Whimsy

I try to stick to the knitting queue that I have established. I (mostly) keep my WIPs to a minimum. I start a project, and then I work on it. Sometimes, though, I just need to break out of the box and start a project on a whim.

I’ve had this book for a while, and this cowl has been on my list to make for a few years. The yarn is some of my oldest stash (and I plan to use some handspun as well). Over all, I think this is a pretty responsible whim.

What do you do when “the plan” is no longer working for you?

Working

Well, friends, I am working on my next design. I don’t think work ever stops when you are a designer, but it is such exciting work. And (in theory, at least) you get to knit for your job. How cool is that? I’m still new to designing, still getting my feet wet, still learning what works well and what doesn’t. I’m also testing out the waters of submitting ideas and patterns to magazines (super exciting, super scary!). Because of this I can’t post a lot of pictures right now, but here is a sneak peek of what you’ll be seeing (hopefully) soon. I can’t wait!

dusk

If you’re interested, you can find my published designs here.

 

Spinning with Batts

It has been almost a year since I bought my spinning wheel. In that time I have spun many skeins and learned a lot. Last week I tried something new.

In my spinning so far I have only used Combed Top (This is where the fibers are combed so they lay parallel to each other). Top is very easy to find commercially and comes in many colours and fibers. When I bought my spinning wheel I bought the previous owner’s fiber with it – including 10 little tiny batts (A batt is where the fibers are carded on a drum carder where the fibers are not parallel. It is a very airy preparation).

batt

I set out to spin these tiny batts woolen (it’s a spinning term that means you don’t micromanage how your yarn comes out), but the fiber had a bit of the original grease still left in it, which made it a bit tacky and hard to draft. After fighting with it for a while I reverted back to my normal worsted draft (this is when you do micromanage your yarn), and from there it was smooth sailing.

singles

I ended up unintentionally spinning the singles Z (counterclockwise) and plying S (clockwise). Normally I do it the other way. I attenuated the batts from either end so they looked like large rolags to maximize the squishy airiness of my yarn.

attenuated

I think I succeeded.

yarn

Fiber: 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% Bamboo

Preparation: Batts, attenuated from either end

Spinning Style: Worsted (short backward draw)

Spun Z, Plied S

Number of Plies: 2

Yardage: 240 yds (480 yds singles)

Weight: Sport (ish)

Me Made May: Takeaways

This was the first year that I participated in Me Made May. I was really surprised that I was able to wear something I had made every day in May – some days I even wore more than one me-made item. Getting dressed some days was hard, though. I realized that I have a me-made wardrobe gap: I see clothing style in a continuum of how casual or dressy it is. The continuum looks like this: casual, medium casual, business casual, professional, dressy. At home I wear mostly casual clothes – jeans or shorts and a t-shirt, or even pajamas. At work I like to dress on the nicer end of business casual. But most of the clothes that I have made fit in the medium casual range, so I don’t always want to wear them at home or at work. This tells me that I need to make more t-shirts and truly casual wear so I can be comfortable at home. I also need to make more business casual clothes so I can feel comfortable at work. I will still wear my medium-casual clothes (both around the house and on the job), but changing what I make will eliminate the time I spend standing in front of my closet wondering what to wear.

I’d like to build a wardrobe that is truly functional and beautiful. Part of that vision is wearing sleeveless shirts with cardigans to be wearable in all seasons. I see lace cardigans over simple sleeveless tops worn with pants in fun colours. Or coloured tops with black or grey pants. Or black tops with grey or coloured pants. I’m still working toward this, but finding the Wiksten tank pattern is a huge step in the right direction. I like how the pattern can be made with nice fabric to dress it up, or in simple cottons for everyday wear. I also have yarn for 3 cardigans now, so I guess I should get making.

I Bought the Yarn Store

My yarn store had a sale. I thought about not going because I have enough a lot of yarn (no one ever has “enough yarn.” There is no such thing). But then I conveniently remembered that I needed a knitting needle for a project that I already have yarn for. “I’ll just go and see what they have, maybe buy a skein or two.” Famous last words.

all the yarn

So shall we see what I got?

1 skein Feza Harvest Sock in Rubia

harvest

1 skein Reywa Fibers Bloom in Coral

bloom

1 skein Fyberspates Vivacious 4 Ply in Dove Stone

dove stone

3 skeins (a sweater quantity) of Yarn and Soul Superfine 400 in the evocatively named colour 6675

yarn and soul

4 skeins Fyberspates Vivacious 4 Ply in Copper Tones

copper tones

And the needle tips I needed

tips

It was a good day.

Fastest Spin Ever!

Next time I’m in the middle of 5 large projects with no end in sight remind me of the week I finished ALL THE THINGS! Also, remind me to spin a few Rainbow Rolls because those things spin up FAST!

A month or two ago I bought two Rainbow Rolls because they were on sale and I was curious. A Rainbow Roll is a roll of predrafted, unspun fiber. It’s 2″ thick and about the size of a dinner plate.

noro

After I finished my Rumplestiltskin yarn I needed a palate cleanser, and this seemed like a quick spin. I had no idea how quick it would be though. Here’s what I had after an hour.

first

The next day I finished spinning my singles (2 1/2 bobbins worth).

bobbins

I plied the yarn (first time plying from 2 separate bobbins! Woohoo!), and now I have 3 beautiful skeins!

skeins

It’s like a magic trick! Tadah!