Friday, June 29, 2007

Note on yarn weights

I have noticed over and over that people especially newer spinners seem to think that shawls are knit only with lace weight. This is far from true. Many patterns are made for other weights of yarn. My favorite shawl is actually is a big hug of comfort made in handspun worsted weight yarn.

Many of the prettiest lace designs are designed with fingering weight yarn or heavier weight yarns in mind. Fiber Trends is well know for having patterns that list a number of yarn sizes for their lace shawl patterns. Many Sivia Harding designs are made for fingering or sport weight yarns. So spin a yarn you like and are comfortable spinning then go looking for a pattern.

Just a sampling of some lovely patterns on the web using other then lace weight yarns. The Bell Shawl is designed for sport weight yarn. The Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl was originally knit in a mix of DK yarns. Lion Brand has a beautiful triangle lace shawl that is done in Homespun which is a bulky thick and thin yarn! For those that can see it here is the Lion Brand link Homespun Diamond Shawl.

The moral here is whatever weight you can spin and whether it is thick and thin or smooth there is a shawl pattern out there that can show it off.

Newbie question

Hi there
I have not knit lace before and I am a newbie spinner.
I have finished spinning one batt of my Shetland and am trying to figure something out.
Can I knit with my singles?? I know that you can, but in some cases the yarn will twist creating a visible line--but I don't' think I can spin it thin enough to create a 2 ply laceweight yarn.


Batts for Shawl

Here are the batts that I carded up for the shawl. I'm going to lay each the three colors on top of each other and pull into roving. I hope to maintain some seperation of the colors. We'll see how it turns out. Wish me luck!

Black and silver/brown alpaca
Tussah silk and grey Coopworth

Brown Cotswold and red Kid-Mohair

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pattern Chosen

I finally chose the pattern that I'm going to use. It is the Barbara Shawl. I have 600 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn, spun out of cormo in shades of green and yellow. I have the first repeat done and working on the second one. I love the way it it turning out.

Gorgeous Stuff

Man, there have been so many beautiful things posted on here, that I just can't keep up with the comments. You guys are doing some magnificent things. All I can say is: WOW!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Legends of the Shetland Seas (Hazel Carter Stole)

Here is the first pattern repeat for "Legends of the Shetland Seas" since I was waiting to see if I would have to be on Jury Duty today. Knit on US 2 needles. The colors change nicely for me but when I get to do the edging, I'm going to spin a little extra yarn without any big color shifts since I think that will look nicer in the long run. This will take awhile since I'm knitting multiple shawls/stoles and rotate them but at least I've made a start!

Mission Control, We Have Yarn

I have plied one strand of Lisa Souza merino and one strand of Lisa Souza BFL to make this yarn. Spun 36 WPI on both my Schacht and my sisters Majacraft Rose. I did not bother to put this into a skein. I just wound it from the bobbin onto a ballwinder with a toilet paper roll in the center that had be cut down and taped so it would remain as the center of this ball. That way, if there is some over-twist it won't kink up in the middle while I use it. I don't have a lot of over twist and what there is will block out when I go to knit the shawl. If I leave it wound in this form long enough, it will block on it's own actually. Will post soon once I get a little on the needles. I will be making "Legends of the Shetland Seas" by Hazel Carter on US 2 needles. I will be posting my progress on this stole here and on my own blog. For those who were asking about what missalicefaye would be knitting with that green yarn I spun, she is swatching for something out of Victorian Lace Today and will post it later on her blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I finished knitting last night, and blocked this morning....

I will definitely stick around and after a break I'd like to do another shawl, for me next time maybe, and a lot slower paced! All the details for this are on my blog. I look forward to seeing others progress and getting inspired for my next one!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blue scarf

I've finished the first border on the blue scarf in Victorian Lace Today. The first repeat went nicely, the second not so well (I've been calling it the Bourdain curse as the errors occurred whenever I was watching Anthony Bourdain on tv) and the third went "swimmingly," as a friend of mine used to say.

