Monday, February 11, 2008

Long Update ..

I finished test knitting SSS on friday which was a happy and sad occassion. I was happy to see her finished to admire her beauty as a whole, but she's been a large part of my knitting life for the last 3 months and I was sad to see her finished.

The final yardage came in exactly on estimate at 1485m without the swatches or ~1500m with the two swatches. I blocked her as wide as possible to try and reduce the length but will reblock to make her a little longer and less wide. Currently she's 75cm wide and 210cm long. I'd forgotten how much Shetland wool grows on blocking.
Here's a little teaser ....

I've been busy spinning for about 15mins each evening since Christmas but haven't shown any pictures of finished yarn. This was mostly because the batteries in the camera have been dead and the new ones I'd ordered took a while to arrive.

The first yarn is a rainbow. I combed and blended 10 colours of merino roving to give 30 colours and then spun from dark red thru to purple and navajo plyed to give long colour variations. I now have a 150g skein of approx double knit thickness yarn.

Next are two skeins used for playing with colour blending using combs and the hackle. The turquoise skein was 75% turquoise 25% green, blue, purple and a dash of pink, while the bluish skein was equal amounts of each. These are 75g and 50g hanks. I think they'll work quite well together.

Next is some Cheviot fleece that I washed, degreased and dyed shades of blue, pink and purple, then combed and spun. Its spun as a fine single when navajo plyed gives a 4ply. I like the way the colours have worked out quite heathery, unfortunately it's a little on the scratchy side. I think I#ll reset the twist in this and try and soften it a little by soaking it in boiling water with a little hair conditioner for 1 min and then ice cold water for 1 min. This usually helped fluff up and soften scratchy yarn.

and a close up ....

My next experiment was to navajo underply some singles and then re- navajo ply them to make a balanced yarn. I hadn't seen this done before and wondered how it would turn out. ta da. Its a little bit ropey as the initial single was worsted spun. I'd like to retry with a woollen spun single to see if it makes a difference to the final yarn.

a little out of focus close up ....

On to knitting .... remember I mentioned magic ball knitting a few weeks ago. Here is a magic ball mitred square cotton cleaning cloth. Its made from oddments of 4ply cotton that I plied to give 3 strands of colour per block and then knitted up. I'm quite pleased with how its turned out.

Machine knitting has been temporarily abandoned partly due to lack of time and as I'm waiting for my new sponge bar to arrive which should stop the dropped stitches.

We were away in the hills this weekend and I unfortunately managed to pick up my second cycling puncture of the year, 10km from the car on a hyro-scheme road. Its the same tyre as last time, so I'm assuming I was either very unlucky or there's a cut in the tyre. So I had to walk for 2 hours to get back to the car which left plenty of time for contemplation (something I've been lacking recently).

I cast on last night for the first of my pay-it -forward gifts. I'm not sure which of my pals will receive it, but its in Kidsilk night Macbeth colourway (I love teasing).

Finally here's a list of my knitting commitments for the next few months:

1. Something blue for a friend who gets married in June

2. Pay-it-forward

3. Baby things for the spring arrivals of which there are many ... how exciting is that?

4. Finish a few nearly finished WIP's

5. Comb and spin last years fleece before this years shearing begins.

Oh and I've been SO good .... we're 6 weeks into 2008 and I haven't spent a single penny on yarn! ...


The Knitted Squirrel said...

Jen ~ I love your spun yarn. The colours are wonderful! I have been thinking about whether or not to give spinning a try, but have yet to do it. Maybe some day I will, but for now I will just fawn over yours!

Knitted Piper said...

Jen ~ love the spun yarns, absolutely gorgeous !!!

tell me about this "sponge bar", one reason why I've not gotten into my knitting machines is that I knit great going one way, but comming back along my stitches all seem to fly off (very frustrating !!)