Tuesday, November 06, 2007

what I've been up to

A lot has gone on since I last posted so here is a little catch up.

I went to see the Yarn Harlot which many people have already posted about. I had a great time and she was a great speaker. One of the more amusing parts of the day was when Wen got the Yarn Harlot to look over her big signing podium to look at my shoes. She looked over to see these:

Unfortunately it also made her stick her backside up in the air. Fortunately we were at the end of the line and most cameras were far far away. It was a great day, albeit long and mostly without incident. Hooray to knitting days out.

Since then I've dusted off my old Ashford Traditional wheel, gave it a nice wax and have gone completely obsessed again with spinning. It's been quite a while since I have spun, and this time around I'm enjoying it a lot more. I think it is because I'm much more comfortable with my knitting and also more comfortable with my designing abilities. I know now, that whatever weight the yarn comes out, as long as I'm consistent, I'll be able to figure something out with it.

My big goal is to spin sock yarn, so I've been doing a lot of sampling. Back in 2002 I was part of an instant gratification dye swap. In this swap we sent 8 or 10 oz of yarn or roving that we dyed and bagged them up in 1oz increments. Then according to your group assigned, you were sent back 1 each of the contributions in your group. I had kool-aid dyed some merino and that was the first of my experiments. I aimed for a 3-ply and this is what I got:


It doesn't even feel like merino. In this sample, I learned that you need to not spin the singles quite so tight if you are going to make a 3-ply yarn. However, I did get the wpi I wanted and some practice on navajo plying.

The next experiment was a 2-ply fingering weight with another roving from this swap. I've lost the tag that came with this roving, but I know it was dyed with wash fast dyes and it feels like merino. Here is its progression:

I spun this up using the fractal stripe method. I cast-on immediately because I wanted to see how it would knit up.

After that I decided to go back for more punishment and went back to trying a 3-ply but this time with beautiful merino tencel dyed by Chasing Rainbows in Dove. I was successful this time:
I have a tad over 150 yards and I'll probably make a simple lace scarf with this.

During all this I joined Spunky Eclectic's fiber club and I'm in the midst of spinning this month's offering called Goblin Eyes and is Romney. Love the colors, but the fiber is scritchy. I think once it is spun up I'll have an idea what I'll do with it.

I also went to a spinning/weaving event and this was my haul:

1lb of mill end beast Brown Sheep roving bits
2 - 4oz bumps of blended superwash merino roving from the ranch
4oz of bamboo roving from Stick and Stone Fiber Arts
4oz of Capistrano Fiber Arts blue faced leicester

This isn't my only fiber acquisitions lately, but that's not something I will 'fess up to right now.

I've had a really good time lately spinning and also hanging out with the OOPs knitters. I think fiber and kittens have been a good way to keep sane lately.