UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

March 12, 2010

I am making a list, you should check it twice.

Filed under: discussion, knit, lace, project lists, stuff — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 7:49 pm
  • Pictures are still owing. I hate posting pictures. I know pictures are what sells this. But there has to be an easier way than my dozen-step process.
  • I have new spinning. I should enpicture that too. I finished 8 ounces of CMF BFL. It is three-ply. It looks like twilight (but not Twilight) or a thunderstorm. I tried for different weights of singles. I had one bobbin that would make fingering, one that wavered between lace and fingering, and one that is sport or worsted.
  • I have started and frogged Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail shawl. I am using the Madelinetosh sock that was given to me by a friend. It waited and taunted me because I needed a worthy project. I love the motif in the Swallowtail. It looks like little turtles. I am unkeen on the triangle shape for myself, but assuredly someone will want this. And I really want to make it.

    (I sent the friend that skein of SW BFL sock yarn from CMF that I had been so upset by. She moved and I called it a housewarming present. She likes itty bitty yarn, so I was not even giving bad gifts. Or so I thought.)

  • There was a request to publicize the Oakland Fiber Festival that Piedmont Yarn is putting on. It is being held June 27 (that is a Sunday) from 10am to 4pm at Splashpad Park. I was not able to find a website mentioning it, so no links, but it is a real thing. They are looking for vendors and artists and guilds to participate and asked that people call them. Posting is on the Bay Area Knitters and Bay Area Spinners groups on Ravelry.
  • Can someone personally recommend a spinning guild? Other than Spindles and Flyers? I went to one S&F meeting and it did not work out.
  • I am needing of a local (Oakland) source for bulk flours. Especially whole grain flour. Or somewhere that has larger quantities of oat and rye flour than the 1 pound plastic sacks from Bob’s Red Mill.

December 24, 2009

Status report.

Filed under: knit, spin — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:17 am

Let me see. I feel like I finished knitting all the holiday stuff. Some of it went over so well that I got requests when I brought show and tell to knitting group.

I have been spinning. I spun 8 oz of “Avalon” corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms (bought during the recent sale, for $17.60 plus shipping). It is a bulky-weight yarn and I am very pleased. This is far nicer corriedale than I have ever seen before.

I spun the purple fiber club shipment, with the 2oz of Falkland and 2oz of merino+angora. I plied that one single of each. There was leftover Falkland, so I wrapped some of it from a sparkly batt sample a friend gave me. The rest was Navajo plied. I had spun the Falkland looking for ~sport-weight yarn. The merino+angora was spun for worsted-weight. Normally I do not have that large of a mismatch from equal weights of fiber. But honestly, I struggle to spin merino very thinly. Merino has such a shorter staple-length compared to my usual fibers and I revert to inching along. Inching gets me puffier fiber that does not want to be twisted tightly.

I spun 2oz of tri-color alpaca roving from Alpacas in Wildcat Hollow. The tag gives the names of the animals whose fleece was shorn to make this roving. More VM than I am accustomed to, but an easy spin. It was so easy of a spin that I forgot to stop at the halfway point. I am trying to decide if I want to ply with a wool, if I want to n-ply, or if I should wind off onto another bobbin.

I have a ball of yarn on my desk now. It claims it wants to be a giraffe. I think I have a plan for how to construct a giraffe, so we might see if the yarn knows itself well.

No progress on the Mobius rainbow scarf thing. My enthusiasm waned after I botched the cast on and the yarn tried to melt during frogging. I have some n-plied coordinating yarn for the cast on edge now.

Some sweater progress. I have the first sleeve almost to yoke depth. The sleeve is provisionally cast on at a “short sleeve” length, so there is likely to be a lot more work remaining even after the second sleeve is ready to go. But the micro sweater I made (I am making a second one also) was good practice for the sleeve attachment and how to arrange round-neck yoke decreases. I feel like I know what I am doing.

I found the half finished sock from last February. I should finish those.

