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  • knitting1105 3:54 pm on November 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Gradient on Gradient 

    The Fiber Optic group on Ravelry is having a gradient spin-along.  I ordered this when Kimber showed it in October, the color is Raspberry to Cream:

    The color is so beautiful that I ordered 4 braids.  After my first attempt at fractal spinning, I thought that technique would work well with a gradient as long as the colors were relatively close to one another.  I split the braid length-wise and spun the first bobbin as a straight gradient.  The second 1/2 of the braid was split lengthwise as finely as I could manage.  I actually ended up making little sections of fine roving throughout the length so that they did not fall apart.  Then I started with a raspberry end and spun to the cream.  Next I picked up a cream end and spun to the raspberry.  And on, and on.  In this photo you can see how much longer the repeats are on the first bobbin:

    Typical me, when I was plying I was not sure if my experiment had worked.  Then when I wound it onto my kniddy-knoddy I was intrigued.


    And all skeined up.  It has since been washed, thwacked, and is now drying.

    I think that the effect would have been more dramatic with 2 braids, one spun as a full gradient, the other fractally spun.

    Now, what to make that will show off my subtle spinning experiment?  A cowl has been suggested.  I am not a fan of the “shawlette” (actually most things -ette, if you are going to do something, go full hog).  Perhaps a scarf.   I am looking forward to knitting with this pink on pink yarn.

    • Rae 3:48 am on November 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That came out great I like the mix of the colors. I can’t wait to see how you spin the other braids. Fiber Optics has some beautiful fiber I am waiting until I get alot better at my spinning before I order any of her pretties

      I think the One Row Handspun Scarf pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee would look nice knitted up in your newly spun yarn.


      • knitting1105 9:07 am on November 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I too waited until I felt that my spinning was “worthy” of the Fiber Optic fiber. I just ordered it and stashed it away! She dyes a new gradient every few weeks, you might want to watch those, as they are pre-order only. I am sure your spinning will improve quickly. Practice, practice, practice. I will also check out the scarf pattern.


  • knitting1105 12:55 pm on November 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    SAL Novemeber 

    I participated in an SAL (Spin-A-Long) with a group (Completely Twisted & Arbitrary Spinners) on Ravelry.  Every other month they invite a different Indy dyer to produce some fiber based on a theme with inspiration photos from members.   This was from the end of September, and it was Day of the Dead inspired.  I originally ordered 2 skeins of Polwarth/Silk on a color called Grave Clothes, reds and browns.  The Indy dyer was Two if by Hand.  I was one of the unlucky ones who did not get my ordered filled, as there was not enough fiber on hand for them.  As I waited, I decided to order a skein of Calevera, on 100% Polwarth.  I saw many spun up skeins on Ravelry, and liked how they were turning out.  This is what I received:

    The colors do not really match others that I was seeing on Ravelry.  Mine was much bluer, and burgundy instead of a red color in it.  I spun it into a 3 ply.  I split the braid into 3 equal lengths.  The first 1/3rd was broken into 4 sections, the second 8 sections lengthwise, and the third section into 16 fine sections.  So, this was another attempt at Fractal Spinning, using a more variegated roving.

    I was okay with it while spinning it up, not really in love.  And plying it, I did not like it at all.  That seems to be a common occurence with me, I am not sure why.

    The skein is being washed, here are the pre-wash photos.  My understanding is that the Polwarth will full out considerably.  It is okay, but nothing like the others that I saw on Ravelry.  I think that they really have some issues with quality control and consistency.  There are 2 different dyers who dye on alternate days, I suspect that the results vary widely.

    While waiting and waiting for my original 2 rovings, I spun this up.  No updates from the vendor unless I asked.  After 45 days, I cancelled the order, as PayPal would not back up any problems later than that.  They had lots of promises, was supposed to be the end of October, and now it looks like it will be mid-December for those who held out.  Needless to say, I will not be ordering from them again.

    • Rae 4:25 am on November 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I like how your yarn came out. I hope you can get your money back.


  • knitting1105 5:20 pm on November 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Fractal mittens 

    I finished a pair of mittens with my fractally handspun yarn.  Post about the spinning here.

    They were done in the nick of time, as the temperature dropped 20 degrees in one day.  A bright cheery addition to my walks with Lloyd.  And, they complement my purple hand-spun shawl very well, thank -you.

    This photo shows the color progression in the yarn, as I started with the cuff of the mitten on the left, and moved to the end, then started the cuff of the mitten on the right.  I am not exactly happy with the large blue pooling section on the right (it was longer and I broke the yarn  and shortened it), but it will do.