The yarn was spun on my St. Helens spindle (Cascade) and plied on my Rio Grande Wheel. More on my blog,

Finally a post about me. My name is Gemma, I have been spinning for approximately four months, but I was able to purchase a spinning wheel second hand, and so have been having some fun for a while. This rainforest wool is the fourth bundle of roving I have spun, and I get more consistent with each new project, so hopefully the next lot (which is caramel coloured merino/camel) will be suitable for a lacy shawl. But to show how far I have come so far, here is the hardware and the finished software, but still a little coarse for a shawl.
I got 18 wpi for this spinning, and I am almost embarrassed to admit it, as you all spin so beautifully and so much more finely.... this is quite a learning curve for me, and I will just have to see where it takes me.

Cheers from Australia

hey there

Hi! I just joined a little bit ago after lurking for a (long) while. My name's Emily and I've been knitting for 4 years but I'm pretty new to spinning. I only started last fall. I already have 3 skeins of yarn spun up and a pattern picked out but, my mom took her camera with her to New York to visit my nephew so, no pics till she comes back. But, I'll be sure to post some as soon as I can.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I don't think I've been by to introduce myself yet.
I am spinning some Chocolate Brown Sheltand that I got from a local farm:

I'm not yet sure what pattern I will be making--something easy as I 've never knit lace before.
Just wanted to pop over and say hello!

My blog is here:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Questions about Coopworth

i have 3 lbs of Coopworth that i got as a birthday present in march. i finally got more bobbins to use to spin it up, but i started & it's way too "wild" to be laceweight, which is how i was spinning. luckily i didn't have to get very fal at all to see this. i was wondering if anyone has suggestions for spinning it and has spun/is spinning it. i've seen that it is best for outerwear & rugs, but i don't want to use 3 lbs of roving just to make something i'm gonna step & walk all over.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alternate Skein Winder

Thanks Tyler! Your suggestion to use my umbrella swift as a skein winder worked. At first I resisted the idea thinking how awkward it would be. Then I read somewhere else in the blog-o-sphere (can't remember exactly where) that it works well if the swift is mounted sideways, on the table leg, instead of in its usual position on a table top.

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Well, look at that! It does work. I tied a non-stretchy string into a circle of exactly 2 yards and then opened the swift until it fit the string. I then tied a colourful piece of yarn to one section of the swift as a marker. Rotating the swift around and around by hand (easily done by hanging onto one of the 'spokes') I counted each pass the marker string made.

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I have at least 760 yards of 22 WPI, 2 ply laceweight in one continuous strand. (The handspun wasn't as tight on the swift as the measuring string was so I figure each 'lap' was slightly more than the 2 yards I counted.) I have a wee bit more that I have Andean plyed from what was leftover on one of the bobbins after plying. I'll likely use that bit for my gauge swatch/es.

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The beads are leftover from another project. There won't be enough to do the shawl, but they match so well that I'll take them with me when I'm hunting down some more. I think I know where I got them.

Ready To Be Sent (Not The One I Will Use)

Two skeins of 70/30 Merino/Silk. One skein at 750 yds the other at 647 yds for a total of 1,397 yds spun at an average of 30-32 WPI. I say an average because it's not consistent enough to be an exact measure. I will not be knitting with this yarn because I will be sending it of to missalicefaye to knit with. Why you ask? Because I love to see her knitting, because I have tons of this fiber, and because I can. I'm still working on my own yarn and I'm half way through the second bobbin . I hope to be done in a week or so between my other activity's. Happy Spinning/Knitting To All!


My spindolyn finally arrived today!!! I'm so excited to use it but I have to wait for the little ones to go off to bed before I get to try it. It's so pretty! A little bit smaller than I thought it would be, but perfect anyway!

Knitting has begun

I have been knitting since the beginning of the week (picture from tuesday night):

I've been working quickly on this wing of the moth. If it looks nice enough when it's done I have plans for it that involve it being done next week.... if it doesn't, then I'll just keep it :)

I started the second chart tonight, and have lots of knitting plans for the weekend.

