Spinning Update

One thing I’ve been doing a lot more of lately is spinning! I thought I’d share some photos of my handspun yarn.

First up: Sleepy Hollow

My husband bought me the 2nd and 3rd shipments from the brand-new Rockin’ Whorl Club (by Blue Moon Fiber Arts).  My friend Jen got the first shipment, so I was able to see the roving and read the dyers notes for that as well.

The 2nd shipment had two braids of dyed-to-match roving.  The bigger one was 5 oz of 100% BFL mix; the smaller, 3 oz of 50/50 merino and mulberry silk.

IMG_7223

The notes suggested that we spin the BFL fluffy, and the merino/silk skinny, and then ply them holding the skinny ply a bit tighter so that the fluffy ply to make the fluffy ply stand out and spiral around.  I put in my best effort, and got about 324 yards of 2-ply, in a heavy worsted weight. I had some of the merino/silk skinny single leftover, so I plied it back to itself and got about 64 yards of sport-weight 2-ply.

IMG_7288

IMG_7289

This one is the all-skinny 2-ply:
IMG_7380

Next up: Midnight in Gallifrey

Last May I bought two pounds of super-soft blue-black roving at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, with plans to spin a sweater’s worth of yarn. It is a 65% wool, 25% alpaca, 13% silk blend from Gurdy Run Woolen Mill.

IMG_6028

I’d spun a bit of it using my old (only) style, and the resulting yarn was skinny and harsh.  After a lesson from spinning friends, I’m able to spin a loftier/softer yarn — I’ve finished two big skeins of it so far — it’s turning out as a heavy DK/light worsted.  I plan to use Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit application to design the perfect sweater for my non-standardized handspun yarn.

IMG_7274

IMG_7364

Next up: Mad Color BFL

Another purchase from NHSW: a braid of roving from Mad Color Fiber Arts. The “cowgirl” colorway seemed like it might be suited to some gradient spinning … something I really wanted to try.

IMG_6024

I split the entire braid in half, then split each half lengthwise. I spin white to black to white for each half, then plied them together. While plying the color changes were staggered a bit, so there is some barber-pole effect at the transitions. I kinda like how it helps the colors blend. I ended up with about 280 yards of roughly sport-weight yarn.

IMG_7365

IMG_7367

It’s pretty skeined, but it’s even better caked!

IMG_7376

Last but not Least: Re-Plies

One important bit of feedback from the spinning circle was that my yarn was “overspun and underplied.”  I decided to run several skeins through the wheel again, just to ply them a bit more.  I was happily surprised that the resulting yarn was MUCH MORE like real yarn — plush instead of harsh, coherent instead of stringy.  Here are some “before and after” shots…

Long Island Livestock Llama

IMG_5346

IMG_7287

 

Long Island Livestock Mystery Blend

IMG_5211

IMG_7359

 

Touch of Magic

IMG_6583

IMG_7368

FO Friday: Chicken Mittens

I made some chicken mittens!

IMG_4919

Project: Chicken Mittens

Pattern: Honeycock Mittens

Designer: SpillyJane

Available: sometime after July 2013

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight in “Doodle Doo” (red), “Honey Cocka” (yellow), and “Valkyrie Fledge” (purple)

This was the July Rockin’ Sock Club “not a sock” pattern.  The club yarn was GORGEOUS, as you can see.  I loved the whimsy of the chicken mittens.

IMG_4417

I have to say I was a bit disappointed in how the red/purple colorwork on the cuff just doesn’t show up as colorwork — the colorways just overlapped too much, sharing more than one red/brown hue.  Similarly, some of the brown in the yellow colorway was close enough to the brown in the red colorway that some of the rooster’s tail can be a bit hard to see.  This makes him look off-center on the mitten.

However these are minor quibbles.  After waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for the mittens to dry, they have become my go-to mittens this season. Honey Cocka Doodle Doo, my Valkyrie Fledge!

