Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More Spinning!

Latest spinning completed July 11, 2015
I was up visiting my mom in the hospital again this past weekend, and of course I brought some spinning and knitting with me.

To the right is a photo of the completed spinning (light blue, navy, and purple).  It's the same type of fibre as the pink/purple in a previous post.  There was no mention of how much was in the wool top, nor was there mention of the type of fibre.
I managed to get this spun better than the pink/purple spinning, but there are still a few fat spots.  Overall I am pleased with the results.  I don't think I will ply this since I'm not sure how much I have, though I'm thinking I may use it for a scarf...if there is enough.  I alter it with the pink/purple spinning and then I may have enough for something.

Up next will be the pink roving I mentioned in the last post.

I should also get a photo taken of what I'm knitting (a neck warmer) to post here as well.

Happy knitting/spinning!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

And, The Spinning Continues...

I finished plying part of the yarn I had been spinning.  It's just a small ball (I didn't have my ball winder with me and that's why it's not a centre pull ball).  I still have some left to do, but I need to wind it into two centre pull balls so I can ply it together.

Close up of some of the plied yarn
Once I plied, I soaked it and wound it around my arm and hand, tied it in a couple of places and tied a mug to one end to help it set.  While it's not the best spinning, I'm still pretty proud of my accomplishment.

Since I didn't have my ball winder with me last week when I went to stay with Mom, I couldn't finish plying the rest of the yarn.  I had taken some wool top with me to spin just in case I had time for it (which I did).
I don't know what kind of wool it is, nor do I know how much many ounces there were (or even a colourway).  The tag around the wool top didn't say much of anything.  I don't mind though.

I was able to get more consistency this time, though there are still a few fat areas that didn't get spun as small as the rest.  All in all, I like the job I did with this much better.
Close up of the most recent spinning

I think I'm starting to get the hang of spinning...

I don't know how much yarn I ended up with, but it doesn't seem like a whole lot. I don't think I'm going to ply this as I would end up with less than what is showing, and maybe not have enough to knit anything with.  I don't know if I have enough to knit anything with this either, but I'll see what happens in the future when I knit it up.

I've got some of the same wool top in blues that I will spin next.  Hopefully, I will get this blue spun up quickly.  I found some pink roving that I won a few years back through a contest on a knitting/spinning blog (I don't know which one now, but I'm sure I have it listed in a post from whenever it was), and I will spin that after the blues.  Whenever that is completed, I will have to get more roving as I won't have any more.

Off to wind the pink/purple yarn into a centre pull ball!

Happy knitting/spinning!

Monday, June 22, 2015

While Visiting My Mom

 Over the weekend I managed to finish up the spinning I had been working on - well, at least the first spin.

I did get more consistent as I went, which I know will come with practice.  It's still not as nice as I would like it to be, but overall I think it's OK.  I can't wait to see what it's like after I ply it.

I was working on the spinning a lot while I was visiting my mom in the hospital.  I had some of the nurses and a couple of my mom's room mates ask what I was doing, and even had some comments on how much it looked like cotton candy.  I agreed. It's probably a good thing it isn't cotton candy, though. I'd probably have it all eaten up before it got anywhere close to spinning...

What you see behind the spindle is Northern Lights Wool Top, dyed.  It doesn't have a colour listed on it, but I thought it looked pretty.  That's what I plan on trying to spin next.

To the right, and below, is the newest knitting project I've begun, also while visiting my mom in the hospital.  I only  have about three repeats of the pattern completed so far.

The pattern is the Twisted Rib Neckwarmer, (super easy, btw) which I got free when I purchased the yarn (Clara by Manos Del Uruguay in the 5 Sandia colourway).  This yarn is a single ply, a merino superwash, and is so soft!  I am enjoying working with it so far.  I can't wait to see this pattern completely finished as I think it will be lovely in this colourway.

So, that's what I've been working on lately.  What projects have you been working on? Have you used the Clara yarn by Manos Del Uruguay before, and if so, what did you think of it?  Would love to see links to pictures of your completed projects using this yarn (or this pattern).

Happy knitting!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Definitely Not An Expert

I'm just a beginner spinner (and apparent poet).  I have far to go with my spinning.  I still get thin and thick sections and wonder if I'm doing it right.

