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Spin, Knit May 7, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, knitting, spinning.
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I managed to wrench my shoulder a couple of nights ago. I’m not really sure what I did or how I did it – I was sitting on the floor in the guest room-cum-Michael’s office-cum-studio and turned to my left, reached beside and behind me with my left arm to pick up something fairly light, and it must have been just the wrong angle as a pain shot up my arm when I did it. Ever since then it’s been punky. I can put weight on it, I can do most things with it, but I can’t reach out and, say, pick up a gallon of milk with it, or comfortably reach behind me to hook my bra. Trying to wrestle Mim to get her diaper on this morning was just short of torture. It’s just certain angles – one of which I discovered is the force exerted in pulling a hank of yarn taut and twisting it into a skein. That sucked, I actually had to stop and take some deep breaths, the pain was so sudden and unexpected. So yeah. Fantastic.

I am every so thankful, however, that it was my left shoulder and not my right because anything involving pressing with my fingers such as opening a childproof cap would hurt a lot. Being a righty that would make just about anything painful. Fortunately as well my typing is not affected so I can still work.

Speaking of which I do have some yarn photos – here are those two skeins I finished a couple of weeks ago but took crappy pictures the first time around. These were both spun from roving I got from Frog Hair Fibers, I love her colors, especially the second one.

This is superwash Merino wool, I spun it quick and squishy so it would make a really poofy warm yarn as I’m trying to break out of my tendency to spin teensy weensy perfectionist style.

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Roving: Superwash Merino color “Candy” from Frog Hair Fibers

This is superwash Blue Faced Leicester, which frankly I was worried about as the BFL I’ve spun has almost been too soft, drifting apart easily while spinning and being kind of a pain in the ass. I was glad that this stuff was still soft, but not without substance. Maybe the superwash process toughened it up a little bit? Anyway the resulting yarn has a fantastic drape, I’m tempted to keep this one for myself.

Handspun BFL

Handspun BFL

Roving: Superwash BFL colorway “Antiquity” from Frog Hair Fibers

In the “making things” department I’ve been dinking around on this Chevron Scarf for a couple of weeks, now. The stitch pattern is so easy that sometimes I start to nod off while working on it. It’s also in fingering weight yarn so it feels like it is taking forever. I think that’s further exacerbated by the fact that I only get a few minutes here and there to rattle off a couple of rows. Or I fall asleep :) Anyway I had these two random skeins of Koigu KPPPM and this was the perfect project for stashbusting them. I’m just about halfway done.

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Pattern: Chevron Scarf by Joelle Hoverson, from Last minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, color P204 (red) and P426 (purple)

It obviously needs a lot of blocking so it’ll lay flat once it’s finished. My plan is to wear it as a headscarf, if I can figure out how to get it to stay on my slippery hair without sliding off. Maybe I need to invest in some bobby pins as I really want to wear scarves on my head and can’t seem to figure it out.

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More stuffs. April 3, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, spinning.
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Okay, I did more spinning. I’m so excited! I haven’t done this much spinning in ages. I feel like I’m going through phases – dyeing to knitting to spinning and back again. Well, that’s fine, I can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time anyway. What I REALLY need to do is finish listing the stuff on Etsy that’s just sitting in a bin doing nothing. It’s all tagged and ready to go, I just need to take the time to list it. Sigh.

Anyway, anyway. Here are two more skeins I finished up – the BFL that was on the bobbin for about a million years, and the easter-egg dyed that I got from that Ravelry friend. Please excuse my poor worn out fugly tablecloth.

worsted to chunky weight 2-ply
100% merino wool | hand wash
228 yards
(No name yet)

Merino two-ply yarn

Merino two-ply yarn

Merino two-ply yarn

This was the roving I got from that friend on Ravelry, one of her first dyeing experiments. I really love the colors and this is super lofty and warm. This is another skein of “spin fast and less exact” in an attempt to pry the anal retentive spinner’s stick out of my own ass. I do like it a lot, just counting the strands I could feel how cozy it was due to not being plied to death. I think I might keep this one to make something for Mim. The skein is huge!

