Category Archives: handspun

Calorimetry Part Two

I almost had to Kinnear him.
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But he did consent to this picture of the mop of hair neatly under control in his mutt of a Calorimetry. I wish you could see the mess of hair that emerges from it. As I predicted, he did emit a “hmmm” when he unwrapped it and I had to explain what exactly it was, but he’s been wearing it ever since.

In the meantime, I was extremely spoiled this year for Valentine’s Day:
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That beautiful Lazy Kate?? He MADE it for me!! I am a lucky girl. It took the inaugural run today and it works so much better than the built in on my Traveller.

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Filed under family, finished objects, giving, handspun

I love….

…how this roving…
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…is turned into this once drafted.
CMF San Francisco

It’s amazing how those blobs of color blend together. Spinning tonight!

It’s more Crown Mountain merino, by the way. San Francisco.

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Filed under handspun, spinning

A gift

I can’t wait to finish this up and give it to a very special recipient:
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Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino, “Crocodile Walk.”
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Filed under giving, handspun, spinning, Uncategorized

When it’s clean,

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and sunny,

my workroom is my favorite place…

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It’ cozy, has a great view,

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and places for my favorite little people to come inside and do their own projects.

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Sometimes, they get their projects mixed up with mine.

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But it all seems to work out in the end.

Miss Babs merino/silk

It took me a long time to get this place back into a somewhat manageable space. After Christmas it was such a mess I could barely stand to go in there. But spring is my favorite time of year to get things organized and put together, and as of today, it still looks pretty tidy and workable up there.

Weekends are always an interesting blend of the boys coming up and down all afternoon. The Skeptic has his shop in the basement and I’m on the second floor. I’d love for us to have work spaces together, but wood and electronics just don’t mix well with fiber and fabric.

The boys pop in and out all day. Sometimes the Skeptic takes them out for awhile so I can work in peace, sometimes I take them out for awhile so he can work in peace. In the end everyone gets some family time together and some Mommy or Daddy time alone. And it’s funny, as much as I love my quiet time, I also love hearing the car door slam, looking out the window and seeing the boys trot up to the back door with Dad.

I feel so lucky to have a space like this right now. On a gloomy, busy Tuesday it’s a nice thought to look forward too, especially now that I know there will be more days to open up the windows, sit in the sun and work.

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Filed under family, handspun, home, kids

Bulkiness

Fleece Artist handspun

You’re looking at one 4 oz skein of Fleece Artist merino that I spun on a drop spindle. Pretty, but it’s not what I want.

I want worsted, or sport, or fingering. These one skein, 100 yards or so of bulky/worsted/sport/bulky were fun for awhile, but that’s all I can manage to do, whether I’m on my wheel or my drop spindle. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Granted, the Fleece Artist was tricky to draft. It seemed rather sticky no matter which end I spun from. My process has always been to split up the top, draft, then draft again while I spin. But apparently that’s just not working for me. I know a lot of this comes with practice, and I don’t spin as regularly as I should. But still, I’ve got at least 10 skeins under my belt now, shouldn’t I be a little better at this?

What I’d really like to do is take another class, but all I can find lately is more of an introductory class.

So, if you spin, how long did it take you to be able to spin a consistent weight, and the weight that you wanted to spin? Any big revelations? Maybe it’s time I actually figured out what all those ratios and numbers really mean, but my eyes just glaze over and I start thinking “math alert, math alert!!!”

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Filed under handspun, Uncategorized

Mittens

Clever titles simple aren’t here today, so let’s just get to the business, shall we?

Eunny Jang’s Anemoi mittens:


Yarn: New England Shetland by Harrisville Designs

Needles: size one double points from Knitpicks

Guage: anywhere between 8-9 stitches per inch depending on where I measured. This was my first real fair isle project, after all!

Started: December 26, 2006

Finished: February 4, 2007

Notes: First of all, let me say this: fair isle mittens are not that hard!!!! I was surprised at how fast these actually went once I figured out how to hold both yarns. Had I not been knitting these past ten p.m. my guage would have been more even and I would have had fewer mistakes. There are quite a few of them; pattern mistakes mostly, and the tip of my right mitten is kind of wonky. If I wasn’t desperate for a pair of mittens I might have taken my time a bit more, but these were learning mittens and to be honest I’m pretty darned proud of them.

So, if you’re tempted, go for it! Eunny’s pattern is very well written. Get yourself one of those magnetic pattern holders and you’re all set.

More mittens:

One the left, the first completed Target Wave mitten. On the right, Little Man’s current mitten. You see the trouble here?

I have completed the request for orange and white stripes again, so that part is good. Size is my trouble. Granted, the old mitten is too small for him; it doesn’t even cover his wrist anymore. But the new mitten is too big.

Options:
1. Finish this pair for later, make another pair that is smaller.
2. Frog completely and start over with the smaller pair.
3. Attempt to slightly felt (but I’m worried they may get too short).

Opinions?

Lastly, they aren’t mittens but I promised anyway: result of my spinning weekend at the Textile Center.

Unknown wool, two ply bulky:

This had just been sitting around waiting to be plied up.

Blue Faced Leicester carded with cinammon tussah silk:


Blue Faced Leicester carded with cashmere:

Jen put together a great sample bag for us, so I’m taking all the tiny samples we got (the above, as well as camel, pima cotton, samoyed (dog) cotton punis, mohair…what else was there? We got a lot), carding them with the BFL and making a sampler yarn of sorts.

This next skeins are wool from the unknown sheep that Jen helped shear a few years ago. The white and brown are natural colors, the red dyed by her. This was my practice spinning since it’s been a year.

These two skeins I spun on the drop spindle and Navajo plied on my wheel.

This was spun and Navajo plied on the wheel:


I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out, and I got so much out of the weekend. While I’ve had the basics down of spinning, I haven’t had a lot of time to really practice it lately. This gave me time to work on my technique and work out the bugs in my wheel. I have an Ashford Traveler and I’m afraid the poor thing has taken quite the beating from Little Man. He has taken it apart numerous times this year, mostly after Knittybaby was born and he was feeling jealous or in need of attention (he knows where to get me!). Anyway, I’m having trouble getting it to treadle evenly. I’m also having trouble where the flyer goes around but the bobbin won’t spin. Anyone ever have this problem? Everything works, it’s just not as smooth as I remember it.

Navajo plying is also very interesting. Tricky, but it gives an interesting texture to the yarn that I think would be nice to make a bag out of. I’ve never actually knit any of my handspun. I think it’s about time.

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Filed under finished objects, handspun, mittens