Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Some finished things

A quick round-up of some finished projects.

First off, I finished my latest Attic24 Neat Ripple blanket:


  • Yarn - Caron Simply Soft, bought from Wool Warehouse (list of colours on my Ravelry project page for this blanket).
  • Ten ripple repeats wide and - I think - there were 12 rows of each colour.
  • Colour sequence from the weighted random stripe generator on Biscuits & Jam .
  • The ends were 'filled in' to make the top and bottom edges straight before doing the border.
  • Amount of yarn used - just under 1.3kg, including ends (nearly 2,200 metres).

For the border, I used each colour, doing two rounds of treble crochet (US DC), then one round of double crochet (US SC), flipping the blanket over after each round so it didn't skew.  I finished off with a round of crab stitch/reverse double crochet.

I enjoyed using the stripe generator as after the initial fiddling about refreshing the page until it produced a sequence that I liked it took away the pressure of which colour to use next.  I also like the unevenness of the stripes.  Most are one stripe high, but there are some two-row and one or two three-row stripes as well.  I particularly like the top part of the blanket with the dark red, light beige, chocolate brown (which is a lovely colour and I never thought I'd say that about brown!), aqua and darker blue; those colours seem to play very happily together.

I've started another blanket, but more on that another time as it's a stash-buster and I've only done a few rows on it.

I've also finished a couple of pairs of socks in the last month:

A green pair from the Exmoor Bluefaced yarn I spun a couple of months ago:

These are fairly substantial due to the nature of the fleece, but feel nice on the feet and, to be honest, I'm quite liking these slightly heavier weight (in yarn terms) socks I've been making.  My default needle size for commercial fingering-weight sock yarn (Regia, Lorna's Laces, etc) is 2.25mm but I with the socks I've made from handspun yarn I've been using a 2.5mm or 2.75mm needle.

The other pair of socks I finished is from two balls of Regia Arne & Carlos which I've had in my stash since the yarn was first available to buy:

This is the second pair of socks I've made from this yarn (the first pair was in 2015 in the 3657/Summer Night colour and they've worn well as I'm wearing them today!).  This orangey/yellow colour is 3654/Twilight).

That's all my recent FOs.  I've got a busy day ahead as I'm off tomorrow morning for a couple of nights with DD1.  We're going to university open days in London (Imperial and UCL) and then Nottingham on Saturday, travelling by train and staying in hotels overnight :)  Part of my busy day includes finishing off the first sock in the pair I'm currently knitting so I can leave it at home and start knitting the second while I'm away.  I might put a ball of cotton yarn and a crochet hook into my bag as well (one can never have too many dish/wash cloths!).  I'll also be taking one of my spindles with me as the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday and our train journey home is Nottingham to Norwich and then Norwich to home.  I've told DD1 that I won't make her go to Loop this time (but Liberty and maybe John Lewis may be on the cards if we end up on Oxford Street).  Ooh - I've just had a thought; Harrods isn't far from Imperial* and I wonder if they still have a craft/yarn department!!!!

*The college I attended was in South Kensington, so although it was many moons ago, it's an area I know fairly well.

See you soon :)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Spinning Round-Up: May

Late again!  No excuses; I just haven't got round to writing this entry.

I haven't got any spinning FOs to show for May.  I was going to say I've just been plodding on with my spinning, but that's not right because 'plodding' suggests it's a chore when the truth is, I've been enjoying what I've been doing.

The bright pink fluff is coming along and I finished the first single.  When I first started using my spindle, I hand-wound the yarn off onto the inside of a toilet roll, but that took absolutely ages to do, so now, I tape some thinnish card around the core of my yarn-winder and carefully wind off from the spindle, which takes about a third of the time.  Here's the first single:

The colours in this range from a very pale, almost-white pink through to that eye-searing bright pink on the outside of the cake.  I finished the second ply yesterday evening and have started on the third, so hopefully I'll have a finished yarn to show off at the beginning of July.

I've barely done any spinning on my Turkish spindle, so no photos of that.  I think I've spun a couple more rolags and I can see that the rolags I'm making are getting better with practice.

On my wheel, I've had progress on my sweater spin (yay!!).  I filled each of my six bobbins with 70g of spun fibre, which meant that I couldn't do any more until I'd plyed two of the bobbins together to make the final yarn:

Bobbins in a shoebox

First plyed skein of yarn!
Because each skein of yarn I'm making weighs 130-140g, I'm using my jumbo flyer and bobbin to ply the two strands of yarn into the final yarn and that means my legs are getting a good work-out.  In fact, I overdid it with that first skein as I plyed it all in one day, which was a bit silly because I've still got foot problems (plantar fasciitis in my right heel/sole).  That first skein weighs 129g and is 378m in length, pre-washing, so I think I'm going to need five skeins in total.  It'll be interesting to see how the yarn blooms once it's washed.  I've made four more 35g batts on my drum carder and have just started spinning those up.

I've also started a long-term project on my other top-whorl spindle (I bought two the same, thinking that DD2 might be interested in learning to spindle spin, but she wasn't).  I bought a 500g bag of mixed 'waste' fibre from World of Wool, so I've sorted it out into bundles of 30-35g according to colour and am going to spin each bundle into a single and will then make multi-coloured yarn by plying three singles together.  This is an 'upstairs' project, so I don't work on it as much as I do my 'downstairs' things (a few minutes while I'm waiting for the bath to fill, first thing in the morning while I'm waiting for the teasmade to do its thing, if I wake up in the night and don't want to read, etc).  The first bundle is purple:

Finally, not a WIP, but a new purchase.  I'd seen large spindles for plying on a couple of blogs, especially this one from Snyder Spindles (scroll down to see the photo), but the cost of post and packaging from the US, plus the probability of having to pay duty and post office handling fees meant I couldn't really justify ordering one, so I had another search on the internet and came across a UK company called Kerry Spindles, who makes a large-sized (68g or so) top-whorl spindle for plying.  I was going to put in a link, but I don't really need to because I've taken a photo instead:

Yes, I bought one!  I also took a photo of it next to one of my top-whorl spindles so you can see the difference in the sizes:

The new spindle (which is naturally purple - the wood is Purpleheart) is just under 4" in diameter and the lighter spindle is just under 2.5" in diameter.

In other spinning news, I've joined a team for the Tour de Fleece which starts on 1 July.  The team I'm spinning with is the Wool 'n Spinning one, from a blog/vlog and corresponding Ravelry group that I follow.  I've never done the Tour de Fleece before (link to the Ravelry group if you want to see what it's all about), so it should be fun.

So, that's my spinning summary for May.

I've got some knitting and crochet catching up blogging to do as well, which I'm hoping to do tomorrow.