UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

January 2, 2010

New Year, new projects. Old successes.

Filed under: discussion, equipment, fiber, patterns, project lists, spin, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:46 pm

Recently spun yarns:

From Fiber Club
purple yarn (one ply angora+merino, one ply Falkland for the main yarn, n-plied and wrapped for the two smaller side skeins– 4oz total)


From CMF
turquoise yarn (“Avalon” CMF Corriedale pencil roving, 8oz 2ply in 2 skeins.)


From yarn school fiber
calico yarn (3 ply alpaca: tri-color roving from Alpacas in Wildcat Hollow)


From Fiber Club From fiber dye
Robin Hood (2ply overdye SW BFL)

New Year’s Eve, I cleared my yarn area. I pulled things I was never going to finish off the needles and put everything away in the tubs. There was some squishing required, but everything still fits. (That is the limit. 4 small tubs for yarn, 2 big tubs for roving, 1 under-bed storage for overflow… anything else has to be turned into a finished object.)

I found the sock I started last March. It is feasible to finish it soon because I had already finished the heel turn. The mate will need to be made, but that was worth rescuing.

The pillow front is still on the needles, despite needing 2 more rounds tinked.


New Year’s Day I started a new project, leg warmers for me. The yarn is 2-ply bulky from 8oz of “12th Planet” CMF BFL. Its a nice sort of brown purple colorway.  I think I am going to base these on the “Tree Trunk” pattern which is a straight tube with cables on a knit field. I want mine shaped though.

I measured my leg. 11 inches from ankle to knee. I then put tick marks every inch. Then measured around with a measuring tape. So I cast on and my number is 48. I figure I should have 8 repeats of 3×3 cable around. Then  after the increase, there will be 4×3 cable, then 4×4, and so on. At the biggest circumference, I will have 6×6 cables.

I added an inch of horizontal ease so it can go over jeans. And I plan to pretend my row gauge is more like 8.5 instead of the 7 I really get. That way these should have a little bagginess. Cuffs at the ankle and knee, possibly with a lace edging to be added afterward.

Today I also started a replacement cabled cowl. It is kkpp 3×3 pkkp 3×3 ppkk. Same cable idea. Using Knitpicks Gloss Heavyweight yarn, which is about Aran weight. 4sts/inch 6rows/inch using #9 needles.


I need another row on my abacus. I want one where there is a fat bead every fourth row. Maybe I just need an abacus where the beads can be interchanged and a big box of beads.

If I can find a new abacus frame, I will most certainly buy bird-shaped beads for this cable pattern (and feather-and-fan) so it goes, “Duck, duck, duck, GOOSE!”

My current abacus frame is a rectangle of wood with beaded wires just wrapped around the edges to hold them in place. The wires cannot be bent and unbent without self-destructing. There is a crossways wire to be the Rubicon. It is a tight horizontal wire threaded under the bead wires and beads have to be lifted over it.  That means if I drop the abacus, I do not lose my place. It is entirely functional with 3 bead wires. I have one wire with alternating big/little beads which I use to keep track of which kind of fancy row I am on. Then I have digits counters (10 medium beads on one, 10 little beads on the other: tens and ones digits). Sliding the beads is fun and does not require both hands unlike those little twisty row counters. Row counters are not useful if you resent having to use them.  I need one more row to count the frequency of fancy rows, but that changes from pattern to pattern.

Speaking of which, when you have chosen a cable, how do you tell how often to execute it? Like my 3×3 cable, is that every fourth row as shown in Knitting In The Old Way or was some of the chart omitted? Most of the examples were 2×2 cables and were every fourth row. I asked a friend who said a good rule of thumb was spacing equal to the number of stitches in the cable. (Which is going to make those legwarmers even more complicated!)

Back to the abacus. I think I could make a travel one with seed beads and coil-less safety pins. That would be a fun project right there.

Now I am going to stop and actually go find the pictures to add. 2010 really needs to be the year of the much more streamlined photo blogging procedure.

