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New Yarnz March 31, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, spinning.
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3 comments

Here’s the Knit Witch roving done up and made pretty for the camera:

Superwash merino two-ply yarn

handspun worsted to chunky weight
100% superwash merino | machine/hand wash
3.6 ounces | 11 wpi | 228 yards
(No name yet)

Superwash merino two-ply yarn

This skein hasn’t been washed or thwacked yet, and already it’s balanced. I’m very pleased about that – I tend to choke up while plying and really twist the heck out of it and end up with, to put it nicely, an “energized” yarn. With this bundle of roving I made a conscious decision NOT to try and get it thin-thin-thin and perfect and NOT to overspin it. There’s a few small bits that are thin but overall I tried to just enjoy the sensation of roving through my fingers. When plying I did the same thing – a conscious effort NOT to ply it as much as I thought it needed to be plied, which is always too much because I’m too much of a high-strung perfectionist worrywart. It was hard to do, I felt like I was working against my innate desires. I’m super happy with the result, though. I could see myself knitting with this yarn, it’s very fluffy and lofty, it’ll be nice and warm.

Superwash merino two-ply yarn

This isn’t even all of the roving as I broke a ply toward the end so I’ve got just under half an ounce of single sitting in a bowl. I figure I’ll ply that up as a skeinlet later. Still, 228 yards isn’t too shabby.

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Some little things. March 30, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, spinning.
2 comments

I’ve managed a little spinning the past couple of days, just here and there. I broke down and bought a new niddy noddy when I was last at the fiber gallery a couple of weeks ago because I still can’t find the one that’s MIA. How does someone lose something like that? I am talented.

I finally finished spinning up some superwash Blue-Faced Leicester roving from theytoldmesew I’ve had sitting on the bobbin for a long, long time and Navajo plied it. I’ll take better pictures tomorrow when I’ve got some natural light to work with.

theytoldmesew roving

I also spun up some Knit Witch (review is forthcoming) superwash merino roving in a thicker slubby single and plied it into two-ply.

Darth amongst the fiber buns.

Knit Witch single

It’s funny how roving looks so different from braid (or bump) to drafted to single to plied – I literally waffled from loving to hating to loving the Knit Witch roving while I was working with it. It’s a gorgeous fiber dyed in reds, yellows and oranges, wonderfully soft and beautiful in the braid, but when I had the single spun up I didn’t like the contrast in the colors at all. It looked too red and too yellow at once to me. I decided on a two-ply so that it would blend the colors rather than sequential bands of color when Navajo plied and it was the right choice – the resulting yarn is a nice combination and the hank is an overall warm orangey red. I’ll post photos of the plied yarn when I’ve got them. Hopefully soon I’ll spin a true three-ply using three different singles. I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish this, maybe I’ll have to weigh out equal portions of the same roving. Or maybe I’ll use white roving so I don’t have to measure anything.

Next up: This lovely roving from my friend yarnaholic on Ravelry. She was curious about dyeing so I badgered her into trying it, and this was one of her first attempts using Easter egg dye! Isn’t it gorgeous? I have no idea how it’s going to want to be spun up, I can’t wait to find out!

Yarnaholic roving

What I need to do is get dyeing again. I’ve got that table set up and pretty much ready to go – I’ve been skeining some yarn blanks and have weighed out a few bumps of fiber but I really need to get on the ball and measure out a whole mess of them. I even procured some new bins to hold everything. Time, time, time – is just not on my side right now.

Darth, alone.

Stuff and things. March 30, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, food, knitting, spinning.
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I’ve made a couple more baby blanket squares. The directive was No Pink, so I’ve had to make do with derivatives of blues and greens.

Blanket squares

1. Intarsia heart – my first complete intarsia project. It wasn’t all that difficult once I got the hang of it, but all those separate bits of yarn – eugh, so not worth it. I still haven’t run the ends in yet and I am not looking forward to it. It’s cute, anyway.

2. Just another patterned square. Still loving the hell out of that Dream in Color Classy. Yarn love.

While we’re on the topic of crafty things, look what I got the other day…

Fiber

Whatever could be in this big box? I didn’t order any medical supplies.

Fiber

Fiber! This is 22# of roving, tightly banded together. I’m afraid of cutting that band to let it free. Joy is egging me to do it. I’m skeered!