So, as I was spinning today, the roving came apart (probably because I pulled it too thin) and had difficulty attaching a new piece.  I ended up pulling pieces off as I attempted to reattach and grew frustrated.  I decided that I would wind what I had done onto a toilet paper roll and start again.  As I was doing this (picture on the right), I came across pieces that would do this as I was transferring:

I think I am doing something wrong.  This appears to be too tight.  I don't know if I didn't let it spin enough before winding it onto the spindle, or what.  I thought I had it fine, but apparently not.

Now, to figure out how to eliminate this in future spinning (if it needs to be eliminated, which I think it does)...

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Update on Spinning

Spinning as of June 7, 2015
This weekend I was able to do a little more spinning.  I'm still not getting a consistent thickness, but I think it's getting better.

One question I came up with on the weekend, while spinning, was: "How much fibre do you put on the spindle before taking it off?"  I've seen some spindles with what looks like a lot more than I have on mine, and I've seen some with less.  I suppose that is something I will have to research to find out so that I'll be "in the know" :).

I'm ready for my close up...
I've been quite busy lately with something else on the go.  I don't want to post about it now, but if all works out positively, then I will!  That being said, I haven't really had any time to do any knitting.  I should start back up and do little bits here and there.  The last knitting I worked on was earlier this year and it didn't get finished.  Maybe I should work on that...though it's not at home now, but at my Mom's house so I would only be able to work on it the next time I'm there (in a couple of weeks).  I do have a hat I was working on last winter that I could finish.  I needed to find my DPNs so that I could finish it and I had misplaced them at the time.  I did find them again, but never finished the hat.  I also have a few scarves I need to block, which would finish up those projects.

Anyway, there is lots to do in the knitting/spinning realm for me.  I just need to reassign some time to work on it again.  How is your knitting coming along? Let me know what you're working on in the comments.  Would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Weekend Spinning Project

Weekend spinning
This weekend I did some practice spinning.  Since I still struggled to attach new fibre to the old, I decided to remove what I had spun in the past (the stuff on the toilet paper roll) and start again.

I certainly will need more practice to get it the same thinness as I had before.  As you can see, what I did on the weekend is thicker...but as I said, I need practice again.

While I was spinning, I remembered how I had enjoyed it when I had started a few years ago.  I enjoyed it again this weekend and will continue working on my spinning.  I did wonder, however, if spinning on a wheel is easier or more difficult than a drop spindle.  At some point in the future I would like to try a spinning wheel; I'd need some lessons for that though.  And that won't be for awhile probably.

Until then, I will continue practising and using my drop spindle.

Have you ever tried spinning? What is your experience with drop spindles vs. spinning wheels?  Let me know in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spinning My Wheels...Or Should I Say My Drop Spindle

My Ashford Drop Spindle
As I mentioned the other day, I wanted to get back into spinning using my drop spindle.  Well, I pulled it out and attempted to spin.

It didn't work.  It wasn't joining to the fibre already spun on the spindle.  What was I going to do?

I went to Ravelry and posted about it in one of the spinning groups I belong to.

I received some good replies, and I will attempt to follow the advice given.

I was told I might have to take some of what is spun and pull it apart so I can join the new to the old.  Or, I might just take what is there (what is showing in the picture is the amount I'd spun a few years ago when I first tried) and take it off the spindle and start over from scratch.

I am attempting to try to reattach, but after a few more attempts I might just start over again, depending, of course, if I can't get it going again.  It would be a shame to have to start over, but you have to do what you have to do.

I will keep you all updated on my further attempts.

Happy spinning (and knitting)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life Happens

Well, I've been MIA again.  It's personal in nature, though it's not about me, but one of my family members, and it's tough.  I don't know how long this will go on for, but it will for a little awhile longer.  And, hopefully, I'll get back to my knitting during this time as well - and blogging, too!

Once again my knitting has taken a back seat to life.  The baby blanket I had started for my pastor and his wife was put on hold.  The baby was born back in February, and I think she'll be too big for it when I get it done. Also, we're heading into summer now and this blanket will be to hot for this time of year.  I will finish it though and possibly donate it or use it for someone else who might be having a baby girl at some point.

