Sunday, November 23, 2008

So the Bahama Blues yarn is done! Or at least for now, since yesterday I went to Holiday Faire and the spindle that I'd been working on (the one that got smashed by the former roommate by accident and reglued) is now in the hands of it's maker, literally... He's going to make me an identical one! :)

I also managed to bend the hook on top of my plying spindle enough that it came off. *sigh* This is what I get, the hook was never very good to begin with. I'm going to have to take the plying spindle, pull out what's left of the old hook, and replace the hook. The spindle itself is good for the purpose that it works for (plying only, it's too heavy for general spinning in my opinion), but the hook was never very good.

So, for plying the last bit of the Bahama Blues (for now), I had to make do with a spindle of my own creation. It's literally made with a closet rod endcap, a dowel, a cap hook, and a rubber band:

Advantages to it are that I can move it up and down and get a top or bottom whorl spindle if need be. And after plying what was left:

This yarn is HUGE! I've gotten 255 yards out of it, and even though it's Merino and already fairly soft, it got a lot softer once I sank it into the bathtub with a lot of hair conditioner to set the twist!

Yes, that's it in my bathtub, using my PVC niddy-noddy. I love my PVC niddy-noddy, means I can sink it in the bathtub and leave my yarn to dry ON the niddy noddy instead of hanging it up with a soup can!

Truly, this hank is huge:

Actually, what kills me is when I realize just how much I have left to spin:

But, once the spinning was done, I continued on to other things... Like the blanket I'm knitting up for someone. It's just a lap blanket, but it's based on the Star Doily Blanket. However, I'm doing it with a different gauge, a different yarn, and I'm adding a bunch of extras to it with additional pattern bits. If it turns out beautiful is anyone's guess, but so far it's looking good! I'm using Cascade Sassy Stripes sock yarn, colorway 767, and I've only used a half a skein so far to get this much:

I think when I'm done I may call it the "Sunshine Blanket" or something like that... :)

Okay, so I should have been cleaning the house, or doing work today... *sigh* My get up and go got up and went, so I knit instead. At least when my energy is on the downside, I can still get something done!

I'm also realizing that any of my horizontal pictures are getting cut off on the right hand side... I'm going to have to do something about that, but for now, you get the idea. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whoa, two posts in one day... I'm getting dizzy.

Almost forgot, other stuff that's been knitted recently (recently being relative, within the last six months)!

Finally got the pix uploaded for these. For the last year, I've been part of the Rockin' Sock Club... They send you yarn and a pattern or two every other month. I got through the first three pair, and then the spinning bug hit and the knitting got put to the side for a while... So here's the Lucky Charms socks and the Cleopatra socks!

I love how the lucky charms pattern takes the pattern itself and translates it up into the ribbing!

And there's right and left toes to this pattern too!

The heel is also extremely thick, making these very cushy walking socks.

And then the Cleopatra socks do have a nice translation from pattern to ribbing...

Yeah, this has been a year for socks!

Photos have been uploaded!!!

So, I have not had idle hands for the last few days, just an idle husband. ;) Actually, not even that, just that he didn't realize I had pix to upload. :)

And so, the final finished bit of the Bermuda Blues I was spinning:

Yes, that's a penny in the picture. :)

That's 175 yards of what appears to be worsted weight navajo ply merino! I'm still working on more, so there's going to be more of this in the near future:

See? More. Also note that the bottom of the spindle is now missing. *sigh* This is what happens when you re-glue together a spindle after your former roommate trips over a bench and crushes it. *shudder* Note the rubber bands on the spindle, that's because otherwise the glue might not hold. So I can at least continue going, although it's getting interesting when the little bits on the bottom snag the fiber. I'm expecting the current load of singles to yield at least another 50 to 75 yards of navajo ply.

