Archive for November 2009
Now this might be closer to the middle of November. Quick update on what I’ve been working on. I started a beret only to find out I probably needed to know how much yarn I needed before I started it. But I love how the yarn patterned and I can’t wait to try this again soon!
This was so fun! I need to begin the next one with at least 175 yards (8 wpi). Make sure I have all the needles handy, and don’t take those markers out until after the brim is started! I had listed this yarn in the shop – calling it Dyeroundup…I listed it with a “may/will pool” warning in the listing, I thought I had messed up the dye job. …but I think I like it..a LOT! (so that means I probably won’t be able to ever duplicate it doesn’t it?) lol I have to say, I am loving knitting with my handspun, for so many reasons! But I have learned so much from knitting with it. It tells me many things. I love how it tells me if I put enough spin in it! I also love to watch as my project grows to look for balance. If my lines are straight, there is a good balance in the yarn. I like to set my twists and block my yarn. I’ve been reading what seems yet again to be more yarn opinions, much like cutting off the end of the roast. I read last week, from two very prolific fiber artists that they don’t recommend blocking handspun yarn. They recommended not blocking your yarn because if you do block it, it gives a false reading of being balanced. So of course I then started to “worry”! Oh no………..I’ve been so wrong!!!!!!!!! ..well…I finally settled on…..meh!
Now, not blocking it to save the twists for plying, makes logical sense. But why would you not want to block it? It’s like not using the straightener on your rambunctiously curly hair! I can understand some people’s lack of patience with their unruly frizzy hair. Or, it’s like not ironing the wrinkles out of your cotton shirt. (not like there’s anything WRONG with that).. But IF my yarn is balanced to begin with, what harm is there in blocking? aahhhhhhhhhh yes, the key being “balanced to begin with”. How do you know if your yarn is balanced? When I hang mine and see a soft slow twist to the skein, starting about half way down, it’s telling me it’s balanced! How else do I know? experience. AND knitting with it. Knitting takes out some twist..so it’s perfectly fine to have a slow, gentle twist to the skein and it’s perfectly fine to block it so it’s easier for you to handle when you are working with it.
I am finding there are some people really stuck in their techinques. Just across the board…wash and block it all..or only wash, or never wash. My knitting experience is now the leader in this decision. My cocoon yarn is not as nice to knit with after it’s been wet. NOT that it’s not nice yarn, not that it can’t ever be washed…BUT..those big, puffy airy cocoons change after they have been wetted, they straighten a bit, and lose some of the fluffy, puffiness I find very satisfying to knit with! I’ve washed my knitted cocoon yarn and it likes that much better. The twist relaxes some and the puffy places almost snuggle in together and it just get’s softer every time it is washed! And I’ve knit with a single handspun that has not had the twist set…roving bleck, it needs to be tamed in my opinion. And depending on the composition in batts, they may or may not be wetted before knitting, it’s your fiberista knitter call! But no, I don’t think there are hard and fast rules about your yarns. Not in this day and age!!!!!! AND..good lord if you spin, work it up somehow..knit it, or crochet, or weave..do something with it yourself! It’s a great learning experience! AND you may just have something you can use when your done..if not, hopefully you are hooked and the next thing you make will be!
I started back on my bamboo noil. Adventures! I’ll be working on more this next week and getting out some more colors, like I have been promising for months. Also some kid mohair locks are becoming available…lusciousness they are!
Bamboo noil is a terrific spin in! It’s very similar to silk noil and has tons of softness and subtle luster. I’m loving the intense colors and am anxious to get to red!!!
I dyed a lot of roving the last week…tweaked my recipes even further and it is so fun!!!! Burgundy Fall and Far Far Away are each tugging on my heart to spin. But since I haven’t spun Far Far Away yet, it’s probably going to win!
I’m thinking of batting these colors and adding in some peach and robin egg blue bamboo..and and and!!!!
And I worked on some art yarn…
I am anxious to work on more again soon!
And I made this lariat and have another one on the needles…it is black, grey and white…
This lariat is over 100 inches long (not including the fringe) and 1 1/2 inches wide. They are fun to make!
I hope everyone is having a good November so far and I hope all your Thanksgiving wishes come true! Kiss the babies for me!
First of November..we have snow on the ground!
