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

Posts tagged ‘spinning’

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.


Spinning- what I’ve learnt so far

Spinning has been rather an interesting thing to learn again second time around. Using a drop spindle, along with the park and draft method, has definitely helped. It also probably helped that I have a planned use for the yarn I make. Actually, I have two plans; I’ll talk about them later.

Firstly, I made the white yarn. Then the bright blue, and now I’m working on the darker blue. The light blue is (I think) rather underspun, so I’m concentrating on spinning and plying the darker blue a lot more, and I think it is making a difference 🙂 Any tips (including telling me I’m doing it wildly wrong) will be gratefully appreciated (and then probably researched because I’m like that!) (Unfortunately no close ups of my yarn because my phone is refusing to focus close up and I can’t find my camera, which may or may not be capable of such a feat. IRL the light blue is greener than portrayed, and the dark blue is…well…dark blue rather than black)

Since I don’t have a niddy noddy I’ve been skeining it up on my arm, which is a grand total of 30 inches around (very nice and round for working out total yardage!). Just count the number of loops(IDK the right term???), multiple by 30 inches then divide by 36 to get yardage (or just multiply by 5/6). The important thing to note here is that the yardage I’ll get is less than the number of loops. Which I didn’t realise at the time, so the yardage I had previous announced as spinning is rather inaccurate…*whistles innocently*. So, trying this again:

-White yarn. 34 loops(wraps maybe???)=28.33 yards

-Light blue yarn. 35+29=64 wraps= 53.33 yards

-Dark blue yarn. 27 wraps=22.5 yards

*lesigh* Much worse than I had thought. Oh well, I’ll have fun knitting with it :). Just to flarify- this isn’t wildly different yardage for the same weight of fluff. The white is 18g of*something*, the light blue is 25g of merino and the dark blue is about 12.5g of merino. I bought a mix bag of merino from world of wool. Lovely stuff, must acquire some more 😀 (On a side note, this is why my spinning yardage has suddenly dropped if anyone is actually reading that 😉 )

So, onto my plans for the yarn! Originally I planned to make a stripy colourwork scarf, so bands of colourwork in different pairs of colours and different patterns. But then I remembered that I was originally going to buy the Peerie Flooers pattern and make that (probably two- one for me and one for my mum). Decisions decisions…I mean, I guess there’s no reason why I can’t do both (other than the speed at which I spin…) The scarf I’m thinking of will look something like this:

just in double knitting rather than in the round because yardage…I’m thinking that the hat first- it should give me an idea as to how far my handspun will stretch, or whether I’ll need more than 25g of each colour (I mean, probably, even if 25g of two colours can do a complete band on the scarf!)


WIP Wednesday- everything edition (again)

So, apparently when I get busy this blog falls a bit by the wayside…in a bid to catch everyone up with what I’ve been doing, another everything WIP Wednesday!

1) I did, in fact, sew the sleeves into the OLAS cardigan. It’s now blocking by the radiator. Then I’ll cut the yarn ends and sew in the buttons and pockets. Still on track to finish for next weekend when my friend comes to visit to collect it!


2) The headband is nearly finished. I have a decision in front of me- do I use a couple of buttons to hold it closed, or just sew it??? I only have one button, so I would need to order another one online, which I think shouldn’t be a problem… (Edit to add: I can’t find the original button, so sewing it together it is)


3) I did a short row heel! My mother’s first sock is coming along swimmingly now! I also decided to go with a pattern, rather than make up my own which would need more attention. This is Hermione’s pattern, so it’s easy to get into the rhythm.


4) I (nearly) finish-finished my cross stitch (I guess this is a FO Friday but it can hide in here!). I gathered the fabric at the back, but I can’t stick the felt to the back because I appear to have misplaced my superglue…*facepalm*. Ahh well.


5) More spinning! On Saturday the spinning group met again and I finished off all the blue. Now to decide- do I start knitting the scarf now or wait until I’ve finished spinning all the yarn??? (Side note: could you please tell me what the spinning and knitting widgets on the side say? They’re coming up as innacurate for me, but I’m not sure if it’s because wordpress isn’t updaing the widgets or my laptop isn’t updating the widgets). (No picture because it’s just more cute skeins which I haven’t yet washed. Anyone want to give me some tips about washing handspun skeins???)

