August 26, 2015

Tangerine Skarabäus

Tangerine Skarabäus

After I'd put away the loom for a while because my interest in weaving had waned, I saw photos of striped and pooled woven scarves, and felt I had to try making one myself. I used Wollmeise Pure in the Skarabäus colorway as the multicolored yarn, and Küken as the solid. Skarabäus is a pretty "mild" colorway when it comes to multicolors, and the color changes don't stand out as much as with some of my previous pooling scarves, but overall I like the striped look. It makes the scarf look longer and gives it visual structure. I think my future pooling scarves are now going be more or less striped. I have some ideas for using two different multicolored yarns on the same scarf for a stripy effect.

I didn't know until recently that the name of the colorway Skarabäus refers to a beetle, scarab. Now I like the colorway even slightly more than before because of that.

The Ravelry project page

August 24, 2015

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

The first handspun skein of yarn that I'm actually happy with it! We're also approaching the kind of thickness of yarn that I can imagine doing something with. It's about 310 meters out of 116 grams of fiber, which sounds thicker than it looks, probably due to the density of it.

There was a lot of progress made during the several days of spinning and then plying this yarn, and the first ply was overspun in places, with more unevenness in thickness than the second ply. I quite like the color, although I can't wait to spin some gradient or other multicolored yarns.

I'm planning on using this either on a cowl or a small shawl. I plan on spinning some more 2-ply yarn for a pair of colorwork mittens, but I also can't wait to try navajo plying in the near future.

The Ravelry project page

August 22, 2015

Apollonia

Apollonia

I'm a bit behind of my intended schedule for the 26 Pair Plunge, but here is my pair #2. From Cookie A's Sock Club, I found one of the June patterns appealing. However, I often don't feel like using the club yarn for that particular month's patterns, because I have this silly desire to not knit the exact same thing as many other people. I chose Wollmeise Twin in the Tutu medium colorway, because I felt pink was missing from my current everyday sock collection, and because I've really been warming up to Twin recently. I do love the club yarn, also, and I plan on either knitting another pair of socks with it, or using it on a non-sock project, since it's exactly my kind of a color.

The Ravelry project page

August 19, 2015

Second Try At Spinning

Shetland Humbug

My second spinning wheel project is a bit closer to what I envisioned making, but it still turned out way thicker than I expected. It's shocking how thin one ply needs to be if you want to end up with two or three-ply fingering weight yarn. While I was spinning this, I was convinced the 100 grams of fiber would turn into at least 400, but probably 500 or 600 meters of yarn. The reality: 227 meters.

I did feel my worsted spinning technique was more polished than it was at first, although there still was a fair amount of accidental thick-and-thin spinning going on. It also seems like this turned into a reasonably balanced yarn. I'm not so crazy about the colors; I think it would have looked nicer with less mixing, but I didn't have the capacity to worry about exact color sequences just yet. The single plies and the yarn out of Shetland Humbug felt fairly coarse at first, but washing really softened it up. The yarn is also surprisingly lofty, so I think I did an OK job not overspinning it.

The Ravelry project page

August 16, 2015

First Spinning Wheel Project

First Spinning Wheel Project

It was inevitable that sooner or later I would start spinning yarn. The idea has been brewing for years, and in 2009 I briefly tried spinning some yarn on a spindle. Then I accidentally stumbled upon a new Finnish book about spinning while browsing the craft section at a book store, Kehrääjän käsikirja by Tuulia Salmela. That was the final push I needed. I dug up my spindles and bought some fiber.

I meant to keep practicing on the spindle a bit longer, but then the spinning wheel I ordered arrived faster than expected, and of course I couldn't not try using it. I did not have a chance to try out different wheels to see which one I'd like the best, but I knew it should be a model that's easily moved and stored, because I don't have the space for a dedicated spinning area in my apartment. The Ashford Joy 2 was available via a Finnish online shop, so I quickly decided on that. I picked it up from the post office on Friday and set it up right away.

While my first spinning project didn't turn out exactly as I visioned, the problem was mostly with my inexperience and not with the wheel. I found the wheel easy to set up and work with. I just wasn't sure which spinning ratio to go with, since I had no experience on how all the factors would affect the outcome. I was aiming for a worsted spun yarn, but my technique wasn't exactly polished at that point. My inexperience also shows in how uneven the yarn turned out, but I suppose that's to be expected from a first spinning project. My second project that I'm now in the middle of is turning out a lot more even, and more the thickness I intended.