I bet you thought I’d be coming back to tell you all about my new spinning adventures didn’t ya? ok. I’m working on practicing corespun and this morning I overspun a nice run of mohair. But mostly I feel bad because I don’t seem to understand the basics and feel like I’m wasting resources..you know that feeling? ugh! I ordered some baby mohair locks and they are so delicious!!!! I dyed some pink and red and it’s taken a few days to dry. I’m trying to corespin them. But..I’ve been spinning merino and it finally occurs to me this morning that merino may not be the best choice. That happened because I’ve been dyeing a gradual colorway, very gradually, as in I’m still only half way there on that project..but I was anxious to see some of those colors spun! So I dug out the mohair..and like I said I have a really nice run on my spool of it overspun. I tried once already, but as I was spinning ..my mohair just came undone, fell apart in my hands, and I felt defeated and gave up. So I just spun some MORE mohair. So I’M ALL SET WITH THE OVERSPUN MOHAIR SINGLE! lol I did have to change out my bulky flyer to the high speed one, which was a first. (Lendrum really would do well to send wheel buyers an extra few or two little metal c-clip thingys…Whenever I change out the flyer head I pop that little washer half way across the room and have to go “find” it…I’ve only been lucky so far!!! It’s just hard on an old lady!) I do like the high speed spinning…it was fun! I ordered a book and am anxiously awaiting it. Lexi Boeger – Intertwined. But I don’t know, for a dork like me who doesn’t even understand the basics if I’ll get very far with it! So yah..it’s happening in the background. Mostly this week, besides intermittent dyeing I’ve been knitting scarves with some fun, dorky, big knitting needles I made from some big wooden dowels. Knitting the scarves has been fun, and I like them, I just wish I could get some feedback. I might list them for awhile and see. I needed something to do with some two ply I had and this seemed to work! The only thing I’m hesitant about is there is a front and a back to these scarves. I think people’s expectations are of two sides looking the same, but these don’t. Maybe they will fly anyways..kinda like the sweatshirt seams showing thing? no? I didn’t photograph the back, but I will soon to post.
Maybe they are ugly as sin..and someone needs to tell me so!!!
The stitch is like netting..it stretches when you pull it out to the sides..just like fishnet. So there’s great texture and a lot of movement too! The stitching reminds me of netting or chain, they are very strong! If you fell over an enbankment..(say if you were looking for a place to pee, on a long drive, way up in the mountains, on the side of the road, and you were the designated drinker, and while negotiating a spot out of sight of the road, you slipped and fell down the side? a little ways? and it was pretty scary? Because really it could have been a pretty bad deal there! If you had this scarf..you could throw one end up to the designated rescuer and pull yourself up..no problem! It’s that strong!) The scarf actually hasn’t been tested for this..but yes, that happened to me! A very long time ago! And I wish I had one of these scarves then! Please don’t try this at home. The merino scarves should just get softer and felt over time into more softness. They are squishy and nice!
Look forward this week to the listing of my gradual dyed runs..They are stronger primary colors..red – orange, yellow-green and blue-purple. The set will be 6 ounces of merino. If I ever get it done..! I want to offer more of these in softer colors again – any colorway suggestions are always welcome!!
I’ve also been having a ton of fun dyeing and spinning up mill end. I thought it might be a good alternative spin for shoppers. My supplier told me BFL is going up..so …I love this mill end for cocoon yarn..it is absolutely the best! I know you might be thinking..what else would she say..but I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true! It’s loverly! And maybe the cost will entice some newer knitters to give it a go!
It’s not lost on me that Walmart is already advertising for Christmas…even before Turkey day! And you?
But, don’t go to Wally World…home made is soo much nicer!!! You better check out the shop to get your supplies for spinnin and knittin to get all your holiday gifts ready in time!!!
So that’s what’s all shaking at ilashdesigns…never a dull moment is the goal! I hope everyone has great day! Thanks for reading along! Please leave me a comment or several! Ny.
