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!

Advertisements

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! :-)

DSC02033

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.

DSC02034

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

Jessie’s Girl, by Elizabeth Smith

DSC01932-001

drop spindle: 3rd ounce of fiber

Yesterday morning I started spinning my 3rd ounce of fiber, and it was a dream! The fiber, R.H. Lindsay Domestic Wool in Grey Fawn, is rustic and not very soft, and even has small pieces of dried plants in it. I don’t care! It’s perfect! The fibers stick together and they’re hardy and strong, so I could spin relatively thin and even. Since I spun a thinner yarn, the same amount of fiber lasted longer, and I got more practice out of it.

DSC01988

spinning the single (fiber: R.H. Lindsay Domestic Wool in Grey Fawn)

DSC01995

forming a two-ply ball for plying (left) from a center pull ball (right)

DSC01998

plying

DSC02003

the plied yarn!

DSC02001

I’m going to wash it and knit a swatch out of it.

Since I’ve run out of fiber for spinning, and since I realized I’d spun my previous fiber (Ashland Bay Superwash BFL) too thick, I thought I’d try re-spinning it. It’s going slowly, but well:

DSC02004

Here are the fibers I’ve ordered (8 ounces of each). I hope they get here soon!

I’m reading the kindle version of “Respect the Spindle” by Abby Franquemont. It is inspiring, in-depth and fascinating so far. Highly recommended.

stash ethics

I’m taking the “no stash” path.

This means that I try not to buy yarn unless I’ve completed the previous project I’ve been working on, and only after I’ve decided on the next project I’m making.

Why spend money now for something you don’t need now? Something that may be sitting in your closet for a long time, maybe several years?

I prefer to wait until I’ve learned all I could learn from the current project before I choose which yarn and which project I’d like to make next. I prefer to buy just the right amount of yarn, which is hard if I don’t know what pattern it’s for.

It feels good to finish a project and be able to go and pick out new yarn for the next one, take it home, swatch, and knit with it! No stash guilt… Travel light!

Even though I really try to follow these rules, I’ve broken them several times. I’ve definitely not lived by these rules in the past in terms of fabric for sewing… Maybe that’s why I’m trying a different approach. Because I’ve seen fabric pile up and stay stashed for years, and even though I’ve given much of it away, I still have a lot left. Think of all the yarn (or nicer quality fabric) I could have bought with the money spent on the stashed old fabric…

What are your stash rules (or lack thereof)?

Are you happy with your stash situation?

a hint of summer – completed (April 2015)

I can’t believe I finished it in 2 1/2 weeks.

I made it tunic length, much longer than the pattern calls for (53 cm / 21″ down from armhole instead of 40 cm / 16″).

It’s quite a heavy tee, as the 100% cotton thread is rather dense. I am happy with it! I would love to make another variation of this excellent versatile pattern again soon.

DSC01950

I had only one skein (50 grams) of the light blue yarn, and obviously it ran out mid-sweater. No worries, I just improvised with some this ginger-brown cotton yarn from my mom’s stash. Improvising and letting go of always being in control is therapeutic for me… And it’s fun, too.

DSC01956

The pattern calls for a finer yarn, to be knit on larger needles and blocked somewhat open. But I decided to use the cotton yarn I had on hand – in any case, since this is meant to be worn in summertime, I figured a yarn with any wool content just won’t do.

DSC01957

The hem is a 1×1 rib. The provisional crochet cast on and short rows at the shoulder were cool to learn and use for the first time.

Tell me what you think!

East End Tunic – completed (March 2015)

Sorry for the blurry photo :|

DSC01827

It ended up being more of a dress than a tunic – I figured I might as well finish all 7 skeins of yarn.
DSC01789

Looks much better with a finished neckline:

DSC01792

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.

DSC01793

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

DSC01790

See how soft and velvety the fabric is?

DSC01795

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.