Knit, purl, blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I *Heart* My Mini Combs

I may have a problem.

I can't stop combing fleece.

It started with the Corriedale:

Hand-combed Corriedale top

Then, I moved on to some Targhee I acquired from my guild's fiber swap the other night:

Hand-Combed Targhee

And then, there was Cormo.

There was adult Cormo:

Cormo Fleece (Adult)

And Cormo lamb (hogget):

Cormo Lamb Fleece

Which is turning into hand-combed adult Cormo:

hand-combed Cormo top

and hand-combed Cormo lamb (which you simply must feel to believe):

Hand-combed Cormo lamb

Of course, all this combing produces waste, which can then be carded. Here's some of that Cormo lamb combing waste, which I spun long-draw:

Cormo Lamb Sample -- Woolen

That was a quick-and-dirty, noils and all sample, spun around midnight without caring about consistent grist (that's probably obvious). But it proves to me that the combing waste is still very usable.

I also finished spinning some roving from Pigeonroof Studios:

Handspun Yarn - autumn cherry

That's 3.75 oz., 182 yards of superwash merino.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Combing Fleece

I put on my big-girl skirt, got out my combs, and combed some Corriedale fleece from Rising Meadow

Corriedale Fleece

I used my Alvin Ramer super mini combs:

Wool Combs

Mmmm... puffy.

Combed Corriedale Puff

I wound up with about 1.6 ounces last night. It's not perfect yet, but it's pretty nice:

Combed Corriedale

I also made a Koolhaas hat from this year's Interweave Knits gifts issue:

Koolhaas Hat

It's made from my 3-ply tweed handspun, which I spun with this hat in mind.

(By the way, Kris, this is what happens when I try to smile while taking a picture of myself in a mirror.)

I've got almost enough yarn left over to make another one. I could probably shorten the ribbing a bit...

Leftover Tweed

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pattern: Basic Toddler/Small Child Mittens

Orange Mitten

Child's small. This fits my 3-year-old, with some room to grow. Mitten is 6 1/4" long from base of cuff to tip. Portion above cuff is 4 1/2" long. Hand of mitten (minus thumb) measure approximately 5 1/8" around.

Sport weight or heavy fingering weight wool (approx. 14-15 wpi) that will knit to gauge
I used less than one ounce of superfine merino 4-ply (a discontinued brand) for two mittens, with a small amount of contrasting color for the stripe.

U.S. size 4 dpns, or size needed to get gauge
blunt needle for weaving in ends

6.5 stitches per inch.
8.5 rows per inch

Note: When working the thumb, you may want to pick up another stitch in between the stitches from the holder and the stitches you picked up from the hand, in order to avoid any holes. If you do this, immediately decrease them in row 1 by knitting them together with the neighboring stitch from the holder.)


Make 2 alike.

Cast on 30 stitches in main color. Divide onto 3 dpns. The first stitch of row 1 will join your stitches for working in the round.
Rows 1-14: K1, P1 around
Rows 15 - 21: Knit
Row 22: M1, K3, M1, knit to end.
Row 23: M1, K5, M1, knit to end.
Row 24: M1, K7, M1, knit to end.
Row 25: M1, K9, M1, knit to end.
Row 26: M1, K11, M1, knit to end.
Row 27: Knit
Row 28: Slip 13 stitches to holder. Cast on 3 stitches using backward loop method. Knit to end.
Rows 29-37: Knit
Rows 38-39: Knit in contrasting color
Rows 40-52: Switch back to main color. Knit.
Row 53: *K1, K2tog. Repeat from * to end.
Row 54: Knit
Row 55: K2tog to end.
Row 56: K2tog to end.
Row 57. Cut yarn, and thread end onto a tapestry needle or other blunt needle. Draw yarn through remaining stitches, pull through center tip of mitten to inside, and secure end to inside of mitten.

Row 1: (See "Note" above.) Divide 13 stitches on holder onto 3 dpns. Pick up 3 stitches from hand, at the inside of thumb. Don't knit them yet. These stitches will be the end of your row. Join yarn to the stitch after these 3 stitches, and knit around. 16 stitches total. The first stitch of row 2 will join your stitches for working in the round.
Rows 2 - 17: Knit.
Row 18: K2tog to end.
Row 19: K2tog to end.
Row 20: Cut yarn, and thread end onto a tapestry needle or other blunt needle. Draw yarn through remaining stitches, pull through center tip of thumb to inside, and secure end to inside of thumb.

Weave in ends. Block if desired.

All rights reserved. Do not distribute.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bright Orange Mitten!

I like my orange mitten.

Orange Mitten

I really think it's pretty cool.

My Orange Mitten

In fact, I think it's just about the best thing ever!

I love my orange mitten

But I'm not very happy about the hat.

A Red Hat

Both are knit from 4-ply sport weight merino (a discontinued yarn, though). Both were made up as I went along. If anyone would like a pattern for the mittens (yes, I did make two), just let me know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Handspun Silk Wedding Shrug

I'm so glad this is done!

