let it yarn

pocket money, dk weightI spun this yarn and I was quite proud of my spinning until I set out to photograph it. Every photo I took was terrible and reminded me how new a spinner I am. I swore while spinning, plying, skeining, and washing it up that it was a bit more even that it really is. This is the best photograph I’ve come up with after days of trying.

averaging 14 wpi, sport or dk weight (depending who you ask) though it isn’t super consistent.
Approximately 220 yards (giver or take a few)
4oz Cabin Cove merino in “pocket money”

I only placed one order with Dave before he closed shop to focus on his weaving, among other things. This was what I picked up because I waited and his gorgeous colours sold quickly.. I’m still quite scared of colour mixing, so this “sorta solid at least low on the scary contrast so plain-ish jane” worked quite well. A poor photo of the original roving may be found here.

I don’t think it’s “good” enough for cables, but I’ll find something to do with it, I’m sure. I’m debating what to make with it, its much for a cowl. I don’t think it’s “good enough” for cables. I like the colour. We’ll see. One of these days it will “speak” to me and tell me what it wants to be.

I’m trying to knit and crochet from my stash, not because of monetary woes (which are a factor, but actually not the main one) but because of space. I’m slowly giving away what I don’t see myself using, and I’ve tried not to buy more. That said:

Through the stash enhancement loophole know as swaps, Emy sent me a beautiful package of pens, noodler’s ink, notebooks, yummy genmaicha tea, and two beautiful balls of Rowan 4 Ply Soft in the most beautiful soft grey, 387- Rain Cloud. I see something lacey scarf or shawl-like, no? I only have 382 yards and it is classified as fingering weight. Ideas? Yes, Veronik Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf from Spring 2008 Knitty is a contender.

A few weeks ago, Beverly surprised me with this fibre. Can you believe it? I think I want to do is spin it and ply so the colour changes are preserved. I know of two ways, one involves chain plying, while the other in being consistent over multiple bobbins (hah hah hah). I have other fibres on the wheel and spindles now, so it will have to wait. I’ve wanted to try some of Pippi’s stuff for ages, but similar to the problem with Dave’s yarn, it sells out long before I can either make a decision or place the order.

This afternoon, following procurement of our tofurky, I broke and went into the new lion brand studio at 34 West 15th and walked out with well over 2000 yds of yarn. I went in for one ball of Suede in a specific colour for a scarf I promised R I’d make a few months ago. It’s not my favourite yarn but I already own 3 balls and have calculated a need of 4 to make the scarf, so this seemed a cost effective option. If they don’t have what you are looking for in stock they’ll order and ship it to your house, no shipping fees. They take the price off the yarn, so the total is proper but it’ll still show full shipping. Oh right, the space. It’s gorgeous. I didn’t take photos because I had lots of stuff with me and my hands were cold and my camera at the absolute bottom of my bag. Please click on the link to the store to see inside. I looked around for a bit and a cone of 1878 in natural heather begged me to it with me. I tried to reason and say that it’s current home was much tidier and brighter, but it wouldn’t listen. In time, I think it’ll be perfect for Miriam‘s Zephyros Shawl and if at the end I want a different colour, I should take dye well as it’s neutral.

So I failed. Yarn came home with me, I seriously debated the Sock-Ease™ in #240-201 Rock Candy as it reminds me of this yarn, but as I have tons of sock yarn (including half of that yarn after making the pomatomus), I couldn’t justify it. I’m not sure I can justify this, but I am only so strong.

In any case, I wish the studio luck and success and when I reopen my cotton-ease stash for enhancement, I know where I’ll be. I’m am concerned how this will affect PS Yarns (their website is gone). I feel guilty as I’ve cheated on them lately with a few craft chain stores and now the LB Studio. *sigh*

Ok, back to writing and coding.

a photo

yesis worth more than any words I will type here, though it is a very poor representation of the beauty that I brought home from Rhinebeck this year. Posting this week (and next) will be very light and “mixed up” as I complete a holiday season and attempt to reënter “normal” working life.

Featherweight Spindle
13g Tiger Maple
hand made by Jonathan Bosworth
Purchased at NYS&W (“Rhinebeck”) 2008 on Sunday 19 October.

cowled, all by myself (almost)

SherbrookeMy absolute favourite article of clothing is the turtleneck. I would wear them year-round if I could. However, they aren’t really practical year-round and I tend to buy wool turtlenecks when I buy them at all. Recently I’d seen more and more cowls pop up. Sure, I finished one last February but didn’t really like it. It took one, A Noble Cowl by Emily Kausalik, to win me over. The photo on ravelry showed it pinned. I was smitten. Smitten. In that moment I realized that I too could PIN it and turn it into a more fashionable accessory and be more akin to my favourite but limited-in-season apparel (see here and here.)

After some thinking and looking around ravelry and my stash I realized that I might have enough yardage in my handspun to make something. Imagine that.

by Lauren Weinhold
My handspun from Lavendersheep Superwash Merino in Mountain Sunset, under 155 yards (I have a good sized ball leftover).
4.5 mm needles
2.5 days (or just about 2 days if you can count to 5.)

My only complaint is that the way I spun up the mountain sunset turned it *MUCH* pinker than I like. I don’t care. It’s MINE and I’ll still wear it, even if I hate pink.

Since Sherbrooke, I’ve finished a Chickabee Cowl and Beechwood is over halfway done. I find cowls more fun than socks at the moment (no heels and I actually do need a break from 2mm needles every so often) and I’m doing some serious stash busting. By the time I finish Beechwood, 4 balls of yarn will be used up and I have plans for some others! Beyond making lots of accessories to turn most of my plain shirts into a turtleneck–at least temporarily– I’ve found something I can use my newbie handspun for.

