Saturday, September 19, 2009

A spinning post

Its been a long time hasn't it. Its almost as though, now that I actually own the wheel, I don't feel compelled to spin as much. The year that I leased the wheel from RGB I was a spinning fiend. I felt that I had a year to spin the yarn that I wanted and that I had better get in as much spinning as I could. Now that the wheel is mine (I should name her don't you think?) I'm of the opinion that I can put off spinning until the mood strikes me.

Well, the mood has struck. When we were in Montreal, I purchased Amy Kings new book 'Spin Control'. This book is all about taking control of your spinning and spin using different techniques and tensions to get the yarn you want, instead of just letting the yarns happen. Up until now, I've been letting the yarns happen. I've gotten comfortable with my technique of predrafting and short forward draw. All my yarns essentially were turning out the same, unless I plied them differently. They were almost all 2 ply, almost all sport weight. Here is my most recent example of my standard handspun.

Its pretty mind you, but basically just like every other yarn that I've spun. (Except for those bulky thick and thins in the beginning, that I couldn't repeat now to save my life)

Until now. I think that I've finally grasped the backwards long draw technique. I'm super happy about this as it is so fun to do and you end up with a bulkier, loftier yarn. I came across a bump of roving that I deemed destined to become a bulky single and set about following Amy's advice and practised until the technique started working for me.

Amy recommends finishing a bulky single by shocking it a bit to felt the fibre a little. It helps the lofty single hold together better. In my inifinite wisdom, the roving that I'm using is superwash merino, so there will be no felting it. But, I guess the point is all about practising. Here is what it looks like so far. It is an absolute joy to spin this way. Totally relaxing too.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mini Shawl and more Ysolda Love

I've just finished knitting Damson by Ysolda. This pattern has been #1 on Ravelry's list for some time now with 311 of these being made. Its is a simple fun little knit that takes just 1 skein of sock yarn. Unfortunately for me, my sock yarn came up a few yards short. But, I knew this before I started it, so its my own fault. The original calls for Malibrigo sock which runs about 440 yard. I used Tanus fiber fingering weight which only had 400 yard. I love this yarn though.

But, I had to end the pattern early. I didn't get those nice scalloped edges that I should have, but thats okay. Its still lovely. I adore this colour. I guess its because we are running quickly into fall here. The leaves are starting to turn already!

And just for kicks, here is a picture of it prior to blocking. Quite the difference isn't it?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Single Skein September

The girls on 'Stash and Burn' are hosting a Single Skein September contest, with the goal being knitting out your single skeins. I'm so guilty of buying that single skein. Especially when traveling. So, I've knit this little beauty. I just love cowls. They are so much more practical than a skarf.

The pattern is called "Wicker Cafe Cowl" and its a freebie. The yarn is Cascade 220. I know this yarn is a staple in the US, but its the first time I've ever used it. Quite nice, not unlike Paton's Classic.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Its House Cup time again

And I'm busy knitting up a storm. Well, a hat anyway. For "Herbology" homework this month, we were challenged to knit with something with at least 50% plant based fiber. I finished this hat (for Amy) out of 55%bamboo , 45% wool yarn. It was an interesting yarn to work with. Certainly much nicer than 100% bamboo of which I am most definitely not a fan.

The pattern is from Knit.1 magazine. Its a neat pattern and I really liked knitting the leaf motif. I may actually try to incorporate into a pair of mittens later on, but not out of the bamboo blend as it would be too cool to be practical for mittens