I've got something else going on as well. Actually it's in the very beginning stages and I'm not going to mention any details at the moment, but rest assured, I will.  Hopefully it won't be in the near too distant future.

Over the weekend, I pulled out my drop spindle and the roving I have.  I want to give that another go as I know I had enjoyed it.  I just need to make time for it (and let's face it, my knitting too).  I would eventually like to try spinning on a wheel as well, but that won't be for some time.

Anyway, since life happens, and it's happening now, I best get back to it.  And maybe try to do some spinning and knitting during that time :).

Happy knitting!

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Honeycomb Hat

Not too long ago I went to purchase some yarn to make myself a hat (and also a couple of cowls) since I don't have any here.  I'm not one to really wear hats because I don't think I look good in them.  However, my fiancĂ© has said that with the damp cold they get here, it would be a good idea to have one - especially when I'm out for a walk on a cold day.

The yarn I chose, mostly because I like the softness of it, is Bernat Satin.  I think I chose the wrong type of yarn for the hat.

First off, I had bought two skeins of the blue colour and one of a darkish pink.  The pink was supposed to be for the hat and the blue for a cowl.  Wasn't really thinking when I started knitting the hat, and until I actually knitted about three quarters of the ribbing, did I realize that I should have been using the pink yarn.  I continued knitting, though, because I felt I had done too much to that point to rip it out.

I have enough knitted that I can kind of put it over my head some (being careful not to drop any stitches off the needles).  I have a sinking feeling this hat is going to be too loose and maybe a little too big for me.  I'll wait until I complete it first before deciding if I'll keep it for me or donate it.

The pattern I'm using is the Honeycomb Hat (link to my Ravelry page which has the actual link to the pattern).  So far I find it an easy knit, and I would likely use this pattern again - with different yarn.  It has a seed stitch rib but says you can use other kinds of ribbing just as long as the gauge is the same or tighter than the cable pattern.  This is the part that feels quite loose to me - even though I used smaller needles than what I'm using for the rest of the hat.  Anyway, I'll wait until it's complete before making my final decision.  It might turn out OK.

Other than the hat, I haven't been knitting much of anything else lately.  I still have to finish with my scarves that I've been working on (blocking, weaving in ends, etc.), but still don't have my knitting items from out west yet.  I'm not in any great rush and the scarves can wait for next year to be donated if need be.  I'm not worrying about it :).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Old Shale Scarf

Debbie Bliss Angel Prints yarn used
As promised a few months ago, before life got in the way of my knitting, here is a photo of the Old Shale pattern using Debbie Bliss Angel Prints yarn.

The pattern is quite easy to knit, and it's also easy to memorize.  The photo to the right is about what I have currently done on the scarf to date.  Though now that I think about it, I took the photo and then did some knitting on it a few weeks ago, so there would be a few more rows added to what is showing.

I've never worked with this yarn before.  It's quite soft and fine and I do need good lighting to work on this project.  So far I am enjoying the yarn.  I have another skein of this in a different colourway and I'm a little anxious to see how it knits up.  I'll have to look up what this colourway is at a later point (I don't have the ball band handy).  I would never thought of using all these colours together.  Yes, I know blue and orange go together, but the yellowish and the pink I would never have put with them.  I only have one skein of each of the two colourways, so I imagine this scarf will be a little on the short side.  We'll see how it looks after it's blocked, though.

I've also got a few more scarves knit up but don't have any of them (or the previous ones I mentioned) blocked yet.  My blocking wires and foam pads are in storage at my BFF's place since I moved back home this summer and I don't know when I'll get them. So, until then, my scarves will have to wait awhile to get blocked.

Maybe my next project will be something I don't need the blocking wires for when blocking - something like a hat or mittens or socks.  Anyway, I will worry about that when the time comes.  Until then, I have this scarf and another one on the needles to finish up before starting something else.

And, now that the colder weather is upon us (we currently don't have any snow yet where I am), I hope to get more knitting done and added to my stockpile of donated items.

