"Out For Delivery" - isn't that a nice phrase? It is when it describes my spinning wheel! I haven't spun for several days since I returned the rental wheel and I've missed spinning. While I'm patiently waiting for the man in brown to show up, I'll show some progress pictures.
First, some knitting:
This is a modified Uptown Scarf (from Weekend Knitting) made from Handspun #3 (isn't that an original name?). I couldn't find a pattern I liked and I really wanted to get the yarn knit up. I made the scarf long as the pattern suggests (almost to my ankles), but there is no fringe. It is also knit on size 19 needles instead of 35, so I cast on 9 stitches instead of 5. I hope it will improve with a good blocking. It felt strange to use the large needles since I haven't done that in a while!
And I've been a bad knitter and started my Clapotis instead of finishing up my hat or the top. Caitlyn is knitting another one and this seemed like a good time to jump in. I'm having to alternate between two skeins of yarn because there is no dye lot for this yarn and the colors look different. The only problem with this is that the project isn't as portable as I'd like. And the right edge doesn't look exactly like the left edge, but it isn't different enough to bother me. I do love the colors in this yarn!
And speaking of color:
This is the last yarn I spun. Instead of calling it Handspun #4, I think I'll call it Celebration. (Is it silly to name my yarn?!) To me, it looks like Christmas tree lights, or fireworks, or streamers and balloons at a birthday party. Its real name is Pastels and it's Northern Lights 100% Wool Top roving from Louet. This colorway made me happy when I was spinning it! If I remember correctly, I think I have about 220 yards of this. Any ideas of what it should become? I may need to move to a cooler climate so I can keep knitting hats, scarfs, mittens, etc. :) Although, it was 29 degrees with a few snowflakes here today. And on Saturday, it was in the 70s. Weird!
Thank you for all your concern and good wishes for E. It turns out that she has mononucleosis. She's been resting a lot and hasn't been out of the house since last Tuesday. I'm very thankful that it's not something more serious. It looks like we'll be switching back to straight homeschooling (with materials from her teachers) for a week or two so she can stay home and rest up. She wants to be able to go to the World Festival in mid-April!
Just checking in to share how I did on the WIPs last week:
1) As you saw in my last post, I did spin the Spunky Eclectic roving by Saturday's class. I'm having trouble coming up with a pattern for it, though. It's so bulky that most things I've swatched don't look right. I'm going to try the Uptown Scarf from Weekend Knitting next.
2) I think I did work on the hat pattern, but I didn't get it done.
3) I made it to a LYS for the brown for the Bubble Bag. They didn't have the other yarn for the Vintage Bubble Bag, though. I also bought five skeins of Araucania Ranco Multi (color 303). I had a coupon that expired at the end of the month, so I took advantage of it and bought this yarn for Clapotis. While I was at the store, there was a tornado warning and bad thunderstorm. This was not the best environment in which to calculate yardage, so I just bought everything that was in the colorway. I now think that two skeins may be enough for this project, so I'll probably exchange the other three.
4) I did knit swatches of the yarns I spun. In fact, I have two completed hats to show.
baby hat really big hat
You can't tell from the pictures, but the hat on the right is huge. This thing is loose on me and I have a big head. This is the hat for my brother and I think his head may be a little bigger than mine. If not, he may not be able to wear it!
Remember the yarn that I thought would be fingering weight when plied? I forgot about the "poof factor" and the singles didn't stay as thin as they were on the bobbin. But I'm happiest with this yarn so far because it's thinner - even if it is still bulky or heavy worsted weight. I'm looking forward to knitting it!
In non-knitting news, E is still sick. She had improved then relapsed. Her glands (especially on one side) are really swollen. We're waiting on some bloodwork results now to figure out what she may have. It's hard not to worry when your child is sick.
I've only been spinning for a week, but I've learned a lot in that short time...
There is a place called "the dark side" and I've been welcomed to it by other spinners. With a name like that, you'd think it would be a creepy place, but I enjoy it so far. :)
Practice is the best thing for learning how to spin. I asked for recommendations on spinning books and was told that practice is the key. It's true and here's the proof:
Last week's spinning Today's spinning
I think that yarn that is plied with itself looks better (colorwise). I spun a variegated yarn and a solid yarn then plied them together. I tried Navajo plying with the leftover variegated yarn.
Variegated with a rust/brown solid Variegated plied with itself
Plying seems easier than spinning. It's definitely quicker.
Navajo plying was easier than I thought it would be, but it will take some practice to perfect it.
Spinners are also very generous. Look below at what Carole sent. Thank you so much, Carole! And Keri said she wants to make some battlets for me to try. (Have you been to her Etsy shop?) Thanks a lot, Keri!
60% wool/40% mohair in the Dusk colorway from Wooly Wonka
The colors in rovings get muted when you spin them. Unfortunately, the roving has been removed from the Spunky Eclectic site, but here's how the yarn looks. If you looked before, do you remember how dark the purple sections were?
BFL roving in the beautiful Rocky Mountain High colorway
Knitting your own handspun yarn is great. I already knew I liked handspun when I worked with some of Rachel's. But to knit yarn that I spun myself was pretty cool. I'm taking the rusty-variegated yarn above and making a hat for one of my brothers. He's a hunter and the yarn looks like camouflage when it's knitted.
I want my own wheel so I can continue to spin. And guess what? Keri had a Lendrum wheel for sale so I bought it. Wow! Soon I'll be spinning on my own wheel and that's really exciting.
Speaking of wheels, I want to get back to the Louet I'm renting. I can't wait to spin the second pencil roving so I can ply and see how many yards I have. It's all like a fun game right now!
