Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Couple New Projects and... My First Handspun!! Yay!!

So I've started a couple new projects. I am ignoring that darn baby blanket for a while because I found a few mistakes that I made 4 rows ago and I don't feel like ripping it back right now. Boo.

Anyways, here's the scarf I'm making for my dad:



And I just realized that I took a picture of the "wrong side" of the scarf. The other side is the actual stitch, but this side looks pretty cool too I call it "Dad's Brown and White Rice Scarf." (I'm not actually sure if he'll like it... he already has a scarf and my dad likes to keep things simple... usually.)
Yarn: Love Knit (Brown Sepia 1205), Caron Dazzleaire (Off White 2615)
Needles: US 15

Holding the two yarns together, CO 16 sts
Purl one row, substituting a K1 for the last st
Row 1: sl1 wyif, *K1, P1, rep from * until last st
Row 2: sl1 wyif, P rest of row, substituting a K1 for the last st
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until desired length achieved, ending on Row 2
BO

* sl1 wyif = slip 1 as to knit, with yarn in front
I also started the Scrunchable Scarf:


[Note: Because of my sleep/work schedule, I have been "forced" to take pictures at night. I don't like the pictures I took with flash, so you are stuck with these yellowed photos.]

The pattern's real easy and very pretty, and the yarn is very soft, but not too easy to work with. The loopy parts keep getting pushed back and scrunched up. I bought it from Ebay without a label, so I don't know which brand it is. Eh, we'll see how it goes.

AND... now for a pretty exciting bit. I just spun my own skein of yarn!!! I bought some undyed alpaca fiber from Ebay (where else??) and used Megan LaCore's Videos (1 2 3) to guide me.

So here's the fiber. I pre-drafted a little to smooth it out and take out some leafy/veggie matter. I didn't get all of it out, so my yarn's a bit dirty. Eh. I still think it's cool I intentionally left the fiber a little uneven to make the yarn sort of thick-and-thin (intentionally = I just didn't try very hard to even it out because I knew I wouldn't get it very even in the first place, it being my first time spinning and all). Also, here's my drop spindle!



And, here's half of it spun up.



Here's all of it wrapped around a chair back and twisted into a mini hank. (As you can tell, like a proud mama, I took TONS of pictures of my first handspun )



Then, I heated some water on the stove in two big pots to near boiling. I squirted a little Dawn dish soap into one and carefully submerged the yarn into it. I let it soak for a few minutes and then carefully (!) transferred it to the other pot of water only and let that soak for a while (I read that disturbing the yarn too much can felt it). Then, I took it out, wrapped it in a clean towel, and squeezed it to take out some water. In order to let it fully dry and to set the twist in the yarn, I hung it up overnight and weighed it down with a can of Progresso soup. But, I think I put too much twist into the fiber - some parts of the yarn kinked up on itself and when I took off the can of soup, the hank didn't hang straight and twisted a little (i.e., it wasn't balanced... I think this is the right terminology).



And finally, I re-wound it into a much longer skein to prepare for dying.



I haven't done the dying yet, but will post pictures up when it's done.

That's it for now!

[Note: Originally posted Nov 24, 2008 on my previous blog.]

1 comment:

Olivia ("divine") said...

I am SO jealous of your hand spun! I never thought that I could do it at home... I've really really wanted to learn, though. Where did you get the spinning wheel (or whatever it's called...) at? What what an inspiration... and it looks really great! Can't wait to see what it looks like dyed.

I understand why you moved from mindsay. It's great in all the ways you mentioned, but it does still have some growing to do in some ways, too.