Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

Spinning Update

Friday, June 5th, 2009

My most favorite part of knitting is plying. Making singles is fine and relaxing but plying is the fun part for me. So when I’m faced with spinning, there’s a “not as fun” step I must do first in order to get to the “more fun” part…if that made any sense.

Then I got this from Allspunup:

I’ve been spinning more lately because it’s been purely magical. Because, see, when I draft multiple colors are spun at the same time and I get some wonderful candy cane effects, which LOVE! It’s truly exciting and magical to see the stripes occur.


You can see some orange and gold striping towards the left of the bobbin and some purple and navy blue towards the other end of the bobbin.

DSCF4759 So I’m spinning the first half the this gorgeous roving and will start the second half in a few days. It will be so exciting to see it ply!

As far as knitting is concerned, I seem to be on the search for something new. I seem to be knitting a lot of green and while it’s one of my favorite colors, I’m feeling the urge to do something more. And if it’s not green, it’s purple….that’s another color I seem to be making a lot of things with. If it’s not green or purple, it’s my dad’s sweater and we all know the story of the Central Park Hoodie fail.I’m evaluating if things need to get shooved into hibernation. Because, really, I want to complete dad’s cardi and the green and purple things but I just need a change.

Spinning and Blog Updates

Friday, February 13th, 2009


Well as you might be able to notice, I changed the theme to my blog. Like I previously mentioned, I like to change things up from time to time, whether it’s rearranging furniture or a blog. :-) Now I’m still tweaking the colors (especially the entry header color–it’s too dark) around so it’s not quite 100%.

Now spinning

My buddy Darsana recently received a new wheel as a gift and that prompted me to use my wheel more. I’ve been on a spinning binge of late.

Now I admire folks like my buddy Sara who can patiently spin her singles, ply then take photos. What do I do? I get too excited to ply because I feel that to be almost magical so I spin maybe 100 yards of singles and ply it while there is still plenty of fiber left.

For example:


I got a half a pound of merino/tussah silk roving at Rhinebeck and here is maybe 120 yards of 2ply yarn? Thereare frayed edges yes, but all in all, it’s pretty decent dk-“ish” yarn right here. hooray!

And plying. I expressed that that’s one of my favorite things to do. So far I’ve done one three ply, a few two plies and one Navajo ply. The former? I’m not a fan:


I know I have to practice more with this because I’ve seen some really gorgoues handspun yarns that have been Navajo plied but I’ve got to have something off in my settings on the wheel because sometimes it’s too fast, other times too slow and sometimes one part of the loop gets over twisted so you have this little part stitcking out of the spun yarn (as you can see above). Quelle mess!

So I decided to do the rest 2ply


Is it blue ribbon worthy? NO but it’s still a lot prettier than the navajo plying.

My “To Work On” List for Spinning

  1. Work on making my singles more even.
  2. Don’t be so afraid of joins. That’s where a lot of shifts in weight occur because i’m joining new fiber together and it makes it uneven.
  3. Try to be more patient as I spin so that I have more yardage to show off when I do ply.
  4. Get more funky colors!

Have a great weekend everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

A new way to purl…

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

I recently learned something wonderful  that has changed the way I look at knitting.

I used to dread cuffs and the moss stitch because of all the changes of knitting and purling. I understand and appreciate cuffs on socks and I really like the look of moss stitch, for example. In this respect the process knitter in me comes out because I just hate the switching between knitting and purling. I told my buddy Zyd about it and she mentioned Norwegian purling and ladies and gents, if you knit continentally, then you should really check this out: (no idea if “continentally” is a word but I just made it up. Knitters know what I mean )

It’s a little weird at first. Nooooooooootgonnnnnalie. However it makes cuffs more fun.

Another bonus? Many fair isle patterns start with a cuff like this K2 in MC P2 in CC and this makes it so much easier. So much so I started these last night (strong emphasis on the word start)

DSCF2189 Yes I know you have to squint and I apologize for that but they’re the beginning of some mittens for my swap buddy. This process makes things so much easier! Thank you Zyd, so so so much. (I put the youtube link on here with the hopes of “paying it forward” haha)

And speaking of moss stitch, I picked up my dad’s cardigan because it has some form of it in the garment and I’m afraid I have to frog it and start over. As I’ve mentioned, I got a book on finishing techniques and it has given me great advice to avoid the HANDMADE look on sweaters. When I picked the cardigan up again, I was just really displeased. The selvages looked sloppy and I really think I used to big a needle. Fortunately it’s not like I got too too far in it. But please bow your heads for a moment of silence for the ripped cardigan


So I’ll rip and it will be sad but dad will get a better sweater as a result so yay!

Lil’ Side Note

check out my recent spinning update  : (I’m planning on spinning enough of this to make a shawl for the incredibly kind woman who loaned me her wheel.)


