UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

December 25, 2009

Finished gift.

Filed under: knit, toy — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:32 pm

This is my chocolate bunny.

November 30, 2009

You are a blockhead.

Filed under: knit, project lists — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:32 pm

Today I finished my first real blocking project. I have washed and blocked things before, but not a lace project, not a stockinette-field lace project.

I laid it out on top of a flannel pillowcase on top of a towel on my carpeted floor. Then I stretched moderately and pinned each corner and each midpoint. Then I stretched again and pinned that, so the spread was almost 50% more than the first time. I proceeded to pin the midpoints between each pin until the smiles and frowns were tiny and could be ignored.

It should be dry in just a few hours because it is stretched so hard.

Pin blocking sucks. Just so you know. It takes about a bazillion pins just for a neckwarmer. As soon as the button is attached (after it is dry), the gift will be completed.

That means I have completed it before December 1.


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.

January 31, 2009

Socks and Squee

Filed under: discussion, knit, socks — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:55 am

Raspberry Friday Socks proceed apace. There was a lot of discussion on [a famous blog] about how patterned socks go faster than plainwork socks. I was skeptical, but I am a believer now. Not to mention how awesome the fancy socks are when they are done. There is no questioning point where you ask yourself, “Could I have just bought these in a store?” 

The Rav project says I started on the 25th. I did not really start the actual knitting until the 27th. I have finished 2/3 of the first sock. There is some urgency because when I admitted I wanted more sock yarn, my husband said, “Make another pair, then you can order whatever you still want.” This was good advice because I have a better idea about the diversity in sock yarn. And also because I had a chance to look around more. Now I am looking at nicer sock yarns. Obviously, since I only need 100g, I could afford the silk blends… 

A friend (seedlessgrape) turned me toward Sundara Yarns. If someone has tried their fingering silky merino, I would love to have a reference as to its thickness. Knitpicks Essential and Knitpicks Imagination yarns have the exact same suggested gauge, but in my experience it was 9sts/in on #0 for the Essential and 8sts/in on #1 (and it probably should have been 7.5 on #2, but with a 2-ply I wanted it knitted tight. ) And my current Pagewood Farm yarn says the same suggested gauge, but knits at about 7sts/in. (I am knitting it on #1s, but loosely and still getting. 7.5 ish.) So there is a wide range and the suggested gauge is random.

I am not certain I want to order from Sundara because there is just too much competition. I know it is a hand-dyed product, but a lot of the time it seems like places could hire some help and not have artificial shortages. Usually if I have to fight for a chance to buy something, I would rather shop elsewhere. This is true at the farmers’ market, it was true of fiber sellers. It seems like I could find something I like proportionately as well but there is enough to go around and a successful purchase will not come with a heaping scoop of guilt. If I get lucky enough to buy a Sundara yarn, (which currently has 4 months of look-ahead hype and a 3 month delivery timeframe and they sell out in under a week once the new colors are opened for purchase) I am denying someone else the chance. I am being selfish in a bad way because my success hurts someone else.

I can buy undyed similar yarn from Paradise Fibers for about half the price. I suck at dyeing, but Paradise Fibers will not send my yarn with free Guilt Trip tickets. That would be why I stopped buying from Spunky Eclectic, in case you were wondering…. the month she hyped the new colorway of the month for 2 weeks and it sold out in under 10 minutes, I was just gone. There were hundreds of people clamoring on the Rav group and they were all so disappointed. I could not imagine having gotten some while all those people were so upset. I would not even want it any more after I saw that. I looked, and worse yet? I did not even like it. It did not seem like the kind of thing that would have been popular without the extraordinary difference between supply and perceived demand. Popularity sells yarn. The more seemingly popular something is, the better people think it must be, so the more they want some. And the more popular something is, the harder it is to get some, the more people want their share of it. Which drives the cycle. There is not always a positive correlation between perceived quality and actual quality either. 

I like my dyers successful enough to stay in business, but not so overwhelmingly popular that the whole thing implodes. 

I also came up with the sock-knitters extreme project. I want Fair Isle OTKs. Not for the next project. It is a sort of goal project. “By next winter, I want to be experienced enough to make myself Fair Isle kneesocks.”  I might actually work on that… I have a Shetland fiber sampler I was intending to spin for Fair Isle mittens. I do not know why I thought I might want mittens, but I could really come up with something fabulous, idea-wise, and do my own motifs. I would have a gray-scale version of Fair Isle… I could really, really enjoy that.

January 1, 2009

Epic of Yarnpire

Filed under: knit, project lists, scarf, spin, stuff, yarn — Tags: , , , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:21 pm

¡Happy New Year!

I keep planning to add things to the projects page on Ravelry but not quite getting around to it. I usually have pictures of everything before it goes out the door as a gift, but… I only seem to upload the ones I finished since I started using Ravelry. 

