Works In Progress on a WIP Wednesday

Thanks to lots of playoff hockey, I’ve been getting a lot of knitting done. My most recent cast-on, Hitchhiker, is progressing rapidly even as the rows get longer. It’s totally autopilot knitting, but with a potato chip element. I cannot knit just one row. 🙂

We're making progress!

We’re making progress!

This 2-ply handspun is lovely to knit with. I love the effect of the color changes. Dana of Unwind Yarn Company is a brilliant dyer.

On the sweater front, Cassidy now has a back and two fronts,

She's starting to look like a sweater.

She’s starting to look like a sweater.

and the first sleeve is underway. If I were a monogamous knitter, Cassidy would probably be finished already. But I simply cannot bring myself to stick to one project at a time, and there’s no rush to finish Cassidy because she’s definitely a winter sweater, and winter is still a long way off here in the Northern Hemisphere.

On the spinning front, I’m spinning some lovely red Falkland wool on a drop spindle.

Unwind Yarn Company Falkland in O-Neg on one of my Goldings

Unwind Yarn Company Falkland in O-Neg on one of my Goldings

My progress is slow, but I try to spin on it at least a little every day.

I spend a lot more time spinning on my wheel, so my progress there is a lot faster. I’m currently working on some lovely “swirl” BFL, a blend of black and white BFL that is then dyed to create colors that spin up into a beautifully heathered yarn. I love the way this particular colorway spins up.

Sunset Fibers BFL on the Ladybug

Sunset Fibers BFL on the Ladybug

I divided the roving into thirds and plan to spin 3 bobbins of singles, then make a 3-ply yarn. I’m kind of in love with 3-ply handspun. 🙂

Be sure to check out other works in progress on Tami’s WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been doing a lot of sock knitting lately, but I haven’t been neglecting my spinning. This lovely Falkland top from Woolgatherings

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is now these lovely singles that are awaiting plying.

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And this beautiful Corriedale top from Sunset Fibers

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has started its journey to becoming yarn.

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Visit Tami’s WIP Wednesday to see what other fiber and needle artists are up to.

Spinning

I’m sorry to say I haven’t knitted a stitch on either of my socks since Wednesday, so today’s FOs are all spinning projects.

Shown first is a lovely skein of BFL/Silk yarn that I spun and plied on my Ladybug. I chain-plied the yarn and I hope you can tell that my chain-plying is improving.

Greenwood Fiberworks BFL/Tussah silk in Peacock

Greenwood Fiberworks BFL/Tussah silk in Peacock

I love the colors in this fiber. Of course, they look much better in real life than in the picture. Photography is something at which I totally and absolutely suck.

Next is a sample skein I spun and plied on spindles. The fiber is Falkland from Unwind Yarn Company in the O Negative colorway.

A tiny skein of Falkland

A tiny skein of Falkland

I was able to spin the fiber very, very thin and I ended up with a lovely 2-ply lace weight yarn, which is what I was hoping for. I will spin and ply the rest of the braid in the same manner and I should end up with enough yarn to knit a small shawl. The different shades of red give the finished yarn a depth of color that is just stunning in person. Unfortunately, at photography I suck.

Lastly, I present to you the finished undyed BFL that I spun and plied on the Ladybug.

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There is one very large hank, which hasn’t been skeined yet because it isn’t completely dry, and a small skein. The large hank is the first bobbin’s worth that I plied and the small skein is what didn’t fit onto the first bobbin. They yarn is probably a DK weight and it is soft beyond belief. I’m getting much better at plying on the wheel.

So, that’s what I have to report on this FO Friday. What have you finished?

Where’s My Hockey?

The NHL lockout is dragging on and on, and it’s dragging my knitting down. With college football winding down and the NFL heading for the playoffs, I’m spending less and less time watching television. And less time watching television means less time spent knitting. If the NHL and the NHL Players Association would just settle their differences, then I would be knitting up a storm. But with no hockey games to watch, I’m spending my knitting time doing other things, like spinning, reading, and playing the piano. I WANT MY HOCKEY!

But in spite of limited television/knitting time, I am making progress on the two socks I have OTN, and I expect to get them finished in short order once the college football bowl extravaganza starts up on Sunday. The bowl games are played over the course of three weeks or so, and there will be some pro games played, too, so I should get a lot of knitting done in the next few weeks.

Here’s where my current knitting WIP stand at this very moment.

My Sparkly Garter Rib Socks sock #2 is well underway. As you can see, I have just a few more inches of foot left to knit, then I’ll be turning the heel.

Sparkly Garter Rib sock #2 posting beside it's older sibling

Sparkly Garter Rib sock #2 posting beside it’s older sibling

 

These socks will not be identical twins, but they will look enough alike the everyone will recognize them as siblings.

The Sunshine Rib Socks project is moving a little more slowly, but it is progressing. Sock #1 now has a heel, and I’m chipping away at the gusset stitches.

Sunshine Rib Socks sock #1 is well underway.

Sunshine Rib Socks sock #1 is well underway.

I had originally planned to simply carry the 4 x 2 rib down the heel flap, but it looked too plain, so I went with the EOP (eye of partridge) heel instead. I think EOP was an excellent choice because it looks simply brilliant in this yarn. I think this colorway and the EOP were made for each other, don’t you?

Close-up shot of the Eye of Partridge heel

Close-up shot of the Eye of Partridge heel

Since it’s been a rather slow sports week what with the NHL canceling games left and right, I’ve been doing a lot of spinning.  I’m plying a small amount of the gorgeous Falkland top from Unwind Yarn Company in the O Negative colorway that I spun on my Golding Micro Ringspindles. This fiber is an absolute dream to spin. It wanted to be spun very fine, and the singles are mostly the thickness (or should I say thinness) of sewing thread. I wound the singles into a plying ball and I’m plying the yarn on a Kundert.