Sneak Peak

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

A few weeks or maybe even a few months ago, I bought some Lorna’s Laces roving in their Iceburg colorway. And when I was volunteering for the Obama campaign, I picked up some merino tops from Nature’s Yarns in Fairfax in their Garnet colorway. To me it looks more purple but I decided to ply these two together this evening. I had been spinning the Lorna’s for what seemed like a long time…

…so I wanted to ply because that has always been the best part for me. And here it is:

It’s only 43 grams but after some more spinning, there will be enough yarn for me to make the Montego Bay Scarf for the kind coworker who loaned me the wonderful wheel Hanukkah. Plying this has been the inspiration I’ve needed to start doing this quicker because December will be here before I know it! Plying this was so much fun!

Onto my other projects. All these works in progress are all so very fun for various reasons that I ofen have a hard time deciding which one to work on. What a wonderful dilemma. :-D

So Much for Discipline!

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

I joined the Ravelympics as a method through which I can get done with a lot of my works in progress.

Hasn’t worked. I get distracted so easily in my ordinary life. Knitting is no different. Last night I got the urge to do some colorwork so I started Endpaper Mittens for my Secret Swap pal (She loves fingerless gloves and I’ve always wanted to use this pattern so…perfect match )

And might I just say? These puppies are flying off the needles! Won’t be surprised if I get these done relatively quickly if (and that’s a big if) I stay at this pace.

I also received some Lorna’s Laces roving that I’m spinning for a shawl for the person who loaned me the spinning wheel. Oh lovely fiber… likey!

Then of course there is the Homeless Vets drive on the Obama group that I want to do more things for. I queued Wavy the other day with hopes I can do this for the drive because they’re running low on scarves.

And finally my mom gave me a book, Knit One Felt Too, with a Christmas gift suggestion (don’t you crafty folk just love how that ends up?? hehehe) so who knows….maybe next week at this time I’ll be a felting queen.

Notice how all of this has nothing to do with the Ravelympics? I’m a disappointment!

And my cheering section, taken about an hour ago.

She has a headache, it appears

Excitement got the better of me…

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

I believe one of the main reason I love spinning is because plying seems to be truly magical. Watching twisty singles just gel into a two ply yarn is quite captivating especially if it’s a variegated yarn because you never know how the yarn will turn out.

That said, there’s something to be said for still taking care as you become enamored by plying too. teehee


Fiber: Chameleon Colorworks
Colorway(s): Figgy Pudding
Started: July 16
Plied: July 22
Yardage: approx. 160 yards
WPI: TBD but it appears to be a heavy fingering.

If you look closely, you can see some really nice plying going on then there would be a few yards of some really underplyed yarn.


I had originally tried to Navajo ply this yarn because I thought I was up to the challenge. Here is 26 grams of my attempt


I quickly realized that, for the time being, I should stick to focusing on keeping my singles nice and even and then keeping my two-plys nice and even. And, just a little observation about Navajo plying with multi-color yarn–the yarn changes are really abrupt. I looked over the yarn very closely after I did it and it makes sense to have such abrupt changes if you think about the plying method. That said, I think I’ll stick to traditional plying for multi-colored fibers and attempt the Navajo plying with solid colors.

Updates, WIPs, FOs and Secret Pal

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Why thank you all for the kind words about Dusty. I still get quite sad from time to time and I don’t think that will go away. When this does happen, I go to Layla and Luna and hug them. There is some good news for dad, though….a family friend of ours, Rose, has a kitteh that she has been searching for a home for. Dad has already met this kitty a few months ago when he visited Rose and her family in Georgia and they got along fantastically well. So when Rose and her baby and hubby come up to Maryland in a few weeks, she’ll be bringing up this kitteh for dad. Hearing this certainly made Dad feel better.

I have two finished objects to share. I finished them last week but I wasn’t really up to much chatting.


FO #1


Pattern: 3AM Cable Hat by SmarieK
Yarn(s): Plymouth Encore Worsted
Colorway(s): Green
Needle(s): Size 8
Casted On: July 1, 2008
Casted Off: July 14, 2008
Modifications: I added another repeat of the pattern for the larger male.

I made this for the Knitters for Barack Obama (K)(C)AL for Homeless Veterans run by the fabulous Amanda. We are working on hats, dishcloths, wheelchair blankets, and fingerless gloves for homeless vets in MI, VA, MN, IL and FL. More info can be found here.  It sickens me that there is such a prevalance of homelessness amongst our vets. What a way to treat a group of mostly men who have served for our country. I’m honored to knit for them. Join our group and help out such a worthy cause.

FO #2
My second pair of socks for the Summer of Socks!


Pattern: Potomatomus by Cookie A
Yarn(s): Socks that Rock Mediumweight
Colorway(s): Rocktober
Needle(s): Size 2, magic looped
Casted On: June 30, 2008
Casted Off: July 19, 2008
Modifications: I decided not to knit through the back loop. I liked it with Dianne’s pair and decided to do the same. I did my favorite Sherman heel and round toe with this as well.


As I’ve stated, I’ve already made a pair of these so I was familar with the pattern. For someone like me who’s not a big fan of knitting ribbing, I’m surprised that I found the urge to make another pair of these socks. That’s said, I know I’ll be getting a lot of use out of these when it gets cold.

