Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Posts tagged ‘spinning’

From spindle to hat

So, after spinning a lot of the fluff from the last post, I decided the time had come. It was time to actually start knitting with my handspun.

So I grabbed a cute pattern, 3mm needles (that was a mistake, apparently I can’t eyeball my yarn thickness yet…) and started. Turns out I don’t have a picture of the ball of yarn I made before knitting, so don’t forget that step! I didn’t however wash the yarn before knitting it (who’s got time for that???)

…and then stop because you run out of yarn. *sigh*

I’m at the last stage of decreases before the icord tie. Grr. Luckily, I still had more fluff to spin! (So much for getting three hats out of this stuff. I would do much better to have gone up one or two needle sizes. I’ll know for the next hat…)

It’s so pretty! And much nicer in person- the problems of taking pictures in Winter. To give you some idea as to how mcuh pre-drafting is needed, have some pictures- one before, one after

Twice the length! And then I’m still stopping to pre-draft more while spinning (does it still get called that then?? It’s different to drafting while spinning, so I guess so?).

 

Knitting with my handspun is a fascinating experience of what I thought was really obvious thick and thin bits aren’t registering, but there are some times I’m having to draft lumps out and coax twist around. I can see that continuing to do so will really enhance my spinning (who’d’ve thunk really???). I’m excited to do more now!

 

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to this spinning! I’m hoping to finish this batt before I finish the baby hat, otherwise it’ll never get done! There’s so much other stuff to tell you about, I just need to find the time…

On the drop spindle

Last Saturday was my spinning group meeting. I still have that merino getting slowly spun (I lie, it’s not being touched really. One day I’ll get back to it), but I didn’t feel like that, I wanted something fast and fun.

So I grabbed this batt and a large spindle.

It’s a mix of merino, corredale (I think), bamboo and sari silk and oh boy is it not at all easy to spin. The silk has a ridiculously short staple length compared to everything else, so it needs predrafting to high heaven (and back)

And even then I find myself having to stop and predraft some more. It’s a challenge at a time I would uite like to not have a challenge bc work has just started and it’s like I had to go from stationary to 60mph in hours only to crash into a glass wall.

Anyway, I am persevering, and nearly have a spindleful already

The silk gives pops of yellow and green where it all gets spun together thanks to the staple length, which is nice. I’m currently thinking keep it as a single and knit a baby hat (or three). Any nice patterns I should know about?

Update on everything

So, I didn’t mean to be gone so long! Instead of my planned post about the delights of backstitch, let’s have an update on EVERYTHING. (And it will also remind me what I’ve got going!)

Wedding sampler:

B, D and E are finished, F is started nearly finished:

I’m working on a blanket. Its done in pieces, and then sewn together. I’ve finished all the squares (and half squares and quarter squares)

and done the first 7 rounds of the octagons (there are 16 of these). Of course the second 7 rounds will take longer because it’s getting bigger.

I’m not thinking about all the ends I have to weave in afterwards…

I finished a spinning thing! This is 187 meters of singles. I had to spin it as two spindle-fuls, and then do some nifty stuff to make it one length in the end. I’m very pleased with that 🙂

I’m doing more spinning, but I dont think that’s particularly interesting to photograph. At the moment I’m going to use the yarn to make a blanket, but I figure there’s a 75% chance I’ll change my mind more than once before I start it, so…

I decided I didn’t want to make the bird socks for the mother, so I’m now making them for me. Surprisingly, this ended my massive procrastination over the whole thing, so I’m working on these at the moment

Umm, what else is there?

Sami’s blanket has kinda ground to a halt because I’m using the hook for the other blanket (and the cross stitch needs to be finished first), but Im up to here with that:

I may take it to spinning with the hook and just plow on with it. (Again, I’m ignoring the ends on this thing…)

The elephant head will get frogged (if anyone can remember that far back…) so no picture of that.

My OLAS cardigan is in the corner staring at me because I’m not working on it…

And the breathe embroidary is still mostly being ignored… I’m too busy having fun with other things?

I think that’s everything important. Of course I have many socks on the

Start it Sunday-Aran weight edition

So, over a year ago I knitted a cardigan for a friend, with the plan of knitting a matching (but smaller) one for me. And I finally started it!!!!

