Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dye Pot

This past weekend, I got out the dye pot and worked on about 8 oz white merino I had laying about. The first batch was a green/blue/brown combination. It didn't quite work out how I wanted, but it still looks quite nice.

Hand dyed Merino
4 oz of merino

I dyed the other half a motley of purple & blues. Although I think I might have felted parts of it slightly. *sigh*. I think I might ply the two together, and call it "Lilac Bush".

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Finale

My actual Tour de Fleece project (core-spinning) was done with plenty of time left over. So I added a secondary project (Stash Busting) to get through about 8oz of rainbow colored merino for the last half of the Tour.

I broke up the merino into .5 oz bumps, spun them up all the same (semi-worseted) then finished them differently so I could see what each would look like: Navajo plied, singles, 2ply.

I've finished (washed/thwacked) with the Navajo plied & the singles (which were washed & fulled for added strength. However, I still need to finish the second bobbin of the 2ply (I'm 3 bumps away from finishing it). BUT since I got my primary project finished, anything additional was gravy.

Here's a photo summary:


5 bobbins of this (probably 400 yards of singles at least):


To 100 yards of coiled & bobbled yarn:
Tour de Fleece - Coils2

(80% done)

From 8oz of colored merino:
Tour de Fleece Project 2

To Navajo plied

Navajo Plied
2oz. 182 yards, heavy fingering weight, Navajo plied

and Single plied

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Languishing Knitting

I haven't gotten much knitting done as of late, except during lunch breaks at work, because I've been spinning so much for Tour de Fleece. I feel like my Ribby Cardi is in never-ending cycle. I'll knit a few rounds, but see limited progress.

For now, I've got spinning on the brain. I'm thinking about all those yummy fibers in my Stash(TM) and the need to spin them all up!

Some of the Fibers in my Stash
Abstract FibersAbstract Fibers - Dark ChocolateAbstract Fibers
Garnet TopCormo
Mixed BFLButterfly Girl Fiber

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Picked Project

I didn't get much spinning done this past weekend, because we went out of town. However, I did spend extra time during the week spinning, as well as bringing my spindles with me to keep on spinning my wheels.

When I got back, I spent some time Navajo plying the resulting singles so I could preserve the long 8 color repeats.

2oz. 182 yards, heavy fingering weight, Navajo plied

While I was plying, DH looked over and asked me why I was running my yarn back through the wheel. He wanted to know if I was adding or removing twist. I told him I was plying. He said, "But there's only one bobbin."

I had to explain to him how to Navajo plied -- at least he's learning. :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour de Fleece: July 15th

My secondary project is going along well enough.

I'm currently on the mustard colored merino (having started on the orange-yellow and going counter-clockwise).

Each of the bumps was broken into quarters (1/4th). I'm still on the first quarter of each color.

Tour de Fleece Project 2

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tour de Fleece

This past weekend, I finished up the last skein of the core ply yarn. I think I have about ~100 yards or so of coiled yarn.

Tour de Fleece - Coils
That brown yarn? That's sock yarn to give you an idea.

Tour de Fleece - Coils2
Close-up -- Coils

To give you an idea, there 5 bobbins of this fiber.

I really really enjoyed spinning this up, but it took *forever* to finish ply a single bobbin. And I had some hiccups with my core snapping.

However, I solved the problem by winding some of the core thread onto a bobbin and letting it dangle while I spun. The bobbin then "unspun" any twist I was adding. It was a nifty way to keep the core from acquiring too much additional twist while spinning.

Now that I've finished the primary project, I've movedonto my secondary project, and spinning the following into to self-striping yarn. Each bump is 1oz of merino fiber. This is the order I am spinning the fiber (in clockwise order starting with the yellow at "noon").

Tour de Fleece Project 2

I've broken out each bump into quarters (.25 oz per bump)

Tour de Fleece Project 2

I was *originally* planning on core spinning it, but after I laid out all of the fiber in the order I wanted, it just called out to be a striped yarn.

Tour de Fleece Project 2

I will navajo-ply it to maintain color-consistency.

(Previous Tour-de-Fleece posts)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When Knitting Attacks: Sweater

I finished gauge swatching for the Ribby Cardy by Bon Marie Burns (Ravelry link).

And surprisingly, I've gotten gauge on the first set of needles I've tried (US 6). O also tried a swatch at US 5s and US6s but the blocking/washing still puts me at correct gauge at US6s.

But, better safe than sorry, yes? For big things like sweaters, where it might take me a month to complete, I'll definitely swatch religiously. On smaller projects, like hats & socks -- not so much.

Luckily, the swatch went without a hitch. HOWEVER, the actual knitting has been problematic at best.

I cast on the sweater, and am 5 inches into it since the July 4th weekend, and it's been slow going due to various errors (on my part, not the pattern). Why? Because I rewrote the pattern to do it in-the-round (about 2 weeks ago), and I was second-guessing myself, AND I'm not reading my own damn pattern notes OR I put in not-so-detailed notes to my modifications. Consequently, thus far, I've had to:

1) begin 2x over, because I couldn't count correctly, which lead to the incorrect number of stitches.

2) frog a few rounds, because, apparently, I can't keep read a pattern. (Several times over.

3) I had to drop down more than a few stitches, because I'd switch a purl to a knit or a knit to a purl....multiple times over...and not notice until a few rounds later.

I'm only FIVE INCHES and it's been nearly a WEEK since I started.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Day 5 - Photo Update

Here's a photo update of everything up to Day 5.

Pre- Tour de Fleece:

I started with this fiber (CVM, llama, silk)
CVM, Wool. Silk

that became these singles:


And I took this yarn (Jagger Main line Merino Cream)

Jagger Main line Merino Cream

And unspun some of the twist. (Note to self: I need to unspin a LOT OF the twist for future use).

Tour de Fleece
For Tour de Fleece, I've been plying the Jagger with the above singles to produce this:

Core Plyed Yarn

and this:
Core Plyed Yarn

I'm still working on the last two bobbins. And I have to say, I'm kinda having fun with core plying. It is a form of "potato-chip" spinning; I can't seem to stop.

(Previous Tour de Fleece posts can be found at this link.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de Fleece: Getting Ahead of Myself

For Tour de Fleece, I decided that I was going to do some core spinning/plying.
Previously, I had spun this fiber up into about 4 bobbins of singles (each bobbin = 1oz of lace weight singles)

I had tried to core spin with it, but to no avail. And I didn't like how it looked plied with itself. So, I decided to core ply it for Tour de Fleece.

In the past two days, I've managed to go through about 2 bobbins worth of singles. I'm glad I have a backup project to get me through the next two weeks of Tour de Fleece.

(Previous Tour-de-Fleece 2010 posts:)
* Debating on Projects
* Project Picked

Friday, July 2, 2010

Top Down No Gauge Stocking Cap Pattern

I finally finished writing up my notes for the stocking cap pattern that I worked on last month using my handspun. The pattern can be found on Google Docs.

You can read more about the evolution of the stocking cap in two previous posts:

1) The beginning

2) The end.