fingering to sport weight Navajo-plied
100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester | machine/hand wash
210 yards
(No name yet)

Superwash BFL Yarn

Superwash BFL Yarn

Superwash BFL Yarn

The BFL skein is really more green than blue, but Joy expressed lust for it so she gets first dibs on it if she wants it. It looks a little kinky in that first photo and it is – it Navajo plied a bit stiffer than I was anticipating as the roving was very soft – too soft, almost. I’m coming to find that I prefer to spin rougher fibers, I’m not as much a fan of the soft-soft-soft stuff. I may have plied this a bit too aggressively as the single ply was nearly falling apart in my hands in a couple of places. Very delicate. In any case it’s been washed and thwacked and at second glance I think the soak helped relax it a lot, so we’ll see what it does once it’s dry.

New Yarnz March 31, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, spinning.
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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.

Some actual progress. February 23, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, knitting.
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It’s been a LONG TIME since I wrote about anything crafty, namely because the past month or so has been a big steaming pile of suck when it comes to free time. With the dog being sick and dying, the kids being sick (though thankfully not dying), me being sick…I’ve had to do so much catch-up with work that there has literally been no time to do much of anything. Housework has fallen by the wayside and now that everyone is better we’re still trying to get caught up.

Anyway I have managed to do a little here and there – no spinning, sadly, and only a wee but of dyeing of things I owed to people – mostly knitting. First I wanted to make something for myself, so I knitted a cowl out of the handspun I fell in love with and bought from Joy. I was trying to think of something useful yet simple to show off the colors in the yarn. I really like it.

I like how the colors are different depending on which side you’re looking at.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I plan to take the remaining 15 yards or so and rig some sort of cord so I can cinch it into a slouchy hat.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I look like pan-fried ass in these pics because this was the day before I relented and went to the doc for strep.

Second I told myself I must finish at least one thing that I had sitting in my WIP pile so I did that, I finished knitting the Entrelac Scarf I started back when kidlet was a baby. I need to run in the ends and block it so photos will be forthcoming.

Thirdly I had all this Dream in Color Classy I bought the middle of last year so I could make a Tulips Cardigan for Mim, only once I had it in my hot little hands I got all intimidated and put it away.

DiC Classy: to be Tulips Sweater

I found it while cleaning up and said to myself, “Self, you really need to get over this and knit the damned thing before she’s too big to wear it.” The pattern goes up to 6 years old, but I wouldn’t put it past me. So I bit the bullet, caked all the yarn and jumped in with both feet.

Front
Tulips Sweater for Mim

Back
Tulips Sweater for Mim

Surprisingly and to my joy this is a very easy and quick knit! I don’t know why I was so cowed by the idea of making it but so far I am really loving it. I’m nearly done with the body and I doubt the arms will take all that long to finish, the only thing I’ve never done before is the applied i-cord that goes around the neckline. I love this yarn and plan to make a matching hat. And just imagine, I may actually have it done so that Mim can wear it this Spring! What a concept.

Saturday late January 10, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, spinning.
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I don’t have a lot to say right now, it’s late and there’s more I need to do before bed. I did get some photos taken of the other yarn I finished up last week, I think they came out pretty good. I still need to measure them out, ugh boring.

Speaking of ugh boring I am really done with winding yarn to dye off of cones. Yes, you can get a much better deal buying by the cone but good lord, I can’t afford an electric skein winder and doing by hand with a niddy noddy makes me crazy. I talked to the owner of my LYS about buying commercial wool from her by the bag and she is able to offer me a nice discount. I figure I’ll do a few bags with her and see if the time savings makes up for the higher initial cost. Being able to just unkink a skein and toss it in a pot = priceless.

Shetland wool, 2 ply:
Shetland yarn

Shetland yarn

Merino wool, 3-ply:
Merino yarn

Merino yarn