Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A quick Spin - Olds Fibre Week 2017 Spin in Social Yarn

This month I attended my second ever Olds Fibre Week, and of course it was a blast. Doubly so because it was my first weekend away from the boys since they were born. (By away I mean I left them with Kevin all day Fri-Sun, but came home every evening to snuggle and put them to bed, I mean you can't expect this momma to leave them over night can you?)

I of course took classes, and shopped for goodies, but one of the things I was most looking forward to was the Spin In Social, because when else do you get that many spinning wheels out in public.

Plus, as an added perk, all of the vendors in the Market donate fibre for everyone to sample and spin.

I didn't just have sampling in mind tho. I wanted to spin a complete yarn that would commemorate the event.

So I grabbed a handful off of each of the lovely braids that were laid out. It's mostly merino, but there's tonnes of silk, bambo, nylon and other in there too.

And I spun up a bobbin of what I like to think of as potluck yarn. I just randomly alternated from each handful of fibre, spinning short segments of each., and proving there's a lot of fun you can have blending fibres even without fancy tools.

I also grabbed a length of Rambouilett roving from a 1lb bag donated by Custom Woolen Mills. As you can see, the roving is full of little neps, either from second cuts, or as I suspect, places where this fine wool is broken up during a milling process better suited to medium-corse wool.

But it was still soft and lovely, and if you don't mind a 'rustic' looking yarn, it spun up into a bobbin chuck full of woolen spun singles.

So I plied them together. I chose to ply the multi yarn with a solid white for a few reasons. First, it would stretch the length my multi would go by double, preferable to plying it with itself and having half as much finished yarn. Next it would provide a stable and constant back bone for a yarn that has sections of different fibre blends. Furthermore, it brings the different colours of the single together, providing a harmonious look to the finished yarn. Finally, these singles were white, just because I didn't feel like dyeing the fibre and having to wait for it to dry before I could start spinning it.

Plying it up, the 2-ply came out as about a worsted weight.

And the finished skein. 252 yards in 120g. and isn't it beautiful! Finished skeins of yarn like this one remind me just how much I love spinning.

And yes, if you look closely it is a little kinky... I still need to set the twist.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Can't I just cast on a few more things?

If I didn't have to take care of my boys.

If I didn't have to write my thesis.

If I didn't have to cook and do laundry (let's be honest, I don't do a tonne in the way of cleaning the house anyways).

If I had unlimited crafting time and fingers that could fly twice as fast.

Maybe I'd be working on some of these projects I've favourited on Ravelry this weekend.

This is the Mochila Liza, a fantastic tapestry crochet bag designed by Marion Verloop. It popped up on the ravelry home page recently and I knew I wanted to make one one day. Marion, in fact has a number of similar bags, but this one would be a perfect summer festival bag. Plus I'm a sucker for tapestry crochet!

Next up is Mysteries, She Wrote, a stunning Brioche shawl by Susanne Sommer. If you haven't checked out her designs you should, I pretty much want to knit all of them. Anyways, this one features syncopated brioches, a technique I haven't tried yet, although I have in my head a design idea for it, featuring the skein of yarn from yesterday's post. Plus I think after ripping out my Snowmelt shawl last week, I might be in shawl withdrawal.... sure I have two others currently on needles, but one of them I'm not in love with and the other one I haven't worked on since February. Clearly I need to cast on a new one..... right?

So Faded...because I am Soooo not over it. Pattern of course by Andrea Mowry.  I knit her Find Your Fade shawl this winter (yes I drank the cool aide, you probably did too), and I think.... maybe... I have enough yarn tho bang out at least the cropped version of this one with the leftovers.

Sure I already have a fingering weight sweater (the Granito) on the go. Sure I have many... many other sweater's quantities of yarn in my stash that I don't really need to piece on together for this. Sure I have a blanket I need to finish by Saturday and a sock pattern to release. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't hit post and go weight out my yarn to see if I have enough, does it?

Speaking of that blanket... it's moving along... one maybe two repeats left to go.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A quick post about a long spin

First, before you read this, go to instagram and follow @frostyarn and then go to Etsy and favourite her shop.

OK, now that you've done that, let's get into it.

I've been drooling over Nic's art batts on instagram forever, so way back when in February, I decided that I needed to grab one for my birthday.

I picked out this lovely batt, Peacock inspired, and started spinning it on my birthday eve.

Just amazing isn't it!

I spun the bad boy, all 5 ounces of it, using a method for spinning batts from the book Yarnitecture, called stacking, as in I stacked sections of each colour to spin them together.

I also did way more prep and pre-drafting for this, and let me tell you it paid off.

My singles were finer and more consistent than any I had ever spun.

Which means of course I had more yardage than I've ever gotten out of a batt before.

I present to you the squishy-est skein of two-ply yarn in the history of yarns,

Well maybe not, but as far as I'm concerned it's amazing. 512 meters in 5 ounces of super squishy, super sparkly, merino silk yarn.

Now I just have to spin the matching batt.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unicorn Poop!

