Friday, July 31, 2009

Handspun Friday - Adirondack

I really enjoyed spinning this fiber, watching the colors collect on the bobbin. Watching the singles twist together to make the yarn. I only wish I had more of this fiber. I have to say that the final yarn is probably my most favorite in a long time.

Spinning this fiber made me remember just how much I like hand dyed fiber with a good amount of white or undyed fiber left after the dying processs. I think that the white fiber helps balance out all the color during the spinning process and in the finished yarn; especially if the fiber has several different seemingly unrelated colors.

I'm thinking I'll use this to knit up a nice pair of thick winter house socks. But I think I'll just enjoy looking at the yarn for a while first.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by FatCatKnits
Content: Superwash Merino combed wool top
Weight: 4 ounces
WPI: 12 wraps per inch
Yardage: 224 yards
Notes: 3-ply

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Traveling Scarf Has Returned Home

My first Traveling scarf project i s finally complete. The scarf returned home a couple weeks ago. It sat for a little while until I could get some time to get it finished up. I added a section to the end that matched the first I knit and bound off the scarf.

The fun came when I tried to block the scarf. The scarf was longer than almost any flat surface in our house other than the floor. The two big dogs we have really preclude using the floor for anything like blocking a knitting project because they are almost always covered with fur bunnies.

So I did what I could and laid out the camping mat I use for a blocking board onto the kitchen island and started pinning out my scarf. I ended up having to make a fold in the scarf and blocking the scarf that way - but you really can't tell when looking at the finished scarf.

I'm really happy with the overall results of the scarf. The only thing I asked the group to do when working on my scarf was to keep the width as close as possible on each section and to add 10 rows of moss stitch with a skein of yarn I sent along. the skein I sent along was a leftover from my first year in the Socks that Rock Club.

The scarf travelled with a small journal so everyone could write down their pattern, yarn, and any other information they were interested to include. The photo above shows each scarf after it made it's way to me and I added my section. I did have a lot of fun with this project and enjoyed seeing all the different scarves along the way. I'm looking forward to using the scarf this winter too!

Project Info:

Pattern: Various Patterns throughout the scarf
Yarn: 16 different sock yarns
Needles: Started and finished with addi TURBO US# 2 (3 mm)
Finished Size: 4.5" wide by 124.5" long
Project Start: December 3, 2008
Project End: July 25, 2008

Friday, July 24, 2009

Handspun Friday - Paris

This is the first time I've spun fiber from this vendor and the fiber spun up very well and the finished yarn is nice and soft. I loved how the colors looked in the roving but I do think that the colors got a little muddled in the finished yarn.

The odd thing is that the photos of the yarn look pretty accurate for color on my monitor and so do the colors in the photo of the roving below. The final yarn is very nice though. I look forward to knitting it up into something wonderful.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by Spindlefrog
Content: Corriedale wool top
Weight: 4.6 ounces
WPI: 11 wraps per inch
Yardage: 226 yards
Notes: 2-ply; hand wash

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blanket Square Swap

I've joined another swap. This time the theme is blanket squares. The object was to knit 16 nine inches squares and mail most of them off to other swap participants. The squares were supposed to be knit or crocheted out of a machine washable yarn and be neutral in color.

I used Knit Picks Shine worsted to knit these squares. It was my first time using this yarn and it seems to knit up very nicely and is soft to the touch. Hopefully it will hold up well to general use and washing and too. I guess only time will tell.

I just used the same pattern I've been using for my sock yarn squares. I just used two colors in each square. The nice thing was that the number of round I needed to knit to get to nine inches was divisible by three so the color transitions were very easy to work. The biggest pain was weaving in all the ends. But that tedious task is finally finished. The squares just need to be mailed out now.

I'll end up getting as many squares as I send off back. So in the end, I'll have sixteen nine inch squares to put together a 36" x 36" blanket. I have no idea how I'll put together the squares I get. After I can take stock of all the neutral colors, I'll pick a color for joining the squares and putting a border around the whole thing. I do have a couple skeins of each of the colors of Shine I used, so maybe that will work.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three Little Birds

One week later and the little birds are really starting to grow and take shape. Last week there were two little birds and two eggs. This week there are three little birds and one egg left. I don't know if the final egg will hatch, but these little birds seem to be thriving.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Handspun Friday -Sea of Green

I thought I'd share something nice and bright feeling today. This is a simple two ply yarn spun from Bluefaced Leicester top.

I got the fiber from a Hello Yarn shop update a while ago. It'd been marinating in the stash waiting for me to pick it out and spin it up.

So as part of my Tour de Fleece participation I'm trying to spin some of the great fibers I've been hiding.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by Hello Yarn
Content: Bluefaced Leicester Wool Top
Weight: 4.2 ounces
WPI: 13 wraps per inch
Yardage: 226 yards
Notes: 2-ply; hand wash

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Fiber Makes More Yarn

I don't have much knitting progress to show. But I have been spinning, so I thought I'd share that progress instead. I've been spinning every day since starting the Tour de Fleece this month. My approach to this type of marathon spinning is to fill up as many bobbins as I can and then ply all the bobbins at once.

