Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category
In most of my free time, I’ve been working on the mate to my sock. I just finished the last repeat before the heel – should been pretty quick now! Thanks for all the comments on the sock. I can’t wait see it knit by someone else – I’ve been looking at mine for a long time!
In my spare free time…
… I’ve been working on this. I let Ava pick out the fiber from my stash – she picked the white! I guess I have some dying in my future.
I recently purchased some roving from Funky Carolina’s Etsy shop.
This roving was to reason for my purchase – I just love the colors. And it is merino and bamboo – I can’t wait to spin it!!
While I was there, I felt the need to pick something else, too. This orangy-yellowy-red is what I picked. It is superwash merino. I’m going to try to spin both into sock yarn. We’ll see.
And… there was a little sample braid in the package. I decided to spin it up right away so I could practice spinning very thin single and navajo plying. It is a little sloppy but the fun part is that Ava helped. She was very excited that I let her do “the hand part” instead of just “the foot part.”
Over the weekend I finished spinning up some more yarn. This time it was the 50% merino/50% tencel roving I started spinning a long time ago. Remember – the colorway is Biscotti! Mmmmm…. biscotti.
Although I couldn’t get the yarn to imitate biscotti, I did get it to imitate a couple other carbohydrate-packed foods:
As a single, it pretended to be a bowl full of ramen noodles.
And once it was plied, it took on the form of freshly baked multi-grain bread.
Yarn is so good for you. I can’t wait to have some more.
Shocking! I haven’t started knitting anything since I finished those 3 single socks. That’s almost a week with no knitting! I’ve been thinking about it a lot though. Now I have quite a long list of next projects – I’ll settle on one this weekend and get going. Of course the other 3 socks are still waiting, but they can wait a little longer :)
I did do a bit of spinning this week. We went on a little trip to Guelph, Ontario to visit some relatives and of course, I stopped at the local yarn store – Stitch Niche. It was pretty tiny, but I was please to see that they had some spinning supplies – there was a spindle spinning class in progress. I picked up a 4 oz braid of merino. I foolishly let Ava pick out colors and ended up with blue/green/yellow – which is lovely, but not for me. And it isn’t pink so she won’t want it :) Here is the resulting yarn:
I also picked up some Colinette Jitterbug is a nearly-solid dark green – lovely color. I’ve only seen Jitterbug in one store around here and it is always the brightly colored variegated. I was excited to find the solid colors.
This is some Koigu I bought at Purl on a recent trip to NY.
And this is the leftovers from Ava socks: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Flamingo Stripe (thanks again, Sherry!!)
Go have a look at the lovely Fiberlicious photos, and maybe contribute your own!
My Ashford Traveller was delivered on Monday. I ordered it unfinished and unassembled and I’d estimate that I spent 6-8 hours over the course of three days getting it all ready to go. I put two coats of tung oil finish on it…I had to wait 24 hours between each coat. Of course, being lazy, I initially thought about leaving it unstained. I’m really glad that I didn’t, because it looks a lot better and is much more protected from temperature and humidity fluctuations, which seems important in Michigan. Last night everything was dried so I got to work on putting all the pieces together. It was frustrating at times, but overall, I felt really satisfied at the end of it all to do that myself. Now, if I just knew what to do with it….I’ll post pictures later.
I did it, I finally purchased a spinning wheel– the Ashford Traveller, to be precise. And how did I manage to finally afford this little luxury??? Cashout of vacation days! Now I’ll just have to figure out how to use the darn thing.
I started working on Branching Out back in July then put it away for some reason. Probably had something to do with it being July! Although I’d picked it up a couple of times, I just couldn’t force myself to finish. It has been sitting, about half done, for quite some time. The yarn is my own hand spun, described here.
Last week I decided that it was time to finish. So I did.
I also decided that since the scarf is brown and purple and pink and none of my coats are any of those colors, I needed to buy a new one. So I did.
