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  • knitting1105 5:50 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Spinning   

    Arctic knitting 

    -15 F

    That is the air temperature this afternoon, not including the wind chill.  Me, and everyone that I know is staying home, hunkering down.  All my knitting and spinning friends are embracing the wonders of wool today, both in the wearing apparel and in the execution. Even our weekly Stitch-n-Bitch group has thrown down the knitted gauntlet and abandoned meeting tonight.  Just too cold to go out for a minute, let alone start-up the car. Our house however is staying nice and toasty.  The energy work that we have done over the past few years, in particular insulating the walls last year, is paying off well.

    Today I have been spinning on some Fiber Optic roving, Reef Gradient which was custom dyed a couple of years ago for Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spin-Along on Ravelry, I was not ready to tackle a beautiful gradient at the time, and since then have successfully spun several.  This color way always just seemed too bright for me, then after wearing this shawl and getting compliments everywhere, I realized that I could pop the color intensity up a bit.  And, it has been a dreary cold winter thus far, this seemed like the best cheer me up spinning I could think of.


    Work on it is going slowly, as I think that I am spinning my finest to date.  The color gradations make the slow spinning so much more interesting.


    And on the knitting front, this Hanne Falkenberg sweater, Butterfly, has languished for 3-4 years, just missing its sleeves.  Progress is slow and I had to figure out where I was in the pattern, but I am back in the groove.  Will fill good to get another UFO out of the closet. I am a bit concerned about having enough yarn, so I think that I will switch over to the second sleeve and work on that so at least they match.  If I run out, it will be shorter Kimono style.

    Here are the Ravelry notes from when I first started it.  Funny, and thanks Ravelry for keeping me honest about length of time to knit.  People often ask me how long it takes to make something, and with this sweater I can truly say 5 years!!!

    6-23-09 Still knitting. Finished the back, and 1/2 way through the front. Slow go, but I am determined to be loyal to this project to the end. Although it is 90 today, and humid.



  • knitting1105 9:44 am on August 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Michigan Fiber Fest, , Spinning   

    All the Colors 

    Finally, here are my purchases from our day last Friday at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  But I must interject that the name is confusing to those non knitters and spinners.  My friends had more than one person ask them if it was about eating fiber, and why would there be a festival for that?!!

    Taking the Spinning the colors of Shetland class, while it was not too interesting, inspired me to spin up the many colors and knit the hat by Kate Davies, Sheep Heid.


    With that in mind, I bought these 3 colors of Shetland wool, after I got home and read the pattern, I realize that it wants 9 of the colors, so I will have to do some more shopping at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool.  I have these 3 so far, and might use one of my other breeds of white as one of the colors.  This will be my first attempt at spinning for a specific project.  Fair isle apparently looks better with a 3-ply vs. a 2-ply (has to do with a round yarn versus the flatter 2-ply), but I will have to see how finely I can spin this up.


    Not just natural colors were on my mind.  Mimi and I both were attracted to having this Jamieson’s color chart, so we are now both proud owners of this wonderful inspiration. One day, when I have knit up some more of my stash, I will make a trip and purchase a multitude of colors for an Alice Starmore sweater.


    IMG_1585 IMG_1586

    The last item that I have to show you was the one thing that I wanted to take away from this festival, The Shepard’s Rug book.


    In trolling the market, I was on the lookout for this book, but not successful.  Then, we went out to the barn to see some of the animals, and  in the sheep area, there was Letty Klein with her rugs, and braiding away!!! I was thrilled, and she sold me the book, the coated linen thread, and then gave me a mini lesson on how to braid for these rugs.  I have been pouring over the book since.



    All-in-all, a great time, and I have no guilt about stash enhancement.

  • knitting1105 6:50 pm on August 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Spinning   

    Trying to be Monogamous 

    I have been cleaning up my knitting and craft area, I am so excited to be able to show the finished space soon. And as my last post stated, I have been trying to clear up my spinning bobbins. The same problem afflicts my spinning as does my knitting, too often distracted by the newest colors and fibers, I quickly abandon a project part way completed. I am trying to remedy this fault in my behavior. On that note, here is another long languishing fiber from the CAT spin along in January-March. It is Shetland Wool Top from Southern Cross Fiber, color is Storm's edge. 770 yards of 2 ply. Spun on the small whirl on my Jensen. The yardage is not quite as good as I get with a Merino/Silk, I had trouble drafting it fine enough. However, I am pleased with the result.


    This is definitely one of the fibers that I liked more spun up than the dyed hank. I think this is beautiful. The colors seem to be a bit off, the yellow is more green, and the teal a bit darker. The thought at the moment is that this will become a winter scarf for Dan.



