Electrifying hand dyed yarns, with personality!

Archive for June, 2013

A Puzzle

In a few weeks I’m heading on a road trip with my family!  Little will be coming with me, sadly Josh will be busy with work.  We’re joining my parents, brother, grandparents, and aunt and uncle.  We’ll be heading from San Diego all the way to Seattle and back in 3 RVs over about 3 weeks.  I have high hopes for all the knitting I could potentially get done (if I  can keep the car sickness at bay…).

In planning what knitting to bring, I came across some hanks of yarn that I just can’t decide on the right project for.  This hank of beautiful natural alpaca, straight from a ranch here in East San Diego, I’m having an especially hard time deciding on.

SAM_0984

It took a lot of effort to make this not look like poo… but it still kind of does :/

It’s 320 yards of fingering weight yarn.  It’s yummy and soft, with a bit of a scraggly halo.  I’m thinking hat, but I just can’t seem to find the right pattern.  If it was yours, what would you be knitting with it?

This next one is more of a puzzle.  In my cleaning up the last few days I came across a bag of my mother-in-law’s old crafting stuff, including the very beginning of what looks to be her first knitting.  Sadly she passed away after a long battle with breast cancer in 2010, so I really want to keep the little bit she knit intact, little mistakes and all 🙂

Diane's first knitting <3

Diane’s first knitting ❤

The only wrench in this, is that I don’t really want to knit a garder stitch scarf.  The yarn seems to be cotton of some sort, no label so I don’t know how much yardage.  I really don’t want to frog what she knit, so I’m potentially knitting something with a garder border I guess.  So any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated too.

Anyone have any fun summer trips coming up?  What will you be knitting during your free time this summer (and I hope you all have some at least!)?

 

Plying With the Spindle

Yesterday was a no make-up, get stuff done around the house kind of day, and today looks to be more of the same.  I dove into the spare closet where all my crafty stuff had been tossed, just to get it out of the way, during the move.  Spent all day burying Little’s room under a pile of stuff, then finding it again so she could go to bed.  To reward myself for a hard days work, I broke out my spinning once again to try to finish plying all I had so far.

On that note, I thought it would be a good idea to give you all the long-delayed plying tutorial!  When I was just trying to take up spinning I was lucky enough to get to sit in on a local spinning guild’s class.  I spun my first bit of yarn there!  Before I left, the instructor outlined the plying method I’m about to show you, and, not to brag or anything, but it’s a lot easier than having to wind up a bunch of center pull balls like most of the You Tube videos suggest.  So, on to it!  (But if you haven’t read my original drop spindle tutorial, check it out here.)

Supplies, easy!

Supplies, easy!

Grab yourself an old shoe box you don’t mind poking holes into, and a good, sturdy pair of needles you don’t mind poking through the box.

Poke!  Poke!

Poke! Poke!

Stick your needles through the shoebox as shown.  This is what I call the “poor man’s lazy Kate.”  Make sure you leave enough space on all sides of the needles for your “spool” to turn smoothly.  And by “spool” I mean those TP tubes with your singles wrapped on them (or is that just me?).

"Spools"

“Spools”

Double check!

Double check!

Make sure that your singles are coming off the spools on the same side.

OPPOSITE of the way it was spun!

OPPOSITE of the way it was spun!

Slip the end of both singles through your starter string (see previous spinning post for a how to) and start spinning the OPPOSITE direction that you spun your singles in.  In my spinning tutorial I spun my singles by rolling the spindle UP my leg, so, when I’m plying, I roll the spindle DOWN my leg.  Easy peasy!

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

When my spindle was full, I unwound it onto a home-made niddy-noddy (there are lots of tutorials on how to make one out of PVC pipe) that measures in yards.  That is about 80 yards of my finished, two ply yarn!  I can’t wait to finish plying the 1/2 pound I have spun up.  I’m hoping to have enough for a nice slouchy hat 😀

Even if you don’t end up with enough yarn for a large project, make something out of it!  Even if it’s just a thin headband.  You’ll love it all the more because it was made totally by you!  Have fun!

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Shop news!  I have the original colorways up and running again, and, new lower shipping cost!  Woot!!

 

 

 

 

What a Slacker!

Ya, that whole thing about posting more… so much for that I guess.  I did however just have my 1 year blogaversary!  So yay to that!  Now if only I could get this baby schedule thing down so that I have time to not only post, but have the time to knit something TO blog about!

So, while I wait for that fantasy “sometime” to show up, here’s a picture I never posted of Josh’s finished hat and scarf!

He looks so happy :P

He looks so happy 😛

Sadly the scarf continues to roll up a bit on the sides, despite more than one blocking and ironing >:/

The hat, as you may recall, had the issue of being a tad too short.  Hence the funny cast off edge.  But, the boy wanted as plain a hat as I could make, so that’s what he got.  The set went with him on the last two cold weather trips of the gig, and I’m assuming *causeinevergotapicture* that they were worn.  Oh well, at least I think I knit him a useful gift.

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In shop news, Etsy did a funny thing and deleted all but one of my colorways…  Not sure what that was about, but “Stuck-in-Gum Sheep” (more hanks to come!) seems to be the favorite any way, and is still up and running.  Wonder what it is about the lovely pink that’s so appealing?  While I will get my original colorways back up ASAP, I also have some super fun NEW colorways coming, including some self striping!  And as always, I’m open to custom requests and suggestions 😀  Here’s hoping this will all happen in a timely manner.  😉