End of October
Hey all ya’all! I hope everyone has their sweet tooth amply taken care of this sweet Halloween and plan to enjoy this Sunday! Here’s some quick pics and notes of some knittin and spinning projects I’ve been working on over the last few weeks. And an introduction to my new wheel Miss. Drum! I got so excited!!!!! It’s been fun getting to play on her. It’s a Lendrum..(insert proper specs here) double treadle, with the jumbo parts add on and the cute little lazy kate included! It was super easy to assemble! I ordered and had it in two days and that was fantastic! AND I CAN’T even believe what I have learned! More mind blowing stuff – but I’m hesitant to make quick judgement’s so I will practice of course, and take my time at making a list of comparison’s with this new wheel and my spinning apparatus that I currently employ. The home made spinning wheel I have is not leaving my employ either and as a matter of fact, is quickly becoming the apple of my eye for many yarns. But wait..I said I’m not judging yet…(ok..but white is white and black is black..so then there’s that!) But yeah..I thought I was going to win the ‘backwoods’ award for our “wondrous spinning machine” (“our” because hubby helped me nail it together (wait ok..maybe screws!), and insists on taking huge credits here)…but I suspect there’s more than one of these employed by folks around the world somewhere…! I know there is in Canada where I originally purchased this maiden from. I have decided, that for her?…I will PROUDLY take the “backwoods’ award. It’s very special to me AND it holds it’s place in my practical heart of hearts because it cost under $50 to put together, but I bought the maiden already constructed. I don’t know what it could cost someone to have a carpenter build them one. But it’s danged simple I know that. I will introduce you to her one of these days, when I can figure out making her, her own page here. (It’s on my list). Meantime..here’s a pic to give you a clue of what I’m comparing here. lol.
Anyway..on with this show:
These turned out really fun! I have enough for a third glove which is a good thing..since I frogged the first glove..a few and many times. AND I changed my gauge when I spun this single. I learned a lot again! I would love to try this but with merino/mohair/nylon someday soon!
but this is my first attempt at gradual dyeing. It was fun! The red did not work like I planned..it really needs a lot of saturation and strong, strong dye.. it has some places of good red, but it turned more pinks a bit more than I anticipated, I think it still works fine. I wanted color with grey, so in every roving there is a strip in the middle of grey. (an artistic not thought out well, compulsive choice of application right before dyeing) I tried to graduate that also..with each grey in each roving having a variation..but I missed the mark..by not starting with a strong enough grey. The lightest one didn’t even take so it’s a strip of white. (I had dyes stretched out the length of my room, using two tones of each color). The application is wrong for my desired effect with the grey, so next time I’ll go back to dyeing it in a splotchy pattern. I would like grey all over..and colors coming out of the grey..(but you know what happens when you put blue next to yellow and green and red and so forth and so on?..I was overly anxious about it mixing on the wool) Need to stop that! And I should get some thickener for fun sometime too. To get the graduation effect of course, the spinner would pull each roving in lengths, and spin in order. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet! I’ll work on this again sometime! It was fun! I got ‘new spinning wheel interuptus’ and my train jumped this track.
More later! Ny.
copy and paste from ‘Works in Progress’ page:
It was the wee hours of the mornin..and well, I’ve always said I wanted to grab some shots of the help around here..”crazy wild” alert! (I’ve been singing James Brown lately..”I feel gooooooooooood! nahnahnahnahnahnahnah!” and there’s a little movie maker in me! “I got the movie maker”..lalahlahlalah
Anyways here’s my little vignette staring: Midge, Judy and Ken!
- Sofa art?
it usually starts like this:
- Everyone looks fine to me..bald and all..
- things start warming up…
- they start flirtin and goofin around..
- and just like always…
note: “empty” bottle Patrone~..I conned the bartender into giving to me..(while we were there eating breakfast months ago) because I liked the bottle..always been a trash hound..I have never tried Patrone~, I don’t think I’m old enough yet. But I love the idea of an aspiring drink..feels kinda like putting one of the wisemen in a different part of your house when your nativity scene is set up. I can get with appreciating a “journey”. (I just had to ask my husband what specific liquor Patrone~ is..I do like a good margarita’s on a hot summer day fun!) Hey..it is a super cool bottle and the cork is over the cork top for corks!
- no words
- of course..
- until finally…(Yes, yes I did take the time to do this! I can’t wait to take them camping!)
Produced exclusively by ilashdesigns for ilashdesigns! ok and you..did it make ya smile? or shake your head? I already told you that about me.