  • knitting1105 2:41 pm on November 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Stormy Monday 

    Well, it is not really stormy, but very dreary.  I finished spinning up this fiber last night.  It is from Fiber Optic and called Stormy Monday Blues.

    It is 100% Merino, superwash.  I thought that this would make a great pair of sock, so I spun it as a 3-ply, using fractal spinning again.  I was disappointed in my yardage, getting only 248 yards.  I find the superwash very hard for me to spin finely.  The colors are gorgeous, even though I ended up with a few sections where all 3 colors met for a while.  I think that next time I will split the last section of roving down as small as I can.  I was hoping to make a pair of socks for my husband.  He is the most supportive of my spinning and really gets excited when I show him my newest finished skein.  I guess that I will have to pair this with something else and make him some house socks.

    Here it is on my fancy 1900’s era drying rack for the final dry:

    And all spun up:

  • knitting1105 11:19 pm on November 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The end of Fall 

    I took this photo a few days ago, and didn’t get around to posting it.  Wind gusts blew the last of the leaves off the trees this weekend.

    Working on my “Fractal Mittens”.  There are some longer blotches of similar colors, but I am generally happy with their progress.  The bright colors will be cheery on a bleak winter day.

    And I finished spinning up some superwash fiber, yet again from Fiber Optic.  Color is Stormy Monday.  I don’t seem to be as successful spinning a fine yarn with the superwash fiber.  It is drying, but finished photos tomorrow.

    Great weather to hunker down, and knit and spin.

    • Mrspeterson 10:42 pm on November 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I am rethinking my own handspun mIttens. I think I want to do some color work mittens instead with it. The single layer will not be warm enough. Check out this blog for some awesome handspun Stranded mittens: http://patsknittingandquilting.com/hatmittengallery.html


      • knitting1105 11:12 am on November 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        That is a great blog, I love how she combined her handspun with commercial yarn, it really makes the colored handspun stand out. So much inspiration… these will be lightweight mittens for me, but some good ideas for the next.


  • knitting1105 1:16 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Fractal Spinning 

    I made my first attempt at Fractal Spinning.  Fractal spinning is used with painted roving where you have long sections of color repeats and do not want to end up with a striped yarn.  I chose this roving from Fiber Optic, it was the April 2011 fiber club selection, color: Carneval.

    Here is the braid :

    And the unbraided roving where you can see the long repeats of the colors (this was from the dyer, mine had more blue and pink in it as you can see above)

    So, I split the roving into 3 equal lengths.  I wanted to make a 3-ply yarn.  Then I spun the first bobbin with one of the 3 sections straight from the braid with the long color repeats.   The second bobbin was spun, using a section split down the middle.  And the last bobbin was spun with the roving spilt into 4 sections.

    This shows the 3 bobbins after they were all finished.  The bobbin on the left is the 1st spun, straight from the roving, the middle is the second (split in half), and the right hand bobbin is the roving split into 4 sections lengthwise.  You can clearly see how the color repeats decrease the more the braid is split.

    Prior to plying, I rewound each bobbin using my newish LeClerc bobbin winder, then proceeded to make a 3-ply yarn.  While I was plying I was not sure of the colors, but I think that they came out very nicely.

    I am fairly happy with how this turned out.  328 yards of 3 ply with 4 oz.  I have one more braid of this to spin up, but first want to see how it knits.  I am thinking a pair of fun, bright mittens.  Here is the cake all ready to go.  Hopefully I will have some knitting done with this by tomorrow.

  • knitting1105 1:59 pm on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    All blocked 

    I finished washing and blocking my handspun shawl.   I love the colors, just need to find someone to model it for me so that I have some better photos.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Spring Thaw Shawl
    Pattern Source: free from Ravelry link
    Yarn: Handspun 2-ply Superwash Merino, Peacock color from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 6 & 7 circulars
    Date Started: 9/27/11
    Date Finished: 10/30/11
    Finished Dimensions: 72″ wingspan, 38″ back depth

    • Tiara 3:20 pm on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Very beautiful.


    • Lisa 8:05 pm on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful! Is that your handspun?


    • knitting1105 8:20 pm on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It is my handspun! My first real project with it. Wore it today, and I love it.


    • Lisa 9:15 pm on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great job! I would hope one day my spinning looks like that. Having back problems right now. Not even an hour of practice.


    • Diane Hamilton 9:35 pm on November 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is beautiful and you should wear it proudly. I bet it looks great on you–you should be the model and have someone take your picture!


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