When this is done, I'd like to stay with the group and do a slightly slower paced shawl for myself. ...once my sanity has returned that is :)

- Lucy

Alpaca Lace and an Intro

Hello everyone - While I've spun for almost 3 years this is my first lace project. I bought this alpaca 2 years ago and finally I'm getting around to spinning it. I'm not sure which project to do with this yet, so I'm just spinning first and seeing how far it goes.
My first lace singles...

If anyone is planning on attending the Midwest Fiber Festival - I've signed up for the spinning lace class on Sunday morning. I'm hoping to practice more before then and then really pick up some refining tips for the future.

~ Madame Purl

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Plyed and Busted

I don't think I've ever had one of these large, Majacraft bobbins so full! I plyed and plyed and in the end I got nearly 250g of 2 ply laceweight (22 WPI) on there. I'd love to tell you how many yards that made but ----

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--- when I had counted off well over 300 wraps (on a 2 yard niddy noddy) the piece of junk broke under the strain. I knew it was cracked, and I've ordered a new one, but I was hoping the loosely jointed, weak, poorly designed, piece of good for nuthin' kindling would hold together long enough to finish this job. As it was I had to yelp for help before hundreds of yards of handspun became hopelessly tangled.

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I quickly finished winding the skein while my husband held it on his outstretched arms. *whew*

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It's had it's bath and is hanging (perfectly balanced, *woo hoo*!) to dry. Hopefully I'll be able to borrow a yardage counter to get an accurate length before choosing a shawl design.

Prepped and Waiting...

This would be my bowl of fiber that is prepped and waiting to be spun - it's a blend of merino wool and angora - I've not yet decided if I want to add a little bit of sparkly stuff in or not - and I also haven't decided what I'm going to try to knit with it - to get it to be lace weight is going to be a trick, but certainly worth trying seeing as the angora is so warm!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Ply!

I now have two bobbins of the "green stuff" IE, the merino/silk blend that I have tons of at home. This is not for me to knit with however. I'm going to be sending it, providing it is decent, to missalicefaye, knitter extraordinaire! She has just finished her Wedding Ring Shawl from the pattern by Sharon Miller and it is exquisite! I can't think of a better person to Beta test my lace weight yarn. Hope it is good enough for her to use. Tomorrow we will be finding out. I'm almost done with the second bobbin for the yarn I will actually be using for my own shawl for this spin/knit along but I will get this done first!


Today, I completed the indigo dyeing process by washing out my yarn. I am so excited. I love the color. And, I love the fact that I have spun this yarn, dyed it, and now I get to knit it.

Tomorrow, we leave for the Balck Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. I plan to sit in the car and start knitting my shawl! I hope to have a photo for all of you when I get back showing some progress!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Hey all, I'm Kelly. I joined a few weeks ago but I've been busy with the kids and haven't had time to post until today.

I decided on making the triangle shoulder shawl in cherry leaf pattern from Victorian Lace Today. The fiber is from It's merino/tencel in Caitlin's way. I started spinning it up last week on my Kromski Symphony and I'm almost done. Hopefully I'll have the finished yarn to show you next week.

Happy spinning!

Considering Mountain Peaks --- OR ---

I've been on the computer all morning searching for just the right shawl pattern. I'm still not sure exactly what I want, but I'm narrowing it down.

I don't want circular or square --- twice the knitting (and yarn!) and the second half doesn't really show --- otherwise I'd do the Tina Shawl.

I don't want rectangular either as I find stoles awkward to wear.

I do like "Birch", but I'd like something with a bit of variety in the stitch patterns --- not one pattern throughout.

I also like the look of an elaborate border.

72" wingspan would be perfect.

I'd like to add beads, although they don't have to be present in the original pattern.

The Mountain Peaks Shawl might work --- or ---

I love the look of the Peacock Feathers Shawl, but I've done it already and I'm not normally one to repeat a pattern. I might just decide to do it again anyway. It's such a beautiful shawl. I've never found one I like as much. It's been two years since the last ---

--- Help me, I'm falling again!