TADA TADA!! lol (taking this pic was techi fun – tie a knot in camera strap, (because you are too lazy to actually work the strap doo dads to make it shorter) – find some decent light – find timer on camera… set it correctly…let it rest on the girls… and don’t breathe and pose!!! You’ll feel just like Ellen D. in a Cover Girl commercial..I know I did) fun.
My second pair knit, first from my handspun! FUN! I learned a lot and can’t wait to try again!
1. It helps to know your yardage..and I still don’t. This was about 100 yds and I still have a little over 1/4 of it left – awwww!
2. I COULD count a few rows..it’s wouldn’t kill me!! I was concentrating so much on construction I lost track early and said meh, leaned on the ole eyeball. (it shows)
3. Next time don’t forget to change needle ends after the rib..I remembered the first mitt, but meh on the second! And knit your ribs a little tighter..it’s supposed to stretch to fit, and make them long enough.
4. Pick up as many stitches as you think you need to on the thumb hole… if it needs more than pattern calls for..put them in there…better than a hole deary.
6. Hate the stupid backloop cast on..WHATZUPWITDAT? figured out my own..silly frustration there! (I’m 3 migrains for 3 days in a row, 4 for 5 total..a little frustration was understandable.) ALSO – Figure out an alternative increase. Research increases that don’t leave holes. I don’t LIKE em.
5. Spin yarns for these gloves 7-8..needle size 7 fits me snug – 8 is looser. I think I have more smallish hands.
6. Don’t make knots, knit the ends in.
7. Make sure it’s yarn you love so you finish! Someday make some silky bamboo ones. Find a nice lacy stitch for a cuff. Finish to full mitts and actully have some mitts! Good Lord what a concept! You will always treasure them for their warmth and softness! Use feltable wool! Make a pair for your man, chickens and client! You’ll NEVER regret it! Unless you develop a wool allergy then..I’ll have to find my gun…………HAHAHA JOKES folks..isn’t she phunny? (I use the term childrens and chickens interchangably).
ok..migrains suck, but I can’t “lay down” it just makes all the blood pool to one side of my head and then it will hurt there more..tried that. I’ve had migrains for years……..mine are about the moon..ok and probably a few stupid hormones. They will leave me one day for good and I will be free of them and other monthly duties that oh yeah..suck. I favorited a phunny tweet I read some lady tweeeeted: Flying kites on the beach today. Hope I get my period so I can demonstrate how carefree and confident my tampon makes me feel. ….hahahaha hillarious! just had to share that! Thanks for reading! Hints, tips, requests, input, suggestions welcome! Ny. miss newbie knitter
I found my problem! M1L has you stitch through the back loop!!! opps. I knew that once. AND…AND…AND…the best part is while doing my tutsearching I found some videos by Cat Bordhi (that I quickly and swiftly made a link to from the front page). That rocked my world! I watched a video where she demonstrated using two circulars…………………….. WHAT A BLAST! AND EASY? So much easier than pushing all the stitches back down to the other tip of the needle. Ok that’s circ knitting with one..meh…but two? It so rocks and I’m anxious to start the second mitt!!! lol and third and fourth and and and I’ll keep dreaming of a sweater even!
Then I had fun today making this collage in Picasa (that’s a free google photo download) that I included in my listing of the roving on Etsy..which someone will probably flag and I’ll have to take down..but I’m going to run with it till I get busted I guess. I tried to say clearly that the yarn and mitt is not for sale, maybe they’ll let me sneak by..huh? We’ll see if there’s a buncha tattletales! ha But Picasa rocks and it was way easy and fun!
Fall Havest cheers to you and the ones you love! Ny.