  • knitting1105 5:20 pm on August 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Spinning,   

    Cleaning up 

    I have been busy cleaning up bobbins of old projects on my spinning wheels.  It seems that I have been a bit ADD with my spinning, starting the newest exciting colors before finishing something that was already in progress.  There always seems to be an excuse, a spin-along, Tour de Fleece, new arrivals…

    This is Emily, a pencil roving from Fiber Optic, 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Seacell; 340 yards, so good enough for a short pair of socks for myself.  The Tour de Fleece prompted me to finish spinning this up and ply it.


    Leftover Emily with some leftover purple/green fiber on the bobbin.


    This was spun for the Tour de Fleece, Fiber Optic gradient Honey to Fig.  It is 80% Merino, 20% silk.  1150 yards of 2ply.  My average these days for 2 braids of FO is around 1200 yards, that gives a good amount for a shawl.



    And I finished spinning the singles of this Shetland from Southern Cross Fiber, the color was a custom for the CAT spin-along in the winter, and I started it but too many other things got in the way.  The color is Storm’s Edge, 8 ounces.  This Shetland did not spin as finely at the Merino/Silk blends, and I know that it is uneven, need to start plying.



    On the knitting front, I have been working on a new baby sweater, Baby Ull from Dale of Norway of course.  Love these colors together.


    The thing that has been taking quite a bit of my time is organizing the basement after some new cabinetry is getting installed.  Here is a sneak peek, it is really messy still and a bit to go, but I am so excited!


  • knitting1105 7:42 pm on June 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Spinning,   

    The Longest Day 

    This solstice evening finds me knitting in the comfort of my lounge chair on the back porch, listening to the birds, and enjoying a cool breeze (in lieu of the scorcher that had been predicted, thanks to an afternoon storm). I am working on my shawl using the Fiber Optic gradient Turquoise to Tangerine that I spun up a couple of months ago. I started this on our trip to Japan, and worked on it while sitting with my Mom in Hospice, she is still hanging on but my brothers are with her. There will be a lot of different memories associated with this article, it is something that I certainly need to keep for myself. My Mom got to see it in progress and loved the colors.

    It is addictive knitting and watching the gradients evolve, I love it! I chose not to do the bind off with the pattern, as it would not have kept the gradient intact. The pattern is Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. Instead I opted for another repeat of the last section, and now need to figure out how to end it. This may be the hardest part.


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

    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: , , Spinning   

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

    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.


  • knitting1105 12:39 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Spinning,   

    KnitGrills gradient 

    Previously I wrote about this beautiful fiber that I purchased from Fiber Optic that was dyed up for the KnitGrills podcast.  I loved these colors and it was a different combination than I had previously tried or had in my stash.


    Spinning for 2 weeks, on a very consistent basis, I was able to get 1,220 yards of a 2 ply light fingering weight yarn.  It required 2 separate bobbins to wind it up together, but I wanted to wind them as one big center pull ball, the colors look so amazing that way, and I have my new wonderful ball winder to accomplish this with.






    Then I searched for a pattern that would both maximize the use of this lovely yarn, and was interesting for me to knit, and most importantly would show off the gradient to the best use.  Centrino was the pattern that I finally settled on, by Laura Nelkin.  It is a circular shawl, started at the center obviously, I have been busy knitting away and enjoying the pattern.  The center section was completed with the blue portion of my yarn, which was not as even and fine as the rest, that worked out well as it is a more dense part of the pattern.


    Currently I am working on the lace section and even though the photograph does not show it well, the purples are coming out in this part.  The merino/silk blend is so beautiful, but very hard to photograph the intricacies of the colors, especially the purples.



    • Diane 5:13 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is a beautiful pattern and i can’t wait to see the finished project. I am sure it will be gorgeous.


  • knitting1105 5:19 pm on January 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Distaff, Distaff Day, Spinning   

    Distaff Day 


    Today is Distaff Day, the day after the 12th night of Christmas, Spinning Daily had this article. Historically women went back to work today at all of their chores, including spinning while the men waited until Plow Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany. Here is a photo of my distaff on my spinning wheel. Beautiful, but I have yet to use it as I have not attempted flax nor raw silk.

    I am currently finishing up my first braid of the Fiber Optic gradient, Rouge-Violet-Cerulean which was created for a spin along with the TheKnitGirllls podcast. I don’t follow this podcast (or any podcasts really), but loved the gradient that Kimber made up for them.


    I do think that this might be my finest spinning yet, and the gentle color transitions of this gradient will make for a beautiful shawl. Notice the thread carrying diagonally across the bobbin. This was mentioned in The Spinners Companion as a way to keep the finer threads from getting lost by burying into the spinning below. When you finish at the last hook on the bottom, simply move the single diagonally back to the top of the bobbin. I have only really lost a thread once and it was a disaster that I had to cut my way out of. I did not want to take any chances with this fiber as it would destroy the gradation, seems to be working so far.

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