So, there is now going to be a fiber stash in addition to the yarn stash, which is already getting to the point I can't store it in a way it's not obvious I have a problem. My current fiber stash is a moderate one week's supply, but I have a feeling it's going to grow exponentially from here.

The spinning project on Ravelry

July 26, 2015

Neat Ripple

Neat Ripple

Neat Ripple

For years the only use I had for a crochet hook was picking up dropped stitches in my knitting. However, making a blanket with a crochet hook sounds more appealing than having that amount of fabric on my knitting needles, or alternatively knitting smaller pieces and then never getting around to seaming them together.

I did not plan the colors beforehand. Instead, I picked the next color based on how well it went with the previous one. Additionally, I never repeated the same color sequences, and tried to keep stripes of the same color at some somewhat even intervals. The yarns are mostly fingering weight, as is about 80-90% of my stash, with some sport weight thrown in. What kept the project interesting was seeing how the colors turned out. There are sequences I like better than others, but I do like the whole nevertheless.

Project page on Ravelry

July 20, 2015

Crenate

Crenate

My first pair for the 26 Pair Plunge is Crenate, a very enjoyable pattern from Rachel Coopey. I love how the pattern builds up, and I really adore what it does around the back of the heel. The extended ribbing in the back keeps the sock in place, but the lace lower in the leg adds some party to the back! They also fit great.

I felt it was time for some turquoise socks, considering it's one of my favorite colors. It also happens to be the most difficult color to reproduce correctly in photos. I used Wollmeise Twin in the Türkis colorway. For a long time I had an aversion to Twin, while my Pure stash is, umm, extensive. However, I'm warming up to it, which naturally means I'll have to have all my favorite Wollmeise colorways in this base, as well.

Ravelry project page

June 25, 2015

Tubularity & Wichtelwalzer

Wichtelwalzer

Tubularity

There's been some crafting going on, but not a lot of finishing lately. The woven scarf out of Wollmeise in Wichtelwalzer and some solid colors was started in January, then I kind of lost my weaving obsession. I eventually finished the weaving a few months ago, but couldn't bring myself to twist the fringe. Until yesterday, when the desire to get rid of a nagging WIP grew bigger than the aversion to get back to working on something you lost your mojo on.

Tubularity hadn't reached UFO status yet, but was at the risk of getting there. I decided to leave it short, so instead of the option of wrapping it lengthwise it can be used only in the tube form. I no longer like the colors I chose, and most likely this will get no use from me.  I knew this by the time I was knitting the last section, but I still wanted the closure of finishing it.

Wicthelwalzer and Tubularity on Ravelry.

April 11, 2015

Socks!

SKA March 2015 Mystery Sock

Squircle

Not one but two pairs of socks for the March 2015 Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge. The first pair was the month's mystery by Adrienne Fong, and the second the math inspired Squircle by General Hogbuffer. The mystery pattern was enjoyable and I like the finished socks, complete with the deliberate holes in the heel and toe (there was an option to make the toes more durable, but I decided to go all out with the lace). The Squircle was more straight-forward but with an unusual construction. It was fun to knit, too. I might reknit the pattern, with 60 stitches instead of 64, in the future.

Links to Mystery Socks and Squircle

March 8, 2015

Silk Road

Silk Road

Silk Road

The first pattern in the Kitman Figueroa shawl club was Silk Road. Inspired by some other knitters' use of beads on this shawl I decided to use 8/0 beads to cover up the yarn overs in the narrow columns that run through the pattern. The combination of fingering weight yarn and small beads did not lend itself to using a crochet hook, so I ended up using a piece of jewelry wire (in the same way some knitters use dental floss) to slip the beads on. About 15% of the beads, which turned out to have somewhat nonuniform hole sizes, refused to fit on the stitches, but luckily most of them worked out. I was somewhat relieved at the end of the shawl that the bead fitting was over. For the yarn I used Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga, which is a lovely yarn choice for soft and drapy shawls, but, unfortunately, discontinued. I have a decent stash of it left, though, so I will be using it for as long as it lasts.

The Ravelry project