So, that's what I'm currently knitting.  How about you? What are you knitting? Let me know in the comment section, and feel free to provide links to the pattern.  I'm always looking for new pattern ideas.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stuff Happens

It always seems that when I begin to get back into blogging, something happens which causes long periods of time between posts.

Sometimes these breaks are self-inflicted (meaning I have nothing to blog about due to a lack of knitting or it's due to something work related), and other times they are caused by situations out of my control.

This is one such case.

I've had to to take another temporary break from blogging due to a family situation which requires my full attention.

Don't worry, I have been knitting some while on this break, so hopefully when I'm able to get back into a normal way of life and blogging, I will have something to show for this long absence.

I'm not sure just how long I will be away - maybe a few more weeks, maybe a month or longer.  I hope it's not longer.  But, I am still needed in this situation so I must focus my attention there.  I will be back.  I promise.

Until then, happy knitting and God bless!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I've Been MIA

I've been MIA again, as you have seen.  The reason for this is that I relocated from one side of the country back to the other.

I am finally settled in my new domain. Sort of.  I'm in the process of looking for work here, but I do have a place to live.

I've been doing some knitting this summer and have made a few scarves (that seems to be my theme this year - one year it was socks, another mittens, an another was hats), and I am in the process of working on two in my new place.  I promise to post some pictures of these once I locate my needle to sew in the ends and then block them.

One of the new scarves I'm working on is the Old Shale pattern.  I got this pattern free (I've also seen it on Ravelry for free) with the purchase of the yarn I'm using on the pattern.  This yarn is Debbie Bliss Angel Prints (don't have the colour number with me at the moment) and is 70% mohair and 24% silk.  I've never worked with this yarn before, but so far I am enjoying it - even though its very fine.  I can really only work with this yarn in the daylight or if I have very good lighting at night.  As with the others, once I'm able to I will post a picture of this scarf.

For now, I'll keep this post short. Hopefully I'll be able to get these scarves totally completed and photographed soon so that I can share.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

New Lace Scarf

I've been a little slow on posting about the Birch Leaf Shawl I was working on.  I ended up not having enough time to make it a full shawl.  It ended up as more of a scarf/neck warmer, but still looked beautiful.  I was donating it to our school's Night of the Arts silent auction, which was done to help raise money to build a well for clean drinking water in Haiti (we ended up raising enough money for two wells, though the auction only raised money for one of the wells - the other was raised by doing various fundraisers at school).

I had lots of great comments on the "shawl" and the mom of one of my students bought it. I'm not sure if she bought it for my student or not, but my student came up to me at the end of the evening and showed me that her mom bought it.  I also donated a couple of scarves I had on hand that I was going to donate to charity next winter, but I decided to use them to help at the auction.  I didn't see how much each of my items went for, but even if they didn't go for too much money, every little bit helped in raising funds.

Travelling Roses Lace Scarf - beginnings
I am still in the lace knitting mood, so last weekend I started a scarf.  The pattern I went with is the Travelling Roses Lace Scarf, which is a free Ravelry download.

I've finished one of the repeats (when you knit the pattern through once, is it still called a repeat?) and I'm almost half through another.  I am enjoying the pattern, and think it's looking really pretty with the yarn I chose.  I decided to knit this scarf with Knit Picks Shadow in Springtime Tonal.  It's a hand painted lace weight yarn and is 100% merino wool.  This is the same kind of yarn I used in the Birch Leaf Shawl.

I'm really anxious to see this pattern completed and blocked.  But, since I'm not anywhere near being finished knitting this, I'll just have to wait!

Well, I'm off to go work on my scarf some more.  What have you been knitting lately? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Knitting Progress

Birch Leaf Shawl progress to date
I have made knitting progress this week. That's always a good thing for a knitter.

I completed the Color Play Scarf Tuesday or Wednesday, but I still don't have it blocked.  I'm not in a great rush to get that done, but it will happen.

