some WIPs in more detail

Thursday evening I started the Wolop self striping Harry Potter sock because I wanted some easy stockinette stitch:

I couldn’t find the little grey mini that goes along with this skein for cuffs, heels and toes. So I just casted on with the main yarn, directly for the leg, and will attach the cuff later.

I got some mindless knitting done while my husband celebrated my being downstairs again by watching his bloody series together. Not swearing, we watched bloody series. There was Elementary and Lucifer and this new series we tried out with a mr. Wednesday who used to run a brothel saloon in Broken Wood but now is followed by a filmmaker who is enamoured with the series Hannibal but does not have the same restraints and finesse. We’re not sure what we think of it yet.

After 3 x 45 minutes of visual murder I was tired and went to bed. But knitted I had.

Remember snowdrift cardigan? The one I was going to attach onto this lovely handspun collar portrayed here? The cabled collar I so expertly knit on car trip?

Yeah, I frogged that and am using the yarn for this, the plan I always had for it: a gorgeous vest to wear over all my handsewn dress shirts.

The pattern is Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor, it’s free and sensible. I modified it a bit to be able to start with a provisional cast on at the mid back and then work upwards, into the first one shoulderstrap. I love it! I love the pattern, I love the yarn, I love the gauge (needle 4,5 mm).

This is how I want vest patterns to be: top down, without raglans and with as less “breaking yarn” as possible.
Which is why I’ll steaming right ahead to the two other vests I have wanted to make ever since I got hold of their yarns. The green Welsh yarn and the orange handspun.

I also picked up the lilac cardigan, with just the lace flower backpanel, inspired by Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti:

This was my panel on Friday:

and this is my panel now:

It’s The Little Flower Doily by Andrea Jurgrau and I managed to make a square out of a circle! I’m pretty proud of that. I know in order to get a flat surface, when knitting from the centre, you have to increase 4 stitches every row. Doesn’t matter which needle or which yarn you use. For a circle you place those 4 stitches ad random. For a square you place them in four corners. For easy knitting most people increase 8 stitches every other row, which comes down to the same.

With the doily I examined the chart and identified which YO was paired to which /, \ or ^ decrease. That told me which YO was surplus in which row: the increases. These I took and placed at four corners.

Soooo are all my WIPs ongoing, planned or ignored?

No, I transferred one WIP into an FO.
This one:

The lovely wintery Birch handspun that became a stupid hat back in January. The shaping idea I had for it didn’t work out and it sat stupidly on my head and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Eventually I just started wearing it without shaping it any further.. With the unwoven ends stuck under. I asked a few people and apparently it doesn’t look so stupid on me when I wear it like this, just plain, without folds.

So this is a finished WIP without any effort. I changed its status to “finished” on the project page and took this photo’s.  Then it’s official and true. This hat is finished! (Haven’t sewn in the ends of the hat yet, though.)

(I’m not better yet and I’m stupid cold, I’m wearing my handspun snow sweater from 2013)
So these are the current WIPs, the sock, the vest an the cardigan. Better knit on because the new Sock Madness pattern is about to drop any moment. (I forgot all my beads at the cabin!) Oh and I designed some more on the stranded mushroom vest. Slow going though. I’m never going to make it before the deadline of 19 May. Might bring the swatch with me for show and tell.

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Spinning Fairy hair: Tour le Karma

I’m spinning this beautiful Nunoco-batt. It came with a handmade woodland fairy:

The batt spins like a dream:

So soft, all gleaming:

It’s part of a swap and part of Tour de Fleece. When I opened the post parcel this is what I saw, it was so thoughtful and carefully made. Brought a tear to my eye.

It’s colourway Whisper.

Tour de Fleece: finish line

 

the last week of the Tour de Fleece I made these collages:

“carding”……………………”needs combing”……….”cat castle”…………..”where you at with your string?”

 

 

On Day 21 I didn’t spin but went to a wedding at the beach. It was lovely!

 

 

and that concludes the Tour de Fleece. I spun nearly every day and it was really fun, in a relaxed way. No feverish goals or gnashing teeth trying to accomplish them. Instead I sat under the tree and carded and spun or I sat inside and watched the Tour on TV and spun or combed wool.

A lovely time.

Besides this being its own reward I got three bonusses out of this:

1. I’m still spinning. The Tour has ended but I’m still carding rollags and spinning Long Draw

2. I got a prize!! The international Tour de Fleece crowd on Ravelry.com awards random prizes every day and one day I won! I was free to chose a prize from the impressing mountain of prizes that shops or individuals had offered. Including international shipping!

I chose a sheep mug by Rivers Edge Fiber Arts

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3. I won another prize!! The Dutch people of the Dutch Karma Group over on Ravelry are a tight and generous bunch. We all participated in Team Karma and we all offered a prize.

I offered this Sock Wool Spinners Parcel, by Jeanet Koek. These are three breeds of roving (Texel, LaPlata and Wensleydale). You get two rovings of each. All six rovings are dyed the same.

