handspun

Sometimes it feels like alchemy…

Sunday, January 16th, 2011 | blocking, handspun, knitting, spinning, start to finish | 1 Comment

There are such long periods of time that pass between my processes that I sometimes forget how something goes from being one thing to another.

I am finally blocking my Shaelyn Shawl, and while looking through my flickr photos, it kind of hit me.

DSC03977

I took this...

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Spun it into this...

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To knit this.

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Sweater FAIL (and why sometimes it is good to get a second opinion)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 | blah blah blah, knitting, Mishaps | 1 Comment

What a busy little bee I’ve been!

So, Iceland…dear Iceland…..bane of my existence….why have you failed me so? Was it the pattern? Most definitely not! The yarn? Well….maybe. I thought I had gauge….I did swatch it three times. Maybe it was my leaving the first repeat for so long before picking it back up? I just don’t know.

I thought I was in the home stretch. The top was knit and ready to be blocked. I purchased gorgeous buttons from my LYS that flashed teal and fuschia. Like the most beautiful of polished abalone It was going to be the most gorgeous sweater ever.

One night at my stitch n’ bitch Vilma said she had the room and was ready for me. I was going to meet her at lunch and block that sucker! I got all my supplies ready and left work to go meet her. We stuck my lovely Iceland in the sink and soaked it…..then what happened…well, I can only say it made my brain go kablooey. It blew up….like, literally. It was so huge we didn’t even pin. We laid it out gently on the towels and tried to shape it. We checked dimensions, but then decided it was best not to try and agonize over it. We were trying to make it as small as possible. I decided it looked flat and straight and I left it there, with my heart broken in little pieces all over it.

The next two days I tried not to think about it, but I made little comments to non-knitters here and there about how I utterly failed. It was my first sweater fail and that seems to be the hardest. I almost vowed to never knit another sweater. Yes, it was *that* bad.

So Friday rolled around and I went up to the shop. I was hardly excited. I knew she’d be there with it. I didn’t want to look at it, which is sad because I had also had a total win blocking one of my handspun scarves. It didn’t matter….my gorgeous sweater was ruined.

I walked in and tried it on and wanted to cry. It was enormous. Too enormous to save. I had lost all hope.

Then something wonderful happened. The ladies at the shop decided to change my perspective. A few of them offered to buy it off of me after hearing that I planned to rip the entire thing out and restart it. But then they started to offer me another option. I think it was a miracle (well, for a knitter at least).

For those of you out of the loop, this is what it was *supposed* to look like:

Iceland, the right way

Iceland, the right way

This is what it ended up being:

My Iceland, repurposed...

My Iceland, repurposed...

And the back....

And the back....

So, I may have saved this one. Of course, It isn’t quite a finished object yet. I need to make a black sash for it….that ribbon is just for “show”.

And while I am sitting here going on and on about saving this, I did have a win…

My handspun Saltwater Waves yarn made into a purty scarf for me.

My handspun "Saltwater Waves" yarn made into a purty scarf for me.

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Christmas Yarn

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 | fiber, FO's, knitting, spinning, yarn | 1 Comment

So, I finished the Christmas Lights yarn right under the wire. I think I had the stuff soaked and ready by December 23rd. The stuff turned out great! Of course the color repeats didn’t exactly line up, but whatevs!

The finished Christmas Lights yarn..

The finished Christmas Lights yarn..

The yarn was great, and since it was for the Uniquely Yours spin-a-long, I was really trying to get it done by the Christmas Eve deadline. I was also going to try to make something with it by that same deadline, but the kids were sick and so I didn’t quite finish by midnight. I did, however, get my Christmas hat done Christmas morning and I got to wear it all day!

My Christmas hat!

My Christmas hat!

I ended up using the Wooly Wormhead Rollin’ Beret pattern. I made it a little on the small side because I was anxiety about my yarn (seriously, I need to learn to *trust the pattern*). When they say it takes 135 yards, they REALLY mean they only need 135 yards. And, as if that little stint of knitting crazy wasn’t enough…

The return of the Poppies!!

The return of the Poppies!!

The Poppies in front of the Empire Center - Burbank, CA

The Poppies in front of the Empire Center - Burbank, CA

A lot of my friends will remember my poppy yarn. I had gotten myself a batt-of-the-month subscription on etsy from Loop. This was one of the first batts I had received. What she had done was requested we give her inspiration for an individual batt she would send us. For this particular month, the theme was flowers. She had asked us to go out, take photos of what flowers we would like to inspire our batt. I think she did a really good job! Her batts are simply gorgeous. I am hoping at some point this year I can get back into one of her Spontaneous Spinning Batt Clubs because Steph Gorin (Loop) has a great eye for color and her batts are amazing.

So back to what I was talking about. I had finished this yarn back in April and kept saying I was going to make a hat with it. In a couple of hours on Christmas day I had completed hat #2.

I had 140 yards of this yarn, but was being incredibly conservative with the yarn usage. I could have used bigger needles and made the hat a little larger, but I really thought I would run out. I need to TRUST the PATTERN. Of course that doesn’t always apply, I know there are tons of pages on the net with countless errata for all kinds of stuff, but when the pattern says 135 yards, I should just trust it. I know I didn’t use quite 135 yards because I did have a little ball of yarn left over. The hat is super cute though. It’s my new favorite winter hat because it is crazy bright!

Poppies Hat!

Poppies Hat!