I should include pictures of the bent scarf, but it is a gift for my MIL and I would like it to be a surprise. The pictures are uploaded so if you want to look, help yourself. Keep in mind that it has not been blocked and I fully expect the blocking to beautify it. 100% llama yarn, semi-felted single, bought ages and ages ago before I knew what makes a good yarn.

 I got a new knitting bag. Of course I never go anywhere so who knows why I got it. But we were at the World of Goods warehouse sale and how could I possibly pass up a purple batik bag for $5? I do really like it. It is almost perfect. It would be a better knitting bag if it stood up on its own, if I was sure of the handles’ durability, and if the inside was not black. I can possibly add a cardboard insert to help the freestanding. And if the handles fall off a $5 bag, I am not out too much money. 



I cast on for my sweater. The yarn is absolutely brilliant in this. It looks better cast on in the sweater than it did skeined or balled. I am wavering on whether I should frog and start again. I did a long-tail cast-on and it looks horrid. I also managed to be a little confused on whether I was going to be using the #6 or #8 needles. But I did start on it. I much prefer the fabric to the #6 swatch, but the body will take about 22500 stitches compared to 15000. That is a huge difference in work and the #8 swatch looks tolerable. I will take some pictures before I frog. I might do a sleeve first. I should definitely take pictures, but eh.

Project-wise, my schedule cleared up a little. The February date for the Woodland Shawl has been put off. I am now doing that for me and I want to do lacework in the summer. It might end up being something that is put up for adoption, but I am knitting it because I want to knit it and there is no pressure.

Currently the plans are spinning for my rainy day scowl. Coming up with a project plan/pattern for the scowl. And sweater. And sucking it up and using the sock yarn that taunts me daily. (“I am an adult, sock knitting is not too hard. I will master it. And then I will have an entire repertoire of woolly socks and my feet will never be cold again!”)

I have decided that I am extremely funny and should have a job naming things. For example:

 I have named “Knave of Hearts, Jack of All Spades”.





The new (proto)yarn, I want to call “Mood Indiglo” but I suspect I would get a lot of complaints from Timex and Billy Joel’s attorneys. It may end up being something like “cobalt cutin” for the dust that appears on blueberries and grapes. Today’s research suggests the Epic of Gilgamesh was written on lapis lazuli tablets… so I am leaning toward “Source of Gilgamesh”.

December 28, 2008

Project progress

Filed under: knit, project lists — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:38 pm

I am almost done with a whatever you call a shaped scarf meant to be worn indoors as a decorative thing. It is not for me. I know I am almost done because I am almost out of yarn. I combined that mitered corner idea (double-decrease at the diagonal) to make a U shape thing. I am making it out of garter stitch because the only time I have done this was for that EZ pattern, and I know the corner is the proper 90 degree angle when done every other row on garter stitch. I found a ball of navy blue llama wool in Aran weight. I know I planned to use it with something else, but I bought it years ago, so repurposing is a good idea, especially since I cannot remember what I wanted.

I found a ball of white raw silk. I could come up with some lacy design and make a buttoned neck wrap thing. That will require some thinking.

Next on the stack is a mobius ring from fawn alpaca. Well, maybe. I know I do not want something made from that and I need a neck warming thing a lot more than I need to make gifts.  Plus the recipient is the one who was getting that Woodland shawl (there are several with that name, but it’s the Nikol/cupcake one). That seems like it might be overly ambitious. 

I have not made any progress on my sweater. I talked myself out of the helix idea because of the hassle and because after I sketched it, I realized it would just look striped and horizontal stripes are not very attractive. I think I could come up with a way to visibly spiral something using short rows, but that seems like biting off way more than I can chew knitting-wise. For making the ordinary sweater, well, I just need to start on it. 

No spinning progress. I found an end on the bobbin with the catastrophically broken single, but am still very bummed. 

The hand things and hat were well received. And now I can show them off here.

December 27, 2008

Tom’s Helix

Filed under: knit — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:31 am

I came up with them most glorious idea. 

I read in Grumperina’s blog ( here and  here) about helix stripes. (I have since stopped reading her blog because this was an apparent anomaly.) 

I have 4 4-ounce balls of “moss in the dark” yarn and 2 4-ounce balls of  “cadberry“. (clickable thumbnails respectively)

If I helix striped a sweater (4::1, mitd::c), I would have an extra ball of yarn, plus some that could be used for the cuffs and hems if needed. I would minimize the pooling by using several balls of main color (and pooling in this case would be a bigger deal gauge-wise than color-wise because it is handspun) . It seems really ideal.

Until I think about knitting a 240-stitch around sweater while managing 5 balls of yarn. 

Obviously whitewashing this here fence is the bestest and most funnest thing to do on a summer’s day. But I, Tom Sawyer, do heartily swear that ya’ll will love helix striping a sweater just as much as for a winter’s day pastime. 

I guess I need to get bitten by a radioactive [genetically altered] octopus.

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