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.

 

Why I Love My Letter Carrier

I love my letter carrier because she brings me goodies. Look what I found in my mailbox on Monday.

My new spindle

It’s a Jenkin’s Lark Turkish spindle, handcrafted by Ed Jenkins out in Oregon. Mr. Jenkins crafts a variety of Turkish spindles, all of which are works of art.

 

The Lark is a tiny spindle, but it is humongous compared to the Kuchulu.

The spindle came with the storage bag and with a length of fiber–some luscious BFL/silk blend–already attached. My guess is that each spindle is tested before it is sold to make sure it spins well. Mine sure does.

Why shouldn’t a high-quality tool also be beautiful? I have two spindles that qualify as works of art–the Kundert and now the Jenkins–and they are both fabulous spindles.

How tiny the Lark looks beside the Kundert

I wonder what my letter carrier will bring next? 🙂

From Start To Finish–A Yarn Is Born

Presenting to you, dear reader, a photo history of four ounces of turquoise Corriedale fiber morphing into 224 yards/105 g of wool yarn.

The turquoise Corriedale fiber arrived from The Woolery

The spinning has begun on my beautiful Kundert spindle

Corriedale singles awaiting plying

 

Plying ball wound from Corriedale singles

 

The singles have been plied on the 2.2 oz Schacht Hi-Lo spindle

 

The 2-ply Corriedale on the niddy noddy

 

Washed, dried, and relaxing in a basket

 

The Corriedale handspun is ready to roll!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi’s and Lo’s

With the Summer Olympics in full swing, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and spinning while watching coverage of the Games on television. The Spider Queen is almost 4/5s completed. I have started the edging of the 3rd border and the edging should be done by the end of the week. Then there will be just one border to go.

The lovely turquoise Corriedale fiber is now spun into singles. I spun half of the fiber on my beautiful Kundert high whorl spindle, but the second half I spun on my new Schacht Hi-Lo spindle using the spindle as a low whorl.

Schacht Hi-Lo 1.1-oz spindle used as low whorl

My verdict on this spindle is that it works very well as a low whorl spindle. My verdict on low whorl spindling in general is that I absolutely love it. My verdict on Corriedale is that it is a wonderful fiber and an excellent choice for a novice spindler. It is easy to draft and easy to control. All that’s left to do is ply the singles and set the twist.

Corriedale singles awaiting plying

The Wool of the Andes in Sapphire Heather is nearly all spun. The first half of the fiber was spun on the little guy–the .75-oz spindle I bought that is made from a wooden dowel and toy wheel. The second half of the fiber is being spun on the 2.2-oz Schacht Hi-Lo.

Wool of the Andes Sapphire Heather in progress

Once again, I’m using the Hi-Lo as a low whorl spindle. The heavier spindle definitely spins longer than the lighter one, but it spins slower, so I sometimes have to give the yarn an extra spin before winding it onto the shaft to ensure that it has enough twist. I don’t have much of this fiber left to spin and will probably have it finished before the day is over.

Not much left to spin

The Sapphire singles are pretty thin and I’m considering leaving them unplied and using the yarn for a lace shawl or scarf. This yarn had a lot of depth in the color as well as a beautiful shimmer. I’m thinking that it wants some beads. What do you think?

Blue, Blue, And More Blue

I have to admit that I’m partial to the color blue. Both of my current spinning projects involve blue fiber.

Half of the turquoise Corriedale fiber is spun. Doesn’t the cop look lovely on the Kundert spindle?

And I’ve got a nice start on the Wool of the Andes Sapphire Heather. I love how the roving shimmers.

And look what I received in the mail today.

The fiber is Polwarth from Sunset Fibers in the Blue Lagoon color way. Yes, more blue yarn!

The spindles are Schacht Hi-Lo spindles. I bought them from The Woolery in Frankfort, Kentucky, which is where I purchased my Kundert spindle and the turquoise Corriedale. The big Schacht is the 3-inch model that weighs 68 grams; the small one is the 2.5-inch model that weighs 33 grams. The Hi-Lo is designed to be used as both a high-whorl and a low-whorl spindle, which makes them versatile.

As you have already guessed, I’m dying to give the new spindles a whirl. I think I’ll spin up the rest of the Corriedale on the small Schacht using it as a low whorl and see how it compares to the Kundert. It’s so much fun to be a spindler!

How To Get To Carnegie Hall

You know the old joke. The tourist in NYC asks the native, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” and the native New Yorker say, “Practice, practice, practice.” Well, I’m not ready for Carnegie Hall quite yet, but I have been practicing my spinning. A lot. I started spinning on July 12th and I haven’t missed a day. In the past 12 days I have spun 7 ounces (200 grams) of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 1 ounce of mohair/Shetland blend, one-and-a-half ounces of Corriedale, and half an ounce of Bluefaced Leicester.

Yesterday I  finished spinning up the rest of the dark green (Aurora Heather) Wool of the Andes fiber that I bought from Knit Picks and even got half of it plied last night. I plan to ply the rest of it later today. It’s a beautiful, rich shade of green.

And remember the bit of purple fiber I received as a thank-you gift from Corgi Hill Farm? It has gone from this

Lovely purple BFL from Corgi Hill Farm

to this.

Lovely purple BFL from Corgi Hill Farm on the spindle

The colors spun up beautifully. I just divided the fiber lengthwise into 4 strips, started with the darkest shade each time, and, voilà! I ended up with a beautiful purple yarn. I’m not sure what I will do with this yarn because there isn’t a lot of it. But it might be a good candidate to use in a faux Fair Isle hat. I’m sure I’ll think of something. 🙂

Oh, my! Aren’t you observant! Yes, that purple yarn is on a new spindle. I bought a Kundert spindle. It’s not just a great tool, it’s a work of art.

My Kundert is currently occupied with some gorgeous turquoise Corriedale that I ordered at the same time as the spindle. I am enjoying spinning the Corriedale. It is a very crimpy yarn and has a lot of body. It feels really substantial after spinning the WotA, which is very smooth and slick.

My spinning still leaves a lot to be desired. And my plying? I don’t even want to talk about it. LOL But in spite of all the mistakes and missteps, I can see that my spinning is getting better, and I have learned that handspun yarn doesn’t have to be perfect to be useable. I have come a long way in only 12 days. I think I’ll enjoy my success for a little while and not think about how far I still have to go. 🙂