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Knitting for Good Projects Spinning

Copping

I’m trying out my beautiful new Asciano Spindle – and she’s a real beauty.
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The fiber is some beautiful targhee wool top from Abstract Fiber and I’ve whizzed through 1/3 of it already.  This time, I’m not winding it off separately, but putting the cop onto a straw – and it worked!
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I’m still working on a basic sock for Afghans for Afghans – they are continuing the youth campaign until early May, and socks and sweaters are the thing they usually have less of.

a4a Youth Sock

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Patterns Projects Spinning Uncategorized

FO: Handspun Ishbel, and a spindle report

The Ishbel is done, and I must say, I’m so glad that this one will stay with me:

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I spun the Pigeon Roof Studio’s Falklands fiber on my beginner 2.2 Schacht as worsted laceweight singles, plied into a plying ball, plied the two strands together on the same spindle. It took a long time, but I’ve gotten to be a better spinner for the effort. See the process in these photos:

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And I’m showing off the spindles. I have two reasonably priced ones (the Schacht and Kundert), and a couple of splurges – the Spindlewood and the Amazingly Beautiful Asciano Spindle out of a central american wood (not endangered) that I can’t pronounce:

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Knitting Events Projects Spinning

just a little problem

Last year when I went to Stitches, I bought very little – a swift (which has made life so much easier), a little bit of yarn, a book. It was a simple year.

This year, not so much. I learned to spin over the summer, and since only one of my LYS carries fiber (thank you, Llama Llama Knit for enabling me so well), I really was in the mood for more. Taking a spindling class with the Amazing Michael at A Verb for Keeping Warm the Sunday before Stitches only increased my yearning to BUY ALL THINGS FOR SPINNING. MUST HAVE! NOW!!

Yeah, a little bit of a problem. So it should come as no surprise that I more than made up for my parsimonious ways of last year:

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–two spindles (yeah, after I bought a Kundert on Sunday)
–lots of fiber (Targhee from Abstract Fiber, silk and silk merino from Verb, a couple of 1 oz luxury mixes from Knitifacts (including a 40% alpaca, 40% camel, and 10% silk)
–a WPI tool
–a amazing goodie bag from the Knitmore Girls, including a retractable measuring tape, soak samples, free sock pattern and a skein of hard-wearing Regia sock yarn. They are truly lovely women, and such a great example of mother-daugther bonding.
–a free bag from the Verb (after I went back and bought my spindle and looked yearningly at the bags)
–sock yarn from Miss Babs (Babs gave me a free little stitch marker as a new customer)
–charting software from Intwined Studio (a new start-up – friendly people with a good cheap product)

I also felt as though I got to meet a lot of great folks – the lovely folks at Pigeonroof Studios, Deborah at Asciano Fiber Arts Tools who sold me an incredibly beautiful spindle, Kristine at Verb, Robin Page of Pagewood Farm, and so on. And just sitting and meeting other prayer shawl knitters at lunch was fun, and catching up with old friends that I haven’t seen since the year started.

It was such a lovely couple of days, I’ve floated since then!

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Knitting for Good Projects ravelympics Spinning

I’m a medalist!

Ok, a Ravelympics medalist, but I’m delighted that I’ve got my awards. One of them is for the sweater, and the other is for a scarf I knit out of my handspun:

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Ravelympics scarf super-gRavelympics charity curling

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Kitties Knitting Events Knitting for Good Projects Spinning

Homestretch

I’m getting there on the sweater – the sleeves are done, joined to the body, and I’ve finished (i.e. designed on the fly and knit) the first color pattern for the yoke, done the first decreases, and beginning on the second color pattern (to match the sleeve).

I’m pretty happy with it:
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and so is Izzie:
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The goal is to finish the knitting today, and do the blocking today and tomorrow.

Yesterday, I went to the intermediate spindling class, it was awesome, and I’ll more after Stitches West. Just too much happening this week!

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Knitting Events Knitting for Good Projects ravelympics Spinning Uncategorized

Ok, let’s get focused

The Ravelympics is fun, but I think I probably am stretching my limits given time constraints. The stranded sweater is not getting all the attention that I wish for it. I finished the lower body, but I’m still on the sleeves:

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Part of the delay on the sleeves was working out the detail for the cuffs. I finally came up with this, after an emergency run to the yarn store for the heathered gold:

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This is what you get when you don’t plan out the sweater or follow a pattern.