I just ordered some new roving and it arrived yesterday. I got 8oz of 50% merino and 50% tencel in a colorway called Biscotti – the color of biscuits, chocolate, and nuts! Here it is:
I’m planning to spin it into sock yarn and here is what I have so far (boy, my old wheel is really showing its age!):
And I stopped to but the mitten yarn for my KMKS pal’s kit. For some reason, I was unable to think straight (must have been all of the wonderful yarn I was surrounded by) and bought yarn of the wrong gauge. Now I have to decide if I should just pick out a different pattern to include in the kit -OR- keep the yarn for myself and buy something else for my pal. Anyway, it is pretty lovely:
The marked gauge is 20sts/3.5in – I think that is what messed me up.
Enough with the questionnaires – let’s see some pictures!
I have a couple scarves were started a long time ago. I’ll finish them one day. The purpley one is http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTbranchingout.html in my alpaca/merino/silk handspun and the orangey/greeny/browny is Rib Scarf in Malabrigo.
I have also been working on spinning up some of my merino/mohair roving. I have 2 pounds of roving and have spun just over 8oz so far. Once it is all done, I’ll ply them together and end up with 8 fairly large skeins. That’s right, it should be enough for a sweater!
Don’t hold your breath, though. It won’t be a sweater for a long, long time.
I decided that I didn’t want my Smith socks to be exactly as pictured. They are supposed be 16″ from cast on (at the cuff) to the beginning of the heel. For someone who cannot manange to keep socks up, that is a little too much sock to be worn around the ankle. Mine are a mere 7.5 inches from cast on, which I think is perfect for me. They will be worn a lot around the house as slippers.
At the shortened length, these socks were a super-quick knit. I started on Friday night and finished the first one Saturday afternoon. I finished the second this morning. I was able to spend some time knitting while at my parents’ for Thanksgiving yesterday. I nearly finished on the way home because of the extreme back up at the bridge – we spent about 1.5 hours waiting to get to customs – so close to a 2 hour trip all together (usually about 30 – 45 min).
Pattern: Smith from Noro Knits
Yarn: One skein of my wool/mohair tweedy handspun and one Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran (Goldenrod, 19)
Needles: Size 5 US (for both yarns)
Modifications: Just the leg length and yarn substitutions.
Over the weekend I finished spinning some of the roving I obtained at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. It is a wool/mohair/silk noil blend – very tweedy and two-ply. It is purple with tweed of yellow, green, and white. There isn’t as much red/pink as the photo would lead you to believe (darn flash!). I have two skeins and a total of about 320 yards. The gauge is 4 sts/inch, using size 7 needles.
The big question: What should this yarn become?!
Won’t you help me decide?
…is the name of the color of my newly spun yarn. Personally, I don’t see it but the color is very nice – browns and golds, purples and blues, and reds and pinks. It is from the merino/alpaca/silk roving described in this post. It is very soft and has a beautiful sheen. I tried to make a finer yarn this time, but it is still pretty chunky. It puffed up a lot when I plied it.
This is a 188 yarn skein and is about 7 ounces. What ever I make with this is sure to be very luxurious!
That is what Gran said to me when I went to pick up her old dying pot.
Last weekend, I had my first experience with dying (well, with non-KoolAid dying). It went very well, if I do say so myself! I dyed the $12 pound of mixed wool roving that I bought on eBay. As soon as the roving was dry enough to work with, I spun some up. Here is the result.
I am almost ready to ply the second skein. I can’t wait until I’m all done and I decide what to knit with it! I enjoyed the process so much that I have already bought 2 more pounds of roving from the same seller.
When I got home from work today, Nick and Ava took me outside to get my present. What could it be? I was very surprised to see that it was a spinning wheel!
This one came from my mother-in-law. I didn’t get much information about it from Nick other than it hasn’t been used in a while. You’d never know it – it works pretty well! It took a bit of getting used to compared to my other one. The wheel is much smaller so it requires a lot more foot action. The photo shoot had some very funny moments. I should also add that this one is small enought to be portable. If anyone is interested in a demo or even trying their hand (foot) at spinning, I could bring it in for knitting lunch one day.
Then Ava obliged by taking an action shot for me:
I seem to have developed ADD with my knitting projects. I while ago, I found that only one project was a little too boring. So, I started a new one, then another, then another. Now, I have 5 going and I’m barely making progress on any of them. And don’t forget about the spinning taking away my knitting time!
