Archive for the ‘spinning’ Category

Time for a spin

It’s been a little while since I did some spinning. In fact I haven’t blogged about any for almost three months! Not great.

But! I got my November fibre club shipment from The Thylacine and it turned out to be this beautiful Gotland roving, in a colourway called Scorched:

The Thylacine - Scorched

I love some good purples, reds and greys.

Now with Gotland being a fibre that doesn’t like too much twist (it turns to wire) and because it was in roving form, rather than combed top, I thought that a suspended spindle, using a long-draw method might be best to maximise the loftiness and softness of the yarn.

So I started spinning:

Phang-spun Gotland

I think the above picture was taken after the first day or so. I’m spinning on my Gripping Yarn Phang – which weighs 42g and is made of Bubinga – so it’s a little on the chunky side, but is gorgeous. Has a nice grain too.

And I tell you what, there’s a reason that long, crimpy fibres aren’t traditionally spun this way. It’s HARD! Getting things even is a challenge – there’s lots of slubbiness due to the prep and I’m having to work hard at consistency, but it’s a good challenge.

Yesterday I finished the first half:

Phang-spun Gotland

That’s about 44g of yarn on there (or a little over 1.5 ounces) – and a pretty fat, pregnant looking cop. Good thing it’s done now – was getting to the point where I was finding it hard to keep it spinning for any length of time. But I do think I need to work on building the cop lower – that might help with balance and spinning.

Now to see how quickly I can wind all this off and spin up the other half. Looking forward to seeing the end result! 🙂


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A little over a month ago, I wrote a post where I showed you my broken Birds Eye Maple Bosworth Featherweight spindle (Making a Mess). Of course there was lots of near weeping (that I didn’t go into at the time) when I saw this:


Then I managed to unwind the yarn, progressively picking out bits of broken spindle and was left with this:


It journeyed back to Acton MA and arrived back last week – looking rather glamorous and sporting a new, slightly lighter coloured, bocote shaft:

Bosworth Featherweight Birds Eye Maple

Not weighed it yet, but it should still weigh around the original 16g so still awesome for lace spinning.

It’s resting on some rather lovely fibre – this month’s club from The Thylacine. 100g of merino in the colour, Hinterland:

The Thylacine - Hinterland

Trying to think of how I want to spin this. I want lots of squoosh – so I’m thinking a 2 or 3 ply – possibly on the thicker side to maximise the squoosh factor. But we’ll see. Got a couple of other projects to finish – including the Optim rescued from the broken spindle above.

I do love to spin – don’t do nearly enough of it at the moment, particularly not supported spinning. I have so many lovely spindles – it’ll be easier once we get the new “studio” space set up – which includes moving the spindle shelf – but I’m sure we’ll get there in the end 🙂

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Making a Mess

This post comes to you via Making Monday 8… check out what other people are Making!

Today I had hoped you bring you a post about my spinning-in-progress. I’d shown this Optim a couple of weeks ago and wanted to show how I was getting on:

Copperhead Optim - WIP

I took it out of the bag to blog about and saw this:


Unfortunately we had a small accident with a laptop falling from height and we initially didn’t think anything was damaged. But that’s obviously not so.

Some careful unwinding onto a toilet paper tube managed to save the yarn-in-progress and in the end we were let with:


It’ll be making it’s way back to New England this week to have the shaft replaced. Ironic really, as a delivery from there arrived just this week:

Bosworth Midi Kauri

A Kauri Midi with a Cochin Rosewood shaft. Weighs just 26g! Unlike lots of Kauri it has a gorgeous grain:

Bosworth Midi Kauri

It also has a lovely chatoyance and shine – absolutely beautiful.

So yeah, I’m annoyed about the broken one, but it can be easily fixed.

In other news I finished the most recent pair of socks – should have pics as soon as I can get some light. I’m also making good progress on The Hoody of Woolly Goodness – more news soon!

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Making Monday 3

Hopefully today I have started the makings of a new job. Well, technically I started them with a brief chat last Monday, but this Monday I had a longer chat and will hopefully hear more in the next few days.

