March 20, 2012

Hopelessly Overcommitted as Usual

On My Spindles:

Hopelessly Overcommitted was one of the teams in last year's Tour de Fleece, one that I wasn't on. This year's TdF planning has started and I have not only picked my project (spinning cotton) but my teams (Spindlers, Hopelessly Overcommitted) and my tools (spindles, cotton carders). I'm good to go. Cotton will be a nice change of pace from all the wool I'll be spinning. Speaking of which....

The Knitmore Girls are starting a Spin-along/Knit-along or SPAKAL in which we will spin a sweater's worth of yarn and then knit the sweater. I've joined the Ravelry thread for this and will be spinning and knitting along with everyone. I'm actually hoping to spin for two sweaters: last year's BFL natural multi, and a lovely fleece I'm currently processing that I've dubbed "Tex".

Last year I spun 36 ounces of the BFL natural multi into a little over a thousand yards of 2x2 cabled yarn (wpi 11+|-), not enough for a sweater to fit me. So I bought another pound of fiber last month which I will spin up for the SPAKAL. I also got a multi cross fleece last year that is washing and combing up nicely. It's a cross of 1/4 Texel and 3/4 Border Leicester, Coopworth, Corriedale and Finn, with three to four inch locks with nice crimp. See...

"Tex"  locks and combed fiber

Soft and squishy. I like this fleece enough to contact the shepherd to try for this sheep's this year's fleece.

"Cape Cod" is spinning along nicely. I just plied my first two skeins and am very happy with the way they've turned out. They're drying now so pics or measurements yet but they look like the wpi will be around 20 and the total yardage around 400. That will be the best I've done from a chain plied four ounce braid.

On The Needles:

The Charlotte Bronte Shawl is on hiatus while I'm working on the Margarethe Lace Shawl which I cast on last week in Knit Picks Gloss DK. I'm making it as a thank you to a friend; her color choice is black :-( not the easiest color to work with. The pattern is not complicated but I'm having trouble anyway - my stitch count keeps going awry. Sooo, I'm frogging back to the garter stitch border and putting in a lifeline and lots of stitch markers. If I have to take baby steps to get this done right I will, and toddle along. Most of my other knitting is on hold while I work on this. I'm not ordinarily a monogamous knitter but I want to get this done by mid-April.

March 3, 2012

Finished Objects Part II

Off my Spindles:

The "peach stuff" is done. Actually, it's the "Shadows on the Wall" colorway from Crown Mountain Farms in Polworth. An 8oz bump gave me 567 yards of chain ply (3ply) yarn in varying colors of peach, pink, blush, and a wee bit of greenish. Not really my kind of colors, but it was an easy spin. Total singles yardage spun this year: 1,398 (I had spun and plied a 101 yard skein last year that I'm not counting in this year's ten mile goal.)

Shadows...Wall color closeup

The "Valley Stream" colorway that I started spinning last year is finished, finally, thank the fiber gods! This was four ounces of hand painted organic merino. The colors were beautiful, but the fiber was hell to work with. I've never had to work with such matted fiber before; it was almost felted. I eventually cut (yes, with a scissor) the color sections apart and ran them through my hand combs, and the comb waste through my hand carders. I chain plied and ended up with 284 yards of DK weight yarn. (429 yards singles spun this year.)

Valley Stream handspun

Also finished in February is the "purple stuff", actually, it's variants of purple through rose but it seemed mostly purple when I was spinning it. In stark contrast to the Valley Stream fiber, this was an absolute joy to spin. Unfortunately, I lost the tag so I don't know who hand dyed the fiber or what fiber it is (my guess is BFL). My only problem with this yarn is in my plying - the last two skeins are nowhere near balanced, even after soaking, snapping and thwacking (right skein in pic). I will have to try taking out some plying twist from the smaller skein, see if that works. Probably a good idea to use my Navajo spindle for this.....

Mystery yarn the purple stuff

2012 Yardage Goal: 17,600 Total to Date: 3,360