UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

October 31, 2009

How to create a visual slipper pattern.

Filed under: knit, patterns — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:26 pm

I really liked the 8-square slippers. There are apparently several variants of these. Here are a few direct pattern links:

first one I found: http://www.kaspaikka.fi/neulonta-A&O/asusteita_vaatteita/sukat-tossut/palatossut.html

Drops, in English: http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=109&d_id=57〈=us

felted: http://hurpeknagg.blogspot.com/2008/01/felted-slippers.html

The basic idea I was looking for was something that could be made in all garter stitch, that required very little in terms of shaping, but which would make an actual garment. There are a number of children who go through the library knitting group and never learn to purl, let alone increase and decrease. No one needs 3 mini-size envelope purses, so there was a lack of intermediate project between the itty bitty thing and sending them off to buy their own yarn.

But not everyone who comes to this speaks English. Some of them do not read. It was a puzzle.

I wanted to create something to show how to make the slippers if you did not have a paper pattern or online resources available.  This is what I made:

From origami motley socks

If one sews the white edge seam to the white edge seam, then the red to the red, and so forth, one ends up with the finished slipper.

This was a very interesting exercise, both the finding of a pattern that fit explicit criteria and the creation of a demonstration model that inherently displays the procedure required.

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October 26, 2009

Penultimate Fiber Club Post

Filed under: fiber — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:05 pm

I got the last of the fiber club shipments today. It is baby camel+tussah (percentages not given) in a natural color of golden brown with white streaks. (Oct 26 2009)

That means I have two months of pictures to put up here, but the pictures will wait.

I have really enjoyed the fiber I received from this club. It has all been very nice fiber. Generally the dye jobs have been good (except that “urine sample” colorway that I overdyed and just posted about) or the fiber was left natural; the types of fiber have been, if not unique, often at least rare and difficult to order as an individual.

But the lack of interest or attention to detail in the packaging bothered me a lot. More than half the shipments were either mistakenly labeled or omitted important information. The included patterns always arrived crumpled and many of them were lacking important information because they had been tailored to this spinning group— so the pattern almost never says “fingering weight yarn”, it says “spin to get 22wpi singles and ply” or whatever. Why would that not be a separate issue?  There should have been spinning instructions to get the yarn the pattern wants, but the pattern itself should not have been altered to not be reusable with commercial yarn.

The malaise in the Ravelry group where the only people who post are people who should be in the beginning spinners group or having a lesson— that bothers me a lot. For example, no one posted pictures of the fiber. I did several months myself but no one noticed or cared. No one compliments people so no one posts any spun fiber or finished knitted projects. It was this void. Obviously someone could have stepped in and really led the group but there is a crux in popularity before which people do not participate. Leading where there are no followers makes a body feel foolish. Plus there was no real reason for me to care when the vendor clearly does not.

I have to say that the price was very good for the type and quantity of fibers provided, but the service quality really detracted from the value overall.

My overall impressions of the Susan’s Spinning Bunny “Fondle This!” Fiber Club: Fiber quality: A, Fiber colorways: B-, Packaging: D, Included patterns: C, Price: B+

So overall, it is worth what I paid for it, but I would have preferred to pay 10% more and get the fiber from a vendor who wants to be doing this. There are not vendors charging 10% more for similar luxury fibers though. They charge 10 or 20% more and send you smaller bumps of corriedale, as if their dyework is the important criterion.

October 24, 2009

Spindly too

Filed under: equipment, spin — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:17 pm

I ordered myself a spindle from Tracy Eichheim. I will post an update both on how the ordering experience goes and how well I like it when it arrives. There is a queue, so I am not expecting my spindle(s) until January.

If you did not see the update to the previous “Spindly” post, it turns out I had an immediate reply thanking me for pointing out the “next” issue, but it went into the spam folder. Gmail recently had an update where they chose what folders you commonly use and I did not notice the spam folder was one of the hidden ones. It took me a week to find the email.

Fiber Dyeing, accomplished!

Filed under: dye, fiber — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:47 am

Yesterday I made this:

I started with this: And ended up with this:
From Fiber Club
May 2009
From fiber dye

I changed it from “citrus” to what I think of as “almost fall foliage”. The only disappointing thing about this is that it is very green and I am not so fond of green. This was done with a packet of cherry Kool-Aid and food coloring dripper bottles. Cooked in a crock pot for about 25-30 minutes on high, at that point the dye bath was clear.

[As usual, click the pictures to go to the bigger version in the Picasa album.]

October 21, 2009

Spindly

Filed under: equipment, spin — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:52 pm

A rather surprising thing occurred while I was composing a “which should I buy” post that was really a “gloom and doom” in disguise. I realized I had not spun since May. I did a little bit immediately after Yarn School; I was looking to get back on that horse before the fear set in and managed that. But for the most part attending Yarn School stripped all the joy out of spinning.