The projects are:
- Baby sweater – Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (lilac)
- Shawl – Interlacements Carolina (poppy fields)
- Ankle socks – Lana Grossa ?? (I seem to have lost the label, already)
- Top-down raglan sweater – red handspun
- Scarf/wrap – KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud
Few of these are even identifiable as their intended final form, so I’ll spare you the photos at this time. I will give you a glimpse of the lacey alpaca scarf, though (and some of my spinning progress). As many of you know, I had grand plans for the alpaca laceweight – I was going to knit a beautiful lacey shawl to wear to a wedding I’ll be in this summer. It was a miserable failure and I ripped it all out. Then, I chose what I thought was a simpler lace pattern – also a failure. Finally, this weekend, I selected yet another lace pattern that actually is simple. The pattern is available from the Interweave Knits website (the last pattern in this pdf). Also, I doubled up the yarn so it isn’t so fine. I really like the results – lots of dimension.
I’ve also been spinning a bunch:
My next spinning project will be this alpaca/merino/silk fiber. The color is called “chocolate-covered cherries.” I get the browns and red/pinks, but I’ve never had a chocolate covered cherry with that shade of blue in it! I can’t wait to start spinning this. Can you see the shiny bits of silk in there?
Finally, I just received some acid dyes in the mail today. I am going to use it on the pound of undyed wool I bought on eBay recently for $12!!! I can’t wait to try it (but I’ll probably ruin it). I am going to try to do a handpainted job with 4 different colors.
I finished two beautiful two-ply skeins of the Lorna’s Laces Purple Club roving.
Normally, yarn is plied in the opposite direction from how the singles were spun. The singles are generally z-twist and they are plied into an s-twist (I think I have that right!). My singles didn’t have the extra tightness necessary for s-twist plying – it became too loose and fell apart. So plied in the same direction as I spun the singles. The created a tighter, slightly more course yarn. But I love it – it has a lot of texture.
The two skeins are remarkably similar is size and weight – approximately 160 yards and 4oz each. I purchased a 10oz wad of roving; wasted about 1oz when I got started, and have about 1oz left over.
I’ll bring it in to show off next week!
I finished spinning and plying the Purple Club roving (from Chicago) today, and it is hanging to dry right now. During Ava’s nap, I gave the mohair a go. Like the silk, it took me a while to catch on, but I think I have the hang of it now. I’m looking forward to working up the rest of it. The stuff I practiced on is scrap, but I thought I’d share some photos:
This really isn’t how I expected it to turn out – maybe it is just because I am not spinning it really thin. When I think of mohair, this is what comes to mind:
And that is certainly not what I spun. That is not to say that I am unhappy with the results, especially once I made the right adjustements to the tension. Since I am so new to all this, it takes me a while to learn about each new fiber.
After being jump started by the roving I picked up in Chicago, I’ve been on a bit of a spinning kick. I ordered a bunch of fiber from various sellers on eBay – some silk and some mohair. Two of the purchases went smoothly; the third was not so smooth but I did win. That is as far as I’m going to go with the eBay story :) Here is what I purchased:
|8 oz. Handpainted FINE Mohair Top: Petunia Petals!|
|Hand Dyed Tussah Silk 2.3 ounces Antique Rose|
|8oz Handpainted Tussah Silk Top:UNDER THE SEA|
I took a break from the blue/purple wool that I have been working on to try out some of the silk. It was a bit tricky to get started with, but once I got the hang of it, it was really easy, quick, and smooth. I think it looks great (a little overspun, but no biggie) and I can’t wait to get going on the other silk!
And I just can’t resist sharing this photo of my own little spokesmodel.
Just a quick post to show a completed skein from the Lorna’s Laces roving. It turned out quite well and got better as I went. The second half of the batch is quite thin and very consistent. The photos show the first part, though, so you can’t see the really good part! I may even be able to make some sock yarn soon!
This little skein adds up to ~350 yards and is a lot softer than I thought it would be (based on the texture of the roving). Next time you see it, it will be a lovely 2-ply yarn. When will that be? Hopefully some time next week.
