Monday, 13 July 2009

My First Proper Skein

I am stupidly excited by this. Yesterday I finished my first proper skein of yarn. I began with this 100% merino top from Shunklies on Etsy:

Shunklies - Flumps

Initially I thought this might make good laceweight, but I spun up an 18wpi chain-plied sample and didn't like the look of it. So I wanted to try my hand at spinning something thicker. I can't spin thick to save my life at the moment, so wanted to try a proper 3-ply and try and get it to come up to aran weight. I prefer the look of a 3-ply to a 2-ply, and this was the first proper one I've done.

Here is a WIP pic:

Shunklies - Flumps in progress

I had spun up my first ply (on the ball), still had one left to spin and was half-way through the second (on the spindle) when the picture was taken.

My plan was to put them all together into a great big 3-stranded plying ball. This I managed, eventually. Finished spinning the last of the singles on Saturday night. I spun some of this in public including at Burghley House on Saturday (pics from that to come in another post) and attempted to wind the 3 stranded plying ball Sunday morning. Took both me and Trev to manage it, but we got there in the end.

Plying took me about 1 1/2 hours and in the end I had a cop that looked like this:

Shunklies - Flumps all plied

This is the whole 100g of fibre on my 34g Bosworth Midi Zebrawood. I didn't wind the cop very well - mainly because I knew it would fit on there easily and I didn't make as much effort as I should have.

Here's some pics of it finished:

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Shunklies - Flumps - FO

Finished!

Here's my skein info:

Split fibre into thirds and spun each third as a single ply.

Singles: approx 20-24wpi
Spun: semi-worsted (I think) - used short forward draw but didn’t smooth twist back into yarn
Plied yarn: approx 10-12wpi - approx 100 yards
Finishing: hot/cold/hot/cold water, whacking & snapping
Finished yarn: 10wpi - 98 yards
Spun on: Bosworth Midi Zebrawood - 34gms
Started: 21st June 2009
Finished: 12th July 2009

The yardage isn't as much as I would have liked - I was hoping for over a hundred yards, and maybe a bit thicker too. I don't think I've put too much twist in this, but I could perhaps have got away with a little less. I am happy with it though - my first proper usable yarn as the Texel I spun was very high twist and that ate up the yardage.

Going to try my hand at 3-ply sock yarn next. I seem to be able to spin consistently thin yarn quite well, so hopefully this will come out alright. I have a project in mind too:

Spunky Eclectic - Time of the Month

4oz Romney from Spunky Eclectic in the Time of the Month colour way. This was the part of the swap that I mentioned in my previous post. Ironically, Trev really wants me to make socks for him out of this.

I also had the first part of the Ixchel Fibre Club #2 come on Friday - despite the best efforts of the Royal Mail and the postal strike to delay it.

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 1

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 1

It's 60g of silk, angora and baby camel. I love the colours, although I may try and trade for one that has more red/purple in it. It's beautifully soft. Have no clue what to make from it, but it's obviously desperate to be laceweight of some kind. Perhaps a very light, soft cowl or something.

Let's see :)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Fibre Update

In this post, I promised an update on some spinning bits and pieces I've been doing.

Not least of all, I broke a month-long fibre diet, twice in quick succession! Both times from the lovely Limegreenjelly.

Here is the merino/angora I mentioned in that post. It's called Dignity and is beautifully soft and snuggly (although the angora does tend to fly up your nose):

Limegreenjelly - Dignity

I was then stalking Jo's Flickr a few days later and saw this (called Hot Stuff) in the update. It's my favourite blend of merino/cashmere/silk and I had to have it:

Limegreenjelly - Hot Stuff

Gorgeous! I think probably my favourite colourway of Jo's so far. I then realised that I have 9 lots of Jo's fibre - none of which I've started to spin yet. Whoops.

I traded away the Yarn Yard Falkland March club shipment. Just a bit too brown for me - I struggled to think what I would use it for.

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

So I swapped it for this - the May Spunky Eclectic Fibre Club shipment called Pansy. It's Romney and it will be the first time I've used it. I can't wait to spin this - probably into socks:

Spunky Eclectic - Pansy

My swapper also included a Hobbledehoy batt in the parcel - this is the December batt, I believe.

Hobbledehoy Batt

I received the Yarn Yard April shipment this week - it's BFL superwash and is gorgeously soft. Inspired by weeds - it reminded me of dandelions:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club April 2009

I'm not a huge green fan, so I may use this for sock-weight spinning practice. I think it begs to be chain-plied, to preserve the colour changes.

Because I wasn't hugely keen, I offered this fibre up in the ongoing swap thread on the UK Spinners forum, after snaffling some more Spunky Eclectic fibre - this time it's more Romney in Time of the Month colour way (yes, it IS really called that). Pics to follow when it comes :)

I also offered some other YY fibre in case people weren't too keen on the green. This was the 70/30 merino/silk blend I bought at Socktopus on a whim:

The Yarn Yard - Drape

This was the one that was snapped up, so I'll still have the BFL superwash to play with, which is perhaps the best turn-out :)

Last but not least, I finished spinning up the first half of the orange merino! As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I was going to follow some of Abby's advice and try to make my cops look more pregnant, in an effort to pack more on. After spinning up the first bit (no idea of how many oz this is) I was amazed at how little it looked on the spindle:

Orange Merino WIP

Orange Merino WIP

What amazes me, is that the spindle in the next few pics is resting on the 2nd half of the fibre and it looks like loads! I would never have guessed that I'd already spun up a whole half of it.

Orange Merino WIP

Maybe because it's so thin, it compacts itself more when you wind it on.

Orange Merino WIP

Took FOREVER to wind this off onto a toilet roll - felt like it anyway. That's a lot of yardage. I imagine plying it will be interesting!

I'm still working on spinning the Shunklies merino. Half way through it now - so spun one of the plies and half of the second one. No clue what weight it will come out too - but trying to make it very soft and squishy, unlike my attempt at spinning the pink Texel.

That's it for fibre and spinning updates! Off to do some more spinning.

Finished Vintage Endpaper Mitts

Well I actually finished these babies over a week ago now, but I have shamelessly forgotten to blog. I don't know where last weekend went, and this week has just been crazy busy at work... anyway, no excuses.

Bizarrely, my second mitt came out a bit tighter and longer than the first one - maybe because I hadn't tried it on as many times? I don't know. As mentioned in my other post, I'm not 100% keen on the way the pattern stretches across my palm - I'm going to make the large size next time I do these. Plus it should give them a bit more stretch overall. Now I've blocked these I can get them on and off without too much difficulty but I'd still like more room in them.

Anyway, let's have lots of gratuitous FO pics:

Finished Endpaper Mitts

Finished Endpaper Mitts

Finished Endpaper Mitts

Finished Endpaper Mitts

Finished Endpaper Mitts

We went out to the lake to take these pics - I have some non-knitting lakey updates, which I'll save for another post :)

The only amends I made to the pattern were that I picked up 5 stitches over the thumb instead of 3, since I thought there would be too many holes otherwise.

Made the size medium - think I might make these again but I'll get a bigger circular needle so that I can do 2-at-a-time.