Another Intro.

Hi, I am Laura, aka soapturtle. My home on the 'net is here.

I joined a couple of weeks ago, but haven't felt chatty lately, so I am just now getting to my intro.

I have just finished spinning up around 800 yards of2 ply heavy lace/fingering weight and now just have to decide on what pattern to use with it. Whatever I choose, I think I am going to throw some beads on it as well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Black Rainbow

My supervisor, Shelby, posing with my "hardware", a Little Gem II.

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And on the wheel ---

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--- the beginnings of 250g of "Black Rainbow" a dyed, Halfbred wool blended with 10% rainbow glitter. I bought it from the Aurelia booth at Fibrefest International. I'm spinning it fine, to become a 2ply laceweight.

I hope to use the finished yarn for a beaded, evening type shawl to use in the holiday season. I still haven't picked a pattern though. Any suggestions? I'd like something reasonably complex --- not just one stitch pattern throughout, and I seem to lean toward triangular or faroese shawls though I would consider others.

Yarn ready, now to decide on pattern

I got my yarn all spun and plied, but ended up with only 600 yards out of the 16 ounces of fiber :( Not to sure of my wpi, but when I measure it, it seems to be 11 wpi, which doesn't make sense as it seems thinner than that, as you can see from the picture. Oh, to decide what shawl pattern to make.
I have a couple of free ones, but I'm not to sure if the yarn would look good in a fancy lace pattern or if I would have enough to make one. If anyone has a recommendation for a pattern that I can make out with the yardage and wpi I have, please let me know.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


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Hi. My name is Marlene. Thanks for allowing me to join the group.

I've only been spinning for about 2 years now but I learned to knit over 40 years ago. I love to knit lace and have completed several shawls, including the Swallowtail Shawl above, which was knit in my own spindle-spun 2 ply. There are more details about it on my blog, "Wovenflame", if you are interested.

I'll be back over the next several days with pictures of my "hardware", current "software", and perhaps some ideas of where I will be taking it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Almost One Bobbin Full (How About a Circular Shawl?)

I have almost filled one of the bobbins with a single of the green merino/silk and I just got a new book that I pre-ordered from Amazon. "Wrapped in Comfort" by Alison Jeppson Hyde. It looks really good to me and the shawls and are designed to stay on your shoulders. There are a few scarves as well for those who would prefer a quicker knit. She has both written and charted instructions for those who prefer one over the other and there are various degrees of difficulty from beginning lace knitter to experienced. The needle sizes are very reasonable (US 9 or US 10 most of the time). Now I've lately been knitting on small needles, but these patterns are very graceful and look terrific in the larger gage. Depending on the yarn when it's done, I might just have to make one of these lovely shawls with hands spun. The green yarn is not the one I'm going to knit with. I've promised some to missalicefaye to knit with so that's that. Good Spinning and Good Knitting!

Introduction - Finally got myself spinning for the KAL

Hi there, I'm CAT.....
I'm so excited to be a part of this group because I've only been spinning since last fall. You can see my learning experience in 2 episodes of my video podcast LetsKnit2gether and more recently on my blog.
I haven't yet spun anything laceweight and I felt like this Spin/KAL would help inspire me to get there and I can reach out to you all for advice along the way...
Software: I got this pound of blended Colonial Wool from CJ Kopec Creations
I love the colors with Purples, greens and black. It has a staple length of 4-5 inches and it is spinning up beautifully. I'm predrafting a lot beforehand because I'm still not that experienced spinning fine.

Hardware: Fricke E-Spinner
I've only had this since January. Before that I was spinning on a support spindle, so I'm really still only learning how to use it.

At this point, I'm spinning at 36wpi....

I'm running nearly the top speed for the larger pulley. If I switch to the smaller pulley, I may be able to get to 40wpi without running the motor so high. I'm going to try that this weekend.
I haven't yet chosen the project I want to do yet, I'm waiting for the spun yarn to inspire me. These are the ones under consideration....

Well, that's it for now...Happy Spinning!!!