But, that's not the only thing I've been working on... I'm working on a blanket for someone:

That's the Star Doily pattern, but I'm getting ready to modify it as it gets out of the doily size range... I want to expand yet repeat the pattern, and instead of making it round, I want points on all of the sides. I've got two skeins of Cascade Sassy Stripes that I'm working with, so hopefully I should get something reasonably sized. Hopefully. Watch me run out, I swear... ;)

Oh well, at least the yarn isn't discontinued, although they're no longer going to be selling it at "A Good Yarn" in Fells Point. I got two skeins of this for only $3 each! So, if I run out of yarn, I'll probably spend twice as much for one more skein... But so far I'm getting a good size, and I've got a lot of yarn to go. It's meant as a lap blanket. So far it's about 8 inches across. *crossing fingers* Hopefully it'll be a goodly size when I'm done. Let's hear it for experimental knitting! :) I'm totally in a different gauge than the original project, with a different yarn, so whether or not it'll be able to give me a good size is anyone's guess!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oy, I skipped a day, forgive me. ;)

So yesterday I didn't get that much done on my spinning. I *did* finish far more of the Navajo plying on Saturday night, but only got to a total of 175 yards. So, I am now in the process of completing more singles. Fortunately, Navajo ply means you don't have to spin a *huge* amount to start plying, so hopefully tonight I'll get enough done to keep going.

If I can get my husband to upload photos, I'll be able to show them. ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Five days in a row. Somebody stop me!

So yesterday I had a lot of time on my hands, so to speak. Most of it was spent in phone calls or in the car while my husband drove, or during rehearsal when I didn't have to play my instrument, so there was a *lot* of spare time to play around with:

Unfortunately, the whole thing came out to a grand total of 77 yards. This was the first time I'd done a navajo ply, so I didn't realize just how much it would suck up in singles! However, I now have 77 yards, and I'm currently in the process of spinning a little more. Well, hopefully a lot more. By next Saturday I want to have more than 200 total yards done for the Quarterly Spinning challenge on Ravelry.

I did this one as a navajo ply because I didn't want to get the "barberpole effect" that you get when you spin a two ply yarn, I wanted the even yarn shading that you can get with Navajo. As you can see in the last picture, I think I succeeded. :)

Time to crack down on more singles! I'm going for a walk... And spinning while I'm at it. ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running along like a speed demon...

I've no idea why my spinning has utterly taken over my life lately. However, I've been chugging away at it:

I've got a spindle full of singles, and now I'm currently working on Navajo plying. I've never done Navajo plying before, so this should be interesting...

Four days in a row of posting. I must be running a fever... ;) However, I've been on a lot of calls at work, and therefore getting a lot of crafting done due to nobody being able to see me while I'm on the phone... :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging three days in a row? Say it ain't so!

Okay, I'm going to have to update the pix later. Been doing a great deal of spinning today at work... First, I was in a class this morning, so I brought my little silk spindle with me. I don't have pix of that one, but I'm working on a *pound* of tussah that I purchased over the summer from Amana Fibers. Reminds me, I need to talk to her about the hobbit wool. She had hobbit wool over the summer (as in from the same sheep the hobbit cloaks were made from), and some woman bought it out from under my nose. I mean, I gave it up voluntarily, but that's 'cause she said she could get more for me. I just forgot to ask. *blush*

So I've got probably about three hundred yards of single spun of that bermuda blue/green merino.

It's coming out beatifully, and the two shades are spinning together in ways I didn't think they would. Last night I carded some of the two shades together, so I'm getting a beautiful run from one color to the next without getting too explosive about the color change. I'm planning on navajo plying for the first time, so cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still haven't taken pix of my socks...

... on the other hand I've gotten two blog posts two days in a row. Go fig! :)

So last night I finished doing one skein of the alpaca/silk blend. Whee! :)

It is sooooooooo incredibly soft. :)

So because there's another spinning challenge on in Ravelry (and the current monthly theme just happens to be something that can coincide with the quarterly theme), I'm currently starting another one!

