Pseudo Rolags

I did end up doing some spinning by candlelight (yikes, it is hard to see!), and I managed to do this — it is kinda fun and funky – definitely more interesting than the fiber without them:


and I did even more last night:


For more details on this technique, go to the Rosemary Knits blog.


FO: Eiki Shawl

The eiki shawl is done, but not without some minor challenges.

The first thing was my issue, I decided to use a smaller yardage than was called for.  I was taking a chance, and that was ok.  As it turns out, I was slightly short of yarn at the end.  If I’d used a smaller needle size, it might have worked better.  Oh well.

The second was a minor set of errata – things are fixed now, and were fixed very promptly by the designer, for which I was very grateful.

Here she is (yes, it’s a girl shawl, and not just because she’s pink):





More Than Just One Hour

My spindling worked out well last night:

Earth Hour1c

I’ll try to take a photo soon of the resulting fiber. As it turned out today, much of our county got an extra hour and a half of earth hour this afternoon – the power went out in a good portion of the county. I was off in another county while this happened. I hope we got extra credit!


Ready for Earth Hour

Ready for the spinning – will be an interesting time of play:

Pseudorolag prep</a


Earth Hour – a reason to spin

Tonight is Earth Hour – a time to disconnect from everything that uses electric energy.  I’m thinking I’ll spin tonight, what about you?



A little bit of everything

I’ve been crossing between my fiber crafts in the last couple of days.

First, and mostly in my own head, I’m planning to spin for a pair of socks.  I’ve got this luscious pile of fiber to play with:
Fiber Pile1a

The center fiber is the base of the sock – Miss Babs BFL (it says it is a silk blend, but it’s not – Babs herself caught the problem at checkout at Stitches West).  I’m thinking of doing the pseudo rolags technique in the latest Spin Off magazine, using some of the other fibers – some BFL, maybe some merino – all for a some color punch (it is handspun, after all!).  Still in the playing in my head, but maybe I’ll get out that new KCL modular spindle and do a couple of test bits.

The knitting is progressing on a couple of fronts.  I’m knitting another pair of socks for a family friend heading somewhere to the Middle East.  The guy has SIZE 13 (!) feet.  Oh my.  That is a lot of foot.  I’ve done one, and in the middle of the foot for the other.


I also  started the eiki shawl (you want one, you know do you) with a lovely yarn from Scout’s Swag sock yarn club.  The color is totally on point for this spring, so I’m enthused about it.

Yesterday, feeling a bit guilty that I haven’t knit for afghans for afghans in a couple of months, I finally got out the dye pot to dye some of the yarn I was given a couple of years ago – I’m finally getting to the end of it – in blue-perwinkle-turquoise.  I’m kinda so-so on the yarn in the skeins – each one is different – but I think as a textured pullover, maybe with some more colors at the yoke, they will look just fine:
Dyed wool for a4a

But the best part was just playing around with some mohair that was part of the lot.  Here is is undyed:

Natural Mohair

and after I “painted” it with squeeze bottles full of dyes:
Dyed  Mohair

I love it when I play and something really cool happens!


A Little Spinning

Before the lovely KCL spindle arrived, I got out my wool/silk/bamboo fiber from Lisa Souza and did a small sample as a two-ply:

Dega Fiber 1a

The pale colors are lovely.  I’m also going to do a slightly felted single to see if that might work as well.

And the KCL spindle  is great.  I might need to slightly adjust the hook though. It has a bit of a wobble at the moment.

Test spin KCL modular spindle

edited to add:  There are some designers who have put out patterns, or designated proceeds, to go to mercy and charity relief for the earthquake in Japan.  One is Kay Gardiner, with her Mitered Crosses Blanket for Japan, and my spinning teacher from Stitches West, Janel Laidman, with her beautiful shawl pattern eiki (which means strength).  Now, don’t buy them if you won’t use them (you can send money directly to folks like Doctors Without Borders ), but if you will, this is a win-win-win!


A New Spindle Toy

One of the vendors that I really “discovered” at Stitches West (where I seem to only hear about cool things after I have left) was the KCL Woods booth – Ken Ledbetter has been making spindles and other wooden goodness for a while.  Ken himself introduced me to his very lovely modular spindles, which have a number of shafts that can be unscrewed, then you pop on a new one, and keep going.  I loved the concept, took his card.

A couple of weeks ago I finally looked seriously at the website, emailed Carol, his wife, and began a lovely email correspondence to get exactly what I wanted.  Seriously, the customer service is simply great.

Yesterday, on a day when I really needed a pick-me-up, the new spindle and shafts came.  From the side, they look good:

Ledbetter Spindle1b

But I am SO pleased with the whorl.  To me, it looks like a lovely cross, maybe with a bit of a Celtic flair (I think the Celtic Christians were amazing ahead of their time):

Ledbetter Spindle1c

In other news, I’m ready to send socks to the husband of a friend, who’s on location for his work.  They are big – Men’s Size 10 1/2.  This is how big a pair of socks you can apparently knit with a 100 g skein of Regia yarn (knit toe up – details are here):

Curtiss' sock


Yak-ing It Up – The Knitting Edition

So, in the last post I talked about spinning up the Yak-Silk fiber.  This post will cover the knitting.

Since I only had a couple of ounces of lace/light fingering yarn, I knew this was going to end up a small project.  I had knit a cowl from the same colorway in the merino-silk fiber (a DK-ish 3 ply), so I decided on the Traveling Woman shawl.  This was my second time with this project, and I selected it because the designer provides formulas on changing up the pattern size.

While knitting, the project had that “handspun” and even a bit of the homemade quality:

Traveling Woman2a

But that all changed in the blocking.  I blocked pretty “aggressively” (stretched it a lot), because I figured the silk could take the stress, and I want to do the lovely points at the edge.

Traveling Woman2h

Traveling Woman2e

Traveling Woman2f

And the real beauty shot:

Traveling Woman2g

This is a light scarf, perfect for summer, with a slight ruffling as I wear it.
Yes, I have not woven in the ends yet. That’s tonight!


Yak-ing It Up – the Spinning Edition

Last year, I bought some lovely silk-merino blend top from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Later, I found some fiber in the same lovely Azure colorway for sale on their website, and bought it. At the time, I thought it was the same fiber as what I had gotten at the show. Turns out, it was actually a 50-50 yak-silk blend – a total luxury fiber, but not helpful with my plan for a three-ply of the silk-merino.

It sat for a while. Truth be told, I wasn’t getting a good spinning result – there’s a bit of stickiness to the yak, but it is so soft and lovely. Finally, I started back spinning it, and just finished plying this morning – lovely 2-ply. This is how it looked off the spindles:


Kinda bumpy, not as lovely as it will be. I set the twist. Izzie was intrigued by the yak smell, and I had to chase her away from the sink more than once:

The end result is lovely:

I’m thinking of a small lace shawlette, the feel is so wonderful, and the drape is sublime!