I knew I was still upset about the fiasco, but I had not realized how much that had permeated my perspective. (I am the phantom disagree-er whenever someone says something positive about Yarn School anywhere I see it on Ravelry.)

Today I finished what was on the bobbin. Then I plied it with the matching bobbin (from May). I also spun some extra oatmeal single for my birthday fiber leftovers and from which I will make a Navajo ply for my Mobius. (I attempted to cast on with my 2-ply oatmeal BFL + birthday merino, and it just is not durable enough to withstand multiple attempts. I need to frog the cast-on plus .5 rows, but that yarn is three breaths from dissolving already, so I need something that might blend in seamlessly but still be super-durable. )

I feel a lot better. I am calmer. I feel more energetic and accomplished.

I can admit to being a mediocre knitter. I am adventurous and I believe I can knit anything, which makes me more than a beginner for sure, but I am never going to be an advanced knitter without considerably more effort. I do not care to put in that effort, so I know that I have to admit I am not a great knitter.

I am already a mediocre spinner. I know I can do anything if I try. I know my yarn is not perfect, but I have extremely consistent yarn (to the point that the bobbin I finished today and the one I did in May matched in terms of thickness and twist.) I have a real feel for when my plying is coming out right, now that I have stopped trying to get that underspun fluff anyway. The yarn I am knitting my sweater out of is really nice yarn, very consistent across 4 separate balls.

That made me realize, even with the knitting, it is the effort that matters. Whether it takes me 3 months or 3 days to finish a project is all irrelevant. I can do that. Then I realized there are really advanced knitters who cannot do anything without a pattern. I almost never use a pattern.  They might be faster than I am, but I know how to find my own way through the darkness. I like having my eyes open.

I am considering buying a drop spindle. I made one years ago, but hate it. I am thinking that good tools might help. I want one of the Tracy Eichheim dragon spindles. There is some weirdness because I have to deal with yet another fiber-person who wants a check. No one takes checks. No reply to the email, but the website was changed in response to my question. I wish there was a price list for some of the other designs. [ETA, there was an immediate reply, but it went to the spam folder that gmail was hiding from me.]

Now for the original topic, do you think I should get a top whorl or bottom whorl spindle? If I was buying one of the production spindles as well, what weight should I get?

October 17, 2009

Weekend Update

Filed under: stuff — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:02 pm

I knit a handwarmer and got lots of praise for it. Goes to show that choosing one’s audience appropriately helps garner more appreciation.

I have knit 1.5 more slippers in that 8-square pattern. I am in the midst of sewing one up, but I neglected to pin it and am no longer sure what is going on. The sewing up for that pattern is harsh.

Today I worked on the sleeve to my Leuca sweater.

sleeve issue 1: I have a defective cable in my Knitpicks interchangeable. And that is one of the Harmony ones which has lousy varnish sealing. Next time I place an order, I will get another pair of #6 metal tips. I do wish they sold alternate colors of cable for people who do the 2-circ method.  Or I could buy a new #6 needle from some other brand, but it will not be Addi and I just do not know anything about any of the other brands.

sleeve issue 2: Concern that I will not be able to even approximate what I did on this sleeve for the matching (unstarted) sleeve.

Apparently a relative has cancer. It is not someone I am close to, but it makes me feel old all the same. (Yes, really, everything is about me. Sorry.)  When I was a child, no one was ever seriously ill. Now that I am almost 40, everyone seems to be sick. I know where all the hospitals are and how to find a parking space near them. For a while I knew (for one hospital) which days the cafeteria had food I can eat.  Because this really is all about me, my response was to think, “Oh good, someone I can use that yucky colored yarn for!”  I would feel completely evil about that except the color I desperately dislike is her favorite color.  I even have a double-braid of fiber in that color, so I could spin it first and double my own sacrifice in making her a something.

I need to get out more. I wish I could think of where I might enjoy going.

Best thing so far? I want to spin. I have not wanted to spin since the fiasco that was Yarn School.

October 12, 2009

unstrung purls

Filed under: stuff — UndyedYarnpire @ 6:58 am

I finally Googled for the difference between Faroese and triangle shawls and got an actual diagram.

http://www.siskiyouknits.com/grannielinda/faroeseshawlmethod.htm

I clicked the bookmarklet to add this to my Ravelry queue and it does not exist. I have a hard time understanding that.

—-

I would like the ability to sort sock patterns based on the amount of purling required.  I am still not knitting Continental (and when I try, it looks like garbage and hurts my left hand) so the transition between knit and purl is extremely irritating.

That was my reason for being irked about the errata in the “Serpentine Socks” pattern. A whole slew of spaced  purl stitches were added.

One of my friends often adds happenstance cables to things.  She does not surround them by flanking purl stitches. I said, “those would be hidden gems”. I realize it is the anti-pun, but it still made me laugh.

—-

Busy week this week, but possibly also busy in terms of knitting that will be accomplished.  I have samples I need to knit up. There is even a list.

Hopefully I will remember to take pictures of that new hat when there is better light.

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