A Gradient Thing

I finished my gradient yarn I mentioned earlier, got it plied, and washed. I was able to maintain the color changes so well. While this is not the softest yarn (its Corriedale, so that’s to be expected) but the evenness of my spinning has improved so much, and the colors are so pretty, I can’t be too concerned about that.

Plied and resting

Plied and resting

 

Finished skein

Finished skein

 

Appreciated Knits

As knitters, we all know that giving away your hand knit items does not guarantee they will be appreciated. I personally like giving my knitting to others because, if I keep it for myself, whenever I pick it up I just think of all the time and effort that went into creating the item. It makes me less likely to actually use whatever it is because I’m so worried I will damage my hard work. The thing is though, handknits are meant to be used. That may mean the occasional snagged stitch or stain. Especially for baby items.

When my (now former) coworker told me he and his wife were expecting their first child, I knit up a sweater and hat for them. Once little Miles arrived, I began to see the hat I knit for him popping up in various baby pictures. Unfortunately, the hat was too big and, since it is the coldest part of winter, I knit up a simple hat to send to him.

After the hat arrived, the Dad sent me the obligatory “here’s my baby in the hat you sent” picture. It actually fit and was super cute. Since then though, I have seen the hat in several pictures that have shown up on Twitter and Facebook from the parents. Baby Miles seems to be sporting my little hat for so many of his outings.

So when I had an absolutely terrible day yesterday, I noticed a post in my Twitter feed with a picture of that sweet little baby in my hat. It really made me smile to realize that the little hat I sent down and pour hours of my life into is really getting used. It is out there keeping that charming little head warm and that was such a great feeling.

Of course, that now means I have to knit all kinds of things for Miles now that I realize his parents will really appreciate them. Luckily, that is no hardship.

At the Wheel

I am trying my hand at some gradient yarn spinning. I got this gorgeous fiber from Fiber Artemis on Etsy. I thought to split the roving and evenly down the middle as I could, then spin each one so that, hopefully, when I go to ply, the colors changes will be maintained. Since starting this, I have learned that I could have done a chain ply but… whatever.

This is, by far, my most even single I have spun yet. It’s still a long way from truly even but I’m pleased with my project. It is also the thinnest I have spun. The singles are still looking rather fuzzy but maybe that is the fiber? It’s a Romney, I believe, which I’ve read is a rougher, fuzzier wool.

I finished one bobbin last night and I have already started the second. I am really excited to see how this turns out so that I can figure out what to make with it.

photo 5 photo 4

Legitimate Handspun

I finished my first ever skein of handspun yarn that I was able to look at and thing “Hey, this actually looks like yarn. Someone could knit with this…” It still has some serious think and thin spots, but it is far more even than my last two attempts that I have made since purchasing my wheel.

The color is Iris, which I think is perfect because it does remind me of the irises that used to grow behind my parents house. The fiber is… Merino top? Or something like that. I know there is a tag around here somewhere but it has been so long since I purchased this I can’t quite remember. I actually bought the fiber ages ago when I thought I was actually going to spin on a drop spindle. The drop spindle and I didn’t get along and the fiber just waited around.

I have already been knitting it into a little headband/ear warmer that I will have pictures of soon. It is blocking now and then I need to sew the bow on. There may even be enough left to make some fingerless mitts to match.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I am really excited about this. For the first time since my wheel came home, I feel like I’m actually using it correctly. Plus, to add to my excitement, the singles on my wheel right now are coming out even better and more even. .

It’s hard to tell in the photos but the fiber had a bit of something sparkly mixed it so it has nice shots of glimmer.

photo 3

Let There Be Sock!

I finished knitting my first ever sock! The yarn is a wonderful handspun from one of the ladies at my knitting night and it made the sock process a joy. I had originally planned on giving these sock pair to my mom (since I am not much of a sock wearer) but it came out fairly large. I have big feet and ankles so it fits me and I guess that means it’s meant to be mine. It still is slightly looser on me than I would like but, considering how rarely I wear real socks, I’m not concerned.

The weather in Texas yesterday was over 70 degrees so I got to sit on the patio and take a couple pictures. Of course, because this is Texas and we have fickle weather, it’s back down to 40 today.

In even bigger news than finishing one sock… I actually started the second! I did the ribbing last night. Take that, Second Sock Syndrome!

Of course, sock knitting has turned out to be perfect for watching my Korean dramas. All the stockinette means I don’t have to watch my hands so I can read the subtitles.

Can I just say, photographing your own foot is an awkward process…

photo 1 photo 2

Waste Yarn

I got the grand idea last night that I should weave on my loom. A lady from my knitting night suggested joining the Rigid Heddle group on Ravelry to get some weaving ideas. It worked. I really love all the Fauxberry (fake Burberry) scarves but I didn’t have the yarn I needed right then to make one (I had to order some black yarn in the weight I wanted). So I decided to go digging through my stash for something to create.

A side note to this story is that last year, I got rid of almost all of my “chain store” yarn (read: cheap). I decided that I’m such a slow knitter, I should enjoy every moment of the knitting process and be as happy as possible with my product. I was finding that I wasn’t happy with the look of how lower priced yarns were turning out and decided to become a full-blown yarn snob.

Now, that being said, a few skeins of chain store yarn hung around. I kept my Patons Silk Bamboo because it was a better quality that, say, the acrylic yarns. Plus I had three matching skeins and I figured I could come up with a use. I pulled it out, plus a little Rare Comfort Pure Mohair for texture and started warping the loom.

Because I am occasionally a dunderhead, I decided I remember exactly how to warp the loom. The fact that I’ve only woven 3 times and have used the instructions each time, didn’t factor in. The little detail that it’s been about 6 months since I touched the loom also had no affect on my confidence.

I was just stringing away and all was well. Once I had warped the entire thing and it was time to wind the yarn up, it finally hit me that something was wrong. When I started winding, the warp sticks were not wrapping around correctly. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize my error.

I had warped to the wrong side of the loom.

**Now, my disclaimer here is that I am not looking for advice on how I could’ve solved this problem. Since last night I have thought of several possible ways plus I’m sure the internet could have helped me. In the moment though, I decided I knew what to do.

Hours later…

Yes, hours.

For multiple hours I struggled with that damn loom.

I tried winding it one way and then another

I tried untying and retying the warp.

Nothing was working. I had no tension to speak of and things were just a mess.

Around 10 p.m. I sat there with the loom in my lap and looked at the absolute mess I had made. I knew that, somehow, this was fixable. It had to be. However, that would take an unknowable amount of time that didn’t actually include weaving.

So I sat and stared and thought… this is cheap yarn. Not as cheap a some, to be sure, but this is not by $20+ a skein hand-dyed yarn. It’s big box store yarn that I probably got with a coupon and have no sentimental attachment to.

With that thought, I picked up my scissors and cut.

I cut every bit of yarn off the loom and dumped it in the trash.

I don't think this is what they mean by "waste yarn"

I don’t think this is what they mean by “waste yarn”

Now, I’m trying to come up with reasons why I’m ok with this. Like the fact that the mohair yarn wanted to grab at itself when you moved the heddle up and down, so it was going to be a pain anyway. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least.