An exploration of my life as I know it. Knitting, working, creating, and cat-wrangling.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Samples Spun and Lessons Learned

I’m a little behind with the fiber posting.  Since I last posted, my birthday has come and gone.  It was a good day/weekend spent with friends, music, food, and alcohol.  Lots of fun.  So much, that I didn’t take any pictures so you’ll just have to believe me that I had a good time.  For my birthday, Ray got me a new drop spindle.  THAT I got a picture of.

DSCF4176It’s from Zebisis Designs and I LOVE it!  It’s got a carved black hardwood shaft and a green Brazilian Agate whorl.  She even put a notch on it for me.  My spindle came with a sample of fiber (as well as a larger one thrown in for my birthday!)


The blue is 65% mulberry silk/35% silk noil and the green is a blend of Bamboo, Corriedale, SW Merino, Cashmere, and Firestar.  It’s so pretty it deserves a close-up.


Free fiber aside, you should really check out Zebisis.  The owner, and sole proprietor, Mayisha is so nice and her spindles and fiber are gorgeous!  I keep going back to her shop to see what’s new, but I’ve had to stop recently because I can’t afford to buy anything.  It’s so hard not to.

As I posted early in March, I received a Phat Fiber box.  With my new spindle I’ve been playing with some of the fiber samples.  Here’s what I’ve done so far:


This is the Extreme Spinning BonBon, and my first attempt at plying.  I had a little trouble spinning this one.  I think my drafting was uneven and so some spots are thicker and less spun than others.  This made plying difficult because it kept breaking at those weak points.  Lesson learned and tucked under the belt.  Another thing I learned from this first skein, is that I LOVE plying!  Ohmygod!  It’s sooooo much fun and watching the colors twist together and contrast each other is so rewarding.  I find myself wanting to ply my commercial yarn just to see what it does together.  Anyway.  Next.


This attempt went much better.  This is the Fox Hop sample (Corriedale Cross, Shetland Fleece, SW Merino, Alpaca, Bamboo, Sea Cell, and Angelina) plied with the Teresa Levite sample (Shetland Wool/Tussah Silk).  I was able to spin this a little thinner and didn’t have any problems with breakage when plying (which I still love).  I need to get a WPI tool, but my best guess is that this is a bulky weight and is about 11 yds.  Not bad for a sample.

Yesterday, I spun this little beauty up.


This is the East Kentucky Fibers sample.  There were five mini samples in different colorways and one large natural sample.  I spun the five colored samples into one single and plied it with the natural.  I added the Moonlight and Laughter sample from the January box to this because I thought the colors would fit in and I didn’t have a whole lot of it.  I think this threw off the ratio of color to natural.  I ended up with a yard or two extra of color and so I took the end and plied it with itself.  That’s why you see some sections that are not twisted with white.  I’m not sure how strong that will be, and I may end up cutting it off, but it looks really nice in a skein.  This ended up as a worsted weight (see, I’m spinning thinner) and is about 10 yds.  I absolutely love it, but have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  Guess I’ll have to check Simple Knits to see if there is anything I like.

Amongst all this spinning I am still knitting, I just haven’t been posting about it much.  I’m STILL working on Ray’s scarf, and have been plucking away at the Pride shawl.  Although, we just got in a fight the other day (the shawl and I, not Ray and I) and some angry words were spoken.  It’s not really the shawl’s fault, it’s the instructions and mine.  It’s the instructions fault for being wrong, and mine for not looking up the errata (of which I knew there was) before picking this project back up.  So when I finally did look at the errata and realized 11 rows later that I had started the color change one repeat too early, I may have said some awful things to the shawl that I will have to take back (along with those 11 rows).  No, I didn’t put a lifeline in before the color change.  I hadn’t needed one up to this point (and technically wouldn’t have, had I checked for pattern changes).  I tried to run a lifeline through the stitches below the row I need to rip back to, but this only resulted in more angry words and frustration.  So, I tink.  I would have pictures of this wonderful, sweet, beautiful, and not-at-all-the-bane-of-my-existence shawl, but aside from the aforementioned attributes it is hard to photograph so you can actually see what it looks like.  When laying there, it just kind of looks like a lumpy pile of tangled stitches.  You have to stretch it and block it to really get the idea, and I just don’t have the gumption to do that until it’s done.  Ok, I’m off to humble myself to an organized pile of string…I mean, the most beautiful project my needles have ever produced.

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