The problem with the large balls of yarn is that they’re not particularly portable…any suggestions anyone???

I also started some new spinning for a friend

Excuse the quick post, I’m off to do some more knitting now I have the time again! Catch you all later

A spinning update

So, the crafting has been very quiet here recently, so this is clearly an excellent opportunity to catch you all up on my spinning.

I’m still doing the green/purple/copper singles for some scarfy thing. This is about 68 grams of it, and so far it comes to about 316 yards, which isn’t bad at all, me thinks 🙂 (I love the disparity between my skein sizes!)

 

And I’m also doing some two-ply spun from the fold to make it nice and smooshy. I think I’m under-spinning and under-plying this, but oh well. It adds to the smooshyness. If anyone wants to comment on it, feel free 🙂

 

More new stash

Ok, fine, I admit it. I’m just feeding the stash beast at this point. But, in my defense, it was a new yarn shop, and you have to support your local, right?

So, firstly, some more sock yarn! This will (theoretically) become Christmas socks, but…

The purple contrast for toes, heels and cuffs is actually this really bright pink, and there are specks of ‘fairy lights’ in the green yarn. Christmas tree socks! Which, knowing me at the moment (knitting has kinda fallen by the wayside…), may get done over the Easter break…

Other theoretically) socks yarn!However, this stuff has sparkles, so I’m thinking maybe another Age of Brass and Steam. Or some triangular shawl thing I can wear. But I’m not sure how big I want to make it. Which isn’t a problem since those are made up from the middle out. I can always make matching handwarmers with the extra I guess 🙂

And finally: Slytherin fibre!

This is 100g of BFL/bamboo/nylon which I’m currently thinking I’ll spin quite chunky and knit…something. It’s for a friend, so I’ll have a sneak peek through their ravelry and see what they like. And then probably not spin it for another few months…

So yeah, that’s me. Not really crafting at the moment, but still feeding the stash!

Product spinning- unenergised singles

I realised half way though spinning the first spindle-ful of this lovely green fluff that I want to knit it as singles rather than plied yarn (thinner is a big thing for what I have planned for this). The problem? Handspun singles. They tend to be ‘energised’, and have a strong lean in one direction when knitted (there’s an *excellent* shawl I really want to knit which uses this technique, slantwise). Anyway, I definitely didn’t want *my* knitting to do that. the solution (after a quick google search), seemed to be two-fold- spin looser (bit of a promlem since I already had half a spindleful…), and be harsher on the yarn when finishing. Well, the second one is easy enough! I also spun a spindle-ful and made a two-ply of it (being very careful to not over/under ply it). Okay, diversion: you can check for under/overply as you’re plying by letting a length of the ply hang loose and seeing whether it twists on itself. One way represents underplying, the other overplying. A bit of experience will let you know which is which (by the end of my spindleful I had it down, but I’ve forgotten and of course it depends on whether you spun S or Z singles…). Diversion over.

So, I now had a small skein of singles, and another of plied (plied on top in the above pic). Now to test-knit some swatches.

The singles knitted up just fine (I was slightly concerned as the skein twists on itself a bit, but clearly not enough to affect the fabric). This swatch was knitted on 2.5mm needles, and I think I like it, but not the pattern. I have my heart set on a double diamond pattern, which I think I’ll have to unvent… There is excellent stitch definition, and minimal haloing. None of the fibres came off on me while I was knitting, and it doesn’t look like any will later on, even the metallic bits, which look like they’d be the most likely to come off at an inopportune moment. There’s also far less rolling than I would expect for this sample (I did I garter stitch border up the sides, and although there is some movement on the left edge near the top, that’s about it. Obviously this will change with a different stitch pattern…). This stitch pattern, for anyone interested/my future notes: a bit of the Advent calender scarf I did many years ago. I just scrolled through he options until I came across something with some simple lace, as that’s what I’m aiming to do with the final yarn.

 

 

The plied: I did one repeat of a feather and fan stitch. As I was knitting this, the yarn felt very fuzzy, without actually losing any loose fibres. Knitted, it doesn’t look as fuzzy as I thought/feared, but there’s definitely some fuzz. Not enough to lose much stitch definition. Another weird thing- the metallic bits looks yellow in this sample, rather than the copper of the original batt/singles. Strange. It feels a bit smooshy to touch, but that might be the hint of garter stitch (knit every fourth row, and a garter stitch bit at the top before I cast off) or the fact that it’s thicker, being plied rather than the singles. I feel like there are bits I would want to change if I were knitting with this yarn, but I’m not sure what, and as I like the single, there’s no point me trying to work it out.

