Inspiration to resurrect a failed project

Grateful to be surrounded by warm woolies 

Bobbins of yarn for Amy's Painted Silk Cardigan ready for plying to see if that stops it from growing in the blocking stage.

Do you ever have moments when you're eternally grateful that you've made a life for yourself surrounded by warm woolies? I had just such a moment the other night when I was driving home from work.

My commute is long—about an hour on the interstate as I live in Denver and Interweave is located in Loveland. On a four-mile stretch between exits, my old Subaru started to billow smoke. I started looking for an exit, but quickly realized that I wasn't going to make it—the heat-gauge needle was all the way into the red zone. I pulled over and called my husband who is a mechanic (among other things).

As he packed up the kids and headed to my rescue, I figured out how I was going to stay warm while I waited—it was after all spitting snow and bitterly cold. Luckily, I had stashed a bag for emergencies in the back of my car. I pulled on an extra wool hat over the one I was already wearing, put on an extra pair of wool socks and mittens, and wrapped up in the wool blanket. It was too cold and dark to knit—but I was thankful for my abundance of wool to keep me warm.

As I sat there, I started to think about the Printed Silk Cardigan that I had worked on for so many years and then set aside when it went terribly wrong. Had it worked out and had I been wearing it that day, the silk would have been much warmer than wool I was wearing. It made me want the sweater to be wearable and got me thinking about what I needed to do fix it.

Amy raveling the sleeve of her Painted Silk Cardigan to add more twist to the singles.

Maybe it was meant to work out this way—after all when I started the project I didn't have the great resources at my finger tips about spinning silk that I have now. If I wasn't afraid of running down my phone battery, I might have been tempted to download the digital version of Sara Lamb's Spinning Silk: Sensuous Successful Yarns from Luxurious Silk, paying close attention to the sections about making smooth, lustrous, and durable yarns.

Now that I'm safely home (thanks to Kelly—who also brought dinner with my rescue!), I'm determined to resurrect my cardigan and really learn how to spin silk successfully. I've started by raveling the sleeves and inserting a bit more twist into the singles and I'm experimenting with plying to see if I can stabilize the yarn so that it doesn't grow more after it is blocked. I'm also watching Sara's silk spinning DVD and I'm soothed by her calm demeanor and helpful advice. When recovering from a disappointment, it is always good to surround yourself with friends.

 Happy spinning,

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