Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plying Tonight and Tomorrow and....

Here is one of the 2 bobbins of singles. Ready to start plying.

Prayer Shawl/Stole

I have started on the prayer shawl for an Internet friend who is dealing with being diagnosed with cancer, but it is a very treatable cancer...with radiation therapy. It's more a stole than a shawl as I got the pattern from http://www.shawlministry.com/ . I am knitting it from my spun and dyed shetland wool. Being I am not "main-stream" beliefs I have substituted my own prayers for healing and comfort of which I go more into on my own blog. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable here by going into more detail. Near the middle most stitch hangs my Infinite Healing Stone and when I reach it, I say a prayer of blessing for the shawl and that it comfort and warm my friend when see seeks it. I want to find another small peice of Infinite like this one to send along, preferrable I'd like to find one to hang on the needles like this that I can send along as this one is mine and I really don't want to give it away as I like it so much.

I also light a candle before knitting which is surrounded by various other healer stones, including another, larger, piece of Infinite and listen to "healer" music which is mostly goddess chants, nature based music, and music for the chakras. I am enjoying the creation process for this peice and I love the pattern which is a basket weave/checker pattern. I find that my best experience with this project is found while sitting outside on the patio with the music playing softly inside, just loud enough to hear it outside.

Thank goodness for autosave!! Darned thing had an error and I though I lost my post but YAY for google adding this wonderful feature!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

2/3rds there!

I finally "finished" spinning that big bowl of fiber - skeined it off to check the yardage, and I have 608 yards - I need 900-1000 yards for the Wing o the Moth, which is what this fiber has been clamoring to be turned into. I am planning on knitting it with singles - It should be interesting seeing how the color variation plays out - this batch of singles was handblended without tools, the next batch of singles (which, I hope will get me to where I need to be yardage-wise!) will be spun from one of my blended batts off my carder...When I first measured the yardage, I thought of knitting the first set of motifs of the shawl with a complementary colored handdyed commercial yarn, but figured that would just look odd. So I'll be spending more time spinning - I'm planning on using this more variegated hand blended yarn on the outer portion of the shawl....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

60% Complete

I have 60% of the shawl done ---

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

--- and a quick calculation tells me I have approximately 38.5% of my yarn left.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Normally when I'm afraid I'll run out of yarn I knit quickly and non-stop in hopes that I'll finish the project before I run out of yarn. I know, it makes no sense, but I'm not the only knitter that admits to this. Unfortunately the clues for the Mystery Stole 3 are being doled out piecemeal, one week at a time. I have no choice but to stop and wait for the next set of directions which won't be out until August 3rd.

On a good note, I can probably spin more if I have to. It's from commercially made top from Aurelia and the colourway is still available. On the other hand, I'd rather not as it comes in rather large bags and buying another will double my cost to make this stole.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monica was admiring my blocking wires earlier, so I thought I'd mention them here. Not wanting to send away for expensive blocking wires I took the advice of a knitter on a Yahoo-groups forum I belonged to and bought myself a handful of 3/16" x 36" tig welding rods. You just need to check the ends and use sandpaper or a grinder to smooth out anything that might snag. Blocking wires work really well for blocking items with straight edges or even for blocking shawls that have pointed edging (in that case you run the wire through each point). It reduces the number of pins you need and makes for perfectly straight lines.

My thoughtful husband made the holder for me out of PVC pipe and threaded end caps. He even painted them for me so that the ugly black lettering is no longer visible.

The other innovation visible here is the "blocking board" made of interlocking foam play mats. I have a case of 4 and would like another set so that I can block my largest shawls, but set up in a straight line these will work fine for blocking the finished stole.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I carded up a bunch of dyed Shetland and added glitz to it. I am spinning this up to knit another shawl for my Mum. It took me a week to fill the bobbin up with singles on my Louet S51 DT! Look at the ball of singles I have now!

