UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

March 25, 2012

six months later

Filed under: fiber, hat, knit, project lists, summary, yarn — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:45 pm

I said last September that I was getting back to my fiber crafting now that things were looking up. It has been six months since then and I am doing things but not writing about them. My productivity is odd and taking pictures of things is a huge chore. Posting the pictures and linking them into Ravelry is such an enormous task that I would snap a few shots begrudgingly and tell myself I would work on sharing if I ever felt like it. Then I started just piling new things to the side to be photographed and would only take pictures of things if I was sending them out. There was even one project that I sent out without photographing it. But all the pictures have been taken now. Some of them have been uploaded. I plan to work on this in small stages in the forthcoming time.

I finished spinning a pound of CMF BFL which sat unfinished on my wheel for 1.5 years. It came out at a different gauge than the previous half, so that is not good for my consistency with a huge gap in the project. (The pictures for this are not up because I took them when it was too bright and without a diffuser for the sunlight so you cannot see anything.)

I spun half a pound of dyed-by-me fiber (from Yarn School, it wasn’t all hellish craft-wise, just the worst social and travel experience ever, you really do not want to go to that if you are a grown up. But it was such a neat idea that I wish someone would create the Club Med version.) It was fiber everyone complimented me on at the time but which I knew was awful. The spun yarn really is ugly.

From yarn school fiber

I made myself a hat.

From 2012 January

The Tardis socks are at the window level. I made 2 scarves and a hat to give away. I created a stole which was so far off in gauge it was 4 times bigger than expected and will need to be frogged. I finally put up pictures of the Kindle bag I made myself last year. I dyed socks that I bought from Sock Dreams. [Feel free to browse for these pictures, as they are being uploaded. If you have “followed” or “subscribed” or whatever to my Picasa albums, UndyedYarnpire, then you can receive an email update listing everywhere I have added pictures. I subscribed to myself and use those as a list of things to tick off when writing these update posts.]

I went to Stitches 2012 with a friend I met at what was my LYS’s knit night. They have since stopped being my LYS. Which is, I suppose, news related to crafting, that I started going out to things more, meeting people, and found a place I liked so well, I started to consider them my store, where I would shop first. It did not work out. For such an urban area, it probably was not a feasible model. How much yarn does anyone need? I personally have a huge stash to tide me over during lean times when there are no stores and so there is something ready to go for almost any urgent project. But one ball of Tosh chunky would certainly take a month of work to finish (unless I was doing something overly simplistic) because that would be for me. Even though I thought nothing of dropping $10 on dinner before knitting, I was really put off by the idea of buying $20 in yarn even monthly. Where was I going to put it? I bought a pattern and a book, and 2 skeins of yarn in 4 months. The store owner kindly announced the change in policy before Stitches, so I felt free to spend the earmarked “support the LYS” money at Stitches instead. I will still shop if I ever need daytime in-person yarn shopping, but it was at the far edge of my normal range. There are a lot of people I met there that I would like to keep up with, so it is somewhat sad that there isn’t another group we can all migrate to. Some I got to know well enough that we can go out separately.

I have pictures of all the Stitches 2012 purchases.

  • I got 3 braids from Redfish Dyeworks. They remain my favorite dyers. (Crown Mountain Farms is my second favorite and one I buy much more of.)
  • I bought solid fiber from Opulent Fiber. A 5 pack sampler in shades of blue, a really awesome gray, and a copper colored silk
  • I got one braid from Royale Hare, but not the “Napa Nutmeg” colorway. They turned out not to be sharing a booth with Romi this year, I missed pretending that she remembered me while she was just being polite to yet another stranger.
  • I got a really great skein of sock yarn from a new place, Forbidden Yarn. There was a card in my bag saying they were looking for fiber festivals and I was sort of hoping to tell them about the Oakland Fiber Festival, but there is no email address anywhere. You can leave a blog comment but why would I want to post in public if I am likely to be rejected (it is a long trip)? I am not going to add hobby related things to Facebook or twit about it. So if you, the Forbidden Yarn people, google for yourselves and see this, contact Bente at Piedmont Yarn because I really liked your stuff, just not enough to jump through hoops, yeah? Forbidden Yarn named their yarns after the deadly sins. I have a variegated purple skein of their Gluttony, which is an 8-ply sock significantly less crunchy to the touch than Everlast.
  • And I bought a bag. I have always wondered why people spend that kind of money on bags for their knitting, but I do not use my Namaste bag for my knitting. I use it for everything else. [bag is not pictured, but is the purple mini-messenger if you are familiar with Namaste]

Speaking of OFF (Oakland Fiber Festival), I did finally take a picture of the rabbit fiber I bought last Summer. It was really hard to get a great shot of it because it would blow away when I breathed before pressing the shutter button.

June 8, 2010

Two finished projects

Filed under: hat, lace, project lists — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:46 pm

I thought about posting these separately so I would have more content, but that is disingenuous. Neither of these knitting projects used handspun yarn. I do have an on-going project with that, but I keep frogging it, so no pictures yet.

First: I took pictures of the Maragheh pillow which has been completed for a while now. It used Jo Sharpe Silk Road Aran Tweed yarn, 2 skeins in “Tartan”.


Second: I started and finished a project in 3 weeks. Shockingly, I made a baby hat. NOT for me! No worries on that account. It made someone happy. And I have an actual friend who is having a baby, so I had already made the mental adjustment that making baby stuff is acceptable. This used about half or less of one skein of Schaefer Heather yarn in “Billie Holiday”.
Morning Glory Hat

morning glory hat

January 8, 2008

The newness is so shiny.

Filed under: dye, hat, knit — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:03 pm

There might be a rule somewhere that says: When in doubt, do not ask one’s spouse about one’s hobbies. This is both true and false.

