Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This spinning thing? I can take it or leave it. You know. Whatevs. I have some roving in the mail, so I'll pick up some knitting until then.


I mean, spinning's neat and all, but it's not be-all-end-all or anything.

What picture? I don't know what you're talking about.


Oh. That picture. That's nothing. Just, um... some roving I found. At the yarn shop.


The fact that I'm spinning it up already -- also not my fault.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh yes

I like this spinning thing.


I bought this batt at SAFF in 2006.


I think it's BFL, and about 4 oz. I lost the tag for it, so I have no idea, really.


I also don't have the foggiest idea about yardage. My mom offered to buy me a niddy noddy when we went antiquing the other weekend, but I declined until I get more into spinning. In retrospect this was a poor move.


...I have 6oz of new roving on the way...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Super chuffed and also kind of annoyed

Turns out Kiwi Knitter and I had the same idea: Don't blog for a long time, and acquire a large number of FOs. Then the next post will be all amazing, and we will look like crazypants awesome knitters.

Being all unemployed like I am, with my propensity for sitting on my duff in front of my computer (I used up all my exciting in New Zealand), I've got a LOT to show you. Grab a cup/mug/jug/box of your preferred beverage and get comfy.


This is the baby surprise jacket I made in NZ (out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport). I finally sewed up the seams (though I haven't put all the buttons on, so it's not actually done yet), and I am totally pleased with how they look. I actually looked up the proper way to seam, and it looks way better than what I was doing (which, it turns out, was basting).


Look at that. That's so pretty. (I bought these GREAT blue hippo buttons and put one on, but the buttonholes aren't QUITE big enough, so I think I'll find four better-fitting ones to put on the rest).


I made a Grrr! It's not for me. I like the embroidered face, but the back of the sewing looks not so good. I am only minimally concerned about this.


My first singles, getting wound up to be plied. This picture just made me happy.

And they, plus my blue singles, got turned into this:


Somehow, in the original spinning of singles, it didn't occur to me that blue singles + grey singles = marled yarn. I don't much like marled yarn. But I did it anyway, because by the time it occurred to me to Andean ply each color on itself I was too far in.

I'd read this link about plying a balanced yarn, which made for a pretty loose ply. Then I read on Ravelry that yarn doesn't need to be balanced immediately after plying. Instead, you wind it on the swift, soak it in hot water, soak it in cold, repeat hot then cold, wrap it in a towel and gently squeeze the water out, then take it out and give it a good solid whack on the sink (or wherever). Then turn it and repeat. This makes the yarn "bloom" and should (so they say) make it more balanced. There you go.

This is what Janice had to say about spinning:

That bit about letting the yarn ply back on itself to determine if it's balanced ONLY applies to very freshly spun yarn. IOW, if you want to see what a balanced 2-ply yarn would look like from the single you're currently spinning, do this: spin out a long length, and then double it back on itself RIGHT THEN. Smooth it down and let it find its own level of plying. Break that bit off and keep it as a sample.

After that, spin as much as you want, then ply your singles so that they look like that sample you did. As long as you're spinning your singles pretty consistently, you should be fine.

Whacking yarn and wet finishing it will help fix some things. They don't really BALANCE the yarn per se, because that's determined by the amount of twist in the singles vs. the amount of twist in the plying.

And I don't care what anyone says, I staunchly maintain that "balanced single" is a meaningless term. There's nothing for a single to balance AGAINST. Soft-twist or low-twist single describe the yarn better.

BTW, blocking yarn doesn't get rid of twist in singles either. The yarn that I used for my SAFF sweater last year was spun many, many years ago. I'd blocked it on niddy noddies as I'd spun it, and it looked pretty straight in the skein. But as soon as I put it in water to wash before dyeing, *sproing* all the twist energy was released, and I had little curls and twists all over the wet yarn. :)

(I tend to spin with a lot of twist.)

She knows way more than me about this stuff.

And it's about 205 yards. I have no idea what to do with it, if anything.

The remaindered blue got Andean plied into this:


A much tighter ply. Note the artful application of dog fur on the left.

I also pulled out my new Koigu and cast on for some socks:


I'd seen a sock on some blog (I'd love to know where so I can give credit -- anyone remember?) with a nice light texture pattern that went:
1. K1P1 around
2. & 3. K around

A good idea, I thought! But I changed it to:
1. K1P1 around
2, 3, 5, 6. K around
4. P1K1 around

Deciding, as I do, that following patterns are for suckers I decided to wing my first toe-up gussets.

This sock sucks.

First, I can't get it over my heel.


Then I can't get the heel over my heel.


Then it cuts off circulation in my calf.


And finally, the heel just looks funny.


So it's sitting in the corner until I can gather my wits enough (or stop being distracted long enough) to frog it.

There's one more FO, but I need a different picture of it. It's one thing to put a mildly saucy picture on Ravelry, and another entirely to put it on my blog.

This spinning thing, though...


...I might be hooked.