I’ve spun a little of the wool I picked up in Chicago and I think it is coming out pretty nicely. I wasted a bit becaue the tension was off on the wheel and didn’t spin enough to hold the fibers together. Here it is so far:
I think I might make a 2-ply yarn out of this. Typically this is done by filling two bobbins then spinning back onto a third. My old wheel only has one bobbin and it doesn’t come off (or go back on) reliably. So I am going to have to wind the single ply into balls first then work from that. We’ll see how it goes!
Well, I’ve been spinning off and on since Christmas (well, Boxing Day) and I think I have the hang of it. You’ve seen some of my early “interesting” yarn but I’d like to share some of the nicer ones. I’ve been working on a large batch of Ruby Twist colonial-merino. It is mostly ruby red, with, green/teal, magenta, yellow and other highlights. Altoghether, I purchased 2.5lbs of it but the first .5 (2 skeins) were pretty much practice and a lot bulkier than the rest. I’ll have enough for a sweater when I’m done.
In case anyone is interested, I’ve been buying my roving from Copper Moose Spinning and Fiber.
OK, here come the pictures…
This is the wheel that was given to me from my Gran-in-law. It is about 20 years old – hand crafted some time in the 80′s. It works pretty well (as far as I can tell, anyway), but it has a pretty nasty squeak I can’t get rid of. Oh yes, and that handsome little devil is Marty.
These pictures shows 1) the wool roving entering the orifice and winding onto the bobbin and 2) a close-up of a full bobbin. That is the view of the wheel from the spinners view, by the way.
When it is time to take the new yarn off the wheel you use a niddy noddy to make the skein. My niddy noddy is home made out of wooden dowels. Check out that close-up – pretty darn consistent, eh?! No thick/thin yarn here ;) Once it is full, you tie the yarn on each side to keep it tidy and then just slip it off. To set the twist, the yarn needs to get wet then hung to dry (like blocking).
The ball was one of the early ones – you can see that it is pretty chunky. The skein is an example of what most of the yarn looks like. Each skein is about 4oz and at least 140 yards.
Here is a swatch knitted up (but never blocked). I used the bulkier one for this and size US 7 needles. This was a little too tight when the yarn was thicker, toward the top of the photo. Note that the number of holes (yo, k2tog) represents the size needle I used. This will help when I go back some day to start working with the yarn.
And finally, the comic relief: Ava thinks the niddy noddy is a bike and rides it around as such shouting, “BIKEY!!!” Who needs training wheels; she hasn’t fallen off once :)
After seeing Kristen’s post about dying yarn with Kool-Aid, I was inspired to try it myself. I used my first two skeins of yarn that I spun – very thick/thin – and gave them the Kool Aid in the microwave treatment (following the instructions on Knitty). I did one in Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and the other in Lemon-Lime. I did the blue first, slowly pushing the yarn into the mixture, making sure that is was fully saturated. When I finally took my hands out and looked at my fingers, I thought to myself, “Wow, that really does dye stuff.”
Anyway, after about 10 minutes of cooking and resting time for each skein and a few more minutes at the spinning wheel (to ply the two together), this is what I ended up with:
Days later, I learned that you are supposed to spin the wheel the opposite way when plying. Oh well, it wasn’t going to be a wonderful specimen anyway. I think I’ll try knitting it up as a hat (it is a little to stiff for a scarf).
Well, I finally did it. I got a quick half-hour lesson in spinning from Gran and I was on my way. Of course, I am still producing pretty crappy yarn, but you have to start somewhere. Check it out…
I had to have Nick make me a “niddy noddy” so that I could get the yarn off the bobbin and into a nice, tidy skein. To get it nice and tidy, the yarn needs to be soaked and hung to dry with a weight pulling the strands taught. This sets the twist and gives you a nice straight piece of yarn (if it isn’t horribly overspun, like mine!).
Although these aren’t the best samples, I think I’ll knit them up and see how it comes out. Perhaps a hat. I still have 8oz of wool roving (the nice red one) to spin up. I can’t wait to see what that one looks like!
I’ll be sure to bring these in to show off at our next knitting lunch! Be prepared to be dazzled ;)