There was an ad on craigslist for a used Elizabeth I Ashford wheel. The price seemed pretty decent considering all the extras. I asked my husband if he thought I should inquire. That answer was fairly telling in its incomprehension. It is not that I need another wheel. I do not even need a double-drive wheel. I do not generally like Ashfords. I do not know what the difference is between Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II, though generally the implication was that there were improvements made to the design.

Tonight I showed off the tropical sunrise hat and asked if I should knit the ribbing in white or if I should dye it, hopefully to match. The answer I got was really surprising. “Of course you should dye it to match. Did you want to work on that before or after we start supper?”

I have to say that this dye job went a lot easier for several reasons, but the biggest ones are the use of a jar and a small amount of fiber. The jar is stable on its own and does not require that third hand to avoid spillage. It is also much easier to get a solid color on 5 yards of worsted-weight yarn than it is on 150 yards of sock-weight. Tonight I used food coloring (from the dropper vials that every kitchen seems to come with, but which only cost $2 otherwise) because I was about to be making food and then there were no concerns about aerosolizing non-foodsafe dye powder.

Boogie’s post today on tablet weaving really struck me as interesting.  Both the post itself and the activity. I really want to weave now. Yes, right now, hands are itching to start on it, and now in the sense of it being a change in attitude.

I have hat pictures and dye pictures and a photo of the “Endpaper Mitts” I did not work on today.

January 3, 2008

Worth the paper it is written on.

Filed under: hat, knit — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:34 pm

I worked on my endpaper mitts. I am struggling with the yarn, which loves to stick with itself in a bizarre mating ritual that spawns knots. I am struggling with the itty-bitty needles that make me feel like I have gone blind. And I am struggling with my own prejudices that other people, especially pattern designers, are morons. I just do not believe anyone has any clue how to make things that will fit me. These are mittens, but looking at the pattern pictures, the cuff goes way up the arm and the designer has very thin forearms. I finally decided that I would do the ribbing in the larger size needles in hopes of having the cuff fit my arm without emulating a tourniquet. I may take a photo at this point, but I might prefer to ignore this project for a while longer.

(I really do struggle with this idea that anyone who has written a pattern has written it wrong. Either there is something I do not like, or the chosen yarn is silly, or it will never fit me (which is really irritating when one is considering a shawl and one wears regular sized clothes). And that is not including the pattern authors who have outright errors. I am still angry about that Hip Knit Hats book where every single pattern was listed on the errata page— which is not listed in the book, though with more than a dozen major errors, one would think the publisher could have planned ahead and listed a stub page for potential errata. They could not possibly think that they would get a perfect typeset, right?)

I am considering the “Dancing Leaves” lace shawl by Evelyn Clark, but that leaf shape is a standard one, so what I would be buying is someone else doing all the math. What kept me from buying it instantly is the rock-solid belief that other people’s math is not to be trusted. It is not like I can write to her and ask “Are you a moronic twit who publishes patterns that are completely worthless?” Obviously tact would require that to be rephrased, but essentially, that is what I want to know. Can someone vouch for that particular pattern? Has anyone bought anything off her website and are her PDFs hinky?

In the meantime, I started working on a hat, top-down, from the Spunky “Hotrod” superwash merino that I spun up very thick and soft. 

December 31, 2007

done! I finished the first handspun hat!

Filed under: hat, knit — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:56 pm

I am completely amazed with myself. I had one yard of yarn left over after finishing the top of the hat. My decreases were not rushed, but I managed to create a semi-flat top. (I couldn’t tell you what I did exactly, but I decreased rarely and frequently in alternating rows. That works really well for me when I want to avoid that weird conehead effect.) This is the regular old roll-brim hat.

first handspun hat

The color is awesome, but that is entirely due to the yarn. Yarn that I spun. Okay, sure, it was fiber I just bought, not like I ranched the sheep myself and laboriously carded the wool. I did not even dye this, but I am still completely thrilled.

I have not had a new hat for me in 4 years. There are no good photos yet because the flash does not do the colors justice. (That is the yarn if you look at this blog’s header image, taken with a flash, it just looks gray, but it is blue, green, gray, with a bit of pink to it; it was a heathered blend merino roving I bought at a show.)

December 29, 2007

today’s progress

Filed under: hat, knit, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:15 pm

Most assuredly, back-end things that make this blog more of an interactive venture do not count toward fiber progress, but it adds something to my experience. I figured out how to add other people’s blogs to the “blogroll” and more importantly, I added all of them to the Google Reader, so I do not suffer while keeping up with everyone’s postings.

From a knitting standpoint, I actually have demonstrable progress on the handspun hat for me. It is the standard roll brim hat, but thick handspun will not be well suited to a complicated pattern or texture. I finished at least a dozen rounds. Having this well-started will help for the knitting group meeting tomorrow. I was dreading not having anything to be working on that would allow me to talk without cursing.

On the spinning front, I finished the rest of the December fiber club singles. I still need to chain ply that, but it is still closer than it was.

December 24, 2007

knitting with handspun, first

Filed under: hat, knit — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:49 am

I finally cast on with some of my own handspun yarn. It was my fourth third skein. The yarn is a bit thick for the hat-size circular needles I have. I have it in mind that I should run right out and buy some 12s in that friendly 16″ length.

Knitting with my own handspun yarn has been extremely satisfying. The fiber it came from cost about half what the equivalent yarn would have done, and the yarn would have been about half again as small as the skein I spun. There are thick and thin spots, for sure, as anyone might expect from it being only my fourth skein ever, but since it is plied yarn, it is not experiencing catastrophic failure.

I have very little done so far, just 4 rounds. But it is really nifty to be making something from the yarn itself.

Oh, and I did not say this before, but handspun yarn is way softer and nicer than most commercial yarns.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.