The first set of bobbins that I worked up are finished. I spun, plied, washed, and thwacked. The yarn is in skeins and waiting to be photographed. I ended up with three skeins of yarn from that run through. The first of which I'll post on Friday.

The second set of bobbins is just out of the soaking stage. The skeins are hung up to dry so to speak. I meant to get a picture of all the full pretty bobbins, but forgot, so you get to see an out of focus photo of the finished yarn soaking in the laundry sink. There are four skeins of yarn in this second bunch, but two of the skeins are the same fiber.

When I started this marathon of daily spinning, I promised myself that everything would come from my stash. So far so good, but I must admit my stash has some nice choices available. I've also tasked myself to include a three ply yarn and at least one selection from a fiber club. I've started work on my third set of bobbins this week. I'm starting with a three ply yarn out of super wash merino.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Surprise

I decided to spend this morning working outside. I've got some neglected plants that could use a little TLC. So I started with a couple hanging plants on the back porch. I pulled the first plant down to snip out the dead leaves and give it a good drink of water and look what I found!

There is a bird's nest in my plant. It looks like two eggs may have hatched and two eggs remain. The little hatchlings were moving about a bit, but don't look quite as developed as I imagined new hatchlings should look. Hopefully the little ones will be okay.

I'll continue to watch their development and hopefully the mother bird will be back soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Handspun Friday - Calendula

This skein was actually spun before I took my blogging break - but I hadn't shared it yet so it seemed a good place to start this week. The fiber is super wash merino and nylon. I think it is the first time I've spun a blend with nylon. It was actually nice to spin.

The fiber was a pencil roving I purchased on etsy from Fiber Denn. This is the second of third time I've purchased fiber from this source and I've always been happy with the results. One of my first handspun projects, a feather and fan shawl, was knit with yarn from fiber from this source.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by Fiber Denn
Content: 80% Superwash Merino; 20% Nylon
Weight: 3.6 ounces
WPI: 11 wraps per inch
Yardage: 200 yards
Notes: 3-ply

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Projects in Progress

Even though I haven't been blogging much and I've lacked motivation to actually do much knitting and spinning; I've actually got a few things going on. This first project is a nice light cotton summer sweater. I've got wool for several sweaters sitting in my stash, but I couldn't get motivated to start any of those projects. So I did what lots of knitters would do, I bought different yarn to see if that would jump start my knitting. This is Ty Dye yarn from Knit One Crochet Too. It is the first time I've used this yarn and it's knitting up into a nice fabric; no more splitty than any other cotton yarn. The pattern is easy enough so far and will require minimal seaming.

I also joined in the spinning for the Tour de Fleece. The goal is to spin each day that the Tour de France race is running. I was hoping this would put me back in a spinning mind set and I can honestly say that I've spun everyday so far. This photo shows some of my efforts from the first couple of days. I've actually got these bobbins plied and a new set of bobbins started. My personal goal this year is to work through as much of my stash as I can. The photo only represents 12 ounces of fiber - I've got a long way to go!

I got my sock yarn traveling scarf back and I love it! I just need to get it bound off and photographed so I can show it off. But in the mean time I decided to go ahead and join two more scarf groups because I had so much fun with the sock yarn group. The first group is with a cable theme. It will be interesting to see how the different cable sections come together. Plus I really don't knit a whole lot of cables so it will be good practice.

The second scarf group is a lengthwise knit group. I've always wanted to try a scarf knit like this and I think it is a great idea for a varied group of knitters. My scarf will be all garter stitch and I think the fact that it is knit lengthwise will camouflage any gauge differences. Anyway, hopefully by winter I'll have a couple new scarves to throw in the lineup.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Swissy Sunday - Another Fiber Addict at Geddesberg

I know it has been awhile since I've posted. It has actually been a little over a month. I was surprised when I brought up the blog and saw that. That long of a break was unintentional, but it was a nice summer break. I've been in a knitting and spinning slump. I think the warm summer weather has contributed to that, but I'm back at it and you can see I have a new fiber addict in the house.

Scarlett has always been interested in my yarn, fiber, and knitting and spinning tools. Every once in a while she even manages to get a hold of something for herself. This time she got a hold of 4 ounces of super wash merino fiber that I just received from Fat Cat Knits. She was only alone for a couple of minutes and she snatched this off the dinning room table. She managed to tear the braid almost completely apart. I didn't save the fiber. I think if I had a drum carder or some combs, I could have salvaged some of it, but I just didn't have the energy.

I had been going through some of my fiber stash planning what I'd spin for the Tour de Fleece that just started. I had 8 ounces of this fiber and had been planning on spinning it for a shawl project, now with 4 ounces left I'm thinking socks. But for the meantime I've started with some other fiber.

Other than Scarlett's strange eating habits - Sherman and Scarlet are doing fine. We've been enjoying the summer and talking walks in the park that is nearby. This photo shows Sherman in his new hiding spot. He likes to crawl under the bushes near the porch and have us look for him. After several minutes of us calling "where is Sherman?" he will come charging out of the bushes.

I"ll be back later this week with some project updates and I'll have some new handspun for the next several Fridays at least. The slump is over for now at least.