Thursday, November 01, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day

If you be sick, your own thoughts will make you sick--Ben Jonson
Based on the rash of infested groups that have sprung up on Ravelry, I'd say that there are a lot of sick knitters out there. A plethora of disease-filled needle 'hos, if you will.

Knit 1, Wheeze Too--perfect for those of you with respiratory ailments who want to share your sputum with other infected and affected souls.

Knitting With Pain. Yep, chronic pain sufferers.

Thyroid Yarnies. Self-explanatory.

Neuro-Diversity. OCD, ADD, and any other neuro-abbreviation.

These are real Ravelry groups, gang. Along with other excitingly contagious groups such as Crunchy Christian Crafters, *fiber faeries* (whose tag says: "fiber makers who believe in faeries note: joining will save faerie lives! "), Busdriver's That Knits (yes, busdrivers who knit in Norway) and a bunch more.
Fortunately, there are worthwhile groups to join, that eschew this nonsense. I rather fancy Porn-knitographers, myself. Those who write erotica, knit, and sometimes do both at the same time. I practice what I preach.

Many groups have few members. I understand people's need for support if they are dealing with an illness. However, I have found that if you are needy, you will tend not to manage your disease or disorder but look for tea and sympathy. Looking for information and direction is fine. So find a group solely dedicated to your problem and leave knitting out of it.

But let's be glad that Jess and Casey have opened up the forums for these people who seem to need to add yet another attachment or malady to their knitting talk. At least we don't need to read this crap on the lists. And in actuality, I've pretty much given up reading the lists anyway.
These groups do affirm my believe in the species KnitDweeb, how-some-ever.
Some knitting lists have started groups on the Ravelry Forum. I find that quite interesting as a social dynamic.
So I guess you can see where this will lead. Yes, to...
Open Mic Thursday
A bifurcated topic this week. Because, as we all know, I'm rather bifurcated myself.
1) Do you think that the Ravelry groups portend the demise of knitting mailing lists as we've known them?

2) What disease/disorder/malady would you like to see represented on the Ravelry Forum? Use your imagination.

If this ain't grist for your mill, it sure is for mine. By the way, ask Carol about her group. It has to do with kielbasi. And Koigu. Together. A greasy, merino-y combination. Ravelry, if nothing else, is an equal opportunity community. Me, I'm all for big sausages. Fuck the Koigu. Really, you don't want to know about this group.
Yes, I Still Do Fiber Shit
So this week, I managed to get some spinning done. Finally finished plying all of the Black Bunny Fiber alpaca that Carol gave me for my last birthday. A pleasure to spin.

Not satisfied with that, I started spinning some silk roving that I bought at Rhinebeck last year, suitably called "Las Vegas Brights."

I do love bright colors. Like a magpie. And I have two lengths of this roving, 2 ounces each. Enough for a scarf or something. Silk is one of my very favorite fibers to spin.

I'm liking this single a lot. I started with the blue and segued into the hot pink.

And a day or so ago, I was reading Carol's complaint that she couldn't seem to spin thinner.

Ted gave Carol some very good advice: Stop worrying about how thin you're spinning and be more concerned about consistent drafting.

Well, here's the key. As Mabel Ross always said, "Measure and count." You must consistently enter the same amount of fiber into the twist, while you treadle evenly, with the same number of wheel rotations for every length of fiber introduced into the twist.
It's all a matter of that, plus knowing how much twist the fiber needs. Combining treadling speed with whorl size and tension to get the grist you want takes some experience. And that's where sampling comes in.
A new spinner should sample, sample, sample. Until all of the aforementioned actions become instinctive and the desired thickness of yarn is achieved. This is not something that can be taught, in my opinion. It must be felt. Brain connects to hands, and you're in.
As Ted says, it's actually harder for an experienced spinner who has produced thin singles to spin heavier weight singles. However, if you have the feel for how much fiber you need to introduce for the weight you want, you can do it.
Just remember the first time you held knitting needles and tried to make a stitch. Awkward. Klutzy. And then, brain engaged hands and you had it. Same thing here. (Of course, I was only 8 when I learned to knit but I remember the brain-hands marriage as clear as day.)
And now, it's time to return to the rare and handy wheel because that silk is calling me before I go to bed. And then there's the boxes of stash lined up in my dining room, ready to go to E'burg. So I've kept out what I need and the rest goes over the Gap on Saturday. (And yes, this is being published prior to 12 midnight, as is my habit.)

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