May/June plans

May’s goals! I completely destroyed all of these, so either I’m being productive or I’m not challenging myself enough…

  1. Finish the cardamon bird socks. That’s less than one sock, should be doable…
    Done! This was harder than I anticipated, I just wasn’t interested in knitting them. Which is somewhat awkward since one of my June goals is to knit another pair…
  2. Finish the cockatoo brae sleeves and start the body. This involves a blog post about sleeve length because I need some advice on it…
    Donedid 😀 I didn’t write a blog post about it in the end, I just decided that I’d done enough (and if I haven’t then I can remove the cuffs and knit more down)
  3. Post the blog post about knitting left-handed. All it needs is a couple more pictures. (And finish knitting the main section of the pocket)
    Managed 🙂 And I started teaching my lefty friend how to knit. Now to find the time to teach him the purl stitch…
  4. Complete the middle square of the wedding sampler. By square I don’t mean the outside border, or the shading around it (that would be too awkward to count, and is best done with the boarder or square next to it).
    So far above and beyond this one I hid orbit 😉 I also managed the ‘I do’ square, the heart about the main square, the ‘Promise’ square, and started the ‘Quarrel’ square. Go me!
  5. Spin something pretty. I bought lots of lovely goodies at Woolfest yesterday, including 4 batts. I should spin something pretty, for funsies 🙂  I wonder how thin I can go on my lil turkish drop spindle, it was pretty fine when I tried it out.
    Managed, and it’s amazing 🙂 I’m currently blocking a small thing I knitted with a single, then there should be a blog post about spinning coming…
  6. Bonus: do some research for the best way to do something clever with the back shaping for Buttonbox. I think I have a good idea about the rest of it (note to self: do a blog post about it at some point…)
    Yes. No blog post about it because that particular thing doesnt need anything special doing. There is another blog post I should do about all the mods I want to do about it, but finding the time is always a challenge! Crafting is a bit more exciting than writing about crafting!

There were some other things getting done as well, such as the first sock for another pair for a friend…ok, maybe it was just that. So, what should I do next month???

 

  1. Knit another pair of bird socks. (This also involves choosing which pair to make, whcih I think will be the harder choice…)
  2. Finish Mildred’s second sock. It’s basically vanilla, with some striping. Easy peasy (And therefore I will totally procrastinate on it…)
  3. Crochet a flat preemie octopus to get the hang of it before I teach my aunt…That lesson will probably be happening on/around the 17th, so I should get a move on with this (when I go back to Salisbury and can get my crochet hooks…)
  4. Cross stitch Q-S of the wedding sampler (bonus: also start X)
  5. Do ‘some generic amount’ of cockatoo brae. Umm, I need a definite amount to knit, otherwise it won’t get done (it may not get done anyway, it’s just stocking stitch in the round now… Tedious much???) So…reach bust shaping? I’m knitting the third size, so that’s the set up round then 7 sets of 7 rows and the 9 lain rows between the waist shaping and the bust shaping. 59 rows. Hmm. Having had a very quick look at the other patterns, I don’t need to make it any longer. We shall see I guess…
  6. Bonus: Knit another 10 squares on my scrappy blanket. That will finish the complete ’round’
  7. Bonus: blog posts about spinning, buttonbox mods and/or the afterthought pocket

3 socks, a crochet project, a (probably) decent amount of cross stitch, a decent load on cockatoo brae and some bonus things. I can’t decide whether this is too much or too little (I have very little actual work to do and some long train rides coming up). We shall see I guess. And if I finish these all early, there’s no reason I can’t do new goals before July…

April/May goals

So, another month gone, where are they all going???? We’re a third of the way through the year already…So, let’s have a look at last month’s goals:

