Sep 20
2008

And for today’s new undertaking…

A Navajo plied yarn…

navajo-ply twist of fate wool topI’m loving my new wheel – still struggliig with it a bit, but it’s loads of fun. Last night I started spinning some of the roving I got at the Fibrefest last spring. I seem to like rovings in shades of blue. This one was a small bag of wool top from Fearless Fibers. It’s still not very good at all, but I’m having so much fun. I decided to start plying it this morning, and thought I’d try something new, and since I only have one bobbin, a navajo ply meant a three plied yarn that required less winding off and that sounded good to me. I think I’m getting addicted to this spinning thing…

Sep 18
2008

It’s a girl!

Or maybe a pretty spinning wheel… She is French – maybe I’ll call her Gisele. She barely fit into the trunk, and I haven’t even put the drive band back on yet, but I just got her home, and had to tell!

leclerc nilus

I was so excited about getting a wheel of my own, I actually tried to spin a little last night, as well. I used some of the Louet Northern Lights roving. It’s overspun and plied in spots, and underspun and plied in others, but it’s my first plied yarn and my first wheel-spun yarn, and I’m quite pleased.. At any rate, I have lots of roving, and a wheel, and it can only get better, right?

first plied yarn

Jul 18
2008

I finally did it!

I found a way to justify this:
happy hour purchase
Katie-a-Go-Go

I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s so cool!

It comes apart and can be stored in this nifty little pouch. It’s portable. It comes with helpful little cards to write down the details of your project. It’s tensioned. It works with various bobbin sizes, and it’s on sale! Well, it was last night, at the “Make Sandra a Deal Happy Hour” (TM). It’s a Katie-a-Go-Go!

I’ve been eyeing these Lazy Kate’s since the first day they came in. Since I’ll be getting a wheel soon, this will practically be a necessity. Really! I’m not just trying to justify the purchase. It’s true! I also have two spindles with full copps that I’ve neglected  because the thought of winding off to a temporary holding place only to transfer to something else later in order to ply from seemed  like a daunting task and a waste of time. And now, I don’t have to! The Kate comes with straws you can slide over the metal dowels, so I can wind off onto those and ply from them until I get bobbins. Wee!

Jun 26
2008

Some things are just meant to be…

Spinknit - BFL in Secret GardenThe amazing Spinknit was naming some of her new colourways yesterday, and the roommie and I were coming up with additional suggestions with her. She described one that was dark super-saturated tealy greens, and I joked it should be “mine” – not named “mine”, but just make its way to my stash because that sounded like the most perfect colourway to me. She ended up naming it “Secret Forest” after one of our suggestions, and I came home not-so-secretly yearning for it. Tonight was Happy Hour at the store, complete with chocolate martinis or china white shots and sales on items pertaining to the letter “C”. As I strolled to the back of the store, I saw a single braid of the new Secret Forest colourway roving and fell head over heels in love. Then I saw it was BFL, which I’ve been wanting to try as well. And since the colour was that of old coniferous trees in the depths of an old secret forest, I got the only one… on sale! You gotta love when things just work out perfectly. I’m thinking I’ll have to wind off the merino-tencel on my larger spindle to try some of this in the very near future! Trust me, my photography does not do this justice; it’s amazing!

fawkes socks june 26 -3

I’m also loving the way the Fawkes socks are knitting up. It’s going so fast – even with the tinking I had to do because I kept forgetting to knit every other row. Such is life… but check out the progress so far. These were started on Wednesday afternoon, which is amazingly fast for me.


Jun 23
2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty

The Good: I finally got the call I’ve been waiting for regarding my dream job and will be having “coffee” (aka a casual interview) with my potential boss on Weds. I firmly believe that this only happened when I finally gave up on it and started seriously looking for other jobs.

The Bad: One of the dork squad has left us to fly all the way across the country (or what seems like it to us Westerners, at least) to go live in the wilds of Sudbury. Hopefully you guys have noticed that this is a community blog — there are seven of us, though two have never actually posted yet! Ralae is one of the original three of us who came up with the idea and as I write she is sitting at the airport waiting for her flight. I’m going to miss her more than I can say, since she’s the one who keeps me sane, but this is one friendship that will totally survive the long distance. (Look at this terrible picture of us while I go have a bit of a cry.)

Liz & Me

The Pretty: To keep my mind off the bad, I’ve been busily working away on a couple of projects. First are my Urban Jungle socks (dyed by Sandra and Amy at M1 and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.)

