23 February 2012

FREAKING LACE WEIGHT!!!

I only just realised that I haven't posted about this spinning project like AT ALL. Weird. Especially since it took me nearly a year to spin all 4 oz. of fibre (lame).

I started spinning this bump of fibre back at the end of March 2011. Yes that's right, nearly a year ago. I decided to try spinning up some rolags using my new wheel ratios I'd gotten at Xmas.

Banana Rolags

I've been playing with long draw for a bit, but wasn't really feeling like I had quite gotten the hang of it. I thought there was possibly some magic of the rolag that was somehow missing with my previous attempts sans rolag. I think my current comfort zone is some kind of semi-supported long draw. But long-draw looks so badass that I want to go whole hog.

How badass is that? How can I resist such awesomeness?

Well I'm working on it. Something I've found when working with the faster ratios is that it takes much more force to get the wheel going "optimal" speed. So for most of the spinning of this yarn I think I was only spinning at half mast. I'm going to work on that.

Singles from Rolags

Though making the rolags was quicker and more relaxing that I anticipated, they sucked to store while I spun them up. I only prepared half the fibre into rolags and it still took me several months to spin through them all. Life gets in the way.

Banana Split Singles

I spun directly from the roving for the second half of the fibre. So 1 ply was woolen spun and the other was worsted spun. As it turned out, the first woolen spun single was much much longer than the second worsted spun single. I wonder if there was some magic that happened in the rolag preparation that extended the fibre. Extra air whipped in or something. I was pretty even with dividing up the original fibre (or so I thought).

Spinning again

Remember that time back in September when I declared a personal spin-in? Yeah that never quite worked out. Again, life gets in the way. In fact, Fiona (my wheel) has been sitting in a nice sunny corner of the apartment pretty much since then.

20 wpi Laceweight

Until last week when I reminded myself how relaxing spinning yarn is while discussing zen activities with a coworker. I became determined to finish up the second half of the fibre (DETERMINED) and plied up ALL the yarn in the space of a few days (DETERMINED).

So so fine!

2-ply (one ply worsted, one ply woolen)
'Banana Split' Wild Hare Fiber Studio
100% Blue Faced Leicester
4 oz.
Approx. 780 yards
20 wpi

After washing, thwacking and drying, I measured and calculated the yardage. Approx. 780 yards of 20 wpi! I kind of blew my own mind. I know I've been spinning finer and finer lately, but that's NUTS! I'm so excited. I'm going to run off and spin more yarn now. For reals ;)

20 WPI!!! Ok, last time. Now, I spin more!

21 February 2012

Mom's Xmas Yellow Shawl

Folded Shawl Here's one last Christmas present that I knit. For the record, there was a high likelihood that this would have actually been finished in time to be wrapped for giving on Christmas day. It seemed a bit on the smallish side, so I wanted to check before finishing it off. Shawl on the railing Turns out I was right. My mom requested it be "much much longer" so I continued knitting until I ran out of yarn. That's an extra 10 pattern repeats on both sides. That's like 80% MORE shawl in this shawl! Yellow shawl Then I had a blocking conundrum. I usually do. Though I now live in a bigger place, I also have a roommate. We use our couches regularly and have no spare beds. I was going ready to block this sucker at my brother's place when I realised that this shawl would probably do with a slight steam blocking. Because of the 40% cotton content, it was pretty relaxed already. More shawl detail! So then some steam. BOUM. Blocked. BOUM. Took some pictures. BOUM. Mailed it off. BOUM. Central panel Pattern: North Sea Shawl by Cheryl Oberle from Folk Shawls Materials: Manos del Uruguay Serena in 2044 (baby yellow) Start Date: November 6, 2011 End Date: January 22, 2012 A week later I received this last picture taken by my dad to my cell phone while on the phone with my mom where she was telling me she thought the shawl was now TOO long. Um. What? I convinced her to wear it once and then decide. Turns out she's fine with the length (even if it's longer than she anticipated). What? Where's the flash? It could have been nice to have some additional repeats in the central pattern now that I think about it, but it's still nice as it is.

10 February 2012

Woodgrain Slippers

Tops & bottoms This is another project that I knit during Christmas vacation. And it was also a gift (that was given as balls of yarn). Finished slippers The pattern is something of my brother's invention. It may have been figured out from some old slippers someone brought to him. I can't remember. The knitting was super fast and it's a pretty simple slipper formula. One of these days he might finally write it up. These were not knit for my feets: They're not for me. Pattern: Woodgrain Slippers Materials: Cascade 220 Heathers held double Purchased At: Effiloché Start Date: January 5, 2012 End Date: January 7, 2012 The slippers were pretty quick yet satisfying to knit up. They have quite a nice squooshy finished texture. I might (one day) eventually have to make myself a pair.