Friday, April 24, 2009

Handspun Friday - Ash Rose

This fiber came from my stash. It is a super wash merino that has turned into a 3-ply yarn. It is a thicker than traditional sock yarn and is actually closer to a worsted weight in the thickest places.

I think that I'll be using it for socks. Not socks that are meant to be worn with shoes, but house or bed socks. I wear socks at home a lot because my feet get cold. And this yarn will be perfect for those kind of socks.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by PigeonRoof Studios
Content: Super wash Merino
Weight: 3.55 ounces
WPI: 13
Yardage: 240 yards
Notes: 3-ply

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer Cardi

My office is getting ready to start it's annual freeze out. Each summer the air conditioner in the place is turned on with enough force to freeze you right where you sit.So this year I decided to knit a simple sweater I could pull on to save myself from the shivers. And with temperatures forecast in the 80s this week; I didn't finish it a moment too soon.

I decided on a simple easy to knit little cardigan that doesn't have any buttons. The sleeves are short, but everything is just warm enough to keep that artificial chill of the bones while I'm in cubicle land this summer. The pattern is from Knitting Pure and Simple and it was well written and very easy to follow. The constructions is a simple top down raglan and the ribbed border is added at the end.

I tried to get a shot of me actually modeling the sweater, but Scarlett was much to interested in my activities and the camera tripod was in danger of falling over. So, no action shots today.

The sweater was quick because of the large needles and the yarn. I knit the sweater according to the instructions for the x-large size. The pattern called for 1,060 yards of yarn. I bought 5 skeins of the Taiyo (1,090 yards), but only ended up using 4 skeins (872 yards). I ended up using less yardage than the pattern called for in the large size. My gauge was slightly off; I got 13 stitches over 4 inches and the pattern called for 14, but I still didn't expect that big a difference in the final yardage count. The finished sweater is a little too roomy, but that will work okay for the office.

This is the first time I've used Noro Taiyo for the first time and I loved working with the yarn. It is billed as a bulky yarn, but I found it much closer to a heavy worsted or aran weight yarn. It has the typical thick and thin sections of other Noro yarn.There were also plenty of thick slubs in the yarn too and the color transitions are typically Noro too.

The cotton and silk content give this yarn a nice feel and working with the larger sized needles give the yarn a nice drape and feel in the finished sweater. I hope that this yarn is around for awhile and that some other colors are released. I'd love to make another project using Taiyo.

Project Info

Pattern: Summer Open Cardigan
from Knitting Pure & Simple
Yarn: Noro Taiyo
40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool, 15% nylon
color - 08; 4 skeins (100grams/200 meters)
Needles: addi TURBO US# 10.5 and 9
Gauge: 13 stitches equal 4 inches in stockinette
Finished Length: 23 inches from
Finished Width: 52 inches
Notes: Used the US 9 needles for the ribbing. Pattern called for US 8 for ribbing, Gauge was slightly different than called for in pattern.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Handspun Friday - Plum Copper

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by The Yarn Wench
Content: Merino/Silk (80/20)
Weight: 8.25 ounces
WPI: 11
Yardage: 636 yards
Notes: 2-ply; hand wash

Friday, April 10, 2009

Handspun Friday

I've got a nice and bright chain plied yarn for today. The fiber is 18.5 micron Australian Merino and it is much softer that I expected.

The fiber is billed as spiral dyed and I don't know exactly what that means. But the colors in the fiber are really rich and saturated. Surprisingly enough, there was very little, if any, dye bleed out during the yarn's hot bath to set the twist. The fiber came in two identically dyed pieces and the color repeats were nice and long. I did not divide the fiber into strips before spinning. I tried to preserve the long color repeats that showed up in the fiber.

The fiber was easy to draft and nice to spin. I only wish I had a little more so I ended up with more yardage. But I think I have enough for a hat.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: Spiral Dyed Fiber by Jacinta Leishman
Content: Austrailian Merino
18.5 micron
Weight: 3.55 ounces
WPI: 11
Yardage: 166 yards
Notes: chain plied; hand wash

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Short Attention Span Knitting

I've definitely been knitting. It seems like I've been knitting a lot actually. But between knitting on the traveling scarves that are making their way to my house and the other projects I've got going, nothing is getting finished. This is the lineup of my current in progress knitting projects. I think it's apparent why nothing is actually getting finished.