Urban Jungle Socks #2

And tonight I started spinning again. My technique is terrible and my yarn is hilarious, but two things make up for that. One is the absolutely scrumptious colourway, Coleus ‘Red Velvet’, by the lovely Spinknit (my picture doesn’t do it justice, trust me!) and the other is the fun I’m having doing it. I could get into this spinning thing…

Spinning #1

May 25
2008

Another one done!

sole latte socks complete, may 24

sole latte socks, may 24

I think I sort of found the addiction to socks. I started a “bus knitting” sock last week. I’ve only taken the bus twice since then, but I just finished the first sock. And it’s so purty and soft. The first picture is the sock before Casanova, the second is somewhere during the movie.

I also made a purchase at Make One yesterday: a cute little Cascade Couguar spindle. It’s much lighter than my old one, with a much smaller whorl and a shorter shaft. I just tried it out tonight on some red bamboo top, and it’s awesome. And so’s the bamboo – I’m glad since it’s the fiber purchase that inspired me to learn to spin.

I’m really wanting a wheel now! I shouldn’t plan on spending any money since I keep making smaller purchases like this one, but I’m so addicted. And if I have a chance to get a wheel at an amazing price, I should, right? At any rate, here is my Couguar in all her glory with some red bamboo top.

red bamboo top may 24

Apr 16
2008

I think it’s safe to say…

bamboo top 2I think it’s safe to say that I have a new obsession. Last night, I bought another pound of the blueberry merino-tencel blend roving, as well as a pound of this new bright blue bamboo!

Tonight was our last session of the spinning class, and I mentioned I’d probably be spinning mostly lighter yarns, including laceweight, if I could, since that’s what I prefer to knit with. So, the instructor offered to lend me a lace spindle to test drive!

I’m still debating that wheel purchase… Unfortunately, the call I got from my old employer was just for a half-day contract, so it’s not enough money to just make the purchase on what is a whim for me (less than 6 months research). I *am* having so much fun with this, though. Decisions, decisions…

Apr 13
2008

Mmmmmerino Tencel in Blueberry

merino tencel apr 13Two weeks ago, while browsing before our 2nd spinning class, I bought this gorgeous merino tencel blend in a colour called blueberry. Well, this Friday night, my hands were sore from drafting the slightly matted roving remains from our class, so I pulled out this merino tencel. I spun up about a yarn to get it started then worked on it for an hour or two at Make One at the spin-in on Saturday.

I can’t believe the difference between this and the other wool I had. Well, first, it seems to have an affiinity to stick to whatever I’m wearing, but other than that it seems so much easier to draft and to keep control of. It’s working out to between 28-30 wraps per inch – a little thinner than I was thinking before I started. It started out getting thinner unintentionally, but as I got going, I liked the look, so I tried to keep it that way. I can always ply it more if I want it thicker in the end. Overall, I’m ending up with something that I can see myself actually using, though, which is pretty cool! And I love the sheen on this stuff… I may have to buy more.

I can’t wait for our last spinning class this week to maybe try my hand at spinning on a wheel.

Apr 10
2008

Nostepinnes and spinning wheels

1st plying attemptThis week’s spinning class was about plying, so that’s all I did on the wheel, but I managed to ply a couple of different yarns into both a two-ply and a Navaho-ply (on Beth’s Lendrum) – a cool effect, but I don’t know that the motion would ever seem totally natural to me. Afterwards, I got scrap/stash yarns for the class and tried plying on the S75 Victoria at the back. I had a tiny ball of silk, I believe, and something that looked like Louet Gems, and it was loads of fun! It’s a mess, but I loved using the wheel, and I really like the colours, so I may try to find some fiber to match. I know there’s some scrumptious bamboo fiber in chocolate brown at the store, so I’d just have to find a good green…

2nd yarn I also now have two balls of my own handspun, so I’m going to try plying those on the drop spindle this week. I have to say that the difference between this one and the first ball is pretty cool. Also, check out the weird shape? I saw Anna’s YOL yarn had an egg shape to it, and wondered what she had used to wind it. Well, this was done with a handy-dandy nostepinne. I still prefer my ball winder for winding from a skein, because, ouch, my shoulders… but for something that’s better done by hand, this really does work great.

Next week, we get to play on the wheels again for the last class, so I’m totally going to bring some of my fiber and try spinning on a wheel. Maybe try a different one, too, although I did really like the one I used last night.