  1. Finish the sleeves on cockatoo brae.
    Not done- but nearly there, I think. I’ve finished all the increases, and only have a couple more inches to knit. I should measure this and work out how much more…
  2. Carry on with the wolf cross stitch (I’d like to finish but think it unlikely given that this final quarter is more complicated than the last and I only just hit 75%)
    Done! I completely blew this goal out of the water! Very happy about this 🙂
  3. Knit up and write a blog post about afterthought pockets. (I want to in the end do a series on different pockets, and I figure that an afterthought one is probably the easiest to start with…)
    Umm, nope? But I have a blog post about left-handed knitting *nearly* finished, so that should get done next month
  4. Knit another pair of the bird socks (or at least get the first one done. I’m planning on doing the socks in their pairs, so this next pair will be cardamon main colour and bluetit cuffs, heels and toes).
    Well, the first one is done, and the second one is started… Then I have another pair of socks started, and I feel like I haven’t been crafting so much this month…
  5. Bonus: start knitting something with my handspun… This one is slightly terrifying, because it’s my handspun…But I also know that knitting it will allow me to see what’s going on with the yarn a lot more clearly than just eyeballing it! Bring it on! (I reserve the right to not talk about how bad it is if it’s truely awful…)
    Yes! Although I need to frog it and restart, and that’s not going to happen for a while because I have other priorities right now, (such as more spinning).

Ok, I realised the other day that we’re also a third of the way through the year, and so I figured I should have another look at my plans for the year, and see how they are getting on.

One of the cardigans is done, the small cross stitch is done, one of the cards is done and one pair of socks are done (and I’ve mentally reduced the number from 9 to 6). That leaves:

3 cardigans, 2 blankets, a card, a large cross stitch and 4 pairs of socks. Totally doable…yeah right! I think I’ll drop the blankets, and add in a free-for-all spinning, just to remind me that it’s fun and I like it. And the pockets for the guides…

So, thinking about these yearly goals, May’s goals are:

  1. Finish the cardamon bird socks. That’s less than one sock, should be doable…
  2. Finish the cockatoo brae sleeves and start the body. This involves a blog post about sleeve length because I need some advice on it…
  3. Post the blog post about knitting left-handed. All it needs is a couple more pictures. (And finish knitting the main section of the pocket)
  4. Complete the middle square of the wedding sampler. By square I don’t mean the outside border, or the shading around it (that would be too awkward to count, and is best done with the boarder or square next to it).
  5. Spin something pretty. I bought lots of lovely goodies at Woolfest yesterday, including 4 batts. I should spin something pretty, for funsies 🙂  I wonder how thin I can go on my lil turkish drop spindle, it was pretty fine when I tried it out.
  6. Bonus: do some research for the best way to do something clever with the back shaping for Buttonbox. I think I have a good idea about the rest of it (note to self: do a blog post about it at some point…)

This might all be slightly over the top, but we shall see. I’m into the last week of teaching, but I’m still going to be busy afterwards, with teaching essays and job applications (oh my days, the job applications!)

Spinning- level up!

So one of the ideas I play around with fairly frequently is that when I reach goals I ‘level’ up in a particular skill (a throw back to my D&D days). And I’m pretty sure that I just levelled up in spinning. Of course, in the beginning it is easy to level up and provides many perks, later on it’s harder and the perks are less noticeable.

Anyway, last spinning session I naturally moved from park and draft (where you stop the spindle every time you want to draft (that’s pull the figre out into the thickness you want it in the end)) to drafting while the spindle is still spinning. This makes spinning much faster (no pauses and excuses to stop, ), but also really necessites standing up (if possible). The standing up means that you have to stop much less to wind the new yarn onto the spindle, as you can have more yarn before the spindle reaches the ground if you’re standing.

The other effect of spinning like this is that I’m a lot more consistant. No more suddenly thin bits, which has the (slightly awkward) effect of reducing my yardage…which makes perfect sense but I hadn’t really thought of it before. At the moment I’m not that fussed, except for the possibility of left-over yarn and the fact that I really want to be consistant for the colourwork scarf I have planned. But I am also going to borrow the mittens and hat pattern first, so that might use up all my beginner attempts. We shall see 😀

Now, onto a discussion of the new yarn. While spinning it, it felt like it was spun a lot tighter than previously (which is a good thing given how loosely spun my first attempts were. Looking at it post-bath (and I still can’t photograph new yarn well- any tips???) I really like how tightly it’s spun and plied- it could maybe do with being slightly thinner, but really only a touch thinner, I really almost like it’s current weight.

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