Monday, May 31, 2010

It's the "Week of the Big Fat Singles"

Just a definition (in case you googled "big fat singles" and were not expecting a knitting and spinning blog). A singles is the individual ply you get when spinning fluff into yarn. Sometimes it is combined by plying with additional singles to get a multi-ply yarn, sometimes it's left on it's own and turned into other fibery things without plying.

For those of you who know what a singles is, I'm going to announce my goal for this week. I've got about 6.5oz of merino/bamboo roving from that I bought a long time ago. I want to spin it into a big chunky singles yarn. This is very hard for me, my fingers tend to spin fine, laceweight is not a huge challenge for me, other than the time it takes.

To start with, I've practiced my fat spinning techniques on a few Phat Fiber samples. Some "Popsicle" bamboo (can't remember from who), yellow/pink bamboo from eXtreme Spinning and some milk fiber from Feeling Sheepish.

Here's my little results, 10 yds, 18 wpi, of milk fiber, 13 yds, 22 wpi, of Popsicle bamboo and 24 yds, 22 wpi, of yellow/pink bamboo.

I gave each little skein a soak and pressed the water out by rolling them in a towel and standing on it. A very gentle thwack afterwards and they hung to dry. These little skeins, being singles, were quite twisty when I hung them to dry. I am so impressed with the bamboo! It totally relaxed while drying. The milk fiber did somewhat, but the bamboo skeins no longer twist back on themselves. I heart bamboo! Can't wait to knit something up with these little samples.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just a Few Ends

I've finished the knitting on the Shetland Shorty. Definately a quick knit, especially with the slightly heavier yarn I subbed in. All my calculations appear to have worked, it fits B very well.

I almost made it too long, but I kept trying it on her as I worked, and stopped when it seemed right! I love that this little shrug is seamless! Two shoulder seams done in a three-needle bind off don't really count as seams to me, since I don't have to get out a yarn needle to make them. Now there are just 17 ends to weave in and she'll be able to wear her new little summer shrug!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Knitting

Quite some time ago I found a killer sale on some taupe Paton's Grace (~75% off) at Michael's and since B hates wool, I thought I'd pick some up to make her a little shrug. She's decided on the Shetland Shorty from Summer '08 Knitty. This has presented a few difficulties as the pattern calls for fingering weight and Grace is not. But after some swatching, punching of calculator buttons and scribbling and erasing with a pencil, I think it's working.

Here's the progress so far - almost to the armpits. She's loving it and it appears to be fitting despite my needing to rework all the measurement for the heavier weight yarn. This color works with so much of her summer clothes too, so she's thrilled.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rambouillet Tweed

My back has been slowly on the mend since Monday.

I spun a wee bit Wednesday evening and finished up the Rambouillet singles. I plyed them yesterday and have about 120 yards of lovely soft tweedy worsted weight yarn.

My May shipment of the Sushi Club from Natchwoolie arrived on Monday too. Some darling Lincoln Lamb Locks. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they are very soft with darling curls!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's All my Fault

Hi, Mommy said I had to tell all of you what I've been up to the last few days. Well I do lots of stuff every day, but Mommy said I should start my story with what happened on Monday. On Monday we went for a WALK and it was so much fun and there were birds and people to sniff and OTHER DOGS!!!

We go for walks almost every day but every time we go out the smells are new and exiting and yummy and snuffly and... oh, right, Monday... On Monday there was a little grey mini schnauzer that always looks like he'd be really good to sniff and lick and maybe even PLAY WITH, and Mommy wouldn't let me play with him. Mommy says I also have to tell you that since I'm a VERY big dog when I try to go in a direction she doesn't want me to, especially when I go very fast, she doesn't like it. She hasn't taken me out for walks since Monday, actually she hasn't seemed very much herself since then. She keeps taking medicine and putting funny smelling cream and warm things on her neck and back. She hasn't been sitting infront of the thing that spins around and that I have to be careful not to get my feet under, doesn't sit at the computer, hasn't been doing that thing with the pointy sticks and string, gets the smaller people and Daddy to lift things for her, and seems really grumpy. I hope she gets over this soon, I've got a mini schnauzer to snuffle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Look what I did today!

I finished carding the Sushi Club Rambouillet.

I will likely start spinning this during the hockey game tonight. I'll need something to take the edge off the excitement of the Habs endeavor to win against Sid the Kid. Go Habs, Go!


Another in the "catching up" series...

I'm now at 15 repeats of the Print O' the Wave Shawl. It's just as fun as it was, but had sat idle for a bit until I picked it up again after finishing my Fountainhead Scarf.

Rambouillet Fines and SuperFines

My first shipment for the Sushi Club arrived a few weeks ago, and I just realized I neglected to take any photos of it in it's original sheepy goodness. The puppy could not get enough of the smell and the kids couldn't wait until I washed it - different perspectives!

Here's one raw lock, with a measuring device to indicate scale

The washed fluff, with some silk noil that I'm carding in for a tweedy effect. There are two little nests of carded fiber in the upper right corner with pale pink noil already carded in.

This is soft stuff with a lovely staple length. I could pet it forever!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catching up

One of the projects I've been working on over the last month was a Phat Fiber SAL/KAL. The PhatFiberLady created a lovely shawl pattern, the Fountainhead Shawl, that was posted on the Phat Fiber Secret Site (click here for details on how you can access the secret site). This SAL/KAL ran for March and April, and since I'm not really a shawl person, I didn't really bite until mid-April, when I decided that I could make a beautiful scarf using this stitch pattern.

Not being the sort of person who likes to hand in a project late, I started spinning with a vengeance.

These are Knitty and Color's Flightless Bird batts. I had decided to spin a two ply laceweight and since I have a hard time spinning anything finer than fingering weight on my wheel, this was spindle project.

It took 8 days of feverish spinning to get ~600 yards of what I believe to be a breath takingly beautiful laceweight. To say this yarn is grey is so much an understatement. More like hematite, but much, much more than that.

With less than a week remaining in April, I cast on for my scarf version of Jessie's beautiful shawl. (Mod's here) And 5 days later it was blocking!

Although spring arrived early here in Northern Ontario, it is still quite frosty in the morning and I have had a few opportunities to wear my new scarf. I think I'm in love! None of the photos capture the beauty of the yarn sufficiently.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

That Pretty Much Sums it up...

This poem that I received for Mother's Day touched my heart and made me laugh.

Now you know what I've been busy with for the last month! There has been some knitting and spinning, but mostly mothering.