Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2018

Going Nuts

Yarn Rascal is way too interested in the supported spindle spinning process. He thinks if he holds the unspun wool with his two front paws while I am trying to spin this is helping me. I would wind the unspun wool around my wrist to get it away from him, but it’s 90 F / 32 C here with humidity and I don’t feel like having wool wrapped around any part of my body. So the spindle is put aside for now. I wasn’t happy with how the spinning was turning out anyway. I am doing something wrong in the drafting process because the resulting mess “yarn” is way too thick and no matter what I try I can’t seem to make it thinner. How many videos can one human being watch on spinning before loosing one’s sanity? They all look the same and I think I am replicating their movements but what they create as opposed to what I create are two different products. Frustration.

On the zoo front, we have three wild turkeys living with us. One male and two females. The babies just hatched recently. We stay inside between 1pm and 3 pm because that is when the females like to take the babies on a long walk around the place. So cute. They drive Yarn Rascal round the bend, but what he really gets nuts over are the rabbits and their babies. He positively quivers when he sees them. If summer doesn’t end soon either Yarn Rascal will have a nervous breakdown over the rabbits or I will over the spinning. With all this going on The Skipper has resorted to his Man Cave, which is the basement. Smart man.

Read Full Post »

The number of ways I can find to annoy myself is amazing. This is the latest way.

spindle spinningYes, that is a Tibetan spindle, its bowl, and a whole lot of unspun merino wool. I’ve managed to have a whole 4 seconds of proper spinning where everything was clicking just right. It made my soul sing. However, I’ve not repeated those seconds.

I am teaching myself by reading and watching spinning videos how to do this. I’ve made progress too. It now takes me only one hour to get an empty spindle started as opposed to a half a day.  Once I get some “spun” wool (I use the word spun very loosely) I try to make a temporary cop. Then I try to slide that down the spindle to make a permanent cop. Almost everything will slide down to the permanent cop area near the whorl. Everything but the wool I used to start the spinning. It’s wound so tight it needs some serious tranquilizer prescribed for it. So I am making little cops near the top of the spindle until I can relax my starting style. I figure that might take a year or so.

When I went to purchase the unspun wool I didn’t know how much I’d need, but I figured it to be a lot since I have no faith in my ability to learn this craft. The online retailer offered wool in ounces, pounds and a whole sheep or two. My cursor really hoovered over the whole sheep choice. I mean, once I bought them and they were delivered what could The Skipper really say. Instead I went with something close to a pound of unspun wool. I know me and I know I need a ton of practice at this.

The rubber met the road, so to speak, on my spinning journey when the unspun yarn arrived and had to be introduced to Yarn Rascal. He knew something was wonderful and different the minute I hefted the bag in. Thank the spinning gods the package was Yarn Rascal proof because he went bananas. When I told The Skipper what I bought he said a number of things, but eventually he said it was going to take the two of us together to introduce Yarn Rascal to unspun yarn.

I decided to open the yarn package on the dining room table while The Skipper held Yarn Rascal so he could see but not touch the yarn. Remember in the 1960s when women wore kerchiefs on their heads and when they’d take them off their whole head of hair would pouf out into a large aura around their heads? Well, breaking open the package of yarn was much the same experience. Unshackled it was a lot bigger and a lot more yarn than I had imagined. Yarn Rascal went ballistic, jumped out of The Skipper’s arms and ran right on top of the table at the beach ball size thing of yarn.

Now unspun yarn needs to be handled gently in order not to felt or stick together or otherwise become unspinnable. A salivating, tongue hanging to his little ankles, wild eyed, screeching Yarn Rascal in no way bodes gentle handling. So I did the first thing that came to mind. I threw my body over the table and on top of the nice big beach ball pouf of yarn flattening it to within an inch of its life. This quick action has exacted its toll. Every time I go to spin some “yarn” (I use yarn in the loosest sense of the word) I have to predraft the fluff and air back into it.