In knitting and crafting terms, I have finished off a scarf that is presently pinned out post-blocking, but I’ve started more handspun:

Copperhead Optim - WIP

It’s the recent club shipment from The Thylacine – Optim in the colourway Copperhead. It wants to be super thin – so I’ll spin it up on my Bosworth Featherweight and see how it comes out!

The Making Monday round-up for this week can be found here.

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Making Monday 2

Wow has it really been a week since I last posted? Whoops. I guess it’s been crazy busy at work so I haven’t had time to do a whole lot of crafting, but I’ve been off work since Friday so I’ve been able to get some stuff done!

I have finished the first of SISC2011 pair number #6 – the socks are 2LuvCrew from last year’s Knit Love Club:

2LuvCrew - First Sock

I’m making mine in the large size on 2.25mm needles – 88 stitches per row means they’re taking a little while – but I love the way the little heart pattern is forming. I also love the Channel-Island Cast On – which gives a little picot edge around the cuff to start from. They should look even better after a good block – I’m about a third of the way down the leg at the moment.

I made Trev some new Tawashi – the original ones I made him over a year ago have gotten really grotty and since they’re his favourites I made him some new ones! They don’t take long and I might whizz up a few more over the next few weeks, so he has a healthy supply.

More Tawashis

If you’ve never used tawashis, I can heartily recommend them. They clean dishes brilliantly – and when you’re done, you just chuck them in the laundry! Clean and eco-friendly.

The patterns I tend to use are below – both free – but the first one requires you to know or be able to understand Japanese crochet symbols and the finishing instructions are a bit fiddly.

Spiral Tawashi
Scrubbie Dots – I tend to make two of these and then slip-stitch them together to make thicker, double-sided tawashi.

Together with knitting on a long-overdue lace scarf (present for the mum-in-law) I have at last finished off some handspun! I started spinning in March (whoops) and finished the plying and skeining yesterday. It also got a bath and has now been safely packed away in the handspun box. Here we go:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

I spun the singles on my Gripping Yarn Rose in Black Palm:

Camelbunny Silk - WIP

I spun the first quarter/half of it up quite quickly and then stalled. Slowly got the rest of it done, finishing up the singles during the Tour de Fleece this year:

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

From this I wound a 2-stranded plying ball and began plying it on my Bosworth Maxi Sumac:

Camelbunny Silk - Plying

I’ve ended up with a perfectly balanced yarn – although I’m not too keen on how some of the colours have come out together. It’s very soft and lofty and from 56g of yarn I’ve got about 300m – making a heavy laceweight/light fingering weight yarn.

For next time I’d love to be able to spin a thinner, more consistent yarn. There’s a few little snarls where some yarn has got tangled up too. My problem is getting a little fed up with projects sometimes and just wanting them to be done. Must develop more patience! But here are more finished pics:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Hopefully it will look good knitted up! Now to think of a project!

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Sneak Peek

I’m well aware that for a blog that’s meant to be mostly about knitting, there hasn’t been a whole lot of knitting taking place in recent weeks. I am miles behind on my self-imposed sock club, having neither finished my bonus pair or even started the June pair. And it’s now almost August.

So, time to set that right! Even when I haven’t been doing a lot of knitting recently, I have been *thinking* about knitting. Even though there’s been lots of spinning taking place, last weekend I went to Knit Nation – where as I’ve said previously, I was very restrained. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture of the event itself. The whole thing was a little overwhelming – so many knitters and so much yarn in one place! It was however, awesome!

There was so much beautiful yarn I saw there – particularly laceweight, which is what I’d gone shopping for. I wanted to pick one up special skein with which I could make something lovely. I visited many gorgeous stands, including Natural Dye Studio, Renaissance Yarns, Loop, the Yarn Yard, Skein Queen, Juno Fibre Arts, Sweet Clement and more! So so so much lovely stuff – unfortunately most of the yarns I wanted, contain alpaca – which made them a no-no for me. I love that there’s so much beautiful lace dyed in so many lovely colours but I wish there were a few more non-alpaca blends available.

