Sunday, December 20, 2009

Plying love

I realized today that I've spun nothing but dog hair this year. Not that I've done much spinning at all; in addition to the neighbor's dog hair I've only spun up my uncle's Golden retriever's fluff that he saved from when the dog was a puppy.

Next year I'm going to spin a lot more than I did this year. It takes a long time, but I do love the result. This evening I plied some of the neighbor's dog hair that I've been spinning. It was awful to spin--really short staple, full of guard hairs and VM*, and coarse and ugly. But once I had it plied and wound off onto the niddy-noddy, I wanted to hug it. I love the way newly-plied yarn looks. And after I washed the yarn in four changes of warm water, the first two with generous dollops of (expensive and hard to acquire here) Kookaburra Woolwash, it looked even better and smelled much better too.

While I was tearing the house up today looking for my ballwinder, I found a lot of wonderful fiber I forgot I had--silk and mohair, wool and cashmere. I can't wait to get started spinning it.

Um, this post had nothing to do with writing. So I'll just mention that I have been working intermittently today on Bell-Men and it's at 118,500 words. I'll be cutting probably 8,500 words after I've finished the rewrite, but it's still going to end up way long. I'm not sure if that's good or not.

*VM=vegetative matter, in this case mostly burrs

13 comments:

Lertulo said...

Yes, ending up with over 100k words is good. Very good.

K.C. Shaw said...

I hope so. I don't think I can cut it down under about 105,000 words.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I'm going to need to read up a bit in spinning, now...lots of foreign words and expressions there, KC!

Golden retriever fluff, short stapld, guard hairs and VM, niddy-noddy and the ever popular ballwinder. Sounds like you have a lot of fun with your hobby.

I think that 110k is a great count. I like large paper backs...

Cate Gardner said...

As we're all dying to read Bell Men, I'd say over 100k is a fantastic word count and will allow us to stay in the world you've created for longer.

K.C. Shaw said...

Alan--Hmm, and here I thought the only term I'd used that no one would know was VM. I guess I've done this too long, sorry!

Cate--I just hope I can rewrite the ending better. I'm almost there, but I don't think I can avoid the deus ex machina that I hated in the first version. I can only tone it down.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I really can't imagine writing anything that long. I am sure it is fantastic and i look forward to seeing it on my bookshelf in the upcoming years. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

I get worried when anything I write tips over the 100k word length. At least it's written in a genre that tends to have longer wordcounts as a matter of course.

Anne Spollen said...

Over 100,000 words? Amazing. You are cutting what I would love to have done on my WIP.

Curious -- how long did it take to write almost 120,000 words?

K.C. Shaw said...

I started writing this one near the beginning of September and finished the first draft (about 96,000 words) by the end of October. I'm working on rewrites now. I work pretty fast when I settle in to really write. :)

Danielle Ferries said...

Looking forward to reading it.

And Re: the spinning - very cool. I can't even knit or sew.

K.C. Shaw said...

I can't sew very well and I don't knit or crochet too good either, but I can spin. I have tons of yarn and thread lying around that I'll never make into anything, knowing me.

Natalie L. Sin said...

You could start a whole clothing line with what my pug leaves around the house ; )

K.C. Shaw said...

I didn't think pugs had enough fur to shed. It must be a dog thing. My Newfoundland's fur used to collect under stuff like dustmuskoxen rather than mere dustbunnies.