Archive for ‘March, 2011’

Combining Colorways in Handspun

Amy from Spunky Eclectic is running a spin-along in her Ravelry group and kindly included David of Southern Cross Fibre and me, as well. The deal is, you spin a yarn combining different colorways, at least one from one of our three shops. I love combining fibers, so hopped right in as soon as I got back from my trip to SPA in Maine, which was totally awesome and all kinds of fun, by the way.

What I thought was just a lark turned into a bit of an education about combining fibers and colorways. I tend to throw all caution to the wind when combining different wools. (I do draw the line at mixing regular and superwash wool, but someday I’ll do that to and report back.) Everything worked out just fine, as you can see. I haven’t knit with the yarns yet, but past experience with mixing wools like I did tells me that there will be no problems. I have lots of older projects kicking around that are made from mixed wools and since we wear our woolens half to death around here, I’m confident these yarns will stand the test of time. How these yarns work for you will depend, of course, on your needs and expectations. If you’re spinning for a fine drapey sweater, by all means stick to a fiber that will provide the yarn for that job. I tend to spin the yarn and find the project later, after I see how the yarn behaves, so don’t suffer from much inhibition!

Combo SAL Yarn & Fiber 1

Left to right: Hello Yarn “Sweets” Polwarth, Southern Cross Fibre “Wide Awake” Polwarth, Spunky Eclectic “Eclectic Jam” BFL/silk

Yarn is one ply of each fiber.

Worsted weight, 374 yards, 6.3 oz.

Mashup Yarn #1

This one was made up of three fibers that were pretty similar in value so that the yarn, while made up of a bunch of different colors, is a pretty steady medium value with no bits that scream “LOOK AT ME!” over the rest of the yarn. The yarn as a whole may be screaming just that, mind you.

Combo SAL Yarn & Fiber 2

Left to right: Southern Cross Fibre “Coorong” Polworth, Hello Yarn “Shaking Leaves” Finn, Spunky Eclectic “Mordor” Corriedale

Yarn is one ply of each fiber.

Heavy worsted weight, 334 yards, 6 oz.

Combo SAL Yarn 2

This yarn was made from one rather dark ply, one that varied, and one rather pale ply, resulting in a crazy mixed up skein.

Since both yarns are 3 ply and I stripped the tops into finger-width strips, the colors are nicely mixed up and distributed throughout the skeins. These will make great socks. :D


* If you’re ever in Portland, ME, go to Duckfat. Have poutine. Thank me later.

* After that, go to KnitWit and look at all the Quince and Co. yarns in real life glory!

* My pie plate broke and I found the most wonderful replacement by Roundroof Designs on etsy. It’s wonderfully made stuff and suddenly I feel the need for a toad house.


Handspun Foot Goodness

I finally made some socks for myself. Knitting with such happy colors was a treat during these cold, grey days.

Orchid Swamp Socks

Yarn: Hello Yarn “Orchid Swamp” Falklands wool (see fiber). I used all 366 yards/4 oz., dividing the ball by weight and ending up a few rows short on the ribbing of the second sock.
Pattern: made up toe-up short row heel
Needles: ZERO- ha, they took forever.

Orchid Swamp Socks

As you may recall, the yarn is fractally spun. I split the top of half lengthwise and spun half from the end onto one bobbin. Split the other half into fourths and spun each from the end, starting with the same end, onto a second bobbin, then plied the bobbins together. This kind of striping sure is fun.

Orchid Swamp Socks

I also made myself some slippers.

Timber Slippers

Spinning bulky+ chain-plied yarn was a treat. I did 8 oz. of it in an evening of TV. The slippers were done lickety-split, as well. These were a fun, fast project.

Timber Slippers

Pattern: Nola’s Slipper Pattern
Yarn: Hello Yarn Fiber Club September 2010 offering, “Timber” Romney, 5.7 oz., about 170 yards

I changed these a little bit because I used a bulky+ weight yarn (instead of worsted held double), wanted a smaller size, and knit them in the round. Knocking off a couple of sts. and making the stitch count even did the trick. I did the top of the foot over 13 sts. as in the pattern, but because of row gauge differences/different foot size, went a couple of extra ridges before narrowing at the toe. (go to just before the tip of your longest toe and you’ll be golden). This increased the number of sts I picked up around the edge. I followed the decreases at the bottom, but went a couple of extra ridges there, too, to make them deep enough.

This is a great pattern and I think that if you are willing to rip a couple of times or make one pair as instructed the first time, these could be easily adjusted for a variety of yarn weights and foot sizes.

Aren’t they funny? They are so comfy and the Romney is wearing really well. I love them!

Made of Awesome:

* kuukuka– These clothes are killing me!
* glasses- I just bought 2 pairs of glasses (I’m rockin’ the progressives now in my old age) and then I saw these. Someday, my pretties.
* Downton Abbey- have you watched it? It’s streaming on Netflix Instant. I also really enjoyed the Wallander series with Kenneth Branagh. He always struck me as kind of a prick but when he’s all sad and doughy, I just want to hug him. It’s a great series.

Not Made of Awesome:

*ZOMG, I am so tired of snow.