I’m proud to announce that I finally finished plying Stormy waters. The result: about 760 yards of lace weight super wash merino. The final turtle was roughly the size of a softball. It took me over an hour to wind it into a hank. I’m not looking forward to winding it into a ball when I’m ready to knit it. I’m planning on making Morrígan with it, but for now it’s drying from it’s bath. Once it’s dry it will join my other handspun yarns. I’ve learned that it’s a bad idea to make such large skeins. From now on I’m going to stick to making smaller skeins (at least when I’m spinning lace weight yarns).
Just a quick update: I’m about halfway through plying and I’m beginning to think I was crazy to think I could ply it on my turkish spindle. I’m not sure how it’s going to all fit. Based on how long it’s taking me to ply, I’m estimating the resulting yarn will be about a billion yards. Of course once I measure it it will have shrunk to a couple hundred yards (hopefully at least 800).
Hopefully I’ll be finished plying by this time next week.
This weekend I’ve been obsessed with spinning. It’s mostly because I really want to finish one of my current spinning projects. I really want to get started spinning the Manx Loaghtan top I bought in February, so I need to free up a spindle. I also really want to start planning what I’m going to knit with the yarn I’ve chosen to name Stormy Waters and need an accurate yardage measurement. As a result, I’ve spun more this weekend than I have in the last month. The end is finally in sight, I’m a few hours away from finishing the second single, then all that’s left will be to ply the two singles. I’m not looking forward to plying, it always seems to take a lot longer than I expect.
I should probably give more details about Stormy Waters. It’s my attempt at fractal spinning without buying multicoloured fiber. I chose 3 colours of SW merino from my stash and weighed out equal amounts of the 3. I then split each colour in half and set one half aside for the first single. I then split the remaining half into three equal sections for the second single. I’m looking forward to see how it turns out. Now I’m off to spin.
I’m beginning to understand why sock knitting is so addictive. I’m about 1/3rd of the way through knitting my first proper pair of socks (by proper I mean with tiny needles and fingering weight yarn) and I’m hooked. I’m knitting these cuff down, 2 at a time using magic loop. I can’t wait for these to be finished so I can wear them. And I’ve already decide which socks I’m going to knit next.
I’ve been thinking about why I’m enjoying knitting socks so much and I think I’ve figured out why. First off I think it’s because socks are fairly mindless knitting. I don’t have to be paying attention to every stitch and following a chart. Although they’re mindless, they’re not boring. The socks I’m currently knitting have a simple cable running down one side which keeps things interesting. The variegated yarn makes for interesting knitting as well. It’s fun to see how the colours are going to line up.
Another thing I like about sock knitting is the time it takes to complete a pair. They take long enough to finish so you feel like you’ve accomplished something, but not so long that you get bored with the pattern. There is also such a wide variety of patterns that there is no need to ever knit the same pattern twice.
I can’t wait to fill my sock drawer with hand knit socks.
Before being set aside I had spun the first single and started the second. When I picked it back up I decided to try ;my hand at spinning longdraw. I’ve had some experience spinning longdraw ( I tend to switch to longdraw on long spinning sessions). The only problem I had with spinning longdraw is that the fibre was full of nepps that I can draft out more easily when spinning shortdraw. The result is a slightly thick and thin yarn ranging from fingering to sport weight.
The final product is 3.7oz and 214yds.Based on those numbers I would assume that the yarn is worsted weight. I must be miscalculating the yardage because this is the second handspun that the yardage I calculate is less than what I thought it would be (or maybe I just spin really dense yarns).
The first thing I do whenever I finish a handspun is to look up patterns to try to decide what to make with it. When I first started spinning this I planned on knitting myself a hat with it (not that I need another hat). Once I finished spinning the yarn I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make with it. While looking at patterns the one that really caught my eye was spinster slouch. I love the cables, but what really clinched it is the name. The term “spinster” was originally used to describe a woman who spins (a man was a spinner, whereas a woman was a spinster). I liked the idea of using something I spun myself to knit the hat, so it really would be a spinster slouch.
I realize I haven’t posted anything in two months and I plan on posting more regularly from now on. What I’m most excited about today are my new Turkish drop spindles. To make up for not posting in quite a while I will go into the back story as to why I bought these spindles. Part of the story is really something I should have written about in November, but didn’t.
Once upon a time, about 2 months ago, a young woman wanted to spin the 1 oz of dyed silver Corriedale that had recently arrived in the mail. But she had a problem. She only had one spindle and she was (and still is to this day) using it to spin some superwash merino.
Not wanting to wait until the seemingly endless amounts of merino were spun, she decided to make her own spindle out of objects she had around the house. She decided to make a turkish spindle. Partially because she didn’t have anything to use as a whorl and partially because she wanted to try spinning on a turkish spindle before purchasing one.
The young woman managed to find a pencil, some Popsicle stick, and some rubber bands. She assembled her spindle and started spinning. It worked! Her homemade spindle was a little wobbly at first but once a couple grams of fiber had been spun the wobbling stopped.
She spun and spun for a week. Falling more and more in love with her Turkish spindle until she had spun half an ounce. She took the turtle off her spindle and started spinning the other half. By then she already knew that she had found her favourite type of spindle. She could almost imagine haw much more fun it would be to spin on a proper Turkish spindle.
She kept spinning and after another week and a half the second half of the fiber was spun. It was now time to ply the two singles together. The advantage of Turkish spindles was made obvious at this point. The singles had come off the spindle in the form of a center pull ball. She didn’t have to wind the singles off the spindle into a ball or on to an empty toilet paper tube!
Two days later the singles had been plied together and the yarn was finished. The young woman now had 131 yards of fingering weight Corriedale wool and had fallen in love with Turkish spindles. What she loved most was the way the spun yarn is wound on the the spindle, forming a turtle. She also loved being able to use the turtle as is after removing it from the spindle.
The young woman knew she wanted a proper Turkish spindle so she added it to the top of her Christmas wish list. Unfortunately her family did not seem keen to order anything online, so she didn’t receive a Turkish spindle. Which brings us to about two weeks ago when she decided to buy one for herself. She went onto etsy and browsed various shops that sold Turkish and shipped to Canada. She decided to order from Snyder spindles.
She couldn’t decide on just one spindle so she ordered two. The first, a 1.1oz spindle and the second a tiny 9g spindle.
A week and a half later they had arrived (which was sooner than she expected). She bundled up in her winter coat and boots as well as her favourite crocheted hat and her new knit mitts and walked over to the community mailbox. Unfortunately she found her mail box frozen shut for the third time this winter and had to break the ice around the door with her mailbox key. After a few minutes she got it open and found the key to the parcel box (which thankfully opened easily). She carried her box containing her new toys home and excitedly opened it. Inside, wrapped in bubble wrap were her beautiful new spindles.
Unfortunately the young woman promised herself that she would finish plying the superwash merino she’s been working on for months before starting any new spinning WIPs. So now she has to wait and show self control before trying out her new toys.
My latest obsession is crocheting fingerless mitts. So far I’ve made 6 pairs. A big draw is how fast they are to make. I can make a pair in about an hour. Sometimes it’s nice to work on an instant gratification project.
All the mitts are crocheted with Briggs and Little Tuffy. I used a total of 2 skeins to make all 6 of the mitts.