Spinning along

Kirsten and I decided to set ourselves a goal of spinning (at least) 10 minutes a day this month. So last night, I got to it. I actually spun for close to half an hour (it’s so hard to stop!) and then another ten minutes this morning, and BAM!

on the wheel

on the wheel


Just about finished the 4 ounces of Falkland (Hello Yarn, “Spirograph”) I’d been working on. (The fiber I posted about yesterday.)

I’m still learning my wheel, which I just got in June. This is the first time I’ve spun with the slow whorl on it, and I had a few issues with take-up (sometimes the double-drive system confounds me, even though I currently have it set up for single drive – does that make sense? I mean, there are still two adjustments that can be made – the tension wheel and the brake band – as opposed to only the one adjustment I always made with my Ladybug). Anyway. I got all these singles packed on this bobbin and I was certain I could finish up the fiber but it just would not wind on anymore – not for lack of space on the bobbin, but for lack of any take-up at all. I’m probably doing something wrong.

a wee bit left to spin

a wee bit left to spin


Anyway, I have this teeny bit of fiber to spin up on a fresh bobbin, then I’ll wash/finish this yarn and move on to the next spin. It’s always so much fun to decide what will go on the wheel next!

Of course, with all this spinning, I made no progress on my current design-in-progress. Whoops!

a thing I did for a few minutes, several days ago (spoiler :: it’s spinning)

 

look at that red!!

look at that red!!

I was so excited to get this on the wheel and it was spinning up so quickly, and then I got interrupted by something, and another something, and another something, and I never got back to spin the second half of it. It’s killing me how little spinning I’ve done this fall, and this gorgeosity sits on the wheel just taunting me. But I am trying to work on a pair of knitting designs that are taking priority right now, as well as a list of must-knits a mile long (’tis the season, yes?).

Hello Yarn August 2013 Fiber Club, "Spirograph" on Falkland

Hello Yarn August 2013 Fiber Club, “Spirograph” on Falkland

The fiber is Hello Yarn August 2013 Fiber Club – “Spirograph” on Falkland (Falkland! One of my faves!). It is spinning up so fat and floofy. I love it so much.

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What I need to do is just take spinning on as a daily discipline the way I have blogging, and just do it even a little bit a day. Ten minutes really shouldn’t be too much to muster, even with holiday knitting and design deadlines. Doesn’t that sound manageable? Of course, I don’t usually tend to do things the manageable way, so we’ll see how this works out.

making yarn, while waiting for yarn

Last night I got to this point in the Smitten-making:
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That’s 8 red mittens, 8 white mittens, and 1.9 green mittens. 1.9, y’all. Argh. I ran out with only three rounds left to go. Over the last several days, I’ve looked everywhere for Patons Merino in Cloverleaf, which I think is what I had been using for the green mittens, and I can’t find it (maybe it’s been discontinued?). I’ve ordered some Cascade 220 in Primavera in hopes that it will match up pretty well. It should get here tomorrow, so we’ll see.

So while I’m waiting for the yarn to arrive, I decided to do a little spinning – something I think I haven’t done since early October. I knew I had been missing spinning, but WOW, spinning again made me realize how much I had missed it.

I got up early, as I usually do, and first I did a little non-Smitten-knitting, and then I got on the wheel and it was just aaaaaahhhhhh, so good. Spinning is just such a great way to start the day. I mean, so is knitting, no doubt. But somehow with spinning, I feel like it’s this great ramp-up for my mind as I get ready for the day. Something about treadling just makes my mind start humming in a way that is both meditative and energized. Does that make sense? I don’t know, it does to me.

Anyway, before long, I was done plying the yarn that had been sitting on my wheel all these weeks, and into the bath she went.

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I love finishing yarn (i.e., soaking it, squeezing it, snapping it, thwacking it, hanging it to dry, and then coming by every couple of hours to admire it).

 
This is pre-bath:
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2.3 oz Hello Yarn Panda in “Villain,” 154 yards chain-plied light worsted, to finish up a project I’ve been working on. I love this fiber, I’m happy with the yarn, and I’m excited to finally finish up this project!

Wednesday :: works-in-progress

And then there were six

And then there were six

Last week, I showed you my most recent Mitered Cross. As I mentioned, this is a long-term project for me – one I just pick up from time-to-time between other projects. But each time I finish a cross, I’m tempted to just keep working on this blanket until I’m done. It’s going to be SO squishy and cuddly. I’m really, really happy with how it’s turning out.

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The background color is my handspun Hello Yarn Tarhee “Parritch”; the contrast color is a combo spin I did (my first ever), a mash-up of Hello Yarn Rambouillet in “Pallid” and FLUFF Rambouillet in “Ripe Eggplant.” The thing is, I’ve realized that I am probably not going to have enough of the contrast yarn to make the whole blanket. I knew from the beginning that it would be iffy, but I decided to risk it, knowing it would not likely be possible to spin this one-of-a-kind yarn again. I’m betting I can spin up something else that will work, when the time comes.

Speaking of spinning up additional yarn, that’s something else I need to do yet again, for a little project I started last spring. At the time, I spun up four ounces of Hello Yarn Panda in “Villain,” knit it all up, and decided I wanted to make the project longer. So I got some more Villain in destash and spun up a little more last week.

