UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

January 11, 2011

status reports and new ideas

Filed under: project lists — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:18 pm

I bought rubber feet for my loom. I am hoping that I will resent it less when I do not have to be quite so careful how it is placed. I also received my copies of Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving and The Weaver’s Idea Book. This might help somewhat in terms of less struggling with the concepts of weaving and how those concepts affect technique.

I have also been considering whether I would prefer indirect warping. The direct warping is a pain in the head, back, rear, and feet. Plus the results are mediocre due to the differences between a tied warp strand and a looped warp strand. I own an Oregon Woodworker swift, the mounted versions of which are recommended as warping boards. I have been mentally running through how long of a warp I could construct with two sets of pegs, but I think I might have to measure.

My hair has been shortened from the icon. (The icon is not me, despite the representative nature of my tendency to hold onto spare DPNs by putting them in my hair, up my sleeve, or through my sweater.) I am really cold without my insulating fur. Can someone recommend a style of hat that might compensate? I’m wearing a stretchy lace cowl today, but it scrunches up too much. Maybe I should dig out the turtlenecks instead?

Immediately after posting this, someone on my Rav friends list faved, the Lady Jessica Cowl (direct), Rav link. I happen to have 110 loops of 5 foot diameter handspun 3-ply worsted BFL (dyed by Lisa Souza) just waiting for this project. (Google’s math says that is about 180 yards.)

There has been very little progress on the Phantom Phonebooth socks, despite their presence right next to the remote control in front of the TV.

I have not made any progress rebuilding the Halfaquin sweater that I frogged. There is time for all this, but I seem to allow it to be sucked down into flash games, sending random emails to friends, and cooking. But the cooking has been nice to have done.

February 7, 2009

Various updates on the weekend

Filed under: knit, socks, spin, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:10 pm

[[All pictures can be clicked to view larger.]]

New sock yarn purchased… It looks mediocre compared to the Pagewood Farm, which I thought was pretty mediocre. But this was the best of the sock yarns at my nearest LYS. I do not agree with their categorizations of yarn; if it is 2-ply and 100% merino and loosely spun, it does not matter if it is the same fingering gauge, it cannot be sock yarn. They have not heard of cabled yarns. Next time I will see if the shuttle is launching soon enough to put me into orbit around Saturn where maybe I can see if Purlescence lives up to its reputation? I hate that I had to pay for parking to visit the LYS here and I had more information than they did. Plus I was like the only one there, so I felt obliged to buy something.

New sock yarn from LYS ($23 sale price with tax) 450 yards “100% wool” (it says superwash on the back of the tag) 3-ply [1.5] yarn:

Old sock yarn from Knitpicks (4 balls Essential, $16 total, superwash merino+ nylon (75/25) 800+ yards, [1.5] yarn):


“Candy Butter” progress. I divided the lump of fiber into 2. Then I divided one half into 4. I spun 2, then plied them (first quarter). Now I have the remaining 2 spun into singles. I will ply them today, and then ply both the 2-ply yarns together. I will end up with 3.5 ounces of 2×2-ply yarn. It will probably be thicker than sock weight because I am not very good at spinning finely.

Picture of the first quarter (2-ply), then the second quarter which are single ply (and were plied this morning). Please excuse the really horrible winding on the 2-ply bobbin. I dropped it and it rolled away.

One thing this project has done, my fine gauge spinning has improved. I put my wheel into the largest ratio whorl and I just zip through it. Since nothing can happen to this that will make it any uglier than the color started out being, I am not being uptight about my spinning and that really helps. 


Raspberry Friday Sock progress. I have finished 4.5 repeats (the pattern started right past the toe). The pattern is 18 rows high. I figure I will need another 1.5 repeats before it looks sock-height. Then I get to start the second one.


I ordered that Estonian Lace book that everyone raves over. It took 2 months to get here. I am hoping it really inspires me for my Siduri. That is the name for the Source of Gilgamesh yarn’s project. I should really wash that yarn. 

I requested a motif dictionary from the local library. I went on Monday, but right before they unloaded the books from other branches. I meant to go one of the other days but my priorities shifted. Plus I was peeved that they had been open for 2 hours and still had not unloaded the bags, but by the time I got home, the email saying I should come get the book was waiting for me.