Shameless self plug: I am participating in Blogathon 2007 and my chosen charity to blog for is the Raptor Education Group, INC (REGI) .
To see details about how blogathon works or to sponsor my blog in my efforts, click the "Support this Blog" button. Blogathon starts July 28th so hurry and sponsor me today!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I got the shawl off the needles, but still need to block it. I ended up designing my own border, since I didn't have enough yarn to do the one she had designed. I like the way it turned out. Will get pics once I can get it blocked.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally, Progress

You may recall the Lorna's Laces roving that I was initially planning to spin with no clear pattern in mind. Then I signed up for Mystery Stole 3 and turned my attentions to some alpaca. As I was prepared to begin my adventures, my wheel turned against me. Let's just say that there are apparent personality issues and we're no longer on speaking terms.

Two weeks ago, a handome Ashford Traditional came to visit me until SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival) in October, when I'll go home with a new wheel of my own. Or at least that's the plan. I spun up almost 100g of crappy icelandic pencil roving to get used to the wheel. It had the potential to be so nice, but it was so full of vegetable matter that I seriously doubt I'll use the yarn for anything. Having never spun on a wheel that didn't have a severe personality issue, I was amazed at how easy spinning could be.

I was all set to begin the alpaca when I remembered 4 oz of 50/50 merino/silk that came home with me on Distaff Day from the Handspinner's Guild. I pulled that out and became entranced. Somehow, I'd completely forgotten that I absolutely love spinning silk. I spun and plied about an ounce worth of fiber, giving me about 275 yards of less than fingering but mostly laceweight yarn. Add the beads I ordered weeks ago and we have the beginnings of a Mystery Stole.


I am ridiculously impressed with myself for having spun something that I'm using to knit as I have used my handspun perhaps twice ever. The rest just sits in a basket.


I knit up a swatch while at the doctor's office this morning using US 4 needles.


Then stopped home to block on my way to work. Yes, it was that serious.


When I get home, it's time to start knitting.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Started Spinning :)

I finally started in on my bowl of fiber - things are going slowly as Im trying to spin finely for lace - I have knit lace from singles before, but was wondering if most of you ply your yarns or no...Sadly, no photos yet because my progress is piteous - I've only a tiny bit on the bobbin so far!

I'm toying with knitting the Wing o the Moth once I have everything spun up.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My progress so far

Hello. I joined the group a while ago but have been a bad blogger recently and got all caught up in my spinning and knitting and forgot to post. Silly me. I've been spinning (drop spindling)) since March, though so far I haven't really known what to do with my handspun. I thought this KAL would be a good chance to finally spin with intent!

I'm spinning natural black/brown Shetland into a two-ply DK(ish) yarn; I have to confess impatience got the better of me though and I cast-on my shawl before I'd finished spinning it all. I'm working on the Luna Moth Shawl and am loving the pattern so far. It's my first attempt at a big lace project.

WIP: Luna Moth Shawl

Really been enjoying looking at what everyone's working on, I'm in awe of the creativity :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Legends Of The Shetland Seas (center)

So the center of the Legends stole is now done and I'm set to add the borders. It's been a pleasant knit so far and I think it will have a nice fuzziness once I go to wash and block it from the merino. I've had a few people tell me they think I should just do the edging with the color shifts and not to try to eliminate them or spin a more solid section of yarn. Looking at it now as a whole I guess I am inclined to agree. It will be awhile before you hear from me since I won't post this again until I have a border to show. Happy spinning and knitting :-)

finally, an actual picture of the shawl

I finally got around to taking pictures of the actual shawl. It's really hard to get a good picture while it's on the needles, though. It's so bunched up that my little sister thought I was knitting a bag. Anyway, here's a picture of the shawl.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I don't know where that all of that blue came from. I know it's in the roving, so maybe there was just a really blue spot and I didn't notice it when I was spinning. I don't think it'll happen again and I still think it looks ok, so, it doesn't matter.
And here's a close up of the detail of the chart I just started.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The colors in that one are really bright. I don't know how that happened. When I get more done I'll try to take a more accurate picture. The colors in the first picture are more of what it actually looks like.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tarot Baggie

Or baggie for anything else for that matter, but this is intended for one of my favorite tarot decks, The Shape Shifter Deck.
The yarn I used for it was a wool and cotton blend that I blended myself on the Pat Green in the background of the photo. If you have ever seen Paton's Mosaic yarn, this is very similar. The cotton creates very soft nubs all over the yarn. I spun it a little thick so it came out bulky at 9 WPI. So the bag was a quick project. I also added a leaf lace motif in the middle so I could see into the bag without digging whatever cards were in it out. I have to do this with my cloth bags because you can't see through them, and sometimes you can't recognize what deck is in the bag from peeking in from the top. The closure cord is some of the yarn plied back onto itself to make cording (you over-spin to plies together, fold the length of yarn in half, then spin back the opposite way to get it to curl around itself).
This bag was super simple at 24 stitches (12 on each side).