Falkland singles plied on a Kundert spindle from a plying ball

Falkland singles plied on a Kundert spindle from a plying ball

I’m being careful not to over-ply the yarn because I’d like to produce a nice, drapey yarn for a lace project. If I’m pleased with the sample I’m making, I’ll spin and ply the rest of the braid the same way and use the yarn to make a lovely shawlette of some sort. The yarn is so fine that I have yards and yards of it so far, and I’ve only spun about 14 of the 110 grams of fiber in the braid. The color is simply too gorgeous for words. I love anything red, and the color of this yarn sets my little heart to thumping.

Another spinning project is resting on the lazy kate awaiting plying. I spun up the rest of the undyed BFL that I bought when I first started spindling. I had spun some of it on various spindles; it’s lovely to spin, soft and easy to draft. I was curious to see how it would behave on my wheel, so I spun up a couple of bobbins on the Ladybug, and the singles are now ready for plying.

Undyed BFL patiently awaiting plying

Undyed BFL patiently awaiting plying

I’m going to do a simple 2-ply and try to keep the twist on the softer side. This fiber is next-to-the-skin soft and will probably become a hat and matching or coordinating cowl.

And last but not least, I decided to play around on the Ladybug with the Cotton Candy fiber I have left from the November spindling challenge.

Louet Northern Lights Cotton Candy on the Ladybug

Louet Northern Lights Cotton Candy on the Ladybug

It’s surprising how differently fiber behaves when spun using different equipment. When I spun this fiber on spindles, it wanted to be drafted and spun very fine, but on my wheel, it wants to be spun thicker. Part of that might be how I have the Scotch tension set, and part of it might be due to the difference in my wheel drafting as opposed to my spindle drafting. But regardless of the why, I’m getting a beautiful singles on the wheel, and I have a ton of this fiber yet to spin. I am envisioning a 2-ply, but the yarn will tell me what it wants to be when it grows up. It may prefer to become a 3-ply. 😀

So, that’s what I have cooking on this WIP Wednesday. Thanks for looking in.

 

WIP Wednesday

It’s another beautiful, mild December Wednesday here in southcentral Pennsylvania, and I have three works-in-progress to share.

My current WIP

My current WIP

Clockwise from the left, I present for your viewing pleasure:

The Sunshine Ribbed Socks, sock #1, a simple 4 x 2 rib in Draygone Yarnes Merino/Nylon fingering weight in the colorway Hair: Let the Sun Shine In (from Bryanna’s Broadway Sock Club). Unfortunately, Draygone Yarnes has been on hiatus ever since Bryanna moved cross-country and I don’t know when or even whether she plans to start up again. She is my favorite indie dyer of sock yarn and I really miss her Etsy shop even though I need more sock yarn like I need a hole in my head.

Unwind Yarn Company’s Falkland in the O-Negative colorway being spun very, very fine on a Golding Ringspindle

Sparkly Garter Ribs Socks, sock #1 (almost completed), which is being knitted from my very own 3-ply handspun of BFL and Sparkle.

Be sure to visit Tami’s site to see who else is participating in WIP Wednesday.

My New BFF

I’m in love. Total, absolute love. Yep! I’m in love with Falkland wool. Of all the different wool fibers I’ve spun so far, Falkland is hands down my favorite. It’s soft, sproingy, and easy to draft. It takes dyes beautifully. From what I’ve read, Falkland isn’t a separate breed of sheep, but rather Falkland wool is the wool that comes from the sheep that are raised on the Falkland Islands, primarily Merinos (of which there are many variants around the world that produce wool with different characteristics), but other breeds as well. The wool produced is of a very high quality and the sheep are neither dipped nor mulesed. (Don’t ask; you don’t want to know. It’s really gross.)

Granted, I’ve only spun one braid of Falkand to date, and it isn’t quite finished yet. But still, I love Falkland to distraction.

I’ve added a new braid of Falkland to my growing stash of spinning fiber. I bought it from Woolgatherings on Etsy.

The colors are gorgeous, ranging from light to dark turquoise-ish blue to light to dark purplish gray and they remind me of a plaid skirt I had back in high school that I loved more than life itself.

Of course, I couldn’t stop at just one braid of fiber. Woolgatherings had a large offering of gorgeous braids and I couldn’t resist giving BFL/Sparkle a try. And I couldn’t decide between this colorway

and this color way.

So I did what any self-respecting knitter/spinner would do. I bought them both. Since these braids contain some Nylon (Sparkle is Nylon), I think they will make great sock yarn. And, yes, the Sparkle does sparkle. 🙂

WIP Wednesday

I decided to follow the crowd and make Wednesdays WIP Wednesday à la Tami on Blogspot.

I hope that this will give me incentive to post something every Wednesday. I have a bad tendency to let time get away from me.

Progress should be my middle name. Pinko Progress Knitter. Ha! I’ve been zipping right along on all my current projects. The Spider Queen has nearly half of her final edging completed. That’s right, nearly half. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, she’ll be finished before the month is over. No pictures of her this time–she’s sleeping soundly in the knitting corner and I don’t want to disturb her.

My other current knitting project, the Show-Off Stranded Socks, is also happily marching toward completion. I’m nearly finished with the leg of sock #2, so the socks should also be completed before September runs out of days.

Show-Off Stranded Socks

On the spinning front, I’ve been spinning up some Falkland from Spinneretta in the Drought Time color way. I’ve spun about 3/4s of the fiber. It’s a lovely color way, don’t you think?

Some lovely Falkland on the spindles