Anyway. This meant that I ended up looking at lots of lovely mohair! I bought 2 skeins – one teeny skein from Habu, which is mohair/silk that I haven’t got a picture of yet. It’s half an ounce and 170m – so perfect for something small and lacy. I could have spent LOADS at the Habu stall. Definitely need to visit these guys again and stock up on some of the awesome blends that they have.

I also bought this skein of beautiful mohair/silk from Artisan Yarns:

Kid Mohair/Silk

They had beautiful kits – of 50g of mohair and a pattern for a scarf/cowl for only £10. I couldn’t resist. I can’t yet decide whether to do a long scarf or snuggly cowl – any thoughts?

The only picture I did take, were of the lovely Rock and Purl – here she can be seen playing sock puppets with Sinuous socks knitted by myself and Alisha Irish:

Ms Rockandpurl

Ms Rockandpurl

Also during the weekend as I said, I did lots of spinning. I managed to finish spinning up the second half of the camelbunny silk – which I’m now slowly plying. Here it is while still on the spindle:

Camelbunny Silk

We did quite a bit that weekend as we were staying with Trev’s family. On Friday, we wandered off to the Royal Albert Hall and listened to the Darius Brubeck Quartet in the Cafe Consort. Here’s some pics of us there.



Trev and his dad:

Trev & his dad

Us outside the Royal Albert Hall:

Us outside the Albert Hall

The Hall and the Albert Monument:

The Royal Albert Hall

The Albert Monument

Afterwards, we ate at an amazing italian restaurant in Kensington called Da Marios. I had to take a picture of the table as it looked awesome:

Da Mario's Restaurant table

The place was nice and cosy:

Da Mario's Restaurant

But downstairs it was like some kind of tardis – with a huge basement with tons of seating. We went back on Saturday when Trev met up with his brother – I encourage you to check it out! They also had the most amazing orchid behind where we sat:

Gorgeous Orchid

Finally on our travels we say the cutest little street of houses – just the kind of place if I ever (could afford) to live in that part of London:

Cute Little Street in Kensington

On Sunday Trev and his dad played a bit of music:

Trev & Roy being all musical

On the way back on Monday we made a new acquaintance:

Pedro enjoying a scone

Pedro the Spanish Penguin – here he can be seen enjoying a scone with cream and jam on the train on the way back to Leeds. He came to live us with from the Natural History Museum and hopes to come and join us on his travels whenever we go anywhere.

So, what about the sneak peek of the title, I hear you ask? Well, today I have finally finished my Marina cardigan – complete with totally awesome seams! I’ll do a full post when I’ve bought buttons for it and taken proper photos – hence the current sneak peek:

Marina sneak peek

Marina sneak peek

We are taking a journey to Ilkley next weekend to visit Duttons for Buttons, which is where I’ll buy buttons and get it all finished up when we go for tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms!

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Tour de Fleece Update

So, let’s be honest, my Tour hasn’t really gotten off the ground. I know that back in May, I was all, “let’s go and spin all the fibres”… blah blah blah… and that’s fallen pretty much flat on its arse.

Work has really gotten in the way and I’ve been struggling to deal with that and some other issues that have been rearing their ugly heads. I don’t feel entirely myself and it’s gotten me down a bit. I’ve really struggled to knit any knitting or spinning done. Trying to get back on the wagon, in more ways than one, bit by bit.

But I’ve managed to get some stuff done! Yay!

First up is a project I’ve been spinning for over a year. A very fine, laceweight project:

Limegreenjelly - Lhuna

It’s some Limegreenjelly merino/silk. A quarter of it is all spun up, and on the ball. Half, is in the big bump to the left, and the remainder is in progress or under the spindle. You can get a feel from the little sample to the left of how fine I’m trying to get.

I’m also getting there on the Camelbunny Silk, on the Gripping Yarn Rose spindle:

Camelbunny Silk

Half is on the ball, and a quarter already spun on the spindle. Hopefully this one won’t take me too long to finish and I’ll take it to London with me this weekend to see how much I can get done.

Baby steps right? Funny how that applies in so many areas of life.

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