Proof I’m not completely hopeless:

Proof I'm not a total screw-up.

I baked yeast bread! I probably should have kneaded it more, but it still tasted good.

Knittin’ March 12, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, knitting.
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Got some pictures.

First, I knitted a square for a baby blanket. I am in LOVE with Dream in Color Classy – it looks so nice knitted up and it’s superwash. I think I’m going to stock up on this stuff whenever I see it on sale, it’s just so great!

Pattern: Crystal Sparkle (minus the beads) from 200 Knitted Blocks
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, superwash worsted weight, color 150 Happy Forest

Baby blanket square

Cheesecake shot!

Baby blanket square

I’ve started a second one in intarsia, not sure if I like it yet – once I have progress pics I’ll post em.

Thank you to Kemma for the book recommendation, it’s been perfect for baby blankets!

I’m also getting there with the cardigan for Mim. I spent most of our D&D session last weekend running in ends, there were a billion of them. I hate running in ends but I was able to do it mindlessly while playing so I hardly noticed it. I think I’ll use this strategy, save my end-running for game night from now on!

I mucked up the edges down at the bottom front corners – oh well, I think a lot of it will block out and it won’t matter because Mim’s going to be so cute in it anyway no one will notice. All I have left is to finish that second sleeve, then do the attached i-cord for the neck and ties. It’s going to be huge on her (it’s the 12-18 month size) but it is so cute! She can wear it this Spring and into next Autumn.

Pattern: Tulip Baby Cardigan by Dream in Color
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, superwash worsted weight, colors 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180

Tulip Cardigan

Tulip Cardigan

It worked up so fast I’m seriously considering putting one on my list in boy colors and watch the sales.

My next project once this is done (and hopefully a couple of other mid-sized projects and a few more baby blanket squares) is Fern, a child’s coat from the book Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines:

I’m hoping if I start it now I’ll have it done in time for Autumn. It’s all fingering weight wool on 2s and 3s, though, so it’s going to take a while.

Munchie is on the table where she should not be. However she is so cute I don’t have the heart to shoo her off.

Naughty kitty!

Mmm, tasty bucket of fiber. March 10, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in dyeing, Etsy, spinning.
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Ugh, it’s been a while. I’m sick again – I don’t know if this is a continuation of the previous sick, or a whole new round of sick, but sick I am. I started getting congested late last week and spent the weekend feeling like crap. Today I’m still stuffed up and as a result can’t hear or smell very well. It’s like having a full fishbowl over my head. Needless to say it’s completely sapped any energy I might have had, I’ve just completely petered out.

Today it was really nice outside, it gave me hope for Spring.

So last week my big goal was to do some sort of dyeing-related activity in my spare time for 5 out of 7 days, which I did. The last day I didn’t do any actual dyeing but I rinsed and hung roving, so that counts. Somehow I’ve managed to lose about ten child-sized plastic hangers AND my niddy noddy. I have no idea how I managed to lose something that large but there you go. Anyway I am very pleased with how much I managed to get done. I didn’t show my progress pics of the last few bundles of roving I dyed – here they are all bedraggled on my porch:

Dyeing, ongoing

On the opposite side of the porch was that impressive icicle again – no matter how many times we knocked it down it would come back:

Icicle.

I didn’t realize the full scope of my work until I had it all laid out on the chest in the dining room. Not too shabby for three days’ work:

Final tally

I also took a picture of them all in my big bucket. Because buckets are cool. Husband Michael saw the bucket and said he “liked my bucket of yarn.” Sigh. :)

Bucket of fiber

I posed some nerdy D&D dudes in my fiber :)

Fen Hydra. I think I might use that for the colorway, it just happens to match.

Fen Hydra

Spectral Magelord. He would have looked a lot more badass if it weren’t for the country bumpkin wallpaper:

Spectral Magelord

Shadowhunter Bat:

Shadowhunter Bat

Magma Brute:

Magma Brute

That concludes my fiber for today. I did dye some more stuff this afternoon but it’s out on the porch probably freezing solid.

I don’t have a lot more to say right now – some cute things happened with the kids that I wanted to write down but never got around to, and now I can’t think of them. Once my head drains I’ll be a little better equipped to think straight.

Gonna go knit, then bed. Nighty night!