Tag Archives: yarn

TDF 2012 – Day 2


I don’t know if I’ll manage to keep up with the daily updates, but since we’re here…

Day two has gone pretty well. I didn’t process any new fiber, but I did work through what I have. First I sampled, and I really like the yarn:

It’s a very light fingering weight yarn, incredibly squooshy, and I love it’s rough look. I did a quick knit up of what I had sampled after it dried:

That’s on us 1/2.25mm needles, and I’m really pleased with it. It’s a soft fabric, has lots of bounce, and is going to be pretty ideal for the yoke light-weight cardigan I’m planning to make with it.

That done, I made sure I had my sample for what to spin to attached to my wheel and went back to spinning.

Never underestimate how fine you need that single to be when spinning for fingering weight yarn. I always forget and end up with a DK weight. Taping a strand to my mother of all has been the smartest thing I’ve ever done, haha.

I worked through most the top layer of the box:

and have half a bobbin loaded up:

Tomorrow will likely just be some spinning, since I do have work; Wednesday being a holiday I have high hopes I’ll get through a lot of what I need to processing wise. Need to see if I have another box to store the silver in, and potentially break up and find the darkest greys to group together for a fourth yarn off this sheep. Man, CVM is lovely. It’s so soft and bouncy and I’m really enjoying it.

Because making a pound of yarn is never enough, I also bought enough yarn for a blanket/shrug because I adore the colour:

It’s Paton Classic Wool (one of my favourites) in Jade Heather. It’s a lot more jewel tone than what the photo shows; it’s nearly impossible to photo really. I fell in love with it and figured that 5 balls is a small blanket and $30 well spent. (Can you believe that? $30. For a blanket! Wow.)

And that’s all I got for progress. Hope my fellow tourists are doing well!


What’s this thing you call a life?


Well, whatever it is, I sort of have one again. Thanks to graduating YESTERDAY (saturday), I suddenly find myself without the awfulness of homework again. It’s quite nice. My new job starts tomorrow (no, I won’t tell you, other than it is related to my area of study from uni), all bright and early.

Since my last real update of stuff I’m working on–namely, the bad iPod photos of Lizette–I haven’t really done too much. I acquired the lovely design book I’d been pining after during Interweave’s big sale, much to my delight, and it’s proving quite useful in understanding more about sweater/vest design that I lack the experience to really know.

(Oh and it’s got beautiful things in it. I like beautiful things.)

I also have the yarn (I know I’m going to spin up another batch, but I want to knit it nooooow *whine* ) to begin knitting up a test version in size medium (36″/91cm bust with planned 2″/5cm ease). I snagged it during a WEBS deal of the day, and I absolutely love it–I wish the red were a bit fierier, but it’s really lovely anyway. (For whatever reason, I see this vest as a deep red in my head)

It’s Ella Rae classic, a smooth worsted weight wool yarn that has enough plies to show off stitches well. Very important. I’ve got the swatch done:

And am quite pleased. I’ll have about 200 yards extra playing room with the amount of yarn I have, which is good in case I messed up my calculations. I am also really happy I managed to reverse engineer the stitch patterns from a few not-quite sharp enough pictures, even if it took several attempts. I’m already writing up a prototype pattern with Scribus, and will be using that prototype pattern to test knit the initial vest. If it goes well, I should be able to expand it for more sizes fairly easily.

I bought myself a bit of graduation yarn. Ok, I didn’t plan on buying yarn, but they had a single ball of Kauni in a colour I didn’t want but Kauni.

I’m sure I can come up with something to do with a giant ball of rainbow.

I also got some Rowan Tweed to pair with it, but found out when I got home I need about 100g more for the pattern.

Absolutely lovely, with some beautiful blue flecks in I thought would complement the rainbow well in the Thistle Shawl (following picture is by entill, and also uses rainbow, thus why I’m showing it instead of the green and white initial):

Alas, I’m not sure what to do with it now. The tweed seems like a lovely excuse to design a set of arm warmers for myself.

