Friday, January 01, 2010

This is not a resolution!

... though it does seem like a good way to start the new year. Happy New Blog Post! I thought I'd do a quick roundup of some of the things I've done over the past few months. I know that the blogs I read haven't been as active, on the whole, as they used to be. For everyone celebrating the newly minted year with a long, lazy weekend, the least I can do is try to provide 3.5 minutes of passive fibery entertainment. Here's some pretty:

This is a 3 ply fingering weight, spun from 80/20 merino/silk, dyed by All Spun Up. It's my first of her fibers, and was one of my favorite sock yarn spinning experiences. This particular blend makes a soft yarn that still has a lot of elasticity, with an added bit of sheen. The darker colors with the occasional brightness and shine was mesmerizing to spin, and has been spectacular to knit up. The sock are actually all but done. Maybe they'll be in the next post. In any case, I highly recommend this blend for spinning.

HY handspun merino
HY handspun merino
These are two slightly different skeins of handspun, made from superfine merino, dyed by the brilliant Adrian at Hello Yarn. This yarn is chain plied, to preserve the color runs. I meant it for socks, and was going to make knee socks, but one skein is thicker. So now I'm just knitting regular socks, and sending one skein to a friend. (Long over-due, alas.) The fineness of the super-fine was slightly noticeable in the fiber, more noticeable in the yarn, and is extremely noticeable in the knitted fabric. Because chain plied yarn isn't ideal for socks, I pulled out some chunks of the fiber, and spun and plied it into a regular 3 ply yarn, for something a little more resistant to wear and tear. The first of these socks is halfway done, and the pair would probably be done by now if I didn't have another time-sensitive project on the needles. It's a joy to knit with this stuff.

Smooshy Brickers
These socks are from Anne Hanson's Brickers sock pattern, knit out of Dream In Color Smooshy. It's a simple but gorgeous stitch pattern, and elastic enough to be ideal for socks. I love what Anne does with textures, and want to knit just about everything she's designed.

super sweet superwash
super sweet superwash
This is a 3 ply handspun out of superwash Bluefaced Leicester fiber, dyed again by Adrian at Hello Yarn. This was my first experience with superwash BFL, and it was weird. It's extremely slippery to spin, but also starts to feel wiry when it gets a lot of twist in it. So I felt like it took a while to get the right balance on my spinning wheel, so that it wasn't yanked out of my hands, but so that it also didn't feel icky as I spun it. I eventually reached that balance, and found that when I plied the wiry feeling singles, they softened right up. I do think I'd use superwash BFL again, now that I know what to expect from it. But most of all, I adore this yarn. Thank you for dyeing so beautifully, Adrian! I'm really itching to start these socks.

BFL singles

I spun this singles laceweight yarn from BFL top, and ended up with this scarf (Rivolo, designed by Anne Hanson):

handspun Rivolo
handspun Rivolo
This was the first time I've been happy with my own handspun singles yarn. I think that part of that is experience, but part of it may also be the longer staple length of BFL, which means less twist is necessary to keep the yarn together than with a short stapled fiber, like merino. I'm pretty proud that I did this, given my previous bad experiences with handspun singles.

Road Not Taken
That Rivolo was my second lace scarf from a singles yarn of the year. Right before that, I knit this Road Not Taken scarf, from Lisa Lloyd's book A Fine Fleece. I used Zauberball yarn. I really wanted to use the yarn for socks, but wasn't convinced that a singles yarn would be ideal for that. I'm happy with the project I chose for it, and adore the colors. It goes well with my Manon sweater, since there's an orange in there that perfectly matches it.

Believe it or not, there's more than that. But I kind of lost track of what I had blogged about, and what I hadn't. So here's to a fresh start to the year, with less blogging debt. I'm not all caught up, but caught up enough to move on, and not worry about it anymore. I've spent the last month or so spinning up my blue cormo fleece, and working on a pattern for publication in the spring. The fleece is done, and the pattern should be within the next week. This is going to be a great year, wool-wise, and otherwise.


Blogger Ann said...

Glad to see your post....I have missed you.

What lovely work you have done recently. Thanks for sharing.

Might I ask one question about the spinning of the single for your Rivolo, please? How did you spin it? From the fold? Stripped? colors separated out? Tee hee.... guess that is more than one question, but I'd really be interested in the nitty-gritty of the spinning.

Thanks, and Happy New Year.

1/01/2010 3:47 PM  
Blogger Rebekkah said...

Thanks Ann!

I am sure that I split the top at least once or twice. Maybe into 4 sections? I probably didn't go more than 3 or 4 sections, because I wanted to keep the color runs pretty long.

I've never gotten the hang of spinning from the fold. I spun it straight from the ends, probably semi-worsted. Lately I've been doing a lot of backwards draw, keeping the twist from entering the fiber supply, but pulling back the fiber supply, then smooth back with my forward hand while letting the twist in.

1/01/2010 9:37 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Fabulous yarns, beautiful projects and excellent photos. Adored the colours in the ASU, but I'm such a blue/purple fiend. Lovely to see how the Zauberball knits up too as I've also had my eye on one for a lace project.

1/02/2010 12:51 PM  
Blogger Rue said...

Gorgeous handspun! I've been lurking for a while so it's nice to finally say hello. Thanks for the inspiration to sit back down at my wheel.

1/03/2010 11:00 PM  
Blogger PlumStitches said...

beautiful colors!

1/12/2010 2:53 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Inspiring spinning! I love the brickers socks.

1/19/2010 3:26 PM  

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