Knit, purl, blog.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Should I be worried?

Originally uploaded by Frith.

This display in our bedroom did not illicit a comment -- not a single word -- from my husband. Has he decided I'm already so far gone?

What's a girl to do?

At least the yarn is now behaving properly. I'm thinking arm warmers or gauntlets.

I spun up two ounces of my hand-dyed Corriedale. It's looking a little darker spun up. I'll try lightening up on the greens next time. Two more ounces to go, and I'll see how it plys up as a two-ply, hopefully around worsted weight.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by Frith.

I just finished plying 100 grams of hand-dyed BFL from Sweet Georgia Yarns. I added in a strand of beads and sequins while plying, and I spun a whisper of Angelina fiber into the singles. I didn't use many beads or sequins, so I'm hoping the overall effect is subtly iridescent.

I found it very difficult to control the plying with the added hassle of plying the thread (slightly behind the plying of the singles) and adding in beads and sequins at somewhat regular-ish intervals. Hopefully the skein isn't too overplied.

I'll leave it on the niddy-noddy for as long as I can stand it before setting the twist.


Monday, July 24, 2006

What a difference a week makes

Stella is done. I just need to steam some seams.


It fits very well, and it's also really comfortable. The finishing seemed to never end: block, seam, pick up stitches for neckband, knit neckband, sew in zipper, finish seaming, attach buttons, make button loops, weave in ends, tack edges of zipper down.

This past weekend, I went to a dyeing party hosted by a member of the local SnB.

I dyed roving:


It's some Corriedale I had around. And I shall call the color "Innisfree":

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

I'm a big cornball at heart.

I also dyed silk hankies:



Next Up

Lace Blouson, Interweave Summer '04


It's hemp, and it has an earthy scratchiness to it. Very "Wild Swans."

"The Wild Swans" was apparently very influential to me in my childhood. My mother even saved the book:


Poor Elise. Not only did she have to crush and spin stinging nettles (and I complain about a little VM), but then she had to knit them into 12 tunics without any needles.

But even a spinning, knitting mute with bleeding fingers proves irresistible to the right person:


Is it still summer?

And because Teva Durham rocks my world, and I'm just that kind of crazy, and season be damned...


... Green Sleeves from "Wrap Style."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Scour Power

Originally uploaded by Frith.

I have scoured fleece for the first time. I did it in the washing machine. First, I turned the water heater all the way up, left for a couple of hours, and then filled the machine with hot water. I stuck a bunch of Dawn detergent in, placed the fleeces (nearly 3 pounds, unscoured) in, and let them soak for close to an hour. Then I switched the machine to the spin cycle and spun the water out. I refilled the machine with hot water, and put the fleeces in with some hair conditioner and oil of pennyroyal (that stuff really should come with a dropper -- I spilled it all over my hand and the entire upstairs stinks). I let them soak a little while, then spun them dry again. I probably should have gone for two rinses, but I needed to get the baby down for a nap.

They're certainly much cleaner, softer, and nicer smelling. And now I know that any bugs I come across will definitely be dead. That's worth a lot in my book.


This top fleece is a Jacob cross. I was there for the shearing and helped skirt it myself. I think it's the nicest fleece in that little flock, and I was lucky to talk Judy even out of a pound of it (she's a spinner, and if I were her, I would have hoarded the whole thing). It's so silky and pretty fine, too.

The bottom is a Jacob from a different flock. I bought it out of a van on a dark street in the rain last night. $10 for nearly 2 pounds. If I sound like a desperate addict, so be it. It was after the spinning guild meeting, and the whole thing was very "psssst... want to buy some fleece?"

I plan to preserve the color variations when I spin these. I imagine I'll spin the Jacob X fairly fine, and do a thicker woolen yarn out of the Jacob. But first, there will be much picking and carding (all by hand).
Now pardon me while I study my fleece preparation books.


Yes, I am knitting Stella's Blouse out of the Rowan Cotton Glace (found some on eBay). But Paton's Grace is about the same weight, as I discovered recently while searching the local craft stores for some inexpensive worsted-weight cotton to make another Frith-agamo for my sister-in-law (haven't found a thing, unfortunately).

The Cotton Glace is lovely -- hard on the hands, though, as cotton tends to be.

I am adoring the pattern. The smocking is so clever it kills me. I'm wishing I had a baby girl in my life because I think I need to make a little smocked cardigan.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Vanity, Thy Name is Handspun



I've been wearing it around the house draped over my shoulder.

It's 354 yards and 2.5 ounces -- the last of the merino/silk I spun up. This one is more consistent than the first one. Funny how that works.

I soaked both skeins in hot water and Eucalan yesterday and hung them to dry without weights (I didn't want to lose any bounce).

Maybe one day, when I really know what I'm doing, I'll see nothing but flaws in this skein. But for now, it's love, baby.

I've started a new knitting project: Stella's Blouse from Interweave Spring 2004:

I'm knitting it in a sort of muted lavender:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Handspun Cotton Hat


And here's what happened to the takhli-spun cotton I posted recently. It's a basic hat, with stripes based on a short Fibonacci sequence. The cotton felt a bit like Blue Sky Organic Cotton, soft and fluffy.

Granted, it's hardly the most evenly spun cotton in the world. It's over- and under-spun in parts. The thickness varies. But I don't think it looks half bad. And a little blocking should improve it, too.


I love that the colors are natural shades of cotton, not dyed. I love that I spun it on such a rudimentary tool. I love that, in the process, I learned how to do long draw (there's no choice when one hand is occupied with controlling the takhli). I also love that it's so soft -- perfect for its bald intended recipient.