Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Spinning Myself Silly

I guess it's about time for my almost monthly post. So much for more regularity. I wonder if there is an Activia for blogging. (So not funny, right?)

As I said before, I really do have plenty of material to blog about, and often think about how I should post. The truth is, I hate coming with titles for posts. I'm not good at coming with a witty or clever titles as so many others are. Any good advice about coming up with titles, please give a comment.

I like to see what search queries lead readers to my blog. The top three are, "learning to spin" or "learn to spin", "Mediterranean shawl" and "Peacock shawl". Strangest search query, "knitting needle went thru leg." Ouch!! I really hope they got medical help.

I don't think my post about how I taught myself to spin is really that helpful, or as relevant almost three years later. Back then, the only video available was the Joy of Handspinning. Now, with the help of YouTube, there are plenty of videos if you look around a bit. Also, if you haven't joined already, Ravelry, has several spinning forums with very knowledgeable people willing to help.

My best advice for those starting out, is what I did, that is, take the commercial equivalent of what you want to spin and dissect it. Cut about a three or four inch length an untwist the plys. Then take one of those strands and carefully untwist it, watch which way you untwisted. Now, take a look at how much fiber there is in one ply. That is about how much fiber you will need to work at drafting to get the yarn you hope to make.

Next bit of advice I have, is to practice every day, even for ten or fifteen minutes. You'll get better much faster by practicing for a short time daily than you will with one large session a week. Really, it's the truth. Be patient with yourself.

On to my current projects, at least a couple of them. I'm almost finished with Stor Rund Dug. As I stated before, I'm using a 2/30 hand dyed silk, on 0000 knitting needles.

I was a bit disappointed when I dyed the silk, one small section took up too much dye and was very dark. Another small section, didn't take up very much dye, therefore was much lighter. Overall, the rest of the hank was pretty evenly colored, so I went ahead with it. I like the effect of the bits that are uneven. It reminds of the lines in a tree trunk.

018 (click for bigger)

Overall, I think this pattern is much easier than it looks. On the start of rows 54, 88 and 122 there is an extra stitch leftover from the previous row, that is not noted in the pattern. I just knit it together with the first stitch. As of this picture, I have three rows left to go. As you can see, I'm still working with seven dpn's. I really could have been better suited to switch to circular's awhile back, but didn't feel like ordering a pair. It was a bit tricky making sure the stitches stayed smooshed together on each needle while I was knitting, but I managed without incident.


Right now, I'm on my least favorite part of lace knitting or knitting doilies. That is the chain stitch bind off. It's so easy to drop a stitch in the process. Silk has a habit of "going for the gold", so to say, as it runs really fast to it's starting point. There has been a few incidents, where I had to catch a stitch. Luckily, I keep a bunch of cross stitch needles in the arm of my chair. Then, hold it in place, while I grab a second crochet hook to carefully weave it back up. Much cursing ensues. I'm not in any hurry to torture myself in one long session, so I'm finishing slowly, snail's pace.

A bit on the spinning front. Not having spun from a carded batt before, I bit the bullet and bought this. It was a pleasure to spin a very fine single from. Now, I'm wanting a drum carder to do my own blends.
Statistics: two 1.5 ounce batts, each spun on a separate bobbin = 965 yards lace weight yarn.

I'm planning on knitting it into a lace stole I have planned out in my head.

014Burnished Fiber

019Burnished 965 yards

Lastly, I'll leave you with a picture of a happy bunny listening to his Zeppelin.



BadCatDesigns said...

gorgeous yarn...cute bunny too.

Ria said...

Don't feel bad about the titles. I'm horrible about that too. Can't tell you how many of mine are named updates, or knitting update or other equally lame titles.

The blue yarn came out gorgeous! i love the lace pattern. I don't really think I'll ever have the patience for lace.

Ria (tonyfan20 on Ravelry)

Carol said...

That is a lovely blue stole. Both the blue and the stole. As far as the titles go, I either just use part of the post or what my gut reaction to the post is. like todays was Yark! For obvious reasons....

I have a kitty that likes Roy Orbison. No accounting for tsate.