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

Posts tagged ‘spinning’

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.

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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.

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!

Kita4

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)

headband2

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.

mother

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.

preparation2

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 🙂

darning

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!)

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