Friday, March 27, 2015

Spinning my winning

At the pre Christmas meeting of the Guild of Long Draw Spinners, we had a free raffle where I was the lucky winner of a shoe box full of gorgeous poonags. They were soft, wormy and not my usual colours, but oh so beautiful. I had no time to spin them before Christmas, then a shoulder injury took care of the first 6 weeks of 2015.  It was frustrating to say the least.

Finally I was healed enough to open the box and spin!  I had a jumbo flyer and maiden for my Sonata for Christmas, so I decided that I'd try it out and attempt to wean myself away from the fine spinning that is my default.  (I attribute this to parsimony - so many more hours of pleasure from fluff if you spin it small!).  I realised half way through that I hadn't taken pictures of the poonags in their glory, so here you can see a few with the singles that flowed from them/

Here's the singles caked up - still not particularly chunky, but going in the right direction

I didn't know what to ply it with at first.  Then I remembered that years ago I was gifted a wrap with permission to unravel it.  This proved to be a game in itself until I realised the cunning way in which the wrap had been put together.  As the unravelling breakthrough happened so late at night, there were no pictures and I would feel mean about revealing too much about the wrap - both who it came from and what pattern it was.  Suffice to say, the two ends of colourmart silk matched beautifully with my singles

I decided to play on the differing fibre contents and experiment with a spiral ply.  I found it a bit hard to start with, but eventually cottoned on to what I needed to do. Initially I thought I would ply the silk around the singles, but it looked a lot better the other way round as it allowed the handspun to poof at will.

You can see the fun I had with spiral plying!  (Sorry for the off colour - definitely not so orangey in real life!)

It's not very even throughout the skein - you can definitely see my progress as I learnt what I needed to do.  This is before finishing.

My daughter had a doll with hair like this

Are these glasses ageing?

All washed, relaxed, skeined and twisted into skwooshy beauty.  Look at those shots of orange, the lemon and the mushroom gill shades

Caked into 146 grammes, 322 yards of DK squish!

I could pretend that the start of the cake is flat to aid cast on, but it's where I was getting to grips with the technique

I've yet to decide what to knit with it.  Plus, as these are so not the colours that suit me, I am toying with the idea of over dyeing the whole thing.  Would it be rude to do so?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beret Annoying

As I wrote yesterday, I knitted away on my beret and was waiting for it to dry before I made any remarks.  It has probably dried by now, but Snotticus - the god of colds and coughs - has descended on our household with a vengeance, so I had no chance to poke the beret's inert form last night.

From that, you can probably detect that I was non too happy with what I produced.  Truth be told, the damn thing was so huge that I had nothing large enough in diameter in the house to block it over.  I'd tried it on, unwashed and unblocked and it drooped down over my shoulder. So, I spread it out on a towel, like a deflated something.  What that something was I have no idea, but it just looked limp and lifeless and somehow discarded.  This has played on my mind for over 24 hours.

Something had to be done.  Finally it dawned on me to investigate what others using this pattern have done and tada! - there are ERRATA for the book, including the blooming tam!  So, I merrily decreased every other row as per the book and it should have been every row. No wonder my top was huge,  So much wasted yarn, effort and time.  Gah!  The moral of the story is, of course, to check for errata.  And listen to your inner wisdom.  

Now I've got to find the end that I buried in my icord top knot and pull back to where the decreases started.  Then I get to play with the yarn all over again - yippee!  Maybe this time it won't take about 70g of yarn.......

I promise I will take a pic of the big ass monstrosity so we can compare it to the item of loveliness that will eventually spring forth from my circ (I am determined if not delusional), but for now, it's just words

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dyeing to have fun

I spent a very happy Sunday afternoon last month with my friend, the inimitable Knitting Mongoose where she taught me a bit about dyeing.  I don't know what came over me as I'm not usually a brights person, but obviously my subconscious desperately needed two rainbows

Dried and wound, the cakes of yarn look very different and I thought I would knit them up into a pair of socks

However, I decided that I really needed a big, multicoloured beret so off I went, following the instructions in the Knitter's Handy book of Patterns.  It's currently at the finished, bathed and drying stage, so you will have to wait for the finished result and my commentary.  I will say no more at this point!