More Drop Spindle Spinning

Good morning, readers! I’m whipping up a short update post before getting ready and heading for work. I promised myself I would get better at taking photos which I put up on the blog, instagram, etc. I will make an effort! But that effort has not yet been made, so please excuse the blurriness etc. I do promise better photos soon! Here’s another look at Jessie’s girl. I wore it once to work so far and it’s a comfy and flattering tee. Nowadays, I wear tunics and tights most days, dresses other days. Which is why I lengthened the tee a bit to make it more of a tunic. I’m happy with it. DSC02060 I’ve been spinning on my drop spindle quite a bit. Here’s my re-spun (I spun it badly, then fixed the slubby parts) and two-plied Corriedale, I think it is: DSC02036 DSC02050 It’s amazing to see the transformation that happens after washing. People say the yarn “blooms” and I see what they mean! My latest spinning is approximately 3 oz of Romney undyed combed top – my first ever 3 ply. This office chair was used as a makeshift skein maker: DSC02062 and here is the 3-ply hand spun (spindle spun!) yarn: DSC02064 It’s not easy to ply such a length on a drop spindle, just because of the weight of it all. But I am proud of myself for doing it. I’ve been spinning more consistently and drafting flows much better now. This is the above 3-ply yarn, before plying – I spun it into a 3-ply ball as Abby Franquemont suggests. 17341473861_03a31f8727_k Here’s one of the singles being spun: 17141724690_d30f4aba3b_k I am contemplating getting a Hansen miniSpinner. It’s so expensive, but it seems like a great tool. Gotta run!

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Jessie’s Girl, casually blocked

I finished knitting up Jessie’s Girl – a lovely, simple pattern, with short rows at the shoulders. I needed to make adjustments for my stitch count, so that slowed me down for a bit (lots of pen and paper and ruffled brows) – but it gave me a chance to practice making those adjustments and understanding the pattern better. Short rows are still rather new to me.

The instructions were great, and I enjoyed making it. I lengthened the hem by 10 cm (4 inches), but otherwise followed the instructions for size M (except for my different gauge). I really love patterns that are simple but are still so wearable and lovely. I gave the pattern 5 stars.

The yarn (100% cotton, teal) is of a uniform color – the fluctuations in color are some weird digital artifact. The tee is photographed here inside-out, so you can see some woven in ends. Please disregard! :-)

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No pins (because the cats like them too much) and no blocking wires (because they are way too expensive! They’re just wires! I cannot bring myself to buy them). The garter stitch rows stretched apart very easily, and I like to casually block anyway. I don’t like to go too crazy with blocking or else I will hate doing it.

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Now for the hardest part – waiting for it to dry!

Jessie’s Girl, by Elizabeth Smith

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East End Tunic – completed (March 2015)

Sorry for the blurry photo :|

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It ended up being more of a dress than a tunic – I figured I might as well finish all 7 skeins of yarn.
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Looks much better with a finished neckline:

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I didn’t know how to avoid this hole while picking up stitches, so I just fixed it by stitching it up in the end.

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The beginning of the seed stitch is like the pattern instructs, but the rest is improvised.

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See how soft and velvety the fabric is?

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All in all, I’m happy with it, though there are things I’d like to do better next time, and I am sorry to say I prefer more informative pattern instructions than these.

East End (March 2015)

East End is beautiful and simple.

The instructions, on the other hand, were too vague for me.

After knitting up to the V-neck, troubles arose and I frogged it all and started from scratch. I took some time to plan ahead the second time.

testing it out… not too bad!

Once I got to the underarm and put aside the sleeve stitches, things got a LOT easier.

my red East End, 3.5 balls of yarn used so far

Working in the round flowed really fast. It did torque, though, so the decreases are skewed to the side and not nicely symmetric at the back.

The fabric (made of 50% cotton 50% bamboo yarn – Fibra Natura Bamboo Jazz) has a feels velvety and soft and has good drape. I’d like to create a more lightweight fabric in an upcoming project though.