In some utter fail on my part, I haven’t finished the Turkish socks from Knitted socks around the World because they won’t fit me OR the intended recipient. Alas! But the one that is done is super pretty:

That’ll teach me not to swatch.

I also spun up a tiny bit of yarn. I have more to go yet (of a similar colour, though the batch is a bit different), but this is what has been set:

For once, the purple actually photographed right. I started this at Mroo’s over spring break, and it’s proven to be a pleasure once I got over the fact I thought it was the wrong fiber when I started. It was more practice for longdraw for the vest. The current stuff being spun is much more even and consistent, which is good–that was the whole point of doing this stuff. I imagine I’ll tackle the vest next; that, or save it for this year’s Tour de Fleece.

Finally, on non-knitting and almost-food front, we have this year’s ‘garden’–a pot with roma tomatoes:

Provided they make it through the week, I’ll be going out to get them some supports soon.

Nothing is in the little pot yet–any suggestions of herbs I should put in? I may also get another smaller pot for a different herb, so suggestions are definitely welcome! I’ve gotten one for cilantro, chives, or basil so far.

Hopefully more blog posts will happen now that I’m not in school all the time! Hope everyone is well, and I’ll try to keep you updated on the design process of the vest. 🙂

A Supposed Stash Bust


Because I brought home a bit more than I took. Ops.

This is the least guilty thing I brought back. The needles were just too cute–and are coated in plastic so I don’t hate touching them–and I’ve always wanted to read one of the Yarn Harlot’s books.

The second least guilty is some beautiful if a bit veggie Jacob fiber–10 ounces, according to the scale I’m not sure I trust.

After that, it sort of descends into madness. Some lovely mohair/wool blend that will make a lovely fuzzy something–good Christmas gift material. 3 balls at 240 yards each.

Four ounces of Green Pastures Border Leiceister in “Purple Passion”. I’m not sure I like the feel of it–it feels a bit felted in places–but I am going to give it a go, because it’s a nice subtle colour.

A pound of half of mint green mystery wool, which I plan on reskeining to see just how much yardage there is. I could see making a pretty cardigan out of it, provided there’s enough.

A pound and twelve ounces of mystery beige. It also needs to be reskeined for counting–I don’t know if I could safely make a cardigan out of it, as it looks to be of different dyelots.

It was a wonderful time, and I’m eternally grateful to EssJay for planning it and putting it on. It made a crummy week a bit brighter, and I appreciate it more than I feel I can really show.

A Miscellany + Phoenix Update 1


Progress on the Phoenix cardi is up to row 20 after who knows how many hours, and it’s looking quite snazzy. It’s about three inches long, to be proved by my strangely accurate pinky (which is exactly 3″ long from knuckle to tip and 1 cm wide at the tip).

And here’s two different sections of it. The variegate is variegated quite wonderfully, despite my initial worries of the repeats being just perfect to make each section the same colour the whole time.

The pattern is surprisingly enjoyable, and I think it’s because each row is so different from the one prior, so it never gets boring.

Spinning of the Thai Lantern is coming along well, and I’m preparing a “this is how I made it” from start to finish. I may do it in two parts, since it may be a while before I can being the 2-ply part. It involves a great deal of fluff, as you can see:

I’m one of those people who will wear a pair of shoes/flip flops until they fall apart, and so it’s a little surprising I bought a pair of sandals last night. Despite the price tag, I viewed it much the same way I viewed purchasing my Doc Martens–comfort, will last years, and will be worn frequently. I was also urged on by the need for some shoes I could wear to work that had heel cushioning, as my right heel is hurting from lack of padding on my normal shoes.

I’m not getting paid to say this, and I don’t think I know anyone who works for them. I do know that Teva has the best padding ever for flip flops (I’ve had my pair close to 6 years). I was trying on some, and lamenting the lack of sandals from them, since I wouldn’t be able to wear the flip flops to work (we have to have a heel strap/something securing the shoe to our foot) and K said “You mean like those?” and pointed to a display I’d missed. Huzzah! It’s like walking in a cushy cushiony cushion of goodness. Really.