Each Wednesday, Sheepish Annie does a Wednesday Night Bullet Post full of random goodness. Tonight, I thought I'd combine WIP Wednesday with a WNBP. Annie's WNBPs are funny, but I'm a little too tired to be amusing.
* The spinning continues and I'll show pictures as soon as the yarn dries. My first skein of yarn barely twisted at all, and I think that's a good thing, right? The second skein twisted on itself and I'm guessing that means the twist isn't balanced correctly. So, it will get weighted as it dries. But the actual spinning in the second skein looks better.
* My Spunky Eclectic order came in today. In addition to the rovings I ordered, I also am now the proud owner of a cute little button. I love it when shop owners include a fun little something. I should probably wait to spin, but I really, really want to tear into the roving tonight.
* E was sick last night so neither of us got much sleep. I decided to sleep in her room in case she needed me. There were a lot of distractions and the whole time I was trying to sleep on throw pillows - not very comfortable. Hopefully I will sleep better tonight.
* I've been spending time on robotics stuff lately. Here's our website. I had to learn a new skill for this. A domain name had to be ordered then it had to point to our Typepad blog. The team needs to do more with the blog, but I'm pleased to have it created. E created the banner and she's going to add more to it.
* When making buttons for a robotics team, the first few are fun. After that, not so much. Good thing the team members are making a lot of them. We need 1000.
* I want to know - who created Girl Scout cookies?! It turns out that it was Florence E. Neil. She probably didn't know that the cookies would wreak havoc on my Weight Watchers program. What, I'm supposed to have discipline when I eat those things? I guess that could make a difference.
* WIP Wednesday #1: Spin the Spunky Eclectic roving by Saturday morning.
* WIP Wednesday #2: Keep working on the hat pattern. Finish the hat based on K3 P3 or frog it if it's not working.
* WIP Wednesday #3: Get to my LYS to buy Cascade 220 to finish up the Bubble Bag. I'm binding off and need more brown for the handles.
* WIP Wednesday #4: Knit swatches of the yarns I spun to see how they look.
* I didn't know the new Knitty was up until I was looking at friend activity on Ravelry today. I noticed that a lot of people had new projects queued. There are a few things I'd like to knit so I added them to my queue, too.
Okay, I can't stay away from that roving anymore, so I'm going to close. I hope whatever you're working on this Wednesday is fun!
First, let me say that Katey is so sweet and she's a kind and patient teacher. There were a couple of times when I felt like very aggravated with myself, but she didn't seem flustered at all. I really enjoyed learning from her and I get to go back next week to learn how to ply. Another great thing about these classes is that I can rent the wheel. For at least two weeks, I'll have the wheel here and I'm hoping by the end of that time I'll know if I want to purchase one or not.
My homework is to fill two bobbins (leaving one empty for plying) by the next class. Of course I wanted to start right away and I spent most of Saturday afternoon spinning. (Okay, I'm not sure that I really can call it that. Maybe I should say that I spent the time trying to spin.) Anyway, when I got home it seemed that I had lost the hang of it. (You can see the purple pathetic evidence on the floor if you look hard.) But it finally felt like I was getting the hang of it when I switched to the pencil roving. I'm still over-spinning it, but I'm feeling happier about my results.
This yarn must look really pathetic to the real spinners out there, but I figure that most people don't start out with perfect yarn. What I find really amusing is that Katey showed me some beautiful yarn she had spun from this same roving. It would have been enough to knit a hat or a pair of wrist warmers. My yarn will probably be enough to knit a coaster. :D When I signed up for the class, I ordered two of these rovings. It now seems that it will be quite a while before I let myself touch this wool. No way do I want to ruin it, so I'll wait until I can do it justice.
If any of you spinners out there have any books or informational web sites you can recommend, that would be great. I know the best way to improve is to practice, but I wouldn't mind doing a little reading, too. Thanks!
...is my hat pattern and the bubble bag and the scarf and the.... The hat project (E) had the most votes, followed by the top (A). But, I think that I'm not a one project knitter anymore and working on just one thing isn't as enjoyable as spreading the knitting love. So Mary's plan of working on multiple things is probably what I'll go with. But the first "bigger" project I'll work on is my hat pattern.
I did finish the second sample last night. The pattern seems easy enough to read, but I don't have the decreases right. (I think I'm decreasing too quickly because the top of the hat is wavy.) So I'm trying again. But I'm tired of knitting the pattern based on K2 P2 ribbing, so I'm switching to K3 P3. It will be interesting to see how the stitch pattern looks based on six stitches instead of four. When it's less dark and dreary, I'll take a picture.
Okay, enough about that - who won the yarn? :) Ruth from Ruth's Place!* I have a couple of things for Ruth that I've been meaning to send for a long time, but haven't. So now I have to and it will feel good to send the package on its way. I just hope it gets there because Ruth sometimes has troubling getting packages. Thanks, everyone, for playing along! Getting all my WIPs in one place was just the incentive I needed to finish up some things.
*Edited to add... I forgot to mention that I used Excel to generate a random number - 14. Ruth was the 14th commenter.
I've been thinking that I should finish up a WIP or two. Hmm...what's on the needles? Just a sweater, a top, and a pair of Monkey socks, a bag, ... So today I cleaned out my WIP basket and was shocked to find so many unfinished projects. Seriously, I could not believe how many things I had started and left. Clearly I have a problem. Or maybe it's just normal.
This list doesn't even include the Vintage Bubble Bag (waiting on yarn) or several felted bags that need lined.
I can't decide what to finish first, so I'm asking you to choose for me. Please tell me which project you think I should complete next and I'll finish the items in the order of most votes received. Voting will end on Tuesday, March 4 at 10:00 PM Eastern time. And I'll give this to a randomly selected participant: