The 4th Try Is the Charm

It is 7:30 on Saturday night: I am dreaming of knitting and starting a new project (For some reason none of the 5 million projects I have going is just right to work on right now. I’m studiously ignoring the fact that I have 5 million projects). I’m browsing Ravelry looking for something in brioche and I come across this cowl that I’ve had queued for months. Perfection. I buy the pattern.

8:30 PM on Saturday: I’ve rummaged through my stash and found the perfect yarn – Hedgehog Fibers Sock in Nutmeg (that I bought on my honeymoon) and KnitPicks Stroll in Midnight Heather. Yummy! I cast on, figure out how to do brioche again, and work a few rows. Exhausted, I go to bed.

yarn

12:30 PM on Sunday: *I pick up my knitting, work a few rows, and make a mistake I can’t fix. I rip it all out and start again. Repeat from * once more. Walk away frustrated. Clean house instead.

6 PM on Sunday: I notice my yarn is starting to show signs of wear. I stop to think before casting on for the 4th time. I decide to use a larger needle to cast on so the top will be nice and stretchy. I ask my husband to kiss my yarn for good luck before I start – he complies with no further questions, bless him. Using a US 6 circular needle I cast on the required number of stitches. I join to work in the round. I switch a smaller needle and work the foundation rounds. I join my second colour and start brioche-ing away. A few rows later I make a mistake, but it’s only a small mistake and easily fixable. I’m sailing away to Brioche land.

brioche!

Tiddly Bits

I’ve been following Treadle Handspun Yarns on Instagram for quite a while now. Robin spins the most beautifully even yarns – they are such a pleasure to look at. Every now and again she also works up a bag of Tiddly Bits to sell in her shop. Tiddly Bits are bits and bobs of different coloured rovings all tied up and thrown in a bag together. They always sell quickly, and I’ve been trying to get my hands on a bag for months.

tiddly bits

The idea is to reach into the bag and spin the next colour, no matter what it is (or I suppose you could carefully lay them out in colour order if that’s how you prefer it). I started spinning my bag of bits last night and oh, I love it!

all the colours

So many colours just jumbled up next to each other, all willy nilly! I think when the bits are done I may spin up something a bit more staid to calm everything down and make a 3-ply yarn like I did with my SkyWool: 2 fun plies, one calming. Or maybe I’ll really go crazy and ply with a cone of crochet cotton!

Who knows. I have the Tiddly Bits, and the world is my oyster.

SkyWool

I finished spinning the SkyWool! It started as the bounciest Merino top I’ve ever spun.

skywool

I spun it quite finely (spun S or clockwise), hoping for a fingering weight yarn. I wanted to make a 3-ply yarn, but I didn’t want to divide the roving in 3 pieces and risk wasting some of my fiber, so I spun the merino from end to end and then spun some natural coloured BFL to go with it. I plied from both ends of the merino, with the BFL as my 3rd ply (plied Z or counterclockwise). About 2/3 of the way through plying I ran out of BFL (I talked more about this here). Oops.

So I spun some more of the BFL and finished my plying. I wasn’t quite happy with how the yarn looked, though. You can see in the picture above how loose the plying is, and I desperately wanted a yarn as bouncy as the Merino Top was. So I decided to run it though my spinning wheel again to add more twist. I am so glad I did this because now I love how the yarn looks!

Technically the yarn is overplied: it tries to twist on itself when hanging, even after a wash. But I don’t care. I have 290 yds of beautiful blue fingering weight yarn!

skywool in the sky

I have no idea what to make with it.

Angerthas

angerthas

J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius. He worked on the Oxford English Dictionary, he wrote books for which he created a complete history/mythology, and he also created multiple languages for his books. The Angerthas is the alphabet he made for the Dwarves. Each rune is formed with all straight lines: perfect for carving in stone and for knitting.

Angerthas mitts

Last week I finished knitting the Angerthas Mitts, and now I’m looking for pattern testers, especially knitters with large or small hands. If you are interested in test knitting please read through the requirements here and reply to the conversation thread. I’m getting everything ready for when the pattern is released (for free) on December 31 in Knotions Magazine.

P.S. If you haven’t been over to Knotions yet, check out my most recent design, the Call Box Hat!