Wed 18 Oct 2006
The fever and woozy tummy won’t go away, so I can’t really move around much. I get up and putter around for a bit, then snuggle back into my chair with my blanket (handknit, of course), my slippers (ditto) and a cat or two and rest for a while. I haven’t been knitting much because ehhhh… even my hands feel woozy, so I’ve been sorting and editing photos. The next logical step is to post them all here, non? Oui.
Spinning Up Colour.
In late Winter I went to a 2-day workshop on dyeing fibre for spinning. (Details and photos here.) It was awesome.
Long story short, I managed to slightly felt my fibre when washing it, so spinning it was difficult. In the end I got this:
Now that is some pretty crappy yarn. I was pleased that I managed to get it spun at all and I was in love with the colours, but the spinning, ugh. So you can imagine my surprise when, out of curiosity, I swatched some up to see how it would look and it came out all even and soft and everything! Move over, Harry Potter! I’m doing magic now :P Immediately, I cast on for Fetching. I need some fingerless mitts for knitting at the hockey arena and these fit the bill perfectly.
If knitting with two needles is good, then knitting with six (plus a crochet hook because I can’t stop dropping stitches) is awesome! :P
So far I am *really* happy with how they are coming out (the first picture is closest to the actual colours). They’re soft and my favourite colours and the whole time I’m knitting, there is a voice in my head going, “Omg! I DYED this fibre and then I SPUN it and now I’m KNITTING with it – how cool is that?!!” I haven’t been this pleased with myself since I learned to tie my own shoes.
Spinning for Socks
Maxine, my spinning guru, put on another workshop last weekend: Socks: Spinning and Knitting Workshop. I was all over that. It was wonderful. (There were cookies this time, too! Yay!). Besides the spinning, a knitter I hadn’t met before, Wilma, was there with tips and techniques and lots and lots of samples for knitting socks.
A couple of weeks ago, we were talking on the phone and I was
whining telling Maxine that I just haven’t got it yet. I can make the wheel go round and I get “yarn” but the process is very slow and awkward and I have no control over the type of yarn I’m making blah blah. She gave me some tips right then, and then at the workshop she stayed very close and helped me out and whoa baby! I can spin! I’m still not making really consistent singles and my plying is not as even as it should be, but I’m not making crap anymore and that’s something. Also, it goes much faster now.
On the left: plain 3-ply. I think the fibre is Romney, though I’m not sure. On the right: Merino. Cabled.
I was spinning the finest singles I have ever spun. When I began to ply three together, I had some difficulty with my lazy kate. But again, Maxine helped a lot with that and I futzed around with it some more at home and it is working now. I have a lot of trouble keeping the angles between the singles even as I ply. Also, keeping the tension even on all three singles was difficult. Part of this is due to my wonky hands and part is just inexperience. In the end, I worked out a two-handed method that is slow, but it makes for much better plying. I’m optomistic that eventually my hands will get with the programme and learn how to do this.
We cable-plied the merino. There is more work in a cabled yarn, but it is fun to do and makes for a good texture, I think. It makes the merino shine. In the last step – where you ply a double ply with a single – I found I had to put a lot more tension on the double than on the single, or it would pull away from the single when I released tension. I’m not sure of this is actually part of the technique, or if it because of something I was doing wrong (for example, I suspect there may not have been enough s-twist in the double strand). Once I figured out to add the extra tension, though, it plied up reasonably well.
The merino is (not surprisingly) quite a bit softer and smoother than the Romney, but I like them both equally. And that’s a LOT :D
The Cadet Blue crayon is there for scale.
I knitted the top of the ‘sock’ longer than the pattern calls for – 3″ in the natural lopi and then another inch in the dyed before beginning the heel flap. The yarn I used is the stuff I dyed with yellow dock root and is on the bottom left of the photo in the post linked above. The colour is hard to describe – it’s kind of tan or beige but maybe slightly pink? And I like it a lot.
Felting was a snap. For the booga bags I made last fall (same post, linked above), I had to put the bags through 2 or 3 full heavy-duty cycles before they were really felted. The Fuzzyfeet took about 1 cycle and then I stopped because they were at risk of becoming too small.
They are definitely fuzzy :D
I’ve been wearing them since the moment they were dry after felting and they’ve been a real comfort with the fever and wooziness I’ve had the last few days. I love them. Jordan keeps asking when I’m making a pair for him :P
A Word of Caution
Now, I’m am no knitting expert and I don’t really feel qualified to be spouting words of Knitting Wisdom or anything, but, I can offer this:
When the pattern instructons are whole page long and the first instruction is: Cast on and working in Moss Stitch, work 620 rows, you might want to rethink that project. I bet you can find something that is less likely to drive you right insane.
I’m just sayen :P
And Finally (anyone still here?)…
Yes. That is 1 KILO of French Truffles.
I haven’t had to cook all week! (kidding!)
That was a gift from someone who either really, really likes me, or is trying to bring about my early death. Not sure which ;) But what a way to go!- with the deep chocolate taste of french truffles on your tongue. mmmmmm :)
Fwiw: My email is still a mess. (so is my connection, but its the email that is the hardest to deal with.) I logged on this morning to 987 messages. Of course, 99% of that is spam. I’m working with filters and rules to try and wade through, but ugh… it’s a rotten process. Good thing I have truffles! But this has been going on for three weeks or more. If you’ve emailed me and I haven’t answered, I’m hoping to get to it, eventually, as I uncover the valid emails under the mountains of spam, and there is always the possiblity that real emails have been deleted along with the spam : ( If you’re up to it, send again to increase the chances of me finding your message. :-/
Ok… time for another round of puttering.