The brown yarn is of luxurious softness, a wool and yak down blend (also blended on the drum carder). The yak is dark brown while the wool was a lighter chestnut brown. When blended together the tone deepened and the softness increased. Very nice fine Shetland wool and yak yarn.

I am doing a lot of blending, spinning, and sampling of the resulting blend to get a better idea of what one can blend successfully on the drum carder. This "research" (AKA- FUN!!!) will be apart of Part 3 of my video tutorial on youtube.com.

Until next time!


I have spun half of my shetland roving, plied it and am swatching a shawl.
I've never done lace before, so finding a pattern was a little daunting.

I chose this one.

Here is a shot of my yarn and "soft start"

I'm going to keep on plugging and spinning on!!

BFL - natural and dyed!

I'm not quite done with this project, but the large part is done. I still have some natural brown BFL roving to spin into 2 - ply yarn for the border of this future shawl. I don't know what it will be, have to look for a suitable pattern. I got the "Golden rod" roving from Amy Spunky Eclectic, and the natural brown BFL somewhere from eBay (loads of it). But before I continue with this project, I'm spinning some lace weight yarn in a different color, just to keep it fun, because spinning boring brown is getting on my nerves, it seems endless.
The small yellow skein is 193 yds, the bigger one is 668 yds. I still have some golden rod singles on one bobbin. Dont' know what to do with it.
You can see more pictures on my blog.
Happy spinning!


Almost finished

Well, I got the body of the shawl done and went to do the border and realized I won't have enough yarn to do it. :( So, I'm trying to decide what to do, since I can't get anymore of the colorway, that I'm using. I figure I can get about 3 more rows across, maybe 4...I would like to at least have a lace border on it, since that is what the pattern calls for, but don't know of any 15 stitch 3 row lace patterns. If anyone does, could you let me know?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Progress on wool

I had washed my fleece last year but could not figure out why it still had 'that' smell to it. I figured some how I had just gotten a bad one and nothing could be done. So I stuck it in a bag and put it away. This group made me decide to get it out and give it one more try. I got a big tub of warm water with detergent in it and set it to soak. Three tubs and a good rinse later it is just wonderful. Overnight it dried enough for me to have some to flick finally. I am using some hand cards ? carders? on it. I have a gallon baggie full of the most wonderful silvery gray fluff now to get started on. Just as an estimate how much should i clean to start with? Like 4 ounces? more? I am really interested in that. Any hints?


All this time I've been spinning and knitting on my own, not even realizing that I never even posted pics of my roving or the spindle I'm using. Here's the roving I'm using.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
It's a 50/50 blend of merino/silk that I got from A Yarn Or a Tale. I can't remember what the color was called on the site but the card that was in the bag said Summer Border, so, I'm guessing that was probably it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the spindle I'm using. It's one of the ones my mom makes and sells. Except mine has the purple shaft because I asked really nicely. It's my current favorite spindle. I also started my shawl. I'm halfway through the charts but, it's a circular shawl so the rows keep getting longer and longer as I go. Right now, it's taking me half an hour to knit a row. Pics to come either later today or sometime soon.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I decided that I should do a practice run with my new flyer and bobbins, before spinning my very limited quantity (4 oz dyed to order, no chance to match lots) of merino/tencel roving. I dug through my fiber stash and found 3 oz of Corriedale roving I dyed several months ago.

I wound up with about 500 yards of very fine, fairly even laceweight (it's soaking now, haven't measured WPI yet). I will make a Swallowtail Shawl with this. I love the high speed flyer and fat core bobbins for fine spinning.