Yes, I am stringing out my FO parade. There are some things from a while back I’ve not yet written up (even though the photos exist in flickr). I know there will be a lull in production as yanim noraim hit and the semester winds up to smack me around. But, as Devorah pointed out, using up all those little minutes waiting add up. I don’t spindle or spin as much as she does, but the knitting while standing in line, waiting for my train, or walking home make a big difference.

I haven’t made the time (bad penny) to spin for over a week. I hope to fix that soon as I want to see what I can make next!

ps from the title the “all by myself” means I spun the yarn. the (almost) is that I didn’t shear the sheep or dye the yarn. I don’t know who did the shearing, but Yvonne did a beautiful dyeing job!

I made yarn

lavendersheep roving
It started with some very beautiful superwash roving in Mountain Sunset from Lavender Sheep.

I made singles on Squeaky (who doesn’t squeak much anymore but is purring because I’m playing about 10 minutes almost every day). The first bobbin was much more evenly spun and consistent on all counts. I think this is because I was very impatient to see what it turned into.

Mountain Sunset Singles mountain sunset progress

I then plied the singles. This time I used my brain a little and made a simple lazy kate out of an old shipping box and some dpn’s so I could put the bobbins where I could more easily ply from. I ended up plying two very full bobbins worth on Squeaky and for variation in technique did the last little bit by spindle.

Mountain Sunset full bobbin

And I made these yarns.

I definitely see improvement in my spinning over the past year. I have a long way to go before I think I’ll produce anything remotely useful but I’m having fun and learning a vast amount of really cool things about fibre and spinning and patience.

The yarn definitely turned out pinker than I expected, but I have a feeling that’s due to how I pulled apart the roving. The little bit as PG’s neck warmer I’m currently classifying as about a DK. The rest is a heavy worsted to Aran. I’m totally guessing here because I’ve not yet notched out a bit of wood so I can wpi (wrap per inch) it and figure it out for real. I’ve tried just wrapping it around any rulers I have laying around but that doesn’t seem to work for me.

Mountain Sunset Mountain Sunset Mountain Sunset Mountain Sunset

Yardage ended up about 155 yards for what I’m calling the Aran and 42 yards for the DK.

I also made yarn (a while ago) with that “robins nest” roving. But it’s really fuzzy and so far has eluded its portrait.

What’s next on the wheel? Already some “pocket money” merino from Cabin Cove Yarn. My goal again is consistency and I think I have to pull back and figure out what to do with what I spun today. Yesterday I was spinning a single that reminded me of about a laceweight. Today I feel it’s spinning thread. Speaking of thread ….

There is a new singer in the house. I’m not yet sure her name, but a gift card to a certain store made this a good buy. Why this one and not the green hello kitty Janome I was eyeing? Stitch size variation and that I have a bunch of Singer stuff already for Shira that she’ll share. I’m still experiencing some bobbin tensioning issues, but if it wasn’t 10 pm on Tuesday night I’d probably still be working to solve it (I only brought her home at about 8:30.. right now I just go too far at one extreme or the other. It’ll take some play and isn’t anything outside my knowledge or experience.). She purrs along quite nicely and I’m looking forward to start sewing up the fabric stash. I don’t mind some sewing by hand but largish scale projects (i.e. more than 10 inches of sewing) are not my cup of tea. Since it’s the three weeks, I won’t embark on any clothing, but I’m not aware of any issues with piecing together fabric for simple bags and things at least not until Rosh Chodesh Av. In any case, right now I’m not sewing anything functional, but learning how to accompany her song.

There's a new song in town

definitely not socks

I HATE this weather. I’m covered in sweat and heat rash. The grey skies for rain that doesn’t come except in sudden violent bursts leaves me achy and tired. The humidity distracted. I just want to spend all day napping. All that said, I seem to be making wonderful progress on long-standing projects for Work with (knock on wood) relative ease. I guess classes took up more of my brain-cycles than I thought?

So, while it is technically “Summer of Socks”, still goingI am wanting to do anything but knit socks. Which is really odd behaviour for me. I have yet to finish a pair since the solstice. Four heels are turned, but I’m finding other things randomly want on the needles and hooks. What probably hasn’t helped is I seem to have the never ending ball of yarn. Last summer I knit these anklets and still had yarn leftover. Since I had bought two balls and had only used part of one I found this amusing. So I cast on for one sock with the leftovers and the second with the new ball of yarn. I’ve now knit about 2″ past my ankle and i can probably go at least another inch before I have to switch to the other ball. which means I could potentially get 3 pairs of socks out of 2 balls of yarn. BTW the yarn is just Regia Cotton at about 200 meters a ball. I’ll leave you to think more about that. Yes, my feet are tiny.

new summer hatAnyway, as I was saying, I want to work on anything BUT socks. That has been quite good news for all the languishing wips in the apartment. I’ve spun 5-10 minutes every day (except for this weekend when I left the spindle at home) and am slowly making progress. I’ve knit on Seraphim and am now 6 rows (actually 12, but i could there and back as one) from starting the first chart. My goal is to knit two rows each day on it. Since it’s now 5pm and I’ve not yet, we’ll see how I do with this goal. I’ve knit a few more repeats on the fluted wrap. I’ve cleaned up the area around the stash and located the bulky clapotis again. E sometimes cranks up the AC (actually it’s just on low, but since we have no thermostat it’s either on or off) so I know I’ll work on this more. And this morning I realized I really did not want to knit socks (even though they were in my bag) so I grabbed a handful of circs, a ball of cotton-ease and this pattern. After spending much time with fingering or laceweight lately it (aran) seems bulky. ;) I think it’ll work well. I might just have to make another in a black-ish-super-dark-charcoal.

spindle progress another washcloth just one more loop mountain sunset progress