This yarn is my handspun from some roving I dyed (that is mine now!..see previous post about what remains mine! lol) from Fall Harvest in sw merino. I love, love, love the colors!!! They are dreamily pouring themselves out onto the mitt, like spilled paint. I knit these mitts in some acrylic yarn a few months ago, to practice and “see” if I could do it..and I did! They are ok…but they are acrylic…you know what I’m saying. I’ve been waiting to try again with some handspun….so I started. I did pretty good, until I did the m1r and m1l increases..and somewhere in there…after I went back to knitting the rest of the row…they were purls..not knits. I know this is some kind of beginner mistake and I do understand the concept of knitting in a spiral (I think?).. except that when I started with my rib and went to the stockinette, I was just doing knitting stitches and I didn’t switch to a purl to get the stockinette stitch..it was all knitting up in knit stitches, so I just thought that after the increases..it would continue on. Not. Then I get confused thinking about was I knitting ws? or rs? So I tried a few times and then switched to purls and yes it looked right again..except…I want my thumb to be all knit stitches and it looked like they were purls on there…(I think?)…so
I decided maybe it’s the m1r and m1l increases that threw it off or I twisted it somehow then..or something! ..and am investigating the alternative increases. Off to the knitting videos for me!!! So then on those increases I read about..I get the increase right..but the increase left..I get confused..when you go down 2 rows? hmmmm need to see that in motion! Anyways..I was tempted to frog this and just knit a swatch so you could see the colors..but I’m not going to frog it yet. I really really really want to conquer this pattern, but I fear I will only have enough yarn here for one mitt..no I don’t plan well sometimes! If I could get the pattern down…making some yarn..taint no big deal..you know what I mean? Who cares about matching? I need the pattern down!! Currently I am working on day 2 of migrain #2, and my wool order came in…so my third eye is busy dreaming about what colors to dye..some merino, alpaca and silk mix…yeah baby! Big BFL should be here tomorrow… knitting..well…gee!
I’m not too happy with my new “light box” set up..please bear with me as I work that detail out..something has to happen, winter is coming and I can’t keep trotting outside!!! dang it!
9/2/09 – Hey..wow..it’s been awhile since I updated here. I decided this morning..that I am addknicted…I can’t spell it, but I can say it. You can too..try this: while holding your nose closed…say addicted…see? That’s what I am!
I worked on some wrist/arm warmers. If you are interested you can purchase them from my Etsy shop, by clicking on the pictures.
They are all made from 100% Merino wool that I hand dyed and spun and knit! They are wonderfully soft and will keep you warm!
Then I built this shawl:
It is all made from my hand spun short yarns that include merino, alpaca and corriedale, silk, and bamboo and more I probably can’t remember. It is all natural fibers, no man made fiber included. Some of the strands were bulky singles and some 2 ply. The pattern is all knit with one increase per row on 2 needles..ending with 200+ rows. Dimensions are 56″ x 23 1/2″. It was a good project for this beginner. I made some mistakes in it, but I found and fixed more..so that made me feel ok. It’s absolutely deliciously warm and soft and every bit of it full of my energy! I hope I finish the fringe someday..soon!
And last but not least my current project some leg warmers from more of my short yarns…here’s one done…the second one is in progress.
Big needles, big bulky hand spun and I think they rock! They really are big..for slouchiness and for folks with big Norwegian style calves like my own! (which are 13 1/3 inches around the biggest part).
7/18/09 – Here is part of an order I’m working on this weekend:
- Something for the Guys
These are lux batts made up of superwash merino, black alpaca, cream bamboo and blue silk color coordinated into the matching color wools. They should make some beautiful yarn! (I’m going to try and spin up a sample, will post pics)
My schedule has allowed me to put more time into fiber lately, and I am doing that as much as possible. Alas, today a migrain so will be down and out but here’s a progress report on what I had started to work on..
- I started with some of this….
this is some fun colors, yellow, hot pink and red and white…(I had to lay the blues, blacks and browns aside ..it’s summer already!)
then added some of this:
- cool colors on top of the hot ones…
added the same color firestar in each band of color (the end is a hot pink/red tencel..no firestar there)
then added another layer of the roving:
- layering over the bands…
did the layering thing a few times..
- and here’s how she came out!
The end band of dark is not blue..but dark purple..once again my camera does not like to capture purple…the rest of the colors are reading true to my eyes. This is going to be some colorful yarn! All superwash merino…one color band is superfine merino so will all be baby soft too!
- back side of batt
- rolled up nice and sweet!
- like a proud mama…geeze!
ok I’m off to lay my head ache down and folks who know me..know, it must be a good one..as usually they don’t slow me down enough to knock me off my feet..but..oy vay.
Ok..well took a nap and had a nightmare so forget that! Might as well beat on my drum! They’re up in the shop. They were a blast to make!