Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June

 More things from June :-)
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Adipose
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Also a wheat pack cover
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A balaclava for Zac that matches his gloves (same blue wool). Pattern: Antifreeze.
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It's a bit big for him, but it should last him through many years of mischief.




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This merino is in the colorway Opal. I don't like it much, and don't know why I have 200g of it. Also, one of the Kathy's Fibres Club fibres is almost exactly the same... and I have 300g of that.

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Found a use for it this month, though, along the edge of a scarf warp that was too long and far too thin.
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Not that 3.2m is too long! But I ran out of yellow for the warp. And then, somehow, I had too much for the weft, in spite of the wider warp. Must remember: need about 20% more for the warp that you need for the weft.



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Loved spinning this, though. BFL from Southern Cross Fibres.

  I'm going to increase my stash of BFL socks next term, starting with a NEWT in August. My plan at the moment is to knit up 8 pairs of socks, mostly with that Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock I got, which is 80% BFL and 20% nylon. My socks seem to last about a year, with me rotating about 12 pairs and wearing them most days. I do a fair bit of darning. I think the merino/nylon mix that's so common for sock yarn is just not tough enough for me.

Next: I'm going to focus on Jasmine's birthday top, which I have 6 days to finish. I might be able to do it. It would be easier if I didn't have to work! lol. But I'm down to the hem, and most of what remains is stocking stitch hood and ribbed edging. We'll see. It's up to 300g. Maybe another 200g?



Monday, June 15, 2015

Fred and George


This is the "Fred and George" part of my NEWT. To represent their twin-ness, I made skeins that were matching but different, and made of the same stuff. I spun up a skein of colorful fibre and a coordinating blue fibre, and Navajo-4plied them into two skeins. This is Fred’s (because it was finished first), which is 3 plies of the colorful one and 1 of the blue


 and George’s, which is 3 plies of the blue and 1 of the colorful.



The skeins are both made of the same colorways of Polwarth/Tencel, the same construction, and almost the same yardage (266 and 270). They go well together, but are not exactly the same.


It wasn't easy to ply! N4ply is a bit tricky on its own, but that kitten of ours was making a nuisance of himself again. Still, it's done, and the two together are more than enough for the triangular 'scarf' that I'm going to make with them for Bill.


And then, I finished these for Zac.


He loves them, and has worn them so much they look old. He immediately began pestering me for the matching balaclava I said I'd make him. lol.

I've put a few more hours into Sprig and Paprika, but mainly I've been spinning. I won a random draw over in the Southern Cross Fibres group (for knitting that Barley hat with SCF a few months back). David sent me this Discworld one.

We are having a "mega spin-a-long", which involves a few popular dyers dyeing colorways that have to do with the characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. This one, however, wasn't available to buy, as far as I know; it was just made for prizes. So I spun it up into sock yarn to make some bright Finn socks... maybe next month.

Horace the Cheese
I've been reading a bunch of his books, too (there are about 40 in the Discworld series). Silly but clever, much like "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".  Pretty funny. Make me chuckle to myself as I walk around the supermarket, sometimes, like a crazy person. :)





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Fiend!


This teeny thing


has been driving me nuts all week. He loves wool, and I think he loves flashing shiny knitting needles even more. He likes to jump from nowhere and knock over my loom, or run off with my spinning fibre, or unwind and tangle a ball...

Sigh. It's like having a small kid again, one that won't let you do anything for 2 minutes in a row, or won't let you use two hands at the same time. Lucky he's cute.

I did finish this scarf, with not to many weft threads clawed. It was an experiment, or rather, a copy cat project, because I saw one of my Slytherin friends try something similar. The idea is to warp your loom with thick yarn and use thin yarn for the weft. Here are mine.






Two skeins of thick handspun and one skein of laceweight silk.