September 5, 2008

Colors May Be Different On Your Monitor

Filed under: knit, project lists, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 4:41 pm

How do most people buy yarn? On a bad day, I will freely admit that I took up spinning so I never had to go to another LYS again. It does not work that way for me because my knitting skills really are not up to dealing with amateur handspun yarn… or rather I can only knit basic things from handspun.

I am looking at making a cabled mitten and I have every intention of buying yarn for that. When I am dealing with any new pattern, I usually make it from a commercial yarn first. That way when there is a problem with the results, I have eliminated one variable. Then I can attempt to determine whether the problem is with the pattern or with the knitter.

Today I fell in love with a sweater pattern, Francis Revisited. So I decided I would buy some yarn for it. Well, I would be buying rather a lot of yarn for it because the largest sizes want 1100 yards of worsted-weight alpaca. I know what color I want to make it in— there is a particular hue between blue and purple that rocks my world in a medium shade. I found that Mountain Colors appears to have several colorways that seem to replicate this and they have an alpaca blend in worsted weight.

I am not sure how I found this yarn, but I know I looked at Dream In Color because Seedless Grape recommended it for a hat I am making, but nothing DIC has was what I wanted for a me-sweater. So I started looking to see who sold Mountain Colors online, The Loopy Ewe does, but they have no worsted weight yarn at all. Paradise Fibers sells it, but the pictures were itty bitty. So I looked at the MC website and their colorway pictures are not done for each yarn, they have colorway pictures which are done in a hodgepodge of their yarn lines. So it is extremely difficult to tell what the colorways I was considering would look like in a non-boucle yarn… plus they do not have swatches knit up. I thought to myself, that if I needed to see the colors in person to choose, then I should see if they have LYS carrying their brand. They do, but their listing is massively outdated, 3 defunct stores are still listed and 4 new stores are not (but they might not carry it).

I looked at the store ratings on Yelp and called the highest rated one which mentions Mountain Colors specifically in their products. They only have it in sock weight and ribbon. The woman on the phone was very honest and said they had limited color selection. She kindly recommended another store, but the reviews said that store was overpriced. On the plus side, it was worth calling them because I now know of a yarn store with free parking and air conditioning. Most yarn stores around here say they have street parking, but what they mean is that there is a street, not that there is parking. There is a store less than a mile from my home and it took me 25 minutes to park near there. I could have walked in that time. When I got there, they did not have fingering weight yarn without nylon in any solid colors. I have not been back.

When I started knitting, I started with acrylic from Michaels. I visited a few yarn stores after I had been knitting for a few years, because it took that long for reality to catch up with me. (I started before the knitting trend gained popularity.) But the stores near me were not for regular people. I have been ignored in an empty store while at the counter waiting to purchase until a woman in designer heels comes in and is helped but points to me and says “This lady was here first.” The first major non-acrylic yarn purchase came from Knitpicks.com after a friend vouched for them. Generally, since I make mostly small size projects, I have been sustaining myself with single-ball purchases. I can tolerate the horrible discrimination I experience in LYSs when I am a “looky loo” who is not really buying anything. But my experience in LYSs says if I want a sweater’s worth of yarn, I had better order online, because otherwise I will be paying the retail premium and still having to wait for it because stores just do not stock a dozen 50g balls in the same colorway and dyelot. And usually the store does not have the color I would want in stock, so chances are the store would have me looking at website pictures to choose what I wanted to order and I can do that from home.

It might sound strange that going to a yarn store in person was one of my last options. If I had found something wonderful from Knitpicks, I would have just ordered it.

I did find some nifty black spinning fiber from Paradise Fibers while I was attempting to look for the Mountain Colors yarn.

*there was a long pause*

The current plan is to give up on ordering Mountain Colors yarn because the resulting projects on Ravelry and Google Image Search in “Winter Sky” are not what I was wanting. I am wanting a yarn in an “indigo” color that is about halfway between pastel and dark, preferably a non-solid variant.

(This is #6600ff)


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