Handspun Silk Shrug

I spun around 8 ounces of bleached tussah silk for the I Do shrug. I pretty much followed the directions, but the silk was very drapey, so the sleeves were too long. I also decided I didn't like how flared they were. Easy solution: cut off the first repeat on each sleeve. I carefully picked up the last row of stitches I wanted to keep, snipped a couple rows below that, and then unpicked the yarn. I then simply cast off at my new cuff.

This will go to my sister-in-law, who is getting married December first. She's about my size, so it should fit her the same as it fits me.

Now onto mittens and a hat for the little boy...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More Spinning

Tweed Superwash Handspun
Originally uploaded by Frith
Here's a 3-ply handspun superwash wool from a batt dyed and blended by Miss Babs. There's around 260 yards of worsted weight yarn, destined for a Koolhaas hat.

I also spun up a kid mohair/alpaca batt from another seller. It's very soft, but it was a pain to spin because the turquoise dye kept coming off on my hands and clothes. I gave it multiple rinses and a few glugs of vinegar when I finished it. Hopefully it will behave now. (And never fear, the horrified seller refunded my money when I told her about it.)
Mohair/Alpaca Superwash Handspun

But really, I should be knitting right now. I've got a deadline on an "I Do" shrug coming up in less than 3 weeks. I'd show a picture, but unblocked lace is just depressing.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Competition season is over for me, and I'm pleased to report that my entries did well at SAFF, too.


A couple of those are new, created for some of the special categories at SAFF: yarn spun from fiber blended by the spinner, and yarn spun from raw materials processed by the spinner.

Here's the merino/angora/silk/alpaca/Angelina blend:
Blended Yarn

And here's my hand-processed Romney X:

I helped with the shearing and skirting of this one, too.

And here's a better picture of the Cormo I entered at the state fair:

And a closer shot of the bamboo/merino from the state fair:

And finally, some Hello Yarn corriedale I spun up a few weeks ago:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Toot, Toot!

(That would be me tooting my own horn.)

I've just been informed by Katmoget that 7 of my 8 entries got ribbons at the fair! That's a first place for the sheep puppet; second place for my sweater, hat, and novelty skein; and third place for my linen, dyed wool, and natural wool. (Better luck next time, bamboo.)

And that gets me a total of 45 smackeroos to spend on more fiber!

Now that I think about it, Krazy K herself beat me in every category we both entered. It's a good thing I'm not at all competitive -- ahem. She got several first place ribbons, too! She kicks ass, basically.

[Note to K: The game is so on. Let the trash-talking commence.]

I'm headed up to the fair on Wednesday. There will be pictures, possibly jumping up and down, and definitely babbling "See?! See that?! I made that!" to hapless passers-by.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meet Me at the Fair

Not only was dear Katmoget nice enough to drop off my entries at the fair, but she also photographed them all. Thanks, K!

So here are all the little skeins lined up:

Yarn for the Fiar

Left to right: Bamboo/Merino blend, Cormo, beaded merino/tencel, chain-plied BFL, and linen.

Here's the beaded yarn. I'll take another picture when I get it back, because it's hard to see the beads in this light. I did manage to get the beads on the yarn itself, not just on a carrier thread. This was time-consuming, to say the least. But the results are really nice.
Beaded yarn

And the 3-ply Cormo. It's so squishy and soft. I need more of this roving, because I must envelop myself in this yarn. I suppose I should knit a sweater in order to do that in public.

Cormo 3-ply

Bamboo/Merino in "Lunasea" from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Yes, that's the same colorway as the silk/merino I spun awhile ago. And yes, I did get more of that, too. Just try and keep me away from the Lunasea, I dare you!

Bamboo/Merino Yarn

I also entered a handspun hat, my sheep puppet, and my Union Square Market Pullover. Why did I enter 8 things? To increase my chances of winning something, of course. Ribbons=Money. Money=Fiber.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Mystery No More

Yes, it is done:

Mystery Stole 3

I think it looks nice on.

Mystery Stole 3

Admittedly, I'm not terribly fond of the transitions between lace sections. But the shape is interesting, and some of the individual patterns are pretty.

Mystery Stole 3

Mystery Stole 3

Pattern: Mystery Stole 3
Source: Pink Lemon Twist
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr, colorway "vanilla", about 1.5 balls
Needles: U.S. 4
Notes: I used iridescent beads. I also blocked the heck out of it. It's about 20.5" wide and more than 80" long from tip to tip. I used blocking wires for the first time, and they are the greatest thing. So much better than using pins alone or pins and string.

This is headed to my mom for her birthday. (The chances she'd read this post are pretty slim.)

I've been working on a bunch of things since my last post, and I'd love to show you, but my camera battery just died. Here's my most recent handspun (taken just before the camera turned itself off):


It's a chained singles (aka "Navajo-plied") yarn, just shy of 2 oz., and measuring 166 yards. It's BFL, so it has a nice sheen to it.