Wool Friday

Wool Friday

The knitting continues – today this blue yarn will become the slippers that Steve requested earlier this week. It is a super simple pattern and will be done in short order. And, really – thank goodness for stash!

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I have also been trying to spin a few minutes a day – which for me has been working out to evening spinning for a few minutes each night. During the week, I got one bobbin done. My goal is an actual 4-ply lace weight yarn. This is some old vintage Spunky Club Polwarth fiber in the “Hungry” colorway. Which after yesterday, I am certainly not! But, it is spinning up beautifully!!

Let’s get to the links, shall we?

This week has some good ones – and again, lots that can be some last-minute gift knitting:

Gift knitting ideas:

Not knitting for Christmas? No problem – some long-term knitting projects here!

I hope your holiday weekend is going well and that you are not still in a turkey coma! See you back here tomorrow!!

Monday, ugh.

Monday, ugh.

The weekend just FLEW in my neck of the woods, which could be directly related to the amount of rainy weather that filled the days.

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There was no outdoor cocktail hour because it was raining so hard. This also put the kibosh on a backyard bonfire, however, the indoor Tapas were excellent!

Saturday we had a successful trip to the local farmer’s market, managing to get in and out in between raindrops as well as a bit of retail therapy. (Yay for indoor activities!)

There was not much knitting, but there was some reading – although I did not finish any books.

There was a tiny bit of spinning though – this Whitefaced Woodland from Sheepspot is just amazing!

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Today, I think will spend part of the day ripping back that darned sock while I catch up on Poldark. I hope you have Monday off, and if not, then may it be one you can ease into and it is over before you know it!

The Important Things

The Important Things

Packing for a trip can be a challenge. There are so many things to take into consideration – weather, activities, etc. However, if you are a knitter then you have an added layer of things to think about.

Knitting projects.

For me, this is perhaps the most crucial item to take (outside of my Bialetti because good coffee is crucial!!)

Enter Woolelujah!

Fill this sucker and I should not want for things to knit right? Trust me – I (over)filled it!

Hope your weekend was grand, mine sure was!

Spinning to Knit

Spinning to Knit

Last week, Jillian Moreno’s highly anticipated (at least by me!) book Yarnitecture was released. I got my copy on Friday and that sort of derailed any other reading plans I had for the weekend.

And, today being Tuesday I am going to share you my 10 favorite things from the book!

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  1. The cover. Really. Did Jillian plan this just for me? I mean who could resist a book with all that great green on it!
  2. Are you a knitter who wants to spin? This book is entirely focused from a knitter’s perspective about the creation of yarn. In other words, she tells you the absolute best way to create a yarn you will want to knit with!
  3. There are fantastic photos (of course, that is sort of a given) that show clear photos of crucial things that new and old spinners struggle with – things like drafting, twist, and plying.
  4. She spends the entire book talking about spinning prepared fibers – and especially the amazing fibers available at Fiber Show’s and on Etsy. This is especially great if the idea of processing an entire fleece to spin is not your cup of tea!
  5. That being said, she still talks in depth about the LARGE variety of fibers there are available to spin!
  6. Yarnitecture takes you through yarn construction like you are building a house! She breaks it down into very manageable stages that help you make the yarn you want to make. I have been spinning a good bit of time and I had a number of “aha” moments!
  7. There is an entire chapter on the multitude of ways you can finish your yarn. Menacing your yarn is such a great phrase!
  8. Jillian demystifies grist for the spinner and breaks it down into something that is understandable and meaningful. (Especially if you are spinning for a large project)
  9. There an entire chapter on color and how to make color work for you as you are spinning – especially those lovely dyed braids of fiber. She inspires your imagination by showing you the tip of the iceberg on how they can be broken down to spin. After reading her inspiration, my mind is just flooded with dozens of ideas for fiber in my stash!
  10. Last, but certainly not least, there are 12 stunning patterns by a variety of talented designers using handspun yarn – from socks to shawls to sweaters – there is sure to be something that calls to you! I promise you my “knit list” has grown!

Jillian shows us that the possibilities are limitless when we are sitting at our wheel. Yarnitecture gives you the tools you need to build the yarn you want and then offers encouragement to knit something with it! Jillian is absolutely correct when she says, “I love knitting period, but handspun (yarn) takes it to a different level…” It absolutely does, Gentle Reader – and if you’d like to share that experience, this book is for you!

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A Tale of Four Swatches

A Tale of Four Swatches

Happy FriYAY from a MUCH cooler, LESS humid Pittsburgh! The AC is off and the windows are open!!

Cranky Pants level has been dramatically reduced.

AND!!!

Dark Sky™ is forecasting temps in the 70’s next week, with overnight lows in the mid 50’s – low 60’s!!!! Funny how a little change in your surroundings can have such a huge impact on your emotional well-being (and FriYAY does not hurt either)!

That brings me to the Fiber portion of the post (if you are not a spinner, please feel free to skip ahead to the Friday Links below):

Last week’s yarn has become this week’s swatches, with some very interesting results! I knit up four swatches – two 2-ply swatches, and two single lace swatches. All yarns were washed in hot water with a little Soak Wash and laid flat to dry – they did not hang. The single yarns were fulled slightly by agitating them lightly in the hot water and plunging them into cold water. I repeated this process twice.

First up, the yarn spun and plied on my Matchless (details are here if you are interested):

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The first swatch with the finished plied yarn, the yarn bloomed some, but not so dramatically that it changed the weight of the yarn. The finished yarn is 27 WPI and 5.5 TPI. This swatch came in with a gauge of 8 stitches per inch and 11 rows per inch.

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The single yarn bloomed dramatically and ended up between 18-20 WPI and 1.25 TPI. It created a stiffer swatch, but it blocked out beautifully. Because I fulled the yarn, it has fairly good strength, however, it is still a fragile yarn. I do not think this yarn would wear well, but it does make a lovely open lace swatch.

Next, the spindle spun and plied yarns:

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The first swatch with the finished plied yarn, the yarn bloomed a bit, but this yarn was less consistent than the yarn spun on my matchless. The range of TPI went from 23 to 14, however, the TPI was consistent at 5. I knit both swatches on the same size needle (US4), and this swatch got 7.5 stitches per inch and 10 rows per inch. However, I like the fabric that I got with the Matchless spun and plied swatch much better. It is much more even and uniform.

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The second lace swatch with the finished single yarn is my favorite! The finished yarn has a little more twist (2 TPI) and it is consistent at 20 WPI throughout the skein. It created the most lovely, airy fabric! This fabric has beautiful drape, and it allowed for some aggressive blocking! While this yarn would not be perfect for a hard wearing garment, it would make a lovely shawl.

Now for those fabulous Friday Links:

That’s all I have this week, have an amazing FriYAY and an even better weekend! I will see you back here on Monday!

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