And here are some works in progress. Yes, they’re socks. hehehe The first is Twinkleberry by Bethe LaPensee and the second is the Uptown Boot Socks by Jennifer Appleby. They’re made out of Mama Llama Bamboo socks and Tess Supersock, respectively.

DSCN1265   DSCF4675

I’m making the first pair for my Secret Pal 12 buddy and the second pair is for moi. It’s a pattern I’ve been eying for a long time.

And here is an update on my spinning. This is some BFL from Chameleon Colorworks.


So far spinning with BFL has been a dreeeeeeeeeeam. It’s so smooth and soft. I really can’t wait to get more BFL and play with it.

And finally, in this post o’ updates, I came home to a GREAT package from my secret pal in Brooklyn.


I got some soak samples, a yarn cake holder, some sunflower seeds (I love sunflowers and daisies. and you should see my front stoop. The landlord has given me permission to plant a garden and God, does it scream it!! :-)) and some skiens of Artyarns Supermerino sock yarn that have Laura written all over them. After the week I had, it was fabulous receiving this. Thank you so very much.

I made yarn!!*

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
*Decent enough to brag about too.
lookie, I’m quite proud of it.


It’s plyed from two hanks of Carolina Homespun. I’m contemplating making gloves out of it. I have fingers that are a tad longer than the average female so store bought gloves usually bother me. If I don’t have enough for a pair of gloves, they’ll just be fingerless then.

And here we have Inspector Layla “Stuffy” Walker giving a quality control to my first skien. I think she approves. She has had a tendency of late to sit under my director’s chair as I spin to make sure rhythm lacking Mommy maintains a steady rhythm.


Some might have noticed the scout-like badges I have on the left hand side. There are McGyver ones that talk about using ordinary items as you knit. This one


has the following description: The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a knitting tool in a non-knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used a strand of Regia Bamboo to slice cheese, or repaired a small appliance with a metal knitting needle.

Ladies and Gents, mah g-hetto fabulous knitty noddy:


I’m far from deactivating a nuclear bomb with a swiss army knife, paper clip and cheese but I was still quite proud of myself :-D

While I loooooooooooooved spinning with this Carolina Homespun Corriedale, I’m excited to work with more colors and fibers. I started spinning this last night and let me tell you…it feels like butta!!


Spinning and WIPs Update

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

The evolution of my spinning in pictures

First Attempt:


Second Attempt, in skein form (Thanks Kira for your assistance!)

And Third attempt

They are still over spun but up close i can see significant progress if I say so myself. I see how thin the fibers can actually get and I realize I still have a lot to learn and a lot to become comfortable with. But at least I see progress. One of these days I’ll get the yarn spun evenly and thin.

The deep red yarn is from Carolina Homespun Corriedale and the light purple is some unknown practice roving. I was able to spin with it and get some good practice in and not feel bad that I’m turning some beautiful fibers into not so pretty yarn. I’m hoping to get some undyed fibers to play around with.

Now on the WIP Front:

I’m starting to go a lil looney with casting on the socks but whatever…they’re portable and I can easily change between them on the metro. I’m going to cast on a pair for my secret pal but I don’t want to post pics yet as I am only a row and a half into it.

DSCN1368 DSCF4675

These will be for moi. The first one is Pomatomus by Cookie A in STR, Rocktober and the second pair is Uptown Boots Socks in Tess Designer Yarns.

On the non-socks front I have Emma’s summer dress from the pattern interestingly called “Emma’s Sundress.”


I seem to equate this little one with purple all the time but that’s ok. Emma can wooooooooooork it

I also have a hat started for the Knitters For Barack Obama Charity (C)(K)Along. We are knitting items for homeless vets. I’m three rows into the 3am Cable Hat so a pic will be posted when more progress has been made. I fully intend on knitting more for this very worthy cause.

Okay. Fully updated. Hooray!

First Handspun

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

For better or worse people, here it is:


I say this hesitantly because I’m part of a Beginner Spinner group on Ravelry and there’s a huge thread of everyone’s first handspuns and they just look fantastic especially since it’s their first time spinning photos. But oh well. We’re all learning. :-) This is my first yarn photo and I’ll be extremely interested in seeing a pic of yarn I’m spinning a month from now and comparing them. (oh i can’t wait!!)

Having said that I’m still quite proud of it. hehe I was initially working with some not so great roving. I definitley understand and agree with the logic behind that–your first handspun will be “not so great” (read-crap) so why use the good stuff? Totally understand that. But at the same time, I was having so much difficulty with the roving that I felt I wasn’t learning anything.

So I pulled out some of my Carolina Homespun and it went so much smoother. I’m really enjoying spinning with it even if it is overspun. That’s the next challenge–working on the evenness of the yarn.

I can’t wait till I can ply. I’ve seen some GORGEOUS yarns that I just can not wait to make!! Laura’s goal:

Courtesy of BockStark Knits’ Photostream on Flickr

On the knitting front, my Spring Forward Socks for flying off the needles and I hope to have them done tonight. There just might be a FO entry tomorrow.

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