used my ball winder to make a center-pull ball and plied from either end of it. It got messy towards the end and I lost a few yards of singles to tangles, but I had it going smoothly for a while. Anyway, now I have a lovely two-ply fingering weight yarn in glimmering greens and browns. Next weekend I will wash all the plied yarns and then they will be ready to knit!

Observant readers will notice a guitar pick in the background of the second picture, but what the picture doesn’t quite show is the toothmarks all over the tip of it! At 2mm, it is way too thick for me to use as a pick, but it is perfect to chew on while I spin. Like Charlie Brown, I have a habit of sticking out my tongue, or sometimes my lower jaw, when I’m concentrating on something. But I also have TMJ problems, which are exacerbated by this habit. The dentist offered me a $500 bite guard, but chewing on a guitar pick does the trick just as well for a lot less money. It keeps me from clenching my teeth or holding my jaw in an awkward position, and so I have tooth-marked guitar picks. I even keep one in my office. The funny thing is, I almost never play my guitar with a pick!

And, a zissen Pesach to all who are celebrating! While I am not very observant, the words of the Seder have always struck a chord in my heart. “…from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity,from darkness to great light.” May we all be freed from the things to which we are unhappy slaves, whether we give the credit for our freedom to ourselves or to something outside ourselves. Have a happy and a healthy Passover!

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