More Samples

I plyed up the green/turquoise loop sample I had, and ended up with 75 yards of 2 ply laceweight.

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So I had to put them all 3 together and see what they looked like that way.

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I rather like it! I actually have another light blue sample, but it is much larger than the others so it may take awhile to finish.

Wrapping up

As I wrap up this year in crafting and assess how the year has gone, I realize that my focus has changed majorly this year. While past years saw me knitting miles and miles of yarn, for instance 2011 saw over 18 miles of yarn knit, this year I didn’t even manage to average a mile a month. My total came in at 11.5. However, my spinning totals are up a bit. 5.04 miles spun rather than less than 4 in the past. But if I look at it overall, my focus has shifted considerably to fiber prep and experimentation, rather than knitting with commercial yarns. My spinning focus has shifted to learning to spindle spin. While I do still spin on my wheel, the wheel has become just another tool, rather than the be all end all of spinning it once was. Support spindling has me spinning in a far more relaxed setting and way than I have ever achieved on a wheel, and so I get more accomplished and enjoy it more.

In the upcoming year, there will be weaving. I have decided that it is time to learn, and I am eager for a way to use my handspun yarns differently than just knitting them into simple shawls. I intend to keep experimenting with different wools and fibers, stuff I’ve never tried before. I want to keep spindling, and I want to make thicker consistent yarns. I am hoping to knit a colorwork sweater out of handspun wool fleece undyed paired with handspun dyed wool top. In the upcoming year I will track pounds spun rather than miles spun, as I’d like to get an idea of just how much wool I go through in a year. Tracking the miles of finished yarn doesn’t really give a good indication of that.

And so, the theme for next year is continued learning and experimentation. Appropriately for that, I am again going to talk about the Rambouillet cram pot dyed wool. I finished flick carding it all last night. I also used what I had already spun to start plying it to get an idea of how it would look when it was done. Now, this is the sproingiest most elastic wool I’ve ever knit, and actually getting something resembling neat and tidy has been a challenge. I plied VERY slowly, yanking off any nepps I could as I plied. Then I gave it a warm water soak and thwacked it really really hard against concrete. This was to make the yarn bloom as much as possible, covering the majority of the inconsistencies. I took a picture this morning of the yarn hanging next to another skein I plied yesterday. Both skeins were skeined on my 80 inch niddy noddy, and hanging, you can see just what a difference in elasticity there is. I lost about 12 inches overall on the skein of rambo. This means that rather than the 131 yards I THOUGHT I had, I will have to recount later.

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Samples Again

A loop sample is this wonderful and perfect amount of fiber to spin up in an evening, and thus I find them downright irresistible. I’d had a really tough long day last week and by the time I got home, I didn’t have anything left for brain power. I just needed to sit and do something particularly relaxing. So I picked on the Neal Brand tibetan and started on a loop sample. By the time I put Bug to bed, I was finishing up the spinning, so I pulled out my wheel, made a plying bracelet, and plyed it up. I have 46 yards of 2 ply laceweight this time, in a lovely beige color. Of course, as soon as it was done I grabbed my green/teal sample and got started on that. All in all, the best way to relax after a long day.

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Rambouillet

My cram pot dyeing experiment continues in the flick carding and spinning of the rambouillet. Flick carding is a process I’ve always loved, so it is nothing for me to spend an entire evening doing just that. But honestly, this is spinning up quickly as well, and I am so enjoying the spinning. I’ve got my bumblebee partly filled and then started some more on my texas jean tibetan. I am really eager to see how this comes out in the end, should be a fun end product!

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Itty Bitty Mittens

Bug requested, and was quite adamant about it, mittens for Julie because her hands are cold. Thankfully, there was a free pattern online and it knit up pretty quickly. I think these would make cute tree ornaments too!

I’ve decided that since my month of finishing is done, I can now work on tiny projects. So, this is the week of small projects. Now that the mittens are done, I’ve got about 3 pairs of fingerless doll mitts to knit, as well as a stuffed owl or two. That should keep me occupied if combined with my spinning projects!

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Rasta Man Wingspan

I am really starting to think there is a problem with the amounts of yarn I am allowing for when I make the wingspan. All I can say is that I keep running out! I will have to remember to err on the side of caution if I ever make this again. I didn’t even have enough handspun for 7 wedges, let alone the 8 necessary. So, I picked up some complimentary koigu kersti to finish it up. I knit my 8th wedge, looked at the ball of yarn, thought maybe I could get a 9th wedge, started on that, realized that I could not, ripped back, and then finished up the shawl. I thought I would be hyper critical and really hate the solid yarn, but I actually don’t think it looks all that bad. I do think I am going to put the wingspan pattern away for awhile. It is a great pattern for handspun, but only if I don’t run out. I’ve got a couple other patterns on the back burner that I can use for handspun from here on out.

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Samples

So, I have developed a Loop! fiber addiction, and with loop fiber purchases, there are loop fiber samples. When I got the Bumblebee SST, I immediately pulled out some loop samples to try out the spindle with. I quickly finished the singles, and plyed them up on my wheel. I got 55 yards of laceweight 2 ply in a very lovely color.

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I loved the dark burgundy/brown with tones of brighter burgundy and green. Very very nice! It also made me fall in love with my Bumblebee so that was a win as well. I am putting this little skein away for a later date, I’ve got 2 more samples to play with at some point.

In other news, Month of Finishing has drawn to a close. I started it a week early, so I am ending it a week early. I finished my Rasta Man Wingspan, and that is blocking on my floor. I’ve been far too interested in spinning and the thought of new projects to consider another week of one knitting project only. It would drive me nuts and it would make me spin all the more in avoidance.