I am planning to spin the merino/tencel next. I'm hoping to get enough yardage for a bigger shawl or stole. Off to pre-draft....

I may have got a late start on the MS3 knitalong, but I managed to catch up. Clue 2 is finished and now I have to wait until Friday for the next clue.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I don't normally block shawls while they are still in progress, but with the long wait until the next clue is released I thought I might as well see what I have so far.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This close-up photo shows the rainbow angelina in the handspun a little better than some of the previous ones. The beads are adding their extra sparkle too.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Belated Progress Report

BFL FamilyI have been a bad Spun Stitches member and I apologize. I've been busy working on my project but I keep forgetting to post here. I have been posting on my own blog though and, if you'd like, you can check it out here. One of the things posted there is a bigger version of the picture here which shows the yarn I've spun for the project so far. It's Blue Faced Leicester which I'm spinning on my Lendrum. I love everything about how this yarn is coming out - even the funky bits.
This yarn is destined to become Hanami. Although the pattern calls for laceweight and this is a bit heavier than that, I think it'll work well. Hanami is lace but not of the super-fine variety. I think it'll take well to the heavier yarn.
I've still got a little bit of spinning to do and beads to select before I get to the knitting part of this project. I get more excited as it moves along.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Blending madness!

I've been carding away on my new spinning toy, the drum carder. I created this batt for a video tutorial on How to Use a Drum Carder and here is ther resulting yarn and test knitting of it into a mitered square. The other two colors are also some of my own spun yarns. Click the photos for larger versions.

Until next time...

I've finally chosen a pattern, or rather, it has chosen me. You might recall that I was looking for a triangular shawl, with several more challenging patterns within it? I said that I didn't want to do a stole.

Well, seems I will be doing a stole after all. I've succumbed to the Mystery Stole 3 Knit-a-Long fever. I'll be doing it with my handspun black 2 ply laceweight, so it should fit with this knit-a-long as well.

Here's my beginning, "clue one" (the first 100 rows) complete.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've tried to capture the sparkle of the rainbow angelina in the handspun and the glint of the "oil slick" beads, but both are not easily captured by a camera. In real life they are quite impressive.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Thursday, July 5, 2007


I have been very quiet of late and should have kept you more abreast of my progress, but what with the last weeks of the school term, Ravelry, trying to keep my own blog up to date and now Mystery stole 3, there are only so many hours in the day.

So there haven't been many progress reports, but I do have a finished
object :-)

Swallowtail Shawl from Winter 06 Interweave Knits

Made using about 450m of laceweight alpaca/ silk ( one ply of each) spun on my trusty Ashford Traveller, Beth.

I added quite a few repeats of the first lace pattern ( I think I finished up with 19) which gave me the correct numbers to match up with the second lace pattern.

Knitted on 3.5mm Clover Bamboo circular, final size 60" across and 27" from neck to point.

I am so pleased with this shawl, it is the first one I have made out of my own handspun and most certainly will not be the last :-)
Here is an arty shot just to finish up with ;-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Finally Spinning

Hi, All. Thanks to all for the nice comments.

Remember those beautiful batts that I posted the other day? Well....I could not do anything with them. Everything I tried did not work out. These fibers (33% wool, 33% Alpaca, 17% kid mohair, and 17% silk) are just plain slippery. So, I ripped apart the batts, mixed all 10.5 ounces in a giant tub. I grab a small handful, draft it a foot or so and spin. It actually works out very nicely.

Here is about a 1/3 ounce spun up yesterday afternooon.

I think I like it. It's easy to spin, very "organic" looking. I'm spinning it kind of loosely because I am hopeing it will bloom after I ply it and wash it up.

Have a good Independence Day.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bulky shawl question

A good comment on the different weights shawls can be knit in. Does anyone remember the shawl Ann Bancroft wore in "The Miracle Worker?" I saw the movie recently and noticed the shawl. It looks like it might be crocheted but it was definitely done with a heavier yarn. I have some bulky three-ply that I intend to use for either a shawl or poncho. If anyone crochets and knows a pattern similar to the shawl I'm talking about, I'd love to hear from you.