Apr 3
2008

Spinning! Wee!

merino-tencel

I just got home from the second installment in our spinning class at Make One. As soon as I got there, I saw baskets and boxes of pretty new stuff at the back. Of course!

The first thing that really caught my eye was the bamboo spinning fiber. It really was gorgeous, but since the bamboo top I got from Fibrefest was what inspired me to try spinning, I really don’t need more until I can actually spin the stuff… it sure was pretty though. Instead, I bought some beautifully soft merino/tencel in a colour called blueberry, which I can’t wait to try.

Spinknit and I were chatting before class about how long it would be before my obsessive roommate bought a wheel, but I think in this case, I might be the first to cave… Sadly, this has to wait until after I have a job again and after we move.

In class, we got to see and feel the difference in fiber from various breeds of sheep including shetland, jacob, arcott, columbia, cotswold and blackface leicester, as well as cashmere, silk and camel. I also wound the yarn I had spun this week into a ball. It’s hideously eneven, but I spun a ball of yarn! The first picture is of the stuff I did in the very first class – I don’t think it even qualifies as yarn; the second is of the ball I wound from what I had done this past week – bad yarn, but yarn nonetheless!

1st spin practice1st ball of yarn

Mar 28
2008

identity crises and questions about existence

Yes, both of these things actually relate to the first Year of Lace project. My yarn wants to rename itself, and my project is not sure if it wants to come into being right now…first yarn

But first, I attended my very first spinning class last night! I think I might be in trouble… I do not need another hobby. It was lots of fun, despite dropping my spindle a few times. Once I figured out how to get started, and remembered to not overtwist (thus causing the spindle to start spinning in the opposite direction without my noticing almost immediately) things improved drastically.

In the end, this was what I ended up with when I finished spinning the 2 little pieces of roving I started with. My first yarn! I had to pre-draft it to within an inch of it’s life as I just can’t seem to do the drafting quickly enough one handed while using the spindle. I can’t wait until next week’s class to try the wheels. I can’t buy one right now, and I wouldn’t until I got better at the spindle anyway, but fun to try!

YOL button (designer: Joceknits) And now, more spoilery Year of Lace (YOL) content behind the cut.

(Continue Reading …)

Mar 26
2008

I keep putting off posting here because I haven’t had a chance to upload pictures of any of my new stash or projects.  But I’m so excited about my current project that I must share.

I’ve been working on BrooklynTweed’s Hemlock Ring Blanket in some of the Cascade Ecological Wool I picked up in Abbotsford.  Love love love the pattern *and* the yarn!  I was kind of worried at how stiff the yarn felt in the skein, but as soon as I started knitting it softened up, and it’s the perfect yarn for this blanket.

Oh my god, I’m knitting a blanket.  I always swore that was *way* too big of a project to knit and that if I wanted a blankey I would crochet it.  But it’s knitting up so fast!  I’m about 5 m away from the end of the first skein and have about 8 rows to go for the smaller size, so I think I’m going to do the extra rows since I’ll be breaking into the second skein anyway.  And then I’ll have to think of something to do with the leftovers.

Tonight is the Explorations in Handspinning class I signed up for as soon as we got back from FibreFest.  It should be a lot of fun and all I really need to make my life complete is to pick up a new hobby, right?  Which reminds me, someone needs to nag me until I actually complete a project on my lovely loom.  Seriously, this one has been sitting on there for months and I hate it but feel guilty just chopping the warp off.  Of course, my solution involves dropping some cash at M1 for a warping board so that it isn’t such a pain to warp…

Mar 18
2008

Spinny!

schacht  hi-lo drop spindle

As I was getting ready to leave the SnB tonight at Make One, it occurred to me that I don’t have a spindle for next week’s spinning class, and perian will be using hers since she’s in the class, too. So, I chatted with Amy for a few minutes about spindles, and came home with this (my receipt tells me it’s a Schacht Hi-Lo Drop Spindle).

I’m so excited for this class to start. Well, the class and Year of Lace, which I’m waiting for oh-so-patiently!

Mar 13
2008

Spin, Spinner, Spin Doctor, Doctor Who… ooh, guess what I’m doing next?

I signed up for the spinning class at Make One! I decided I had better learn to spin, since I bought fiber last weekend. I’m kind of excited about it, actually. And in usual “dive in to the deep end” fashion, I’ve started researching spinning terminology, the benefits of one wheel over another, etc… Now, I just need to get my act together and get a job to pay for all my obsessions!

For now, though, I’m off to see a Doctor!

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