Monday, October 20, 2014

Finished Spinning Update

Remember this?  I soaked it and the thwacked the heck out of it and I love it!!!!  It softened and fluffed up considerably.  I'm not sure you can tell just looking at the pic. I can't wait to use it in something.  And since I have terrible case of startitis it could be any day now!

I've done really well with my finish or frog it pledge this year.  At this point Ionly have my aunt's two projects and one shawl left for my oldest daughter.  I have to have it finished by the 20th of next month so it's really the next one up.  It's a mystery shawl knit and I need to have quiet so I work on it  it first thing in the morning before it's TV 24/7.

I've never knit myself a sweater and it's what's really driving the startitis.  I loved this as soon as I saw it.  I'll be using a Cascade 220 that's it my stash and may swatch for it tonight.  I also have some Shetland that I received as a gift right after I started spinning.  I've spun enough for a sweater and found this recipe.  Depending on what's on TV tonight I may swatch this one as well.

Speaking of swatches I entered this into the Sistah spinners group on Ravelry.  It was a teaser contest to get us to use our handspun yarns.  I love this yarn so much and since there wasn't much of it, I decided to use it.  I'm really thinking of blocking it and framing it.  That's how much I love this yarn!

Believe it or not,  I'm going to start socks.  Long time readers know I don't do socks but I've been seeing hand knit socks everywhere  and in every podcast.  Since I always want to do what the "cool" kids are doing, I'm going to cast on for the Ugly Duckling Socks.  I bought the print years ago when a LYS went out of business.  I was buying yarn in Michaels for the summer camp and the black was in the clearance basket.  What's a cool kid wannabe to do?

We'll be traveling next week and the following week my sister has surgery. I now have lots of projects to keep me busy!



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yarn Chicken

       The first time I heard Sharon V, from the Moms with Yarn Podcast and Bronx Knitter blog, make this comment, I knew exactly what she meant.  You know when you start a project and you're praying that you'll have enough yarn to finish even though you have less yarn than the project recommends.   Or daring the yarn to run out?
      I originally bought the Impressions yarn from Michaels to make this, but once I got it home there just weren't enough colors to really make the impact this project required.  I remember that I'd bought this Debbie Macomber yarn from this year's MDSW for another project that I frogged before I completed it.   But I didn't have enough of the yarn as called for in the pattern. Then I started rationalizing, I'd be using a larger hook since I crochet tightly and surely that would make a difference, wouldn't it?
       I finished (or so I thought) all of the squares using the variegated yarn in case I had to substitute something else.  I finished with several yards left and congratulated myself for being so smart.  This week I sat down to assemble the blocks.  What the !@#$% ? I'd forgotten the last round for the 4 round blocks. What was I thinking that day??? Pride goeth before a fall.  I used those few yards really praying I had enough because THE SHOWER IS SATURDAY and what am I going to do if there isn't enough yarn???? I bought it on clearance and none of the Ravelers that have this in their queue live anywhere near enough to go get it, even if they were willing to part with it.  I sweat bullets, working those last rounds trying to keep my gauge even.  I finished with 13" inches left.  Not enough left to do anything with.  Not even tie a bow.
       I introduce "Owl Obsession" or "Owl Madness" as I call it.  It's cute and I really hope they like it.  They have a "Winnie the Pooh" theme for the nursery and I hope this fits in.  If not, I might just bring it back home!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Finished Spinning

The roving for this yarn was gifted to me by a friend who decided that spinning was not for her.  It was just a little bit and I'd originally decided I'd try to drop spindle again.  I just don't have the patience or the coordination.  Spinning on the wheel was much easier for me.

Since I had so little of it, I decided to try to chain ply it.  This was a first for me and it was much easier than I thought it would be.  I love this yarn.  It's the most like yarn shop yarn.  It's nice and sproingy and the stitch definition is to die for.  Since this was stuck in a bag by itself, I have no idea  the fiber content.  I know that since a chain plied yarn is a true 3 ply it is rounder.  This will not be the last time I chain ply.  I just wish I had a gradient braid to try.  The final count is 48 yards, not enough to do a lot with but maybe I can get a pair of hand warmers.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Finished Object - Forest Canopy Shawl

Another finished object!! This also counts toward the goal of finish or frog it.  Gotta love it when a plan comes together.

I started this last year with the thought of giving it to my youngest daughter.  Her birthday is Monday so I got it finished in time.

I bought the yarn at Maryland Sheep and Wool and I got it because the dyer's name and my oldest daughter have the same name.  It's by Aisha Cecelia Designs and I love the yarn. Unfortunately, the dyer is no longer in business.  While the name is my oldest the colors definitely belong to the youngest. 

It's the Forest Canopy Shawl and is available on Ravelry.  It's a great pattern but for some reason there were times when I could only make it through 2 rows of the pattern before I'd make stupid mistakes and had to rip. It finished smaller than I thought it would but I blocked it hard and it almost doubled in size.

I used my ChiaGoo red lace needles and love them almost more than I do my Signature needles at 1/3 the price.  They've got a nice, sharp tip and the join is smooth.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spinning with Intent

      Spinning with intent isn't something I've ever done.  I just spin and get what I get.  Since I have so much fleece to play with, I going to use this one as a learning experience.  It's a small Romney and has been washed as described in this post.  The locks are long but not brittle or sun burnt.  I wish you could feel just how soft this fleece feels.  The locks are about 7" long.  I noticed that washing my normal way did not remove all the grease.  It wasn't noticeable until I started flicking it.  I'm going to finish flicking the locks, then put them on a screen and pour boiling water over them slowly.  Once I started spinning it got worse, especially when a hot flash hit.  When I washed and spun the Jacob I didn't have this problem.

      This fleece has several colors in it.  I'm going to divide it into the 3 main colors and spin each separately and then ply.  I bought a Spinner's Control Card at MDSW and am hoping it will help me get more consistent singles.

I tried using the picker to pick the locks, but since the locks are so long, it really only tore them.  I don't have hand combs, but I do have dog thingy and I use it to flick the locks open.  What a difference.

I'm also sampling this time.  I took 2 of each lock, spun it my normal semi-worsted spin.  I spun "S" and plied "Z".  I got a wpi of 13.  I knit a swatch: 
                                                Needle       Stitches/inch            
                                                    6                   7
                                                    7                   6
                                                    8                 4.5


 At this point I like all three of them.  I haven't decided on a final use for the yarn.  My scale needs a new battery so I can't weight it yet.

    I'm going to spin the next sample worsted to see the differences.



Melodye's Needle Notes