As you spin it and later ply them into a 3ply you get a sockyarn that transits through all the colours, giving you socks that have yellow toes, purple heels and blue cuffs.

My team mate Meta from Kleurvol won and chose this prize. Tomorrow I am going to bring it to her.

I myself chose an offer made by Pimmie who loves Long Draw spinning as much as I do. She will dye wool and some of her bunny fluff (angora rabbit) and card them into rolags for me. All I have to do is spin it! A great prize 🙂

Second week of Tour de Fleece

On day ten the Tour rested.

It has been a weird, intense and marvellous week!

Let me summarize the days for you:

Day 8: I started plying. Plying is tedious work, I prefer to start early, before all the singles are spun, so I do not have to do the plying all at the end. Plying a bobbin of this size will easily take 3 hours….First skein finished.

Day 9: Needed to comb more wool for the singles of the second skein. I also started to investigate and comb some of the green wool I want to spin afterwards.

Day 10: a rest day in the Tour. I spend it in the city, having my eyes checked out.

Day 11: I drove myself and the cat back to the cabin. In the morning I had met with my GP/doctor and had explained about some scientific thing I’m doing to regain my health (I’ve had my genome sequenced, identified which enzymes are not working because of DNA mutations and have started supplementing for them. Slooooowly. The doctor was delighted! But the appointment took all my energy.)

I managed to get us home safe and spun a little sitting under the tree while the sun set.

Day 12: a weird, fabulous day! I did not do any spinning. Instead I was a true paper hero and analyzed both technical research papers and county policies and drafted a paper that I send off to court. I have never done a thing like that but the energy I got from it was amazing, just like it was when I was still healthy and had my wits about me. A totally unexpected venture with totally unexpected results and new friends among the neighbours.

Day 13: celebrating the birthday of a lovely woman who appreciates wool, nature and harmony. I spun singles and plied it. Skein two is done. I got some real good advice how to approach the third skein.

Day 14: a day of recuperation. I played with my spindle and some Swifter locks I got from a friend, to try out. Wonderful breed! But overall I’m very tired and slept most of the day away.

Tour de Fleece First Week Collages

Tour de Fleece is one week on its way. Here are the collages I made showing results for each day:

(Yeah…. day 7 was not a fun day.) Overall I am happily spinning purple and doing so outside, under the red beech tree. There are wonderful smells in the air, now that various flowers bloom.

I do wish I had put more time into preparing the wool. There are some white coarse hairs in this fleece and they will make the yarn more scratchy. If only I had combed them all out…

The first bobbin I spun with the nice fibre, with few coarse hairs. Now I am left with the coarser pieces and spinning is less fun that way. Still, better soldier on. I am looking forward to having a two ply yarn of this colour. And a garment from it.

Then I want to get started on that greenblue fleece. Which needs to be prepped first.

I cannot decide how to prep it. It is Clun Forest. It has no coarse hairs. It is quite frizzy though. And soft. Excellent for Long Draw spinning! Which is a favourite technique of mine. But I don’t like the weel I have for that.  And the right prep would mix the colour into an uniform green. Which might not be a bad thing in itself, if you dream of owning a forest gren dragon cardigan. Which I do.

Spinning from the locks will give more colour variation. And more colour experience while spinning. Easier spinning too, more relaxed. For that I could comb each lock but I would lose quite a lot of the fibre with short staple lengths, which is perfectly spinnable especially with Long Draw. I hate to throw away good fibre.

I could card the fleece on my drum carder. Fast, clean. Ready to spin. Only that would mix the colours again. And I don’t like spinning from batts very much. I don’t know why.

One additional problem with Long Draw is that I will be travelling to and from the city in the next two weeks and I need to decide upfront which spinning wheel will live where and what technique I will use on it. And, as you may have guessed from Collage Day 7, I am not in the best condition to think and plan ahead at the moment.

I’ve got wool problems!

Green luxury problems.

Tour de Fleece

The Tour de France has started. Around the world, all kinds of spinners are spinning their wheels and worls also: Tour de Fleece .

During the tour we are spinning fibres and we are sharing what we do in pictures and posts all over the internet but mostly on Ravelry.

I have prepared a lovely mountain of purple dyed fleece. This is a Swifter Texelaar mix. Dyed by Lia from stoftotverven.nl

I have combed out the tips and the white coarsier hairs (used a dog comb) and have started spinning.

Trying out drafting from the fold:

But settling for drafting from the grow tips. For a smoother thread.

It will be a 2 ply, about the thickness of DK.

Although the locks are pretty long and the majority of it is dyed fuchsia, the thread ends up much darker. The dark tips wrap around the thread, darkening it.

the locks are all well over 10 cm/4″. Closer to 15 cm I think (6″)

This is my wheel. A Louet S70. All solid oak, including the bobbins. I very much like this wheel, it has character. It is also great for sitting outdoors. It is a good wheel.