FO Friday: Wavelength

The May 2012 club shipment from BMFA was a gorgeous variegate skein with most (if not all) of my favorite colors.  Yay! I chose to do the not-a-sock pattern:

Project: Wavelength

Pattern: Breaking Waves

Designer: Carson Demers

Available: sometime after May 2013

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in Wavelength (May 2012 Club Colorway)

This pattern began at the neck with stockinette …. that was gathered into three-dimensional waves every so often.  It was a cool technique! After a few repeats of that, it transmuted into some fairly standard lace.  I heard rumors that many knitters threw in an extra lace repeat without running short, but I chose to knit as-written — I like a small scarf-size shawl, and I wanted to save some yarn for hexipuffs.

FO Friday: Ravellenic Edition (Part II)

I finished my other two projects for the Ravellenic Games!

IMG_4574

Project: Blue Tiles

Pattern: Parquet Tiles

Designer: Rose Beck

Available: $5 for this pattern alone, or $12.99 for the Archi-textural Collection (on Ravelry, naturally)

Yarn: Knit Picks Capra in Celestial

I love this soft and luscious yarn!  The pattern was not my usual “type” — I’m not often drawn to plain-old knit&purl designs. Too many are poorly-rendered, overly-cutesy designs fit only for washcloths.  But, Parquet Tiles is elegant and lovely — not washcloth-like at all.  Enjoyable knit, reasonably quick, well-written pattern.  High marks!

IMG_4548

I worked hard throughout the Olympics on my puffs.  I’m proud to say I have officially “caught up” to my 366 in 2012 goal, and I’m currently running 4 puffs ahead of schedule! I was helped greatly by a mini-skein swap of 40 gorgeous new STR Lightweight colorways.

IMG_4579

Project: 40 STR Puffs

Pattern: the beekeeper’s quilt

Designer: tiny owl knits

Available: $5.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight

IMG_4581

FO Friday: Wavelength

This year, I am 3/3 for finishing sock-club projects for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Notorious Sock Knitters club! 🙂  This is the not-sock pattern from March:

IMG_4295

Project: Wavelength

Pattern: Breaking Waves

Designer: Carson Demers

Available: sometime after March 2013

Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in “Wavelength”

I am always interested to see how variegated yarn knits up.  Check out this comparison of the skeined yarn …

IMG_4006

 

…with the full shawlette:

IMG_4292

 

This pattern used an interesting technique to warp and ruffle the top part of the shawl.  The ripples are achieved by working stockinette stitch for a spell, then on a “pickup” row you knit the stitch on the needle together with a stitch from a previous row.  Very cool textural and 3-D effect!

IMG_4293

 

Although many club members chose to knit an additional repeat of the feather-and-fan bottom edging, I decided to knit the pattern as written — I like this compact scarf/shawlette size.

IMG_4294

FO Friday: RedBud Socks That Rock

My May 2012 shipment of Socks That Rock arrived as I was speeding down the toe of my 2nd sock from the March 2012 shipment … I did manage to finish one before starting the other!

IMG_4012

Project: March 2012 Socks That Rock Socks

Pattern: redbud

Designer: Linda Welch

Available: available after March 2013

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Budding Twig

IMG_4017

Socks are worked cuff-down with a turned hem. I used a provisional cast-on for the hem, to reduce bulk. I love the cuff pattern and the simple lace pattern too. The yarn is lovely and spring-y and was just the thing, back in March! 🙂  My older STR socks have been shrinking a bit over time and many wearings/washings, so I decided to use the recommended needle size (instead of going down a size) and making size M.

IMG_4013

Cast-On Monday: Socks That Rock (May 2012 Club Shipment)

The odd-numbered months bring YARN in the mail! Specifically, gorgeous hand-painted sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, from their sock club line.  Yay!  I think we’re still in the spoiler period, so I will follow rules and say only that the colorway is beautiful (stash page here), and that I’m doing the not-sock pattern (project page here).  If you click on links, that’s up to you — spoilers abound!