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More spinning
I've been spinning my arse off this weekend. I'm almost done with my first batch of wool and I'm anxious to buy more. Although I must admit that I'm struggling with the animal fiber vs. natural fiber debate. I'd feel much better about myself if I weren't using fiber from an animal other than my own, but the wool is just so easy to spin and kool-aid makes for a very cheap method of dyeing. I'm hoping maybe if I practice on the cotton some more, I'll get used to it. Anyway, take a look at what I made so far:

First yarn: 35 yds, self-striping rainbow. I made this one before I knew about the magic of microwaving the dye, so the colors are a little washed out.
Second yarn: 67 yds, also striped. I meant for the green to be much more blue. I'm still learning how each dye color behaves.
Third yarn: 45 yds, random red tones. This one is my favorite so far.
I've been wanting to invent a pattern for a ruffly scarf for a while. The basic gist of this type of pattern is that you cast on some stitches (I did 100) then you alternate knitting 1 row, then increasing every stitch for 1 row. This gives you a cool ruffle effect, but it also gives you 800 (or, god forbid, 1600) stitches on your needle when you're done. Since I didn't plan very far into the future when starting, I used my 24" US 10.5 needle. I figured I'd just use my double pointed needles on the end to give myself some extra room. Except those filled up too, and I had to add my straight needles to the mix as well. Long story short, I ended up with a hilarious zigzagging frankenstein contraption that spanned across 90" and 8 separate needles. I'm still only halfway done binding off because the UberTight fabric makes my fingers hurt after about 50 stitches. At that rate, it should only take me about 7 more tries to finish it.

Learning to spin
I ordered and received my spinning supplies this past week. I got a cheapie spindle and 8 oz. each of cotton and wool, along with a book called Spin It from Amazon. I immediately went to work spinning my first yarn (wool, dyed blue with Kool-Aid) and my second yarn (un-dyed cotton). I found the cotton infinitely easier to spin, but I was much happier with the wool's finished product. The cotton yarn fell apart easily, although I was eventually able to crochet it into a bracelet (The only unexpected breaks happened while weaving in the ends.) The finished bracelet really is a face only a mother could love, but I think beginners are allowed to be naively proud of their first projects.

My supplies:
My first yarn, a 2-ply, chunky wool
The world's smallest cotton hank:
My hideous bracelet: