Updates from February, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 8:00 am on February 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Shetland Islands   

    Always new things 

    Even though I have enough to spin for quite some time, I can’t seem to stop purchasing the Fiber Optic rovings.  Kimber keeps coming out with these amazing color combinations, and they are irresistible, and only occasionally available.  So, I must stock up, mustn’t I?

    This is a Once in a Lifetime color (meaning it was an experiment and is not formulated to be repeated).  It is a blend of 40% Merino, 40% Baby Camel, and 20% Silk top.  I wish that you all could feel how incredibly soft this is.  I think that this will be next on my wheel after the Southern Cross Fiber is finished.


    And this is Wensleydale, a wool breed that I have never spun before.  It is called Evil Queen, because it darkened up in unplanned spots during the processing, she was looking for a Queen’s Red on the fibers.  I love the variation.  Again, a one-off.


    Lastly, the latest of the great gradient braids, this one is called Honey to Fig.  How could I ever resist this?  Very pretty colors, and like always, very difficult to capture with the camera.  Her colors are so intense and rich.


    I also purchased this book, Colors of Shetland by Kate Davies.  It is a history of the Shetland Islands, intermingled with the author’s Shetland inspired designs.  The photography is amazing, and the history is fascinating.  I am not sure that I am drawn to any of the knitted items at this time, but maybe in the future.




  • knitting1105 12:23 pm on February 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Sweden   

    Twined Knitting 

    Last weekend I took a class from Beth Brown-Reinsel on twined knitting.  We had to wind center-pull balls to use in the knitting of twined fingerless mitts.  Years ago I had taken a class on knitting Gansey’s from her at Stitches Midwest.  She is a really great teacher, and a really wonderful person also.  I knew that the class would be good, and this was a technique that I had been wanting to try for a long time.  I am not sure that I would have been able to knit this from a book or website (maybe my good friend Manning would have, she is better at that than I).

    Twined knitting was invented in Sweden and is also called Tvåändsstickning which is Swedish for Two End Knitting, it has also been found in Norwegian and Danish garments. This technique, in which you use both ends of the same ball of yarn and twist the strands between each stitch, produces a firm, wind-resistant fabric that’s ideally suited for mittens, hats, socks and used on cuffs of sweaters.  While there are examples of sweaters knit entirely in twined knitting, the fabric is not as elastic, and I think better reserved for the areas or objects that get a tremendous amount of wear.

    It can be done with one color or as 2 or more colors.  The key is to “lock” the center pull ball in place and let the twist gather between your knitting and the ball of yarn.  When the twist gets to be too much to work with, you unwind the ball by holding it in the air and separating the two strands, the ball will spin until all of the twist is taken out.  For those of us old enough to remember telephones that were attached to the wall with a long cord, remember holding the cord and letting the receiver spin to take the twist out, same concept.  This style of knitting gives a very durable fabric, and the inside has the look of a corrugated cloth.

    I almost finished my first mitt.


    And here are the class mitts in progress:


  • knitting1105 2:21 pm on February 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Let’s try again 

    I was working away on my Marigold shawl with my handspun from JulieSpins.  The yarn was equally split, and I kept weighing to make sure that I had enough to finish.  Sadly, the bad part about handpsun is that not all sections weigh equally.  I realized that I needed to knit back and take out one of the early repeats.  The needle placed part way down indicates how much I had to rip out.  The good news is that I have reknit this and more since yesterday.  The benefit of a boring mandatory meeting.  The color is not as intense in this photo, I will get better color shots when it is finished.


    While nothing about these flowers looks real, I purchased them as they made me happy and brightened up a cold winter day.



  • knitting1105 11:29 am on February 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    I finally finished spinning this Merino braid from… 

    I finally finished spinning this Merino braid from JulieSpins.


    The yarn plied up beautifully with the overall feel of a soft orange or tangerine, but upon inspection and when knitting with it, the yellow, cream, pink and orange are more distinct.




    The finished yarn is being knit into the Marigold shawl by Susanna IC, which is in the publication The Sock Report, compiled by Janel Laidman.  Having less yarn than required for the pattern requires careful weighing and measurements, and reducing the length by a bit.  Still, I will be cutting the yardage incredibly close.  I am knitting this with the full knowledge that I may have to rip half of it back and knit it smaller.  Luckily the shawl is knit out form the center for the 2 sides, and I have my yarn almost equally split.




  • knitting1105 11:58 pm on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Valentines Day Knitter’s 


  • knitting1105 9:13 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Not Mud! 

    I decided last summer to spin these 2 gradients together and ply them.

    DSCN6095 DSCN6096

    They both had the lime green color in common, and I thought that might help.  I must admit that I was nervous when plying as it was not looking so great.


    But the end result is gorgeous, and I am very happy with it.  716 yards, 2 ply.  It is a combination of Merino, silk and a bit of cashmere.


    • Diane 1:20 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      WOW–I think those colors turned out beautiful, can’t wait to see what project you choose to do. Keep us posted.


      • Mrspeterson 5:14 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Very pretty. Springy!


  • knitting1105 2:13 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    KnitGrills Shawl 

    The bind off of this shawl finally got finished yesterday, it seemed to go on forever and was not intuitive, so I had to have my pattern up all the time.  I also put in a lifeline prior to starting the lace bind off, and good thing as I made a mistake at one pint that might have cost me quite a bit of repair time.  The bind off was a 32 row repeat, done 36 times and each row between 4 and 7 stitches and turning the work each time (that’s about 6,000 stitches just for the edging!) Thank goodness for my iPad!  I found a free PDF markup program, and need to research more which would be the best one to purchase.

    This photo does a pretty good job of capturing the colors.  The finished diameter after blocking is 44″.  I am excited to wear this to my knitting group tonight.



    Pattern: Centrino
    Pattern Source: Nelkin Designs
    Yarn: Handspun 2ply from Knitgirlls gradient by Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 6
    Date Started: 1/18/13
    Date Finished: 2/10/13
    Finished Dimensions: 44″ diameter

    Here is my helper with the photography session.


    About 75 yards of the red left over. Perfect because I was not nervous, but not too much left that I am disappointed it was not bigger.

    • andresue 2:45 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is gorgeous!!


    • Diane 9:54 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is gorgeous–you are a very brave person to let your cat walk on it. I would like a picture of it being modeled to see how it lays. Great job!


  • knitting1105 2:21 pm on February 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Too Dang Cute!!! 


  • knitting1105 4:24 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Washing Woolens 

    Today was a wool washing day.  I had read this article and was waiting for a fresh soft snow to try to wash one of my wool area rugs.  I have left the rung on the back porch, and think that I will give it another go around tomorrow and really try to work the snow into the fibers more.  I love ideas like these!


    And it was also a sock washing day.  I only make socks out of superwash these days, and with it being cold here finally, Dan and I were both running short on handknit socks.  They go into the machine (front loader) on gentle with some mild dish soap, then hung to dry.  This represents 30 pairs!!!!!


    • Mrspeterson 11:18 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      How did it work? Did you see a lot of dirt in the snow? I am excited to try this!


      • knitting1105 2:20 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        It really worked well to refresh the rug. Not as good as a washing, but a perfect winter solution. I ended up putting it back out a second time and literally walking on the rug, first face up, then face down.


    • Diane 12:46 am on February 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Love the idea on cleaning the rug–let me know if it really worked. I guess you would by how dirty the snow is after you stomp on the rug. I especially like pictures of all of your socks hung outside!


  • knitting1105 10:11 pm on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Rainbow Fracting 


    This is finally finished with the help of Kimber from Fiber Optic locating a second bag of Polkadots and Moonbeams pencil roving so that I could use up all of the Rainbow Gradient. The effect is like a fractally spun yarn, but the pencil roving is already space dyed in smaller color lengths. I am going to make a baby blanket with this one. Looking now for some patterns. 9 ounces, 1390 yards 2 ply.

    I was having some troubles on the swift at one point and had to hand wind from the end of that section until I got to the tangled up piece of yarn. I love how the colors wound into a ball also.


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