I have some silk poppies at home I thought about attaching to the hat, but I haven’t decided yet if I would feel a little too “Blossom“.

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…just keep spinning…

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 | blah blah blah, fiber, Mishaps, spinning | No Comments

Ok, so you know there is a happy ending right?

I spent Wednesday afternoon and part of the morning on Turkey Day getting the huge knot out. I started to rewind the ball on the ball winder and guess what?!? The single broke. I decided to just give it up. I had half a ball lying on the floor and the other half was wound onto the ball winder. I threw my hands up and said “I am just going to ply the silly thing now!” So I took my ball winder and attached wheel and left the other ball on the floor and started to ply the two together. I plied and plied til I reached the end, then took it off the bobbin by wrapping it around my niddy noddy to skein it up.

Then what happened next was a Thanksgiving miracle!

A first for me...

A first for me...

This is what it looked like when I slipped it off the niddy noddy. OMG! Could it be? There is no way!! I really sped my way through plying this sucker up because I was so mad at the crazy knot I had cussed out for hours. Maybe it is because it is 100 percent nylon? I have no idea! But this, folks, is a perfectly balanced yarn. Something I have never done before.

I did not check it as I went through, which is normally my style anyway. I do it by feel and have a tendency to overtwist. I am sure this may never happen again. But no soaking, hanging, ….or any other kind of yarn torture needed!

::Pats self on back and does a happy dance::

 

And not only that, it turned out so much different that what I had expected. It really turned out to be a beautiful (and soft) yarn.

I got a chance to give it to Krista’s mom on Friday Night at knitting. I told her it would make an awesomely soft cowl. She was really happy with it, so I am happy too!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

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Another busy weekend…

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 | blah blah blah, crafts, fiber, knitting, spinning | No Comments
 

So far so good this weekend. I have a cold…and now both kids have a cold. Poor things sound all raspy. My son sounds exceptionally bad, like a little old man or something. They still want to play and jump around though. They have their toys and all is right with the world.

Pink Elephant Princess
Pink Elephant Princess
 
 
 Blue Elephant Robot

Blue Elephant Robot

 
 
So, Friday night was the stitch n’ bitch. I brought my wheel again to try and get my spinning done. I ended up finishing my rainbow colored yarn and spinning a full bobbin of worsted weight wool in yellow and blue. I have been taking a little break from knitting because I have so much fiber to spin and the fiber, once it’s spun into yarn, takes up less space. 
 
 
Supeman Ice Cream

Supeman Ice Cream Seascape Wool

 
 
 Seascape Wool

Seascape Wool

 
 
 
I got 400+ yards out of the 6 oz. of Superman Ice Cream roving. It is a little overspun, but I think it will look cool knit up. The little bit of Seascape wool I spun got me about 98 yards. I still have an entire bag full of that stuff. It looks like I barely put a dent in it!
 
 
Early Saturday morning I went to go get my hair done. I went to Floyd’s Barber Shop. It was a cool place. I ended up getting some color done and had the girl lop off about 4 inches.
 
Trying to contact alien lifeforms...

Trying to contact alien lifeforms...

A friend was texting me while I had my foil on and said that he thought it would make a funny pic, so I took one. The guy getting a shave next to me asked me if it was helping me get better reception on my phone. I also whipped out my knitting while I was wearing my shiny hat. I got a whopping 2 rows done on my monkeys! So….sad….

At that rate…those socks will take years to finish.
 
 
So, today the kids woke up early. They haven’t been feeling well and none of us got a good night’s sleep. They were super cranky and nothing seemed to make them happy. They kept telling me they wanted to watch the shrinky dinks we made last night. They love to sit on the kitchen floor with me and watch their drawings get all curly and small. They weren’t even done with breakfast when the oven was preheated.  
 
The Shrunken Head Collection

The Shrunken Head Collection

My daughter loves to draw faces, so we are calling this the “Shrunken Head Collection”. I made sure to punch holes in them so I can make them into stitch markers to use with my knitting projects. I also got to test out the shrinky dinks to make other stitch markers. I have my paisleys, and I made a set of letters I haven’t baked yet. The letters will be for using with the patterns in Cat Bordhi‘s New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I want to try out the Coriolis Socks!

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Sickie boos…

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 | blah blah blah, fiber, spinning | No Comments

I have been hoping it was just my allergies, but I think I went and caught myself a cold. I have been plugging away at the knitting still, but my projects are growing slowly because I have only been able to get in a row here or there. A few rows at Twins’ club, a few rows before work. Blue Elephant robot has ears though, and almost has arms. In the words of Red Leader……”alllllllmost there.” Of course, that may not be the best reference….he wasn’t the one that ended up blowing up the Death Star.

Anyway, I have been consuming mass quantities of cold-eeze, some claritin…not much is helping. I haven’t done too much as far as excitement lately. Well, I did see Wooly Wormhead was having a mystery knit-a-long starting in November. I joined the Ravelry group. Mostly because I don’t know how to say no.

So it looks like I am actually accomplishing something, I give you my latest handspun.

Roving from The Dyeing Arts - Lavendars Grean

Roving from The Dyeing Arts - Lavendar's Grean

Merino/Yak 2-ply

Merino/Yak 2-ply

The pink and white Merino/yak 2 ply is the skein I spun up for the TTMOM donation. I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do with the other skein yet.
They are fluffy soft, unlike the tissue I am rubbing my nose raw with…

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