6) I ordered some things…the kingfisher sock yarn, more knitting needles and some sock yarn to get free shipping. And then some project bags for socks. Gotta keep knitting socks 😀 (No picture on this beause it hasn’t arrived yet 😦 )

7) I updated all the pictures on my ravely at the weekend, and in the process found a circular knitting needle I had forgotten I owned, in a scrap project. Naturally, this meant I had to knit some more squares on both my scrappy projects. They’re coming along nicely (but I still need to knit socks to feed the small squares one) (No pic because scrappy projects start looking the same after a while!)

8) No progress has been made on the wolf cross stitch. After the OLAS cardigan, this will become the main priority until it’s finished (or I get bored of it) I think. (No picture because no progress!)

9) I (badly) darned a sock! I think it was a knot in the yarn which had come free, but I darned a row above it as well as the row the yarn ends were on, and after a while it should start felting together nicely. And that will hold the ends in, so I decided to be lazy and not darn them in that well 🙂


What I’ve been up to…

…since it apparently wasn’t my to-craft list.

Well, there was a lot of work stuff we’ll just gloss over. I graduated (and consequently bought a lot of yarn). I knitted the best part of two (different) socks. Hmm. Maybe the afterthought heel isn’t the best bet for me. I started knitting new socks rather than finish those ones.

I went on long bikes rides. (I still need to clean my bike after the last one). Turns out it’s rather hard to knit whilst cycling fast. Shame really. Maybe when I start doing longer rides by myself I should bring knitting for breaks. Maybe that would mean the longer rides take a lot longer. Hmm, maybe not then.

I started spinning! This probably should be at the top of this list, but I forgot until now. There’s a spinning group just the other side of the park from where I’m living (hi to all the spinners who mentioned stalking my blog.). So I dug out my drop spindle and fibre, and firmly remembering why I wanted handspun yarn, I headed over. And had a wonderfully delightful time 🙂

I finished spinning some form of white yarn, and plied it, for a grand total of (wait for it)…85 yards

Isn’t it such a cute little skein???? I may have cooed over it for quite a while before getting around to the next bit of fibre, the bright blue from this pile:

So far I’ve got this much done

I started one of my mother’s new socks (the bluetit ones). No pic because I pretty much just got past the toe. I’m making up a clever slipped stitch pattern as I go, so it’s not completely mindless. (Second point about these- they’re actually the second attempt at starting socks. I started the owl (I think???) colourway, saw a pair done in a particular pattern I have, decided I simply had to do them in that pattern…and the pattern is in Salisbury. *facepalm*. I’ll do those later, if I remember to!)

I did actually do some knitting! I finished knitting the main stuff for Kita’s cardigan. I just didn’t get enough time to finish it for all the reasons listed above. That’t tomorrow’s job (I say that now…)

I did some other knitting (disclaimer, this actually happened yesterday so isn’t the reason why I didn’t hit my January goals, but hey, I knitted a thing. You should see it!). Whilst cycling, wearing a hat is rather problematic, so clearly I need an alternative. A headband can actually be removed (I think) without removing the helmet, so I started knitted one. Yes, the cables are going backwards- I prefer cabling forward without a cable needle, so why not?

Ok, I think I’ve caught you up to everything I’ve been up to. Now…I think it’s time to put those little nifty things down the side of my blog to keep track of how much I’ve knitted (and spun, since I’m now doing that!)

Tag Cloud

Ever The Crafter

Writer. Reader. Crafter. Dreamer,

Julia's Creative Year

my year of trying to be more creative in different ways

Very Berry Handmade

Sharing sewing, crochet and home cooked inspiration!

Kick Arse Crochet

And other damned cool stuff!

Vix Knits... and crochets and sews...

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Cables and Colours

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


Trial and error-the best way to learn

Backstrap Weaving

My weaving , my indigenous teachers, my inspiration, tutorials and more........


The Art of Knitting

Dartmoor Yarns

Knitting on Dartmoor


Fiber Artist and Introvert making her way through an Extrovert Centered World


Cross-stitch Project Progress and Random Life Updates


Yarn Collecting and Occasional Knitting


A chronic sufferer of 'new-project-itis', I'm hoping this inspires me to finish some of my unfinished projects.

The 2nd 35 Years

Stirring the Pot Since 1978