But the other issue is that I started to ply the Falkland fiber – and once I started, I wanted to finish the plying ball; more accurately, I needed to get it all done before Sunday, when I’m taking an intermediate spindling class. The class is with WonderMike (the guy who does the great Fiber Beat podcast), and I own only one spindle. People assure me that the one spindle thing will not last long, now I see why, it’s like owning only one pair of knitting needles.

Back to the fiber: I am really happy with the beautiful colors. This is what it looks like pre-setting the twist. Lovely, isn’t it?

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This is about 2 oz of the 4 oz that I have spun, so I’m quite glad that there will be enough lace yarn for a real project. As I plied, I saw all kinds of funkiness in it, and I’m just letting it go, because I’m learning, and whatever I make out of it will be lovely because of the color and softness.

This has meant that the stranded vest with the steeks has gotten very little love. I’m hoping it gets done (because it is supposed to go to Afghanistan), but we’ll see. Next week I have a bunch of meetings, and Stitches West. Yeah, looking tough, isn’t it? Oh well!

Categories
Knitting for Good Projects ravelympics Spinning

Distractions

I finished spinning my singles of the Falkland, so I decided to do a test ply of a two-ply (I’d love to do a lace shawl with this yarn). Here’s what I get with a size 3 (3.25 mm) needle:

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and it feels good too! So, in spite of the Ravelympics starting, I want to make a plying ball a la Abby Franquemot so I can take my spinning around with me. A bit insane, yes? I thought so.

And the stranded sweater for Ravelympics has begun:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1a

All these distractions were making me a bit anxious, so I was glad that this poster came this week:

Keep Calm Poster

You can get one of your very own here. I recommend it!

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Knitting for Good Patterns Projects Spinning Uncategorized

WIP Report

Not much completion going on in Casa del Revknits. But there are things to report.

My spinning mojo is quite good at the moment. I’m spinning with Pigeonroof Falkland, and I love the colors. I hope I’m not overspinning the fiber:

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The progress on the vest has reached the steek level – I’ve created the armhole steeks. I’m about to start creating the steek for the V-neck – it’s a little scary, knowing what will be happening. And because of all the colors, this is not a portable project. I would like to get it done before Ravelympics begin, but I have a fair amount of travel, so that might be a little beyond me at the moment.

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The comfort knitting is my Lacy Prayer Shawl – in Malabrigo worsted in Natural – I might use this project for a dye experiment. Free download through Ravelry – go to this page on my blog, and you’ll see.

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And I need to start on a baby sweater project for my boss, that will probably be the travel project…only two colors in a cheap but washable/dryable yarn!

Categories
Kitties Spinning

How a Spinner is Born

First, a casual glance at spinning fiber and goodness as one walks by
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Entranced by the fiber goodness, a closer inspection is required
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Decide that further tactile investigation and play is the order of the day, one engages the spindle
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And learns to draft the fiber with the correct paw
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Realize that park and draft is more complicated than it looks when somebody experienced does it, it’s hard to know where to look
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Then takes a break because learning new stuff is tiring
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When do I get to ply?
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Spinning Uncategorized

Spinning Update

I have some more information and tools for spinning:

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Abby’s stuff is great for the newbie spindler.  Every page has something of value!  The DVD is pretty good, of course it can’t contain everything in the book. If you are thinking of getting the video – buy the DVD, because the download video quality is not all that good, I’ve heard.

One of the things I learned from Abby’s book is the multiple ply plying ball. You take two singles and wind them together in a tensioned ball, and it turns out that this makes it much easier for the beginning spindler to control the plying. I’ve made a lot of progress over the last few months since I took my beginner’s class. See?
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The yarn on the left was the first beginner handspun, and the stuff on the right is some lovely merino/silk top that I got from A Verb for Keeping Warm (at Llama Llama Knits). I really enjoyed spinning this stuff, and feel pretty darned proud of it:

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There’s more than this skein – I’ve got two ounces, and am I’m pondering a small project for this – a cowl or a hat at the moment. Suggestions welcome!

Things in the spinning department were going well so well last week that I knew I needed some more fiber, which was conveniently down the street from my new credit union (Redwood Credit Union).  Anyway, this fiber jumped out at me. I haven’t spun with this fiber before, and the colorway is amazing!
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This Falkland fiber comes from the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina. I’m trying to branch out with a variety of fibers – it will be the year of “make my own fiber club” since I appear to have missed most of the deadlines for the ones in 2010. At least Stitches West is coming up – I should be able to score some spindles, a nostepine, and some cool fiber there!