I also got my chromatic tuner in at last, so I can stop using the dumb one I have on my computer. Today was one of the most pleasing practice days ever, and I was made fully aware of how small small adjustments are on my harp sound wise. But now it sounds exactly like I was sure it was meant to (I have difficulty tuning the lowest notes, and so they were usually horrible flat or horrible sharp and not much between).

Why yes, that is my coffee table covered in fiber in various stages of prep. And I love how intuitive the tuner is and how much it helped me that I had to let it in the picture too.

My bread for this week also turned out much better than the week prior, though I do realize that Friday (tomorrow) is time for the next batch. Humour me, I just didn’t get the pictures up soon enough. I’ve nearly the got the recipe as good as for one loaf when making two.

A comparison shot of bread height (the week prior, I didn’t put enough yeast in, and it shows):

And then some shots to make you wish you could eat it:

I do believe that’s all the random I have to share, so until next time, Gadget!

Yarn Field Trip Report + Aragorn Socks


Thursday was the owner, Rosemary, of Rose Tree Fiber’s birthday, and Saturday they had a big 20% off sale at the store. The DSM metro knitters arranged a group trip up for lunch and then knitting Saturday, so that was exciting. I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be able to go–I’d been sick for nearly two weeks after all, and just this week really got better–but I did! I did not eat any cake, but I did buy lots of stuff.

I wish I’d taken my camera, because it really was a picture day. Essjay picked me a bit before 11am, and we met everyone at a particular parking lot. We all divided up, and headed off. There were ‘we’re lost’ shenanigans, but we did get there quite alright.

We had lunch at the deli nearby. They had excellent brownies, but I’ve certainly hit my chocolate intake for the next while. I didn’t much care for the wrap I got–it was a bit ranch heavy for my taste, but I did it eat half of it and drink plenty of Coke to help me keep from feeling too hungry too soon.

Then it was time to head over to the yarn store. It was fairly busy, but there was so much yarn! They had one yarn by Berroco that I had been wondering about–it was totally exquisite, especially the deep red. I don’t remember the brand, it didn’t have too much to a skein. Tons of yarn, but I was really drawn to the fiber. They had roving braids hanging from hooks from the ceiling just calling my name, and baskets full of fiber. There were a few boxes with tufts of roving sticking out, some baskets with cleaned locks, and a shelf with spinning magazines/books and bags of various other fibers (and not all wool). There were even spinning wheels, but as I have rent to pay, I restrained myself (how would I get it back to the apartment anyway?).

I immediately saw the basket with nearly 2lbs of bfl/suffolk. I kept coming back to it and looking at it, and then I saw how crimpy it was. It needs some serious cleaning, but I’m super excited to work with it for frog hair instead of the alpaca (which is just frustrating).

I also kept hitting my head on some of the very heavy Schacht spindles they had hanging down, and since I really liked the way the wood was turned, I asked to also get one of those. I really quite like it, though it’s way heavier than any of my other spindles–possibly even my agate whorl one.

I spent some time in the back room with the other knitters in the group, and opened up a few locks of my white Shetland with the carder. I think I spun about 6 locks, and I tried to explain/show the ladies who asked what I was doing and how. This went on for a while, and I kept wanting to play with the new spindle (naturally). I ended up making a second shopping trip back in the front of the store.

I got three braids of roving dyed by jwrayco, 4oz each. They’re very lovely, and nice and soft.

One reminds me of lemon, colour called Flowers on the Beach:

Another reminds me of sunsets, when everything is red and purple, colour Scatness:

And the final one reminds me of a red rose, with subtle bits of green in for the ‘petals.’ The colour is Thai Lantern:

That’s the one that in the shop I liked least, so what I did the test ply with. I actually think I still like it the least, but it’s really quite beautiful. The sample I did was a 2-ply (wrapped a bracelet) to show one of the ladies how plying works and how it looks. The new spindle did an excellent job of that.

I also bought 2.4oz of some hand-dyed merino top. I think it’s absolutely luscious, and it’s just as soft as it looks, if not softer. I’m not sure what I’ll be spinning with it, but I feel I may need to chain ply in order to preserve the colourway.