The November monthly theme is Marine Life:

And the current quarterly theme is calm, soft fibers, and monochrome yet varigated. Okay, the last one I did was calm ("Just before the dawn", since the colors reminded me of those sepia tones you see just before the sun comes up, and that's definitely calm), and soft (alpaca/silk, so definitely soft), but it had a little issue with that "varigated" thing. It looked more tweed than varigated. So, I'm doing something a little different and taking the Marine Life theme, and doing it up in merino wool that I picked up at MDSW over the summer. It's *definitely* the right color scheme, plus ocean scenes are ever so calming, and if I do it with a navajo ply, I should be able to get a goodly amount of varigation to it, and it is *definitely* monochromatic:

Of course I couldn't resist getting started, so that little bit was last night. I've already gotten another goodly chunk of it done since getting to work today (at lunchtime I go for walks, and spin while I'm at it).

I'm currently spinning on a spindle from The Spanish Peacock. Yes, there's a rubber band around it, I dropped it one too many times, and then of course my former roommate was a bit of a klutz and fell on it, so it's been reglued about four times now. Fortunately I will be seeing Miguel later in the month, and we will do what we can to replace it with a similar model! In the meantime, it's definitely still serviceable, but I don't trust myself to not drop it and break it *again*.

Okay, maybe I'll actually post a bit more often, never know. ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Okay, okay, I'm a little behind...

... including on the pictures. I've got two finished pairs of Rockin' Sock Club socks (the green and the purple ones from this year) that I have yet to take pix of... Must rectify that.

Over the summer I got into a spinning habit, honestly. It's im_just_lori's fault, I swear. She dragged me up to MDSW. Between the purchasing of wool, spindles, and silk supplies, I swear I couldn't stop!

That first one is a one oz sample of soysilk that came out to about 210 yards of two-ply laceweight. The second one is a one oz sample of yak that was about 90 yards (and never ask your husband what to do with 90 yards of laceweight yak, because he then replies with "don't ask me now honey, I'm eating dinner."). But the crowning achievement was the one oz sample of tussah silk that became over 600 yards of two-ply cobweb! Yes, you heard me, two ply cobweb! MMMM!!! I had almost a mile's worth of spun single!

That literally took me more than a month to spin, on a teeny weeny Bosworth spindle (also acquired at MDSW). And for my brother's wedding this fall, a portion of that spun silk turned into this:

Lemme tell ya, doing cobweb silk is not for the faint of heart, in either spinning or knitting. I accidentally pulled out a needle at one point around row 46, and it took six HOURS to recover! Honestly, not going to EVER knit that kind of laceweight ever again without having point protectors on everything!

I also spun about 400 yards of laceweight blue faced leicster in the last two months (no pix right now), I'm almost done with a two-ply alpaca silk blend (pictured below while still in singles) that is a part of the quarterly spinner's challenge on Ravelry (calm, soft fibers, and monochromatic yet varigated. I think I've got everything except varigated, it looks like a tweed), and I'm about to get started on the November spinners challenge, which is "Marine Life" as a theme. Considering I picked up a pound and a half of merino over the summer in oceanic colors like turquoise and sea green, I think I'll do fine, as long as I can get done with the current spinning!

The alpaca/silk blend, by the way:

Yes, I've got a thing for cobweb and laceweights, although the two-ply version of that blend is much thicker... since I spun it very gently and I am making sure it's balanced, it's *extremely* soft, but it's bulking up much more than I thought when I made the single ply that you see there. I'm calling it "Just Before the Dawn", because of the sepia tones... You know how just before the sun starts to rise everything has that sepia tone look to it? Yeah, that. I was originally hoping that with the cobweb weight, I would get something that looked very spiderwebby, and that would look like the morning dewdrops on it, but since the plying made it bulk out more than I thought, I'm guessing not. But it feels wonderful! And there's still a metric ton of the fluff left!

Okay, that's it for now. At some point I'll get pix of those socks from the RSC... In the meantime, I'll go back to spinning... :)