UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

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):

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“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. 

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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.

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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.

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October 4, 2008

Playing it close to the vest.

Filed under: knit, project lists, spin — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:27 pm

I uploaded a picture of the “rose rot” yarn.

There is a picture of the hat I am making from the first skein of “Fireworks”; the hat is probably 80% complete.

And I actually looked at my Ravelry queue and moved stuff just into favorites. I am never going to make a plain jane vest and give some designer credit for it when it does not come in my size. I suspect I will make myself a pair of Cat Bordhi-designed socks before I do one of the other ones I found. I am not really going to knit a lace shawl. That is some flight of fancy.

There has been a decision. I have 20% of a hat, and one mitten (the first one is done) to do for other people, then I am next on the knitted projects. I am getting a vest or three.

I have some Swish superwash I intended as a quick knit, but the EZ pattern was not easy. (The more I think about Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “patterns”, the more cursing I have to remove before posting.) I have some lovely black Aran-weight yarn that cries to become a cabled vest, like the recent Knitty’s “Abrazo”. And I have several pounds of BFL that wants to become a sweater for me, but I really do not like sweaters with sleeves. I faved Cheryl Oberle’s “Many Buttons” vest from Folk Vests, but I have no idea where my copy of the book is. 

If someone has a really awesome vest pattern (waistcoat style or pullover) that is at least worsted weight yarn and comes in larger sizes (remember that a “medium” is a size 14 woman now, so no fair using those Vogue sizes where a large fits a size 8 woman.) I would most assuredly be interested.

September 16, 2008

Spinning like a Whorling Dervish

Filed under: spin — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:52 pm

I have been insanely productive. That Paradise Fibers I ordered last weekend? I already have the first half spun, plied, skeined and washed. It is drying now.

What kind of shrinkage do most people get after washing? My homemade swift is 48″ diameter for the outer wind path, and there is an inner wind path that is 40″. Usually when ball-winding I use the inner path, and when skeining unwashed yarns, the outer. So I am getting a shrink factor of about 1/6th. Some fibers shrink less and sag on the swift while ball-winding. I do not think I have had anything shrink more.

I did actually count the loops for the rose rot yarn, which looks a lot better plied than it did on the bobbins (the pictures are not up yet), and I got 155 (ish, I was watching TV too). That is 172 yards or 159 meters. It is probably a DK on average, [3], but just barely. I would call it a [2] but that category includes everything from just bigger than lace to a thin DK. Corriedale is very sticky fiber with lots of crimp to it, so I am not unhappy with the resulting yarn. That was from 103g fiber, so it was 10% smaller than other rovings in the “4oz” class, which might also account for some of the variation.

The new fireworks yarn is 140 loops. 155yds/143m. That came out as a nice worsted [4] yarn. And I did not need to pre-draft it at all! It flakes like everybody’s business. I looked like I have a very affectionate black cat. 96g of fiber.

Perhaps my desperate need to pre-draft fiber is because of the fiber and/or source. I know Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club shipments were always these hard baseballs of fiber. It would take hours to tease out the ball and since the box was 2/3 empty, I figure the postal service uses them as maracas. The Crown Mountain Farms fiber is thin roving, but dense. I did a lot better spinning it when I pre-drafted. BFL is just heavy stuff, I guess.

Clearly I can see what taking 4 months off spinning has done, I have tightened up on my fiber and am making denser yarn. I am hoping to make the second batch of fireworks airy-fairy yarn to really take advantage of the mohair.

I neglected to mention why the photos have improved so dramatically lately. I got help. I flat out asked someone why I could not get great detail on my black yarns even in full sun. I was told that full sun was the problem and I needed a reflected source of light. I look way stupid/idiotic/retarded taking photos now, but me and my yarn sit under a white sheet. I tension the bottom with my feet and the slanted side with my head. That way I can catch as much light as possible but it is diffused. I am getting much truer color and much better detail. I think it is worth looking like Charlie Brown’s Hallowe’en Costume to get that. I know there are fancy light boxes and stuff, but this cost me nothing since I had the sheet already.

Has anyone ordered spare bits and bobs for a Fricke wheel? From where? No one seems to sell the stuff I want and the Fricke people say to email them to find out how to order. Like they are a customer+vendor dating service and will match you up with the right vendor for you.

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.

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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”.

September 9, 2008

Fibery Goodness.

Filed under: fiber, spin — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:29 am

I ordered some naturally black Wensleydale. Linda from Riyescott Ranch sent me samples. It is carded roving, not combed top and much softer than the horse’s tail that was my previous experience with Wensleydale. I also ordered some Shetland+mohair which is a fawn+gray blend. I loved it.

I ordered the black blended fiber from Paradise Fibers. I finally decided I just wanted that and there was no point in waiting to see if I would find enough stuff to get free shipping. Later it turned out that the shipping on a half pound of fiber was ~$2.50. That is definitely fair.

Tonight I spun up half of the rose rot fiber. Corriedale is really not my favorite. But still, first spinning in 4 months.

June 10, 2008

Stonehenge

Filed under: fiber, spin, yarn — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:43 am

yarn

CMF BFL “Stonehenge” 8-ounce skein.

This is the skein from the completely full bobbin I mentioned recently. There are more pictures. I just love this color.

(Sorry for the non-sequitur.) I am absolutely terrible at remembering to update the blogroll in the sidebar. I have found the links other people have on their blogs to be useful in discovering new places. I wanted to be the kind of person who keeps hers up to date. Anyway. I will try to update at least quarterly.

June 5, 2008

EIGHT OUNCES! I got 8 ounces on _ONE_ bobbin!

Filed under: spin — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 5:55 pm

This is the Crown Mountain Farms new BFL in colorway “Stonehenge”. CMF roving comes in 8-ounce bumps and I figured I could spin 2 bobbins of singles and then when plying, I could swap in a new bobbin when the first one got full. I finished one bobbin of singles and have just a smidge left on the other one (shown in the first picture; the scale says that it is under half an ounce of unplied single.) I am astounded and amazed. But I really did get almost eight ounces onto one regular Fricke bobbin!

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