I found the needs-to-be-frogged sock toe in Mountain Colors’ Barefoot yarn. It was going to be that Wendy Johnson “Serpentine Sock” but will probably get converted to no-purl “Monkey”s even though I do not particularly like that motif. It is close to what I want and the socks will never get finished if there is purling in the texture. I am not against purling in general, but it bothers me in sock patterns. I am a very loose knitter. I loosen up even more in the transition between knit and purl normally. I have to fight my natural tension when knitting socks, constantly reminding myself to tighten up, but I do not think I could get it tight enough to compensate for the purl transition. Obviously this is not a huge problem structurally when there are already yarn-overs, but it really disturbs my mental retensioning.

My legs are cold. Wish my legwarmers had been ahead of the gifts, but since I shipped last Friday I would have regretted putting myself first.

Shipping notice on my spindle from Tracy Eichheim came Tuesday night. Tracking says it will be here today. I am sure there will be pictures of some of these things, but not today. ETA: arrived today (Thursday) afternoon. There will definitely be pictures.

Also ETA: predrafting the overdyed fiber from my recent dye experiments. I am incredibly abusive to my fiber, I managed to partially felt SW!

December 4, 2009

Lots of status update.

Filed under: fiber, I hate sewing, knit, project lists — Tags: , , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:39 am

The fiber club did not work out. PayPal hates me. It is mutual, so I do not feel slighted. PayPal refused to allow me to use my credit card for the transaction for no apparent reason.

This, however, did work out rather positively. Crown Mountain Farms announced a sale on BFL, SW Merino, Corriedale pencil roving, and some sock yarn. 20% off. That more than covered my shipping expenses. I like how their fiber spins up better than almost any other dyer. $20 for 8oz of hand dyed BFL is a good deal especially if you like that dye work. I got more fiber and spent less money than the club would have cost and I got to pick exactly what I wanted in which fibers.

I would have asked for the fiber club as a holiday gift, but, even though it was a good price/fair deal, overall it is too expensive to be a gift.  Family say I am as hard to buy for as my father ever was. I am an established, childless adult. If there is something I want, I buy it. If I have not bought it, there might be a reason I am waiting.

I solved my need for woolly socks in a hurry. I ordered from sock-dreams.com . I really like them and their service. They have great selections of kneesocks (and who wants to knit kneesocks when their feet are already cold?). There were no good woolly kneesock options, but shorter wool socks and cute cotton kneesocks were both ordered.

I got personally invited to the Knit-One-One show tomorrow. I imagine that I would like the space better if I was not planning to sit for a long time. Their chairs made me feel like a Peanuts character. A Verb For Keeping Warm is having a something tomorrow too. I might go to something but I suspect I will end up at the World of Good warehouse sale hunting for last minute gifts for people I have not seen in years and who do not like me. But better to shop than to waste knitting time.

I have knitted the legs and body of my elephant. The yarn I spun is ideal for this, I just have to say.  Today did not go well for other reasons and there was a time when I was laughing to myself remembering the song Hugh Jackman sang on Inside the Actors’ Studio about an acting job where he was the hind end of an elephant. One of the lines was about him winking at a pretty girl from the hole in the elephant’s bottom. My elephant is being knitted flat, so right now it feels like it is all hole and no bottom and certainly no elephant. But if you send Hugh Jackman, with advanced notice, I promise to finish it in time to hand it to him to autograph. (I am not serious about sending Hugh Jackman. That was supposed to be funny.)

The hand warmer issue was resolved with very little active effort on my part. A really nice pair of commercial socks (fair isle, soft!)  has enormous holes in the heels. It went from “thin” to “gone” in one washing. So I will be cutting and running them through the sewing machine to keep the edge from unraveling. Still 5-10 minutes is a good investment to have really cute things ready-to-use.

I am itching to start on the legwarmers because it has been frigid. I do not have enough hands for foreplay that I can expect to seduce the weather.

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.


November 24, 2009


Filed under: project lists — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:44 pm

I have my next project picked out. The queue is a little confused.

