Thursday, January 01, 2009

You are in for a treat.

You are in for a treat, because I haven't blogged for 5 weeks, but I have continued to make things. Yesterday I flipped through my Flickr photos, and made a list of all the things I have yet to blog about. There is so much to share! Some of it still needs to be photographed, which is very hard for me to do in the winter, because I need to count on having a clear day with good sunlight on a weekend day. But I'm getting there, and am going to kick off what I hope will be a collection of somewhat more frequent catch-up posts with some plain old spinning. Yarn I've made, not attached to a specific project, not necessarily with an interesting background story or tales of techniques learned. Just some good old fashioned handspun.

Glowing and Squishy

Wensleydale Singles

Wensleydale Singles

The last of my small Hello Yarn fiber stash, this beautiful skein is Wensleydale Singles, in the Illuminated colorway. About 9 wpi, 116 g., and 202 yd., I'm thinking it will be great in a simple roll brim stockinette hat. It's very loosely spun, though I achieved that effect by running it back through the spinning wheel in the opposite direction, to take out some of the twist I put in when I first spun it. Worked like a charm! I haven't really thought much about this yarn since I spun it, but writing this up, I'm tempted to cast on for that hat today... perhaps even without swatching. Wild and crazy, I know.

This is the Yarn That Never Ends
(It just went on and on, my friends.)

green merino bobbin

green handspun merino

This is green merino, dyed by Crazy Monkey. I bought 8 oz. of it on a whim, and started spinning it on a whim. For some reason, finishing this spinning project felt like pulling teeth. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the fiber. It was all me. But it's done, and while it's not nearly my favorite yarn, ever, I think it will make great knee highs some day.

I admit, at one point I got so bored spinning it that I decided to spin some of it long draw, from the fold. Which is only a problem because that's not how most of it is spun, so obviously I had given up on any hope of getting a very uniform yarn. But at least it was a fun learning opportunity, bundled up in an inexplicably boring project. It is 17.5 wpi untensioned, 22.5 wpi tensioned, and feels like a heavy fingering weight. The skeins are not equal in size, but total up to 195 grams and 812 yards. More than enough for knee highs!

Yellow Is The Cure

Handspun Pulse BFL

Handspun Pulse BFL

I was feeling in a bit of a spinning slump, and the cure was to pull this Spunky Eclectic BFL top out of one of my fiber drawers. It had been a very long time since I spun with BFL, and I honestly don't know what I was waiting for. I still love the fiber, and the moment I started spinning it, I was already dreaming up the sweater I would knit out of handspun BFL, one day.

The yarn is a 3 ply light worsted weight, 12 wpi, 111 g., 178 yards. I was thinking of knitting a Koolhaas hat with it, though I'm not sure if the colors are too variegated for that. I might just start it, and then continue in plain ribbing (instead of the twisted stitch pattern) if it seems like that would be best.

For the record, the handspun BFL sweater I am dreaming of is in the Spunky Eclectic redwood colorway, and mostly stockinette. Perhaps turned hems, maybe using EZ's Seamless Hybrid pattern as a starting point? BFL tends to be fairly dense when spun up (at least the way I like to spin it) so something plain, without a lot of texture, seems to be the way to go. (Though I suspect there is also a natural colored, hand combed BFL sweater in my future. Grey or brown, with some cables here and there. Must keep my eye out for BFL fleeces this Spring...)

My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Stomach

spinning silk

I bought 4 oz. of beautiful hand dyed purple silk top from Julie Spins. It came in 2 ounce bundles, but I wanted more than that. The idea was to spin each bundle separately, and then ply them together for a 2 ply laceweight yarn.

I learned that spinning silk takes a lot of concentration. Julie's silk is gorgeous, but silk likes to fly away and bunch up and do all sorts of other things that wool doesn't tend to do. But the other good thing about silk is that a little goes a long way. I decided to stop after just short of 2 oz. I will ply this on itself, and I'm sure I'll have enough for something wonderful. The other 2+ ounces will sit around for a while, until I figure out what to do with it. At the moment, I'm thinking that it could be fun to blend with something. I bet a silk/wool blended batt would be easier to spin than straight silk. I don't have a drum carder, but I have been saving up pattern sale money for a while now, and perhaps I'll eventually use it (once I have enough, which could take a while) to buy a Strauch Petite. Or maybe I'll use it for heating fuel later this winter. We shall see!

Happy new year to everybody. It's nice to be back, and I just know that 2009 has to be better than 2008. (My year starts out with my birthday, then inauguration day, so things are looking up already!)

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I really love the purple silk.

1/01/2009 3:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh pretty pretty pretty. And I just love that yellow SE BFL. Can't wait to see what comes of it!

Happy new year and wishing you the best in 2009!

1/01/2009 3:09 PM  
Blogger knithound brooklyn said...

These yarns are beautiful. I'm especially in love with the Hello Yarn.

1/01/2009 3:30 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Have a great new year and happy birthday! Your spinning inspires me and I love all the different yarns you have made.

1/02/2009 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous yarn! I hear you on the good start to the year. My birthday and inauguration day are one and the same so I think I need a big party!

1/02/2009 11:58 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Happy New Year, Rebekkah - you're making me want to plop down in front of my spinning wheel right now!

1/02/2009 2:56 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

(If you're getting two comments from me, I apologize. Blogger seems to not like me today.)

What I tried to post was that your yarns are beautiful and make me want to get back to my wheel. It's only been a couple of weeks, but it feels like much longer. I can't wait to see that silk plied up!

1/02/2009 4:22 PM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

Beautiful! I love them all but my favorite is the Illuminated. I'm looking forward to seeing it knit up.

1/02/2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger Andreapgn said...

Oh, the purple silk... oh!

1/06/2009 9:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home