Thursday, December 11, 2008

You Spin Me Right Round

Yippee! Look at what I got in the mail the other day:

Cool, huh? The Etsy store I bought it from burned my knitting title into it. It's 12" long and weighs 1.6 oz. It's much easier to use than my smaller circular spindle. See what I did?

(pretty, huh?)

It's my second handspun - merino superwash in metallic gray and a little purple. I'm not really sure what weight it is... kinda light-worsted I think... Oooo, look how even the thickness is... Wanna know my secret?

It's pencil roving! Ha! No (pre-)drafting required! Actually, it was pretty nice to just get used to the action of spinning without having to worry about fiber thickness or little nubbies/veggie matter that might be in it. I purchased my roving from an Ebay store called The Special Tea Shop. She has TONS of fiber (in addition to other crafts like jewelry and soap-making). You can buy 1-oz packages or bundles up to a pound in weight. She has excellent communication and ships like lightning. I put her on my favorites list :)

A month ago, I bought some "loose roving" from another Ebay/Etsy seller called fraydknot. This was before I had even gotten my hands on a spindle (I think this fiber and my first spindle arrived at around the same time). If you've looked at the pictures from her store, you'll see two things: marvelous colors (sunlight helps, I'm sure) and the fiber has not been combed or carded - not a good place for a beginner to start. I bought 2 different colorways from her for a total of about 5 oz.

This one is called Rose Marie.

When I first received it, I had no idea how to spin it, so I spun the white alpaca first. Later, I asked some friendly folks on Ravelry how I would get started. They said that it would probably be better for it to be combed/carded but that it would be possible, but difficult, to spin straight from the bundle. Now, hand carders and fiber combs cost around $50 or more (though I just found mini hand carders for $11...), so I started thinking about just selling or trading off the fiber. But last night, I decided to give it a whirl. I spun straight from fiber handfuls. Sort of. At first, I grabbed the more linear pieces, but those started running out, so I set down the spindle and started "drafting out" some of the remaining clumps of wool by teasing them out into longer pieces. Then I kept spinning. It was a little slow, because I had to inch the twist up the fiber clumps to "capture" all the frays and curls into the twist, but I think I'm getting used to it! The yarn is wildly uneven, definitely novelty yarn, but I think it looks cool! The beginning part is much more uneven than the parts I spun later.

It's taking me a while, so I'm still not done with the 2 ounces I bought, but it's nice that I can actually spin it instead of trading/selling it off.

As for actual knitting, I've finally finished something! Well, technically, half of something. I have started a pair of the Hand/Wristwarmers and I've finished one of them. However, I found that I was knitting really tightly, I think because it was my first time using DPNs and I didn't want loose stitches at the needle joins and I didn't want the aluminum needles to fall out. So... it is too small - I can force it onto my wrist, but it's pretty tight, especially around the hand/palm. But, seeing as how they're my first mitten-type-things, I don't want to rip it all out, so I think I'll finish the other wrist warmer and give them to someone with smaller hands.

I s'pose this incident demonstrates the value of swatching and determining gauge...

I also started Quant, an entrelac headband, with the Cool Splashers-dyed yarn I showed a while back. I'm not extraordinarily far, but I'm getting used to it. Here's what I have so far:

Impressive, eh? Haha... I stopped at the first diamond, because I wasn't sure how to "pick up and purl" the 6 selvedge stitches on the base triangle. I searched some entrelac tutorials but none of them really explained it. But today, I found the Knitting Help video on "picking up stitches and knitting" that demonstrated it really well. So I'll try that next. If anyone has other tips/explanations, feel free to comment :)

And one last thing... I picked up that "Simple" Blanket that I started long ago and frogged back to the row below the lace row. It's still on hold though, because there are so many cool things I'm starting. Ha, if you haven't noticed, I seem to have knitting/fiber ADD... I have 5 WIPs (well, 4, I just need to weave in the ends on the purple Scrunchable Scarf), have started spinning and dyeing, and I have over 300 projects in my Ravelry Queue. Eh. At least I'm having fun :)

Hey, look - it's Berniece!!

Puppy pictures! She's so cute :D

1 comment:

Lupie said...

Berniece is way too cute!
I wish we could make a play date for Maggie and her.