I wanted a small project available to carry around for when I have just a few minutes to knit. So I started another pair of ribbed socks with some yarn I broke into for one of the traveling scarves. It's great for the work carpool!

Last Wednesday I attended a knitting focus group meeting and the topic was old works in progress that hadn't been worked on for awhile. The idea was to bring a project to the meeting and make a firm decision on whether to complete it or just terminate the whole thing. I have to say, most projects brought to the meeting were frogged. But I decided to move forward with mine.

The project in question is the Weekend Getaway Satchel that appeared in an issue of Interweave Knits in 1995! And yes, That's when I started the project. It's been sitting in a closet all this time. I started this project before I had even started blogging! I picked this project, out of the several that are in the closet, because my Saturday book club meeting was focused on bags. So it seemed doubly appropriate. The project is back out and I'm knitting. I plan on finishing it this year for sure. I've just finished the base and I'm working on the back. Next up will be the front with the Intarsia and embroidery work.

I had to start another sock too. I'm working on a spin along project for March and April. I'm done with the spinning, but the second have is to knit the Primavera Sock pattern with the yarn. So I got that sock started as well. And since my main sock knitting needles are in another sock project and I had to come up with a solution. I found that I had a US1 circular needle that is 40 inches long. So, I'm learning magic loop on this project as a bonus.

I've been working on a sweater too! I'm knitting a February Lady Sweater in Socks That Rock heavy weight yarn. I love how this thing is turning out. The color is called Korppi and is a basic black with highlights of purples and green. I really just love this color. I'm actually really excited for this project. I've added my first button holes to a sweater and I've learned a twisted purl cast on too. The bad news is that I have to start over. I don't think I started with a big enough size. I could probably knit a few more rows just to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that frogging is the answer. It is a little disheartening; so I've set the project aside for a little bit.

But in the mean time, I started another sweater last Friday. I'm knitting a nice little open cardigan to wear in the office to beat the chill of the summer air conditioner. Our office is kept at deep freeze temperatures all summer, so this will definitely get used this season. I'm knitting it out of Noro Taiyo which is a cotton, wool, and silk mix. I love how the yarn feels and it has all the typical Noro characteristics. I'm to the point of splitting off the sleeves. The yarn is worsted weight and I'm knitting on size US 10.5 needles, so this project is moving right along.

I've been spinning too of course! I can't stop spinning. So I'll have a new skein of hand spun to share on Friday if you come back.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Traveling Scarf Group - The Sock Yarn Edition

This is the second of my Traveling Scarf Groups and it is focused on sock yarn. I'm really enjoying seeing all the scarves as they pass through me for my addition. Below is a slide show of the scarves that I have worked on to date.

As you browse the pictures, if you mouse over the word notes on the right side, you can see details of the section I added to each scarf.

The great thing about this group is that I'm really getting to dive into my sock yarn stash. I've found yarns I had completely forgotten about and knit with others I'd never thought I'd use. I've been able to knit some of the scarf sections with leftovers from other projects, but other scarves required that I wind a yet untouched skein.

I did make one little rule for myself though. If I wind a skein to knit my section of a scarf - that yarn is by default my next sock project. Maybe not my ideal way of picking a project, but it is keeping me knitting and using the stash!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Handspun Friday - 3 Ply 2 Ways

I joined another spin along and this time the dyer, All Spun Up, said the fiber would be Bluefaced Leicester, but the color was a surprise. I love the combination of the blues and browns.

I ended up with eight ounces of fiber and decided I wanted to spin the fiber a little different than I normally do. I decided to try for a nice thick chain plied yarn to try and keep the color repeats together. So that is how I spun up the first four ounces. I tried for a low twist single in an effort to keep everything fluffy and light. But in several places I didn't put enough twist and my singles came apart while I was plying.

I decided to do a true three ply yarn with the other four ounces and I enjoyed spinning and plying that a lot more. I thought it would also be interesting to see how different the finished yarns look. I think it will be fun now to see how each actually knits up. I'm thinking I'll try for a pair of socks out of the regular three ply and a hat or maybe mittens if there is enough yardage in the chain plied skein.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: All Spun Up
Content: 100% Bluefaced Leicester
Weight: 4.05 ounces - chain plied skein
3.95 ounces - 3 ply skein
WPI: 8 WPI average - chain plied skein
15 WPI average - 3 ply skein
Yardage: 172 yards - chain plied skein
300 yards - 3 ply skein
Notes: hand wash