Yarn Rascal was introduced to a small piece of unspun wool once we calmed him down. He is very interested in it and whenever he hears the spindle and bowl click together he comes running from whatever he’s doing to watch.

At some point I am going to put the “spinning” ( I use the word spinning in its loosest sense) down and finish the second sleeve of the Carbeth sweater, but right now I can’t  seem to keep my hands off the spindle.

 

Read Full Post »

Well the Carbeth sweater is coming along. Surprisingly we haven’t had a really hot and humid day the whole time I’ve been working on it. I thought for sure the knitting gods would dump the hot and humid on me instantly. Rather the days have been around 68 F / 20 C. Very unusual for this time of year. But that’s not to say the knitting gods have passed me by. No, I am on their radar.

I usually knit with fingering yarn and small needles no larger than US 5 (3.75 mm). Most needles I use are between US 1 (2.25 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm). The ones I’m using for Carbeth are US 11 (8 mm) and US 10.5 (6.5 mm) in both circular and double-pointed. The sleeves are knit on double-pointed needles. It’s like knitting with logs. Slippery logs. The double-pointed needles are especially problematic. If they are held any way other than perfectly horizontal  when not in use (and who can manage that with double-pointed needles?) the needles slip right out of the stitches. Add to the fact that the yarn is held double, which I usually avoid like I would Ebola, and I have some seriously challenging knitting going on.

I knew all this going in. It wasn’t a knit within my comfort zone. Still I wanted the sweater. It’s called masochistic knitting at it’s best. The body up to the under arm is complete. I only had to rip back 3 times when somehow I forgot to knit a double strand and knitted a single one instead.

I’ve also finished one sleeve that contains increases. How can an increase be so complicated? It’s masochistic knitting, remember? I have this obsession  thing about increases being invisible. So the increase that is truly invisible is the lifted increase. You knit into the collar of the stitch below the one on your needle. Then you knit the one on your needle. It makes a beautiful right leaning increase. For the left you do the same–sort of. You work the stitch on the needle then you go what looks like two stitches but is really just one below, knit into the collar of the stitch and you have a left leaning decrease. While my right leaning decreases were coming out okay, the left ones were not. Riiiiiiiiip! Start again. Do the same things. The left increase is still wonky. Put knitting down. Comb through knitting books for the specific increase I am doing. Finally find it verifying I am doing it as stated. Pick up knitting. Make left increase. Stop. The increase is still wonky. Wonder if knitting it through the back look would change anything. Try it. Left increase is now looking good. One problem solved.

I am working on the second sleeve now. After this I join the front, sleeve, back, sleeve together and from there I am lost. The instructions are to keep 8 stitches on hold for each sleeve and back and front. These stitches are not knitted up when the pieces are joined. They are grafted together at the end of the sweater making. I cannot envision how yarn gets from one part of the sweater to the other. Even joining other balls of yarn where these 8 stitches are will not work knitting in the round. So I am off to Ravelry to find out if anyone else had this problem and what to do about it. I have visions of the sweater being left unfinished because I can’t figure this out and my heart starts its anxious palpitations. I tell myself I will finish this sweater. I will.

Read Full Post »

Tin Can Knits

modern seamless knits for the whole family

Spin A Yarn

yarn hoarder...accessories fanatic...lover of all things creative

String Geekery

knitting, crochet, other string tricks, and forays into other creative endeavors

knittingsarah

I knit. I spin. I live. I write about it.

The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home

Fringe Association

Knitting ideas, inspiration and free patterns, plus crochet, weaving, and more

Josefin Waltin spinner

For the love of spinning

knit/lab

making things up

Wool n' Spinning

the place where fibre becomes yarn.

Dartmoor Yarns

Tales about a creative life on Dartmoor

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

Compassionknit

Welcome to my little knit corner, where anything goes!

NothingButKnit

yeah right.

Knitting Nuances

A 2015 - 2018 Top 100 Knitting Blog!

Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

%d bloggers like this: