UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

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.

September 14, 2008

this week in spinning and knitting

Filed under: fiber, knit, spin — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:15 pm

I like how this mitt is coming out, even though I am “winging it” and even though there is that odd space for an extra thumb knuckle. Handspun from Ashland Bay merino “pinedale” top.


New fiber from Paradise Fibers, “bombay nights” which is one of their “microblends” of mohair+”wool”+sari silk. I think it looks like fireworks. Once I managed to find things and get them into my cart, I was really happy with the professional order handling from Paradise Fibers. If they had a less crippled search capability, and a more polished online storefront, they could be one of my favorite sources. But even knowing they had a black fiber with sari silk, I could not find this fiber again from a different computer. I had to go back to the browser history to find it (I literally had to IM myself the direct link). I love this stuff, so it was worth the headaches and I am thrilled that their back-end order fulfillment is so much better than their website’s search.

And last week, I said I had started spinning again after taking the entire summer off. This is the “Rose Bud” from the May 2008 Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. It is corriedale and I already loathe this yarn, I mentally tagged it “rose rot”.

January 7, 2008

The sun will come out, tomorrow.

Filed under: knit — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:53 am

The new super-bulky hat is almost done. Spunky Eclectic calls it “hotrod”, but I think it looks like a tropical sunrise. There is one problem… I need a bit more yarn.  I have been avoiding superwash yarn from the very beginning of my knitting endeavors and right now I have a completed hat and some white DK. I have some acrylic….

I had been hoping that the hat could be washable, so adding in some regular wool is not really an option. Anyway. I would not have wanted to try to bind off in that super-super bulky handspun (it got a bit fat toward the ends.) This really is not a huge trauma. If I got my act together and dyed the superwash DK, I might even be best pleased with the results.

No work on the “Endpaper Mitts” (still at that first row of colorwork). No spinning done.

Yes, I realize that this would be more interesting with pictures. Yes, I skipped the summary.

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 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.

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