  • holiday project A,
  • (project V is completed and the picture post is set to publish 12/25)
  • holiday project D
  • Pillow – Maragheh (needs 2 more rounds tinked)
  • Leuca Sweater (stalled on sleeve 1, still need sleeve 2, yoke, finishing)
  • socks in a swirly pattern that was “Serpentine Socks” by Wendy Johnson until the errata irritated me. I need new woolly socks though, so I might just do another pair of Jigsaw ones. I am never buying the Knitpicks Imagination yarn again… the alpaca makes it felt.
  • Rainbow mobius (yarn spun, waiting for knitter)
  • Plain socks with the overdyed bamboo+ yarn. (halfway through sock one. bored. hate yarn.)
  • hand things so I can use my new laptop which has one of those hypersensitive touch pads.  No idea where the old ones have all gone. Possibly Lorna’s Laces blue/tan sport weight yarn.
  • cardigan vest from CMF BFL “Black Sun” (unspun, but in stash)
  • textured vest from black Wensleydale (no design chosen, just that is clearly what the yarn is meant to be.)
  • blue/purple vest– wanting it sort of swirly (no design chosen, no fiber in stash)
  • skull thing for husband ( who does not know what kind of thing he might use.)
  • and… the new thing!   leg warmers from the aran weight BFL yarn I spun from CMF “12th Planet”.

November 15, 2009

Queue the stunt rabbit!

Filed under: instructions, patterns, project lists — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:43 pm

I have successfully tinked 2 of the 4 lace rounds on my pillow. (Please insert cursing and animal noises here.) This was needful because of the error-riddled pattern which lacked corrections. Since I was the one who added it to Ravelry, obviously I cannot expect someone else to have annotated the problem there. [I did pause here and add an errata notice to the description of the pattern.] But I certainly did expect the publisher or author to have a modicum of pride and to acknowledge the mistakes.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for actually useful patterns. I have collected them and added them to my projects list. (Not the queue on Ravelry, I find that too frustrating to use until I have started something.)

Since then I have started on making a stuffed rabbit starting from this: http://bunnikins.livejournal.com/47512.html . It is not a complete pattern since it references: http://geobabe.livejournal.com/227621.html for assembly instructions. I knitted half the body and then frogged it because it was going to be too large.

It looks like I will be making a new sample project for my knitting group, make a rabbit from a square. A friend shared the instructions, which basically say to baste a triangle onto a knitted square, gather it, stuff this as the head. Sew the body seam most of the way closed, stuff, and use a crochet hook to pull a tuft of stuffing for the tail. (The triangle is oriented as if there was a diamond inside the square.)

That was what inspired me to look for more rabbity rabbit patterns.

November 6, 2009

New Project, pillow

Filed under: project lists — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:23 pm

I had not realized how much I rely upon Ravelry. One of the patterns for the fiber club, was Uyvonne Bigham’s “Spiral Star Pillow”. The book it came from is listed on Ravelry, but that pattern is not. Uyvonne Bigham does have patterns listed on Ravelry, even ones from that book, just not this one. [ETA. I added it. When I added my project to Ravelry, it asked me, so I filled out their form and it is right there now.]

The pattern is actually available as a PDF from free-knitpatterns.com which requires you to give them an email address. However someone kindly added a listing to bugmenot and I used that. I would not necessarily recommend them. The PDF is chock full of ads for Creative Knitting. I guess that will be a magazine I will never buy.

On the whole, that makes me a little disgusted about the supposed value-add of a pattern inclusion to the group shipments, knowing that one of the few patterns that was not just an accounting exercise was actually free despite the copyright notice at the bottom. It was, however, much much more difficult to find because of the lack of Ravelry listing. No one in the group made this pattern and linked it.

I am making it out of Silk Road yarn in a sort of green-gray color. It has been surprisingly easy with the exception of the cast-on. I finally just did a faux-round cast-on and left a longer tail to embroider a nice decorative element that will coincidentally cover any weirdness. The project is named after the yarn and the “spiral” and “star” aspect, Maragheh Pillow. (That is an astronomical observatory in Iran, which is a Silk Road country. It was chosen at random from appropriate astronomical terms because I liked the name.)

The pattern claims that you need a skill level of 3 out of 4. But it is explicitly written out, there is no purling, and it only uses knit, yarn-over, k2tog. If this is a level 3 project, then you must need to be a super-genius to make a BSJ (well, actually that might help since the BSJ does not have any step-by-step instructions, just general advice.) Seriously this has been much easier than expected.

From pillow

My next new project is going to be a button-closure cowl.

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