UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

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”.

March 8, 2008

polls rigmaroles jogs and bags

Filed under: knit, project lists — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:46 pm

I am in search of a new project. I would like to poll my audience, but I make no promises that I will actually complete a suggested project.

I have a hat owing, but it could wait until winter.

Jimmy Beans Wool has odd-ball Lorna’s Laces on sale, but they are out of worsted weight. [ETA: After browsing the sale collection… I want more of that yarn even though I have not knit any of it yet from my stash. I would really want a ball winder if I bought a sweater’s or shawl’s worth of yarn. I keep putting off buying a ball winder because I hate the plastic ones everyone has (and I do not have a table to clamp it to) but I do not want to spend $200+shipping for one of the Nancy’s Knit Knacks winders.]

I found the most adorable purse. I do not have an appropriate yarn in my stash in sufficient quantities… I suppose I could order some Cascade or something. (No point in using nice yarn for a felted project. The suggested Malabrigo is a waste.) There is only one problem. What would I do with it? I personally am not a purse woman. Everything I need fits in my pockets. If I am bringing knitting along, chances are I will not be able to get that into a purse anyway or I would want to change projects, so it would need its own bag.

I keep drifting back to the vest idea. That is definitely what I want for me most of all. I am less wowed by the “More Stripes” pattern if I am not making a striped version— and I don’t want to make a striped version on a ribbed texture because I would feel obligated to go through the rigmarole to avoid the stripe jogs.

[ETA: I did a swatch of the 4×1 ribbing for “More Stripes” in KnitPicks “Bare” heavy worsted. I got a horizontal gauge that is a bit larger, but the row gauge is spot on using size 7 needles. The horizontal gauge is actually off enough that I am just going to knit the next size smaller. I plan to do the swatch with the Lorna’s Laces “Baltic Sea” worsted later/tomorrow. I am a little concerned because the pattern suggests size 5 needles to get that gauge, which is more in line with a sport/DK weight yarn no matter what the Noro people call it. My sweater might end up being too thick. I suppose I could order more yarn…. I could buy 6 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport. I am afraid I will be knitting for 2 years though. How does Noro Silk Garden compare to Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted? I looked at the yarndex.com zoomed detail view, but it is difficult to tell how zoomed those images are.]

I have yet to ply the first two bobbins of “Mahogany”. I plied the first two bobbins of the “Mahogany” BFL. It is not really a [4] yarn. I have some hopes that it will fluff during washing, but right now it is a [2]. I usually leave plied yarn on the bobbin at least overnight before skeining and there is no point in taking pictures of the bobbin.

Then I started thinking about how a vest is constructed. I am asking myself why there are no vest patterns that are made from variable-width scarves (wide at the two ends, narrow in the middle for the shoulder strap part) that are seamed together in appropriate places. It seems like it might work out, though possibly better for a man’s size since their shoulders do not narrow as much. If it got saggy, some reinforcing could be added.

I have stopped wanting to knit a vest sideways because I am certain that the stretch would be very unattractive in a short amount of time. My sideways-knit scarf that was 8 feet long when it was freshly knitted is now close to 12 feet. So there is a reason why people in-the-know do not do that.

A bit of administrivia, I get email notification of all comments. There is no clear way for me to reply to comments, since there is no threading. I sometimes comment and indicate, but I know no one else gets notified. Sorry about that. There is nothing I can do without finding a new blogging service. It means this tends not to be a “discussion” as much as me pontificating. Your email address is not exposed to the world, but if you leave a real one, I sometimes remember to paste in my reply via email also. And I have emailed people privately.

March 3, 2008

Grist for the mill settles from the dregs.

Filed under: fiber, knit, project lists, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:53 pm

There is a small problem with announcing the onset of a new project: the dread that someone out there in the audience will be expecting progress. I had yarn issues and decided to find another project.

This is the nadir state of my creative cycle. I do not  know what I want to make. I have several ideas for things. Mittens for a friend, hat for a sister-in-law. I could be making a matching mitt for me, so I could have warm hands without the 1980s calling and saying they want their Michael Jackson costume back. I could be finishing the tropical colored hat that just does not want to knit up right. And I want to make a vest for myself.

I have the vest pattern chosen, the “More Stripes” by Amy King. It requires steeking, and I have not done that, but it does not seem especially difficult despite being quite scary. I could, in theory, use a sewing machine, which would probably help hold things together a lot more than my haphazard hand sewing. There are also crochet steek techniques. I am sure I can come up with something.

I started spinning the yarn for my vest. I have 8 ounces of “Mahogany” BFL from Spunky Eclectic. That really is an awesome colorway. I should have ordered more of it though. I am very concerned that I will not have enough to make the whole vest. I decided I would continue to spin it as it is going, which is a pretty consistent [1] single. I am getting a pretty consistent ply that is about [3.5] when washed. The pattern suggests I will want 440 yards in each of two colors and I think that might be tough for me to get from 8 ounces when it is handspun.

There is a post pending about my revised spinning technique. I had been hunching over my proto-yarn, pinching along and drafting out gobbets of fiber pulled between both hands. I got very consistent results, but the yarn was so dense I would struggle to get a hundred yards of [4] yarn when washed and plied from a 4-ounce braid. I learned to sit back, to actually draft with the back hand, and to pull+twist a single with a lot more air to it. I am easily getting twice the yardage from the same amount of fiber and it takes less work. It still takes twice as long to do the after-treatments of plying and skeining, but the end result seems more useful.

I have two skeins of Lorna’s Laces worsted too; I think they would make a great vest, but that is really minimum on the yardage since my previous vest was about 500 yards of [6] bulky.

Still, just discussing this here makes me feel more enthusiastic. There will be pictures later, at least of the “Mahogany” yarn.

Oh, and I finished spinning the 80/20 merino+silk Tempted brand roving (colorway “Roxane”). It is plied and awaiting a wash and skeining. I did not see any difference added by the silk. I have read a lot of people talking about how difficult they find the spinning of 80/20 merino/silk blends, but most of them are looking to spin and ply lace or fingering weight yarns. Merino is too short of a staple length to really do  a shiny-smooth laceweight from, in my opinion. The silk helps with the shine, but I thought this was a DK weight at most, and it would be better at worsted. I did think the drafting was fine and the color penetration by the Tempted dyer was good. The colorway was uninspired. I admit to doing a quick and dirty job on this. I think my yarn will end up being a heavy-worsted [5] or so. I just wanted it done.

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