I've been mostly trying to concentrate on working on my Birch Leaf Shawl.  You see, I'm on the committee for the art show we're having at the school where I teach.  We have decided to have a "night of the arts" and kids (and adults as well) will audition to sing, dance, or play a musical instrument (no lip syncing allowed, and if they sing it has to be to music, not a CD that has singing on it already - we want to hear the kids, not the singers on the CD).  We're also having a silent auction on art work done by the students, or anyone really (it's open to teachers, parents, grandparents, etc.), we'll hang other pieces of the students' art work for display only, there will be a craft table where items will be displayed for the silent auction (things like knitting, crocheting, cards, etc.). We're also going to have some students working on a mural during this time and people can go watch them.  The school is raising money to build a couple of wells in Haiti, and all that is raised during our "night of the arts" will go for that.
Close up of the pattern
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to knit something nice to donate to our art show to be bid on.  Since the show is the beginning of May, I thought maybe people might not be interested in bidding on wintery type items like hats and mittens, so I wanted something lighter that can be used in Spring, cool Summer evenings, and Fall.  My choice was the Birch Leaf Shawl.  I am using a lace weight yarn (100% merino), so I thought it would be perfect.

To be honest, I'm not sure how far I am on this shawl.  The directions just say to knit until you use up all your yarn or it's the size you want.  Since I've not knit a shawl like this before (I've done a couple but they were more like wraps, and they were in bulkier yarn without any lace in the pattern), I don't know how to judge the size or how much more I need to knit.  I'm not anywhere near being close to finished on this, and I'll probably knit until I finish this skein of yarn and then make a decision then as to whether or not I'll use some, or all, of the second skein of this yarn that I have.  Time will also be a factor as to how long it will be since I've only got a couple of weeks to get this done for the auction.

I am enjoying this pattern and how it looks.  You probably can't tell by these pictures, but there are three or four shades of pink in this colourway.  I was afraid that it was going to end up being a self-striping yarn (it looked that way at the point of the shawl after one or two repeats of the pattern), but it isn't.  I am liking this yarn (Knit Picks Shadow) and haven't had any issues with it.  I don't typically knit lace weight, so I am going a little slow with the knitting process, and as I mentioned before, I can only knit it during the daylight since it's difficult to see it well after dark.

Well, I have a lot to do and I'm sick with a cold yet again (seems I've been sick a lot since January).  Need to get some chili made so I can have lunches pre-made, there's housework, and of course knitting.  What gets done will all depend on my energy level, and the fact that I've felt tired all weekend from taking night time cold meds (which, even though knock me out, doesn't give me a good night's rest).

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing what you are currently knitting, or your thoughts on the Birch Leaf Shawl if you've knit this already (or would like to). I love getting comments, but that hasn't been happening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).  Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cheating On My Scarf

I've got about three repeats done here, I think.
I knew it couldn't last - the monogamy of only knitting one thing at a time!

I'm cheating on the Color Play Scarf!  I am almost finished with it - just a couple more inches left, I think, and then I'll block it.

I was getting a little antsy to start a new knitting project.  We have an art show at school coming up in less than a month, and I'm on the committee to organize it.  One thing we talked about was having a sort of craft table with items people could bid on (we're raising money to build a well in Haiti).  Since it will be in Spring, with warmer weather, I figured that not too many people would be interested in buying hats, mittens, winter scarves, etc.   Since I had some lace weight yarn that I had ordered from Knit Picks back in January, I thought I'd try my hand at a lace shawl that would hopefully be light enough to wear on a Spring or Summer chilly evening.  I don't know if anyone will bid on it or not (if not, then I'll just bring it back home for either myself, or donate), but I thought I'd at least attempt to make one.

Since I've never really knit a lace shawl before, I wanted to find an easy pattern.  The one I chose is called The Birch Leaf Shawl, and it is very easy to knit.  I started it last evening and got the first 15 rows completed (the rest of the shawl is a repeat of the last four rows, not counting the purled wrong side rows) and decided that this will be something for me to knit in daylight hours.  I don't have a lot of good light in my apartment, so when it gets dark I can only work on knitting that has larger than lace sized yarn involved.

For the time being, I can finish my Color Play Scarf when it gets dark. Then I'll have to find another pattern to work on for that time of day.  At least the days are getting longer no, so when I get home from work I will have a few hours (except when I have Bible study) in the evening before it's dark.  Hopefully I'll get the scarf completed tonight or tomorrow night and be able to block it and photograph it.