Somewhere in there, I think a bit before the second shopping spree, Essjay made me the most adorable key chain with some left-over Malabrigo. She was making quite a few of them for the people there from DSM knitters who didn’t have one already. It’s at the place of honour right by the yarn cutter (perhaps not the wisest idea on my part).

So while it’s obvious that I spent most the time at the store spinning, right near the end I broke out my second Aragorn sock. I didn’t have that much left to go before I got to do the toe, so I got a good deal of progress. Not long after that it was time to go, so everyone got together and we headed back.

On the trip back, I got all the rows but the last done for the foot, meaning I had little to go to get the toe.

Soon as I got back, I ran into K, and we headed in. He played a bit of Prototype and I finished knitting and grafting Aragorn. So now I have a second pair of matching socks!

And then I got all the stitches transferred over for the Phoenix Cardigan before we went to dinner. Not much else got done on it, but with how much I did get done today I certainly won’t complain.

All in all, quite the excellent day. :3

Phoenix Cardi – 0


The pre-post, the first post, if you will, of my epic knitting project, Meg Swanson’s Phoenix Cardigan.

I had the yarn custom dyed for me by Twilight Knits, because at the time I had the money to spend. She finished it up and sent it along, and now I have my lovely yarn for it. I’m quite pleased with it, and both are very ‘me’ yarns.

The variegated will make the actual phoenix:

While the green will be for the sleeves and ‘background’:

I did cast on and knit most the first row, but then my needle broke when I looked at it funny. KnitPicks has sent a replacement ( yay! ), but for now there’s a small hiatus while I wait.

But the yarns do look nice together:

((Yes, there’s much more than that. It’s currently sitting on my couch in a friendly pile. I even have gone crazy, and I’m trying knitting from skein so that I take even more care and slow down more. I don’t want to mess up.))

And the lovely lady at Twilight Knits sent me a set of pattern keepers with cupcakes on too. :3

Now I’m off to go to the doctor to find out why my strep is still firmly lodged in my throat despite a week of antibiotics.

A Hand-Carded Sock-Date


My Bex socks are coming along swimmingly. Almost almost done with the first, but I’m in no real hurry–Ravelympics is on the way, and as such I’m trying to keep my fingers busy in the meantime. It’d be great if I finished them before, but I just don’t see that happening.

Instead, this is a hand-carded sock-date.

I do believe I’ve mentioned the Romney fleece, and so now I’m going to talk about what I’m doing with a few ounces of it.

After talking on Ravelry with some other spindlers, I’ve started work on some hand made sock yarn. It’s worsted spun. The singles are so lightly twisted that they almost come undone, but then triple-plied with two others extremely tightly. I’ve made up a sample, and I think I could do to make the singles a mite bit thicker, but I really can’t complain.

The yarn, for how fluffy it looks in spots, actually doesn’t split at all, and is amazingly easy to knit with. I started with my Lantern Moon needles originally, but switched down a size to the pointer KnitPicks when I realized 2.25mm was giving me something too loose. I figured the pointy tips would prove that I had made a horrible yarn, and instead I just was pleasantly surprised. (It actually split less than KnitPicks yarn on KnitPicks needles!)

That’s on 2.00mm needles. I don’t mind working that size, and I’m getting 8st/inch, 12r/inch at that size with a decent thickness when knit.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Brooke,” you say, “isn’t that fleece a grey-brown? How come it looks so red-orange?”

I dyed it. I thought it would look nice, so I did a test dye of some stronger red orange on it. I was totally counting on the fact it would be darkened by the naturally dark colour of the wool. I’m really pleased with it, especially outside.

I knit it from my wrist, with the ‘skein’ looped over, like so:

It was very pleasant, and if I knew a large skein wouldn’t tangle up horribly, I think I’d enjoy knitting that way. Certainly makes those little wrist bags for balls make so much more sense to me now.

All told, it took about 4 hours from carding to dye for about 12 yards of finished product. So don’t expect me to have some of this stuff ready immediately, and I certainly think it puts selling it out.

All this just to avoid staring at code some more. Hup-to, back to work I says.