I love making knit and crochet toys. There's something about all those little parts coming together into a toy that will be around for years and years that I adore.

This little guy came in a kit stuck to the front of Simply Knitting magazine edition 158. And since the only thing I love more than buying yarn is buying knitting magazines, and this particular one had the yarn for a cute project kitted with it, well of course I picked up a copy.

It all came together into this little guy (shhhh I sacrificed a pillow to stuff him, since I don't have any polyfill with me here in Crows Nest Pass). I only stuffed the body, should have probably shoved some into the legs.

Alex doesn't seem to mind however. Dom didn't either. In fact the only complaint they had was that there weren't two of them. This is a recurring problem in our lives.

The pattern is the Magical Unicorn by Sincerely Louise.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ripped, Knit and crochet.

I was knitting the Snowmelt Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I ripped it out.

I just wasn't feeling the peach yarn (which I dyed myself). In theory it looked good with the other two (purple is Republik of Wool and Blue is Francophile Knits), and by in theory I mean in skein form. But half way through the knit I just knew I hated it and it needed to go to the frog pond.

So I'll probably cast that one back on eventually... since it is a FO I would really like to have, I mean I don't have any semi-circular shawls yet. And really that is reason enough for me.

I cast on the Twisted Soul socks, for the Sockmatician's Twisted Stitches knit along. These are a mystery knit pattern, heavily cabled. I won't share any more pictures until all the clues are out. I'll be pleasantly surprised if I manage to finish these bad boys before the end of the month.

These Caron Cakes are a project with a deadline. I actually added a fifth to that pile, just in case. They are quickly becoming a chevron crochet blanket for a bridal shower on the 17th. I'd say I'm about half way there.

So that's what I have pictures of... actual WIPs, well I think I'm upwards of 7 right now. So that's fun.

What have you been working on?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Yesterday was a big day for FOs

Sure I've still got some (cough all cough) of the ends to weave in, but it was nice to get some things done.

I had finished these bad boys, the super neat, heel up socks by Daniel Yuhas (pattern from the book Knitting from the Center Out), on Tuesday.

The yarn is an amazing self striping colour way (are we there yet) from Stray Cat Socks, on her Deluxe base which is an MCN. And the fit is pretty good. I do mean to write up a separate post and do a quick video on these... one day... in all my free time (time not spent knitting that is).

So with those off the needles I had only one other project to finish before the end of March (which is the end of Winter Camp), and that was my Eyeball Shawl.

This is of course a Stephen West Pattern (since West Knits are the Best Knits, one should always be working on one), and as of Wednesday I had only the brioche border and an I-cord cast off to finish it.

So of course I figured I may as well cast on a mosiac knitting dish cloth to enter the Skein Game KAL.

This is the Turkish Tiles Dishcloth, pictured here with beer to take the edge off of knitting with stiff cotton (Bernat Handicrafter).

On the one hand, I happen to love any kind of colour work knitting, and it was a great break from all the icord I was slogging through at this point.

On the other hand, my hands were so sore from fighting this yarn into submission that I didn't even keep the leftovers (and that's saying something).

Dishcloth finished, I got back to work at casting off my Eyeball (knit in a kit of Hedgehog Sock...a yarn sooo splitty I am not eager to work with it again, although the colours are amazing).

So just some ends to weave in and a good blocking, and I can wear it to knit night next week (Have I mentioned there is a great little Yarn Shop here in CrowsNest Pass?) (Have I mentioned that we are living in the Pass until the end of June?) (Have I mentioned I am terrible at blogging?)

Anyways, just to finish yet another thing off. I finally finished turning the first half of this:

A beautiful batt by Frost Yarn. into this:

282 yards of pretty impressive fingering weight two ply!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How many shawls is too many?

Who doesn't love knitting shawls?

Big Shawls, Little Shawls.

Lace Shawls, Cabled Shawls?

Garter Shawls, Brioche Shawls?

All the shawls.... even the ones that you'll probably never wear in public since you dyed your hand spun in colours reminiscent of hubba bubba bubble gum.

That's my Exploration Station by the way. It's squishy and amazing, and only worn around the house.

So to get to my point (which took me nearly a full month by the way, so much for promising this post would come tomorrow)  is I am working on a stunning number of shawls and would like to cast on more.

Can you say Shawlapalooza? (more on that to follow)

Currently working on:

Frantically finishing my fade.

Pattern is Find your Fade by Andrea Mowry, and I am knitting mine from 6 skeins of Hedgehog Fibres and one skein of my own hand dyed yarn (feeling super pumped up that my yarn plays so nicely with Hedgehogs).

And I am sooo done with it. I have 40 more rows to go, and knitting it monogamously is killing me (I think I'll go cast on some socks).

Shawls I also currently have underway include:

Stephen West's Eyeball Shawl

Joji Locatelli's Girl from the Grocery Store


Leslie Anne Robinson's Sizzle Pop

Aaaand I have yarn caked up and ready to go for Curious Handmade's MKAL the Snowmelt... which everyone else will be finished soon.

Oh and then this happened.

I just really really really wanna knit a new shawl!