1.8 oz. Hello Yarn Panda in Villain, 96 yards light worsted chain-ply

1.8 oz. Hello Yarn Panda in Villain, 96 yards light worsted chain-ply

I should’ve made a bit more, though, because the project still isn’t quite where I want it to be.

Sneak-peek

Sneak-peek

I absolutely adore this yarn and these colors. Spinning more of it up certainly isn’t a hardship!

That’s some of what I’ve been up to. How about you?

A thing I haven’t done in awhile

Tour de Fleece spins

Tour de Fleece spins

In the beginning, I wrote about my Tour de Fleece exploits a lot. Here, here, here, and here, not to mention all over Ravelry. But then my doctoral class hit hard, and then I was at the beach without my wheel (because, while I am apparently quite willing to drive 1500 miles with my wheel strapped in the back of my car, I actually do draw the line somewhere), and the next thing I knew Tour de Fleece was over, and then almost as quickly, summer was gone, too, and I had never even posted any kind of wrap- up.

And to be honest, I haven’t spun even one turn of the wheel since July. SAD BUT TRUE. And this, after I set a goal of spinning 13 pounds this year! Instead, here it is September, and I’ve spun precisely 4 pounds 9.1 ounces so far this year. But I knew that my spinning goals were ambitious this year and that I would likely fail. Truth be told, most of my craft goals are ambitious – if I ever get to a point where I am actually meeting all my goals, I will know that I have set the bar too low. (Does this make sense? It does to me. I honestly think that one reason I accomplish so much, craftwise and otherwise, is because I always aim high. Higher than I can actually manage to reach.) Even though I won’t be hitting the 13-pound mark by the end of the year, I know I will finish the year having spun more yarn than ever before. So there’s that.

At any rate, here is what I actually completed for Tour de Fleece:

Mmmm, yarns

Mmmm, yarns

  • 3.7 oz Spunky Eclectic Mixed BFL, “Forest” – 250 yds sportweight 2-ply
  • 1.3 oz Spunky Eclectic Mixed BFL, “Forest,” + Funky Carolina Mixed BFL, “Carrots” – 102 yds 2ply DKish
  • 3.1oz Funky Carolina Mixed BFL, “Carrots” – 218 yds DKish 2ply
  • 3.6oz Southern Cross Fibre Mixed Shetland “Desert Sun” – 312yds sportweight 2ply
  • 1.1oz Southern Cross Fibre Mixed Shetland “Desert Sun” + “Jazzy” – 98yds sportweight 2ply

The ultimate goal with this project is to make a Sugar Maple sweater. I am on-track yardage-wise, and I am really happy with how these colors look together so far; the final colors will be cranberry and brown. This is my first time doing a gradient spin, and I am SO happy with how it is turning out.

I had planned this to be a fall sweater, but at this point even I am willing to admit that might be a tad too ambitious. I could do it if I didn’t have many other crafty plans on the docket for myself, but I do have those plans, and I will have to prioritize accordingly. And since I planned this as a fall sweater, I will probably opt for making it for next fall rather than making it this winter or so.

In the meantime, these happy fall colors sit on my shelf, greeting me every day.

yarn, in situ

yarn, in situ

Along with some favorite Plucky Knitter, of course!

raveled

planned :: Tour de Fleece!

fiber :: Tour de Fleece plans!, originally uploaded by earthchick.

Just popping in to show you my very ambitious Tour de Fleece plans. They’re ambitious because I’m traveling for most of the tour, but I did bring my wheel with me (I still need to show you my! new! wheel!). I’m excited about what I’ve got planned:

Above is my main plan for the tour:

From left to right:

4 oz. Spunky Eclectic Mixed BFL, “Forest

4 oz. Funky Carolina Mixed BFL, “Carrots”

4 oz. Southern Cross Fibre Mixed Shetland, “Dessert Sun”

4 oz. Spunky Eclectic Mixed BFL, “Cranberry”

3.8 oz. Southern Cross Fibre Mixed Shetland, “Decadent Chocolate”

I’m planning to spin this up for a Sugar Maple . GAH! Isn’t that just a totally gorgeous sweater?! I’ve had my eye on it since before the pattern was published. This will be my first gradient type spin – any pointers?

One of my favorite knits from last year is my handspun Cladonia . I’d like to start a beach-inspired one while I visit the Emerald Coast this summer. So I want to spin this undyed Masham to go with these other handspuns:

options :: handspun TTL Cladonia

The yarn at the top is my handspun Hello Yarn Wensleydale singles in “Smells of the Sea” – I’m thinking to stripe it with itself for the main part of the shawl. I think I’ll use the undyed Masham for the lace part of the Cladonia. And then the trim will either be the teal (Funky Carolina 2-ply merino in “Dragonskin”) or the yellow (Spunky Eclectic Romney singles in “Sumac”).

I’m also breaking out my spindle for a few days of the tour – I don’t think I’m going to take my wheel to the beach with me, so I figured the spindle would be a good alternative. I totally suck at spindle spinning but figured I would give it a go. I brought along this Abby’s Batt that’s been in my stash for a few years:

the goods

I got a lot of spinning done this month and hope to show you some soon. I also finished my Through the Loops Mystery Shawl but still need to get it blocked and photographed.

Happy tour, y’all! And happy summer!