Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.  I spent mine visiting yarn shops in Bloomington, IL, such as MaryLynn's Yarn Garden and Ewe Knits.  Both are wonderful, warm, friendly spots and I thoroughly enjoyed the chats I had in both places.  Don't think I got out without buying stuff, either!  More on that another day.

The rest of the weekend I spent sampling, getting some knitting started and also some dull things like getting the house straightened and washing clothes and dishes.

The fun stuff included...
finishing a project I've had in mind for a long time, which was to spin some black wool roving to match some beautiful jewel tone Nashua Creative Focus worsted yarns I got in South Dakota a couple of years ago.  It's a wonderful singles yarn and, although the actual Nashua yarn is wool and alpaca, I just used wool for my version.

It was mildly successful but I really had a hard time walking the fine line between getting too much twist into the singles or not enough.  I knew, too, that no matter how little twist I was able to get away with, I would still have an unstable yarn.  But, lo and behold, the first time I've gone on Ravelry in about 3 weeks, I stumbled on a discussion string about this very thing and was told that it should go into a really hot bath then into a cold one and it should be "roughed up" (their term, not mine!).  This fulls (slightly felts) the yarn which gives it strength and stability for knitting.  Who knew?

Oh, yeah, the reason I wanted to do this is because I thought this yarn in colors I've got would make a wonderful mondrian sort of something.  I've always liked that look.  I'm thinking I might do some sort of bag.  That could be cool, right?

The other finished project pertains to some silk hankies I finally got spun.  These were a purchase from Stitches a couple of years ago.  I started spinning them by poking my finger through the middle and drafting out but then I thought I'd try spinning from the corner.  It worked a lot better for me so I'll definitely be using that technique in future.  I did a video showing how to do it and will post it when I get it edited.  It's nothing fancy but it does show the process.

I spun the singles medium to very fine and, of course, with the hankies you get a good bit of texture in the yarn.  Then I navajo plied it, mostly because I was too lazy to try to wind half of it off onto another bobbin.  They say that necessity is the mother of invention but I have to say that sometimes it's laziness that's the mother of invention.  I would never have originally thought to finish this as a 3-ply but it looks great and I'm much happier than I would have been otherwise.  And when I got it finished, I suddenly realized that the colors matched exactly some linen in my stash.  I've decided to do a little vest in stripes with the purple and green linen and this beautiful veriagated silk. 

But, is that all?  Nao, there's mooorah!  (Remember that from My Cousin, Vinny?)

Anyway, back to spinning...

I started playing around with some red hankies and red merino/bamboo that I think will go very pretty together.  And I started playing with some tri-colored cotton.  You can see a little of both here.

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