November 27, 2008

Moss Balls, Books, Blue Cowls

Filed under: spin — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:13 pm

I have a decent handle on the spinning now. I know when I am doing well and I know how to deal with errors.  So. The next step is where someone can explain how to wind a ball of skeined handspun yarn without it taking 2 hours. I started at 4:50 pm and it is 6:40 now, I got 8 ounces into 2 balls. But I spent at least 35 minutes untangling knots. I need a third hand too. When I am winding with the left hand, tensioning/guiding with the right hand (because the built-in guide does a horrible job) the swift is spun by the ball winder. This creates really tight yarn balls that are hard to knit from. If I have someone else cranking and guiding the yarn while I spin the swift, that works quite well. Maybe this is why people want grandchildren? Someone young enough that turning a crank is still fun in and of itself. 

I think that “Stonehenge” colorway has a yarn name. I want to call it “Moss in the Dark”.

I read two knitting related books today. I bought them two months ago and only now did I open them. Franklin Habit’s It Itches. The art is less crisp than his online comics, which I thought was less appealing. Some of the comics were less appealing as well because they appeared to be about regular people instead of his characters. Humor stops being funny if it cuts too close. As a spiky personalitied person, many things cut me that would not bother others who have stayed well within the mold. Hey! I could have a contest! Let me send you a book I didn’t like! Yeah! That will be fun! I am sure you are all clamoring to email me your physical addresses. 

The other book I read today was Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I got this because I wanted to know  where BrooklynTweed was getting his ideas. It was phenomenal. Probably the best practical knitting book I have read. It talks about how many “tips and tricks” found in other books were derived. It shows the kinds of methodologies used by various ethnicities of knitting. It explains how to do different types of sleeves and how to attach them. This was the book I wanted 3 years ago. It tells you again what parameters should shape your knitting, but then encourages you to find your own specific pattern. “This is how to do a neck yoke. These are common motifs found in Norwegian and Swedish yokes. Here is an intarsia yoke that is completely different, so you can see how to find your own way. This is the methodology behind Bohus yokes.” But the best part was the explanation about how to purl without bringing the yarn to the front! 

[“Bring the yarn to the front” is my most hated part of knitting. I know most of it is residual anger from when I learned out of books and, of more than 20 books found at my local library, exactly none of them shows which way to bring the yarn to the front. Topologically there are 16 ways, so this is not exactly trivial. It is my deep-set belief that people do not dislike purling, they dislike the alternation between knit and purl stitches because no one bothers to explain that the yarn always moves between the needles, so “bring the yarn to the back” to knit the next stitch will be like a football field goal where the ball is kicked between the posts and over the crossbar to be good.] 

Spinning-wise, I finished the first third of my singles from the blue merino+silk fiber. I want to make a 3-ply yarn. I am thinking about knitting something kind of like Romi’s “Ice Queen” which is a (Knitty pattern) lacy feather-and-fan cowl with beads. I would obviously skip the beads. (Though I wonder if beading the face rimming edge would help hold it in place?) I kind of want it to be like Franklin’s mom’s mobius which was a floofy thing. My yarn is going to end up a lot thicker than the laceweight mohair in both of these examples though. 

No knitting yet today.

January 22, 2008

hibernating is for bears.

Filed under: knit, overhead, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 9:19 pm

My Knitpicks order arrived today with no problems. I like that they shipped it USPS because it was waiting for me.

It is very cold here. I am wearing my alpaca scarf. Yes, inside. I made it from Knitpicks Decadence. And it really did feel decadent because I bought 8 balls and made a rainbow scarf. So it cost $50 for this scarf. Yes, I still have the other half ball in each color, but until I use it, all the cost goes on this project. I did not really like the Decadence yarn. It is very soft but does not feel good next to my skin. I found the skeins to be a bear to wind and the 2-ply yarn to split unless great care was taken. But Knitpicks discontinued it, so my review matters not.

I was talking about spinning fiber sources with Seedless Grape recently and I really think I lucked into the best deal going with Spunky Eclectic. There exist cheaper places, but most of them only take paypal, plus Boogie is just awesome. I am starting to anticipate the January Spunky Fiber Club shipment. However, should you have a great source of intensely colored (fully prepared) fiber, please do consider commenting either here or via the form.

I found a shawl book. Wrapped In Comfort by Alison Jeppson Hyde. It is a whole book of part-circular shawls. It is also inexpensive. I wrote a letter to the author thanking her for writing exactly what I had been looking for (for a year now) and she was very gracious. ETA: I actually bought this book. It will arrive shortly. It will be my fifth purchased knitting book. All the others have been borrowed from the library and returned without qualm.

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