It's so long, almost 3.5m. I wore it this day wrapped once loosely around my neck and the ends hanging below the hem of my black coat. And it is soft! All the fibres are merino, faux cashmere, rose fibre and silk. Not an inch of itch. Love this one. I was going to send it to Kelly for her birthday (with the socks) but... too bad! Hehe.

The socks






These flew north to my sister in Sydney. It was her birthday, and she appreciates handknitted socks, having knit some herself.  She also gave me wool for my birthday. :-)  They're made with the Holi yarn I dyed a while back, and knit with two strands held together, nice and tight on 3mm needles. Hopefully they'll resist the urge to wear out for a bit longer! I ran out of yarn, and used some blue Solemate for the heels and cuff. Literally had about 3 inches of Holi left.

I finished some spinning

Into the Whirled. "Quoth the Raven". Fingering weight N-ply (despite trying to spin thickly!)
Merino/silk from Kathy's Fibres, with pinches of sparkly stuff as I went. 144m of N-ply.
And I made Byron some cotton gloves (ie a sideways garter stitch tube with a hole in the seam for his thumb) to match his birthday top.






Now, I'm making Zac some. He wants dark blue and light grey stripey ones, and a balaclava. He even went though a box of wool with me, to choose the colors himself. Hehe. I'm also knitting away on my Mission for the game, which is Sprig, and Jasmine's birthday top, which is Paprika, spinning dark blue Polwarth/tencel for my NEWT (the Fred and George yarn) and making teeny clothes for a little wooden magnet man, just for fun. So much to do. Luckily, this month I have holidays (2 weeks) coming up soon, and I should get some things finished, at least.






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Byron 8

Finally finished this top for Byron, and steam blocked it at 2am on the morning of his birthday. LOL. He did appreciate it, though, and wore it for half the day, until his party at an indoor playground













The TARDIS pockets are "bigger on the inside" (the whole front bottom half is one big pocket) and it's nice and long. And cotton! I used Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton 10ply, and it's actually not too bad to knit with, but it doesn't fluff-together at all. I used 4.5mm needles on all but the hood, but if he wears a white shirt you can see the white through the moss stitch up the front.




He's not one for smiling for the camera, either, but he did have a fantastic day. A lot of people gave him Lego and things to build, and sciency things, so he's as happy as can be. :)

I also finished this Bond/Silk laceweight. Only 636 yards of N-ply laceweight this time. Hehe. It will make a very soft lace something one day, if I ever knit with it.





I'm still working on thick Holi socks, and I've started another spin. I'm also battling with this new Thing.


His name is Pepper, he's 10 weeks old, and he loves wool as much as any kitten. He's actually not too bad with it, but when he wants to Play you don't get much else done. Hehe.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Long lace at long last

All the singles, done






And then 5 hours (yes, I timed it) FIVE hours plying with my electric spinning wheel, and it was done.









To my astonishment, it was 950y long! I checked and rechecked my maths, because that couldn't be right, but sure enough: 475 wraps around a 2-yard Niddy Noddy does equal 950.

Last time I tried to spin laceweight I managed 1392y/1272m of singles per 100g, and I was pleased. But that was from a batt of mixed fibres. This one is very nicely processed South African Superfine top. And somehow it's 2544y/2076m of singles per 100g.



 It is still about 28 wraps per inch, nothing like the 50 or 80 wraps that some lace spinners get. It's fluffy, I guess, and very light. Normally I spin pretty densely. Not sure what I did, so I'm blaming the lovely fibre. And I have no idea what to make with it. Lacey patterns don't work well with stripey yarn. But I'll worry about that later.

Now, after my hand stops hurting :) I'm going to work on my other laceweight, and knit a bit more of Byron's top. Well, for the next 24 hours, anyway. Then it will be May 1, and I'll start a bunch of New Things!




Thursday, April 23, 2015

More of the same

Nobby is still going endlessly along. I split the fibre lengthways into 6, and I'm now spinning the 4th split, so I must be more than half-way. But it's taking forever.



