Smith Rock Revealed


Last month, I finally visited the local spinning guild. When I stepped out of my car, I had no idea where to go so I just followed the woman carrying a spinning wheel. There was yarn, fiber, spinning wheels, and spindles all over the place. Yep, I was definitely in the right place. The meeting and people were great so I wasted no time joining up. There were even a couple local vendors selling fiber and supplies. Resistance was futile and I bought 4 oz of Targhee dyed by Abstract Fibers. The reds, browns and oranges of Smith Rock are a bit outside my usual color spectrum but were exactly what I wanted.


 I split the fiber in half lengthwise and started spinning singles for a 2-ply yarn. The Targhee was wonderfully soft and drafting was easy so I was able to focus on the color as it moved through my fingers. The Bearded One noticed it too. Subdued red might not be my first color choice but it’s definitely his. He called dibs on the finished yarn. He denies it but he definitely called dibs. 

In knitting there’s a “rule” that says if don’t like something about your project, you should fix it immediately instead of pretending it’s okay for another thousand stitches. If it’s bothering you, the only difference those thousand stitches are going to make is that you’re going to have go through them first to get something you’re truly happy with. It’s a good rule. Saves time, energy, and hassle. I motion that this rule should apply to spinning and life in general too. It’s better to fix something immediately than to make a mistake worse by pretending it didn’t happen or that it’s just fine as it is. Who seconds?


The reason I bring this “rule” to your attention is that we can all stand to be reminded of it from time to time. I certainly could have used the reminder when I started plying this yarn. Sometimes the colors matched but, most of the time, it was a wild barber pole. I kept telling myself I liked it and it would come together in the end. Unfortunately, the more I looked at the plied yarn, the more I didn’t like it. The only fix was un-plying the yarn and doing detailed surgery to get the colors to match. Leaving the yarn as is and shoving it into the back of the closet just wasn’t an option. Un-plying, separating the singles, and matching the colors more than doubled the amount of time I spent on this yarn. The whole misadventure involved a spinning wheel, a cardboard box, a spindle, a ball winder, scissors, and felting. A few days later I had a well matched ball of singles ready for their fourth trip through the spinning wheel.


 All the extra work was worth it. The finished yarn is wonderful, soft, and there’s no need to shove it into a closet. The Bearded One agrees since the colors are great and look good on him. I can’t wait to knit it up as we figure out what to make with 430 yards of worsted weight.