Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Varsity Blue

Many years ago at the Michigan Fiber Festival, while I was perusing the vendors, I stopped in a booth of mostly Targhee wool. I love Targhee. You just can’t beat its elasticity.

Anyway….In this booth I spied some balls of carded roving. The colorway was an immediate turn-off: longitudinal stripes of black, medium green, and yellow. The wool looked like a moldy bee. Yuck!

So, I turned my back on the roving and looked at the vendor’s handspun yarns. My eyes were promptly drawn to a lovely speckled green yarn. I picked up the skein and said, “This is pretty!”. The vendor then told me that the yarn I was admiring was spun from the roving that had so recently turned my stomach. Wow!

Moral of the story: you can’t judge a handspun yarn by its preceding roving. Or, at least I can’t…..

So, I bought 1 ½ pounds of the moldy bee roving. The vendor put the roving in a large, clear plastic bag. I then walked around the rest of the vendor area for a couple hours. On more than one occasion, a passer-by would stop and “comment” on the roving in my clear plastic bag. I couldn’t help myself; I had to respond that I knew the roving was ugly, but it would spin up into a charming yarn. Really.

And I did indeed spin some lovely yarn from that roving. I named the yarn “Green Granite”.

Fast forward to the present. At the Midwest Weavers Conference last month, I bought another striped roving. This time in 3 colors of blue and a greenish yellow. It didn’t repulse me at the time….Here’s a picture of the roving:

Last week, I started spinning it. The more I looked at the roving, the more it made me think of my highschool colors (blue and yellow), and the colors of the University of Michigan (maize and blue), and the colors of UCLA (blue and gold). I was fearful of spinning a yarn that would look equally athletic. Ack!

I am happy to report the yarn does not need to be titled “Varsity Blue”. The stripes turned in to subtle speckles. Here’s a bobbin of singles:

And here’s the final yarn, which I’m naming “Gone Fishin’”.

I will no longer fear rovings of weird color stripes.

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