 I could perhaps spin it slightly thinner than this, but that's when it starts to break, and the end gets lost for half an hour because it's wrapped around the bobbin and so thin it's invisible. But I think this will do.


 This is a bit of it, three strands twisted together. It's just slightly less than a millimeter, and >20 wraps per inch is considered "lace weight" by the NEWT team's standards.


Next up to spin is more 3ply laceweight... in plain brown! I love the color, but it might drive me nuts. Perhaps I could spin something colorful on the old Ashie at the same time.

Something Colorful:

Kathy's Fibres. Finn/Rose 75/25. "Nomad".

Kathy's Fibres. Autumn Club (secret...shhh.) Merino/stellina 94/6. "Autumn Shimmer".
I just got these two from Kathy, and I think they might go well together, if I'm in need of something bright.






And "more of the same", but in a good way: I managed to snag some more of the lovely "Twelve" from a destash, and two more are headed my way. Plus one called "Foggy Meadow", which would make nice socks.






That's the plan. I have lots of plans. So far NEWT 8 is going to be 7 rainbow socks (ie, one pair of red, one pair of orange, one pair of yellow...) and maybe an 8th (because it's NEWT 8). I'm planning a pair of socks each for May, June and July, too. And lots of other things I don't have time for! :)

I like the plotting, though. And the stocking up of ingredients.




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fourth

So, we came fourth. Out of four.

I guess it has to happen sometimes. It's only fair to share the House Cup, for the sake of friendly relations with the other houses, but I don't think Slytherin has ever come last since I've been there. Clearly, I have to pick up my game :)

This cheered me up a good deal, though.





A long time ago my Ravelry friend, Ness, was extolling the virtues of "Hedgehog Sock". So I acquired some to see what it was like. It was 85/15 merino/nylon, which is a pretty good mix, and the yarn was beautiful. (Haven't used it yet, though.) Then I heard about "Hedgehog Twist", which is a tougher 80/20 BFL/nylon. My kind of mix! (I'm tough on socks, it seems; they only seem to last a year or so.)

So a few months ago Convent & Chapel advertised some "Twist", and I ordered two to check it out. Instead, I got "Sock". I wrote an email saying that I'd wanted to try the "Twist" one. They wrote back saying they made an error with their listing, and it was only "Sock", and as compensation I could keep the yarn and they'd return my money, and they'd let me know when they got in some more "Twist". It was so nice of them, that I decided to buy lots of Twist when they got some more, so they could hopefully get their money back.

As it happens, I got their email on the same day as we got our tax return. :)

I also got some new fibre. From dyers participating in the Discworld Spin a long (MegaSAL)

"Death" (he's a funny character)

"Quoth the Raven" (haven't come across this character yet, but like the Poe reference.

Vetinari (another SCF one)
 As for my NEWT, it is going very slowly. This

is how far I've gotten in two weeks. I'm spinning "Nobby" as thinly as I can, but I have no idea if it's thin enough to be 3-ply laceweight. All I can do is my best, I suppose, but it's taking an age. Last April my very first laceweight was done in 7 days. Perhaps that's a good sign that I'm spinning thinner. I know I did spin 100g of "Twelve" singles, too, but this "Nobby" is still not even half done.




 Byron's top is only a few inches up.


 Most of the length there is just the front pocket. I have that on a holder, and I'm knitting the body behind it. It's much to big for his skinny butt, too, so I've decreased a few. Just have to knit round and round for a while, now.

I'm already planning my next NEWT. It's going to use up lots of sock yarn! So much easier to buy it than use it! Wonder how many socks I could knit in 4 months...

I have been plotting lots of projects for this term, which actually starts in May. I was disappointed with my low score of 987 (I only scored  under 1000 in second and first terms). It's not bad; apparently the best last term was 1383. Never gotten that much, but I'm going to try! It largely depends upon Quidditch and how much it will be worth. Lots of spinning and weaving. hehe. We'll see. Must learn to crochet some time.



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