Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One finished (baby) sweater

I have a finished item, which is of some surprize since I seem to have many items that I start, but not so many that I finish. This is a little baby sweater that I actually started months ago, and then hesitated to finish once I reached the button hole bands. I thought that I didn't have enough yarn to finish, so I tried numerous contrasting yarns until yesterday when I said to myself, maybe I should just see if I have enough of the original yarn. Well, low and belold, I had just enough, with a couple of inches to spare! So, now I just have to find little buttons. And a baby to give it to.

I also started a new project yesterday (surprize). My first attempt at fair isle. So far so good. I am making these cool leg warmers from Melanie Falick's "Handknit Holidays" (cause I am sure that my wardrobe despirately needs a pair!!!).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Well Well Well...

After a long (although not very difficult) day, I came home to find a wonderful new Etsy purchase waiting for me, this time from Stick Chick Designs. Of course, knitting and spinning isn't enough... now I need to learn to DYE!
So, first some gorgeous laceweight Tussah silk. This is way more gorgeous in real life than I was expecting. I don't know why... I should have known that laceweight silk would be wonderfully wonderful. But anyway, my conclusion with this beautiful stuff is that I better not ruin it with dye. I think that I will make a version of the Luna Moth Shawl from Elann with it.
My second purchase is sock yarn, and lots of it! This merino wool will definately be dyed by me. Some of it with natural dyes (socks for my mom, she likes more muted colours). Others with maybe some koolaid dye, for some bright colours. Also maybe some real fabric dyes... we'll see! Oh the possibilities.

In other news, here is how spinning down my huge pile of buffalo wool is going. I am starting to think that this may not have been the most economical thing to do with this stuff. But I am having fun spinning, and am learning how to spin better. Which is great because I just went and bought a whole bunch more fleece :).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So many projects, so little time

First things first, my 100% silk scarf is done, blocked, and ready to wear. The pattern is Isobel from Cider Moon. This lovely yarn was from the Sanguine Gryphon's etsy shop. It was so nice to work with. And it just feels luxurious to be knitting away on silk. (PS, I also made the dress, years ago, and never wear it because I don't go anywhere where I could wear a little dress. Same reason that I most likely won't wear this scarf. But it was still great to knit it!)

My next lacey project will also be from Gryphon yarn. Remember the laceweight that I bought in the spring. Well, it is now rolled up and ready to be made into

Next, I finished one of the mad colour weave socks. As much as I love this yarn and pattern so much, I still have trouble finishing things, so I am taking things slow and trying to not stress myself into never finishing the project at all. The way I figure it, if I just knit away on whatever I feel like at any given moment, eventually most of the projects will get done, right? (maybe)

Finally, in exciting news, I went out and bought a ball winder! I know, I know, first the silk, then the ball winder... I am becoming a spoiled knitter! But what I told myself was that it doesn't look like yarn is going to disappear from my life, so I may accessorize. No more old toilet paper rolls for me! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From This...

Well, now that I am a spin-lover, and have no fiber to spin, I am looking around for anything that I can practice with. So, without any ado, I am turning This:

Into This!

I found quite a bit of buffalo wool at the thrift store a few years ago, and haven't had the inspiration to make anything out of it. My husband really wants a sweater from it, but wasn't totally in love with the way the colours looked together. And so, here is my plan... I will spin all these various colours together to make a more even tone and a somewhat thinner yarn. I think that it will look better, and the yarn will go farther (I think... thats my plan anyway.... maybe I just want to spin :) ).

I also had a bunch of light grey and white stuff like this, which I am spinning into thin little yarns. It will go so much further, and still look really cool.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mad Colour Weave Socks

Here are the new socks that I started yesterday.

Isn't it a fabulous pattern! It is Knit Tenacity's Mad Color Weave pattern, and I gotta say it is so much fun to knit! The yarn is Tricot Treat's 100% pure merino superwash wool in the WinterWine colourway. I love the way the colours work with this pattern. I think that they are going to be beautiful.

On an unrelated note, check out these hand knit socks that I bought at a local second hand store for 25cents! Yes, 25cents! How unfair is that! I am sure that they have never even been worn. All the work that went into these poor little socks. Well, I will appreciate them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

To Ply or not to Ply

So, yesterday I ended up spinning up all of the rest of the roving I had: 4oz of Primaries Plus from Eagle's Find Etsy store. This time was quite a bit thicker than my first attempt. I spun it into two separate balls and then rewound them onto toilet paper rolls.

Then I just sort of winged it, and busily started plying the two singles together. I had no really idea what I was doing, but the two singles twisted together when I spun them counterclockwise, which I believe is exactly what they were supposed to do! It all went so fast. Suddenly, I was done. And, to my pleasent surprize, they weren't overtwisted this time. Here is me rolling up a skein on my arm.

And voila, the completed skeins. I am super pumped about this! Unfortunately, there is so little yarn there, I'm not really sure what to make with it. Probably a kid's hat or something. Whatever it becomes, it sure will be pretty (in my humble opinion).

Monday, October 8, 2007

What a beautiful single!

Ok, so here is a photo of my sort-of-straighten-out over-twisted single from my very first attempt at spinning. All in all I am pretty happy with it! I love spinning. I am sure that I will eventually figure out some of the kinks (no pun intended).

So, I have started another skein. This one I plan to make into 2 ply. Here is a pic of the first half on the wheel.

Since I only have one bobbin, I figured that I would ply off a centre pull ball. Since I don't have a ball roller, I rolled it onto a toilet paper roll. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My first yarn

Ok, so, I finished my first bobbin of yarn the same day as I posted last. Did I mention that I taught myself to spin from you tube videos and this wonderful website: Anyway, the spinning part went well, or so I thought, and then I removed my bobbin from the spinning wheel (still not sure if that is the right way to go about it, but anyway), and wound it around a chair back (no niddy noddy, unfortunately).

Oh, yes, that is a knitting needle through the bobbin to facilitate rolling it onto the chair... - I am an improviser.

Anyway, I took it off the chair back and it totally curled in onto itself! I was totally devastated... I didn't think that the spinning had gone badly, and I had no idea what went wrong. The websites and youtube videos weren't that helpful to me at this point. But anyway, somewhere I read to wet the wool and hang it with a weight suspended from it, so that is where I am now. Hopefully it will straighten out the overtwisting. I will try plying next time and maybe that will help.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Project! This is totally different (for me)!

Check it out! My wonderful husband bought me a beautiful spinning wheel at an antique fair last weekend. We actually know nothing about spinning wheels, so I don't know if it is a good one or not, but it had obvious been used to spin wool in the past. Anyway, yesterday I sat down to give it a shot, using the Columbia and Dorset roving that I bought from Eagle's Find Etsy shop last summer (back when I had intending to try my hand at drop spinning). Turns out I love spinning! I have been having trouble tearing myself away from the wheel. Here are a couple of photos of my accomplishments thus far.

Surprize, orange and pink yarn!