Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hello, Mojo

An intense three weeks of spinning is officially over, and while I'm not burned out on spinning, I have noticed an increase in my desire to knit. I want to cast on all the things! But before I do that, I figured I should finish what's already on the needles, so last night I sat down and finished up the fingerless mitts. Rainbow was kind enough to take some photos for me today -- I think she's got a lot of potential as a knitwear photographer!


I'm very happy with how these have turned out, and thanks to being home with Rainbow the past two days (she leaves tomorrow for her first stay at overnight camp, so I wanted to spend some extra time with her), I've managed to get these and the pattern done and off to my tech editor.

So now the only project on the needles is Rainbow's socks, which are moving right along.


I took the first sock to a movie over the weekend and finished the foot, so I figured I'd cast on the second and get it to the same point. I rarely knit my socks in tandem, but considering I'm planning to knit until the yarn runs out, I thought it might be useful to have both socks going at once so I can make them match as much as possible.

I have a feeling more projects will be cast on by the time I post again. I've gotten two skeins of yarn out of the stash to wind for a new hat and I've also got an idea for a shawl for some yarn I picked up at TNNA in June. The mojo is back, big time!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Spin, Span, Spun: Tour de Fleece 2018

It's been a wonderful and productive three weeks and now I find myself on the final day of the Tour de Fleece. I look forward to this event every year because it's such a wonderful motivator to get my spinning projects done. I have probably spun more in other years (like years before I had a small person taking up a good deal of my time), but I'm extremely pleased with what I accomplished this year. Here is a shot of all the finished spinning from the past three weeks:


Three of these skeins have been completed in the past two days. I finished plying up the second chocolate Bond skein yesterday, for another 277.5 yards. When that plying was done, I decided to start spinning some mini batts I'd made with some of the leftover Buoy fiber from my Boxy spin and a bit of silk. I ended up spinning up all the singles last night (yes, I stayed up a little late), and then this morning, I wound off all the singles on my ball winder, so that I could ply from both ends. Here's the resulting skein, prewashing:


It's in the bath now, so I won't know final yardage until it's dry, but I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 yards. I also Andean plied the leftover singles of the Bond for the mini skein you can see in the above photo.

I'm not sure what I'm going to spin next -- frankly, there are several projects I'd like to start and I'm having a hard time deciding -- so I pulled out my bobbin of leftovers and some fiber samples, and I guess I'll try to fill it up before deciding on the next spin.


When I can't get any more singles on this bobbin, I'll chain ply everything. I've been accumulating little bits of singles so long that I have no recollection what's underneath what you see here (nor, for that matter, do I really remember the content of what I can see).

In looking at all the spinning I got done over the past three weeks, I think what's most notable is that with the exception of the one skein of sock yarn, all my TdF spinning this year was done woolen. It's something I am not so good at, so it was really helpful for me to have all that practice. I've definitely gotten better and certainly more confident at it, and boy does it ever go quickly! The skein I spun yesterday and plied today was 99 g/3.5 oz. of fiber, and it all got done in just a few hours. I have a feeling there is a lot more woolen spinning in my future!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Winding Down

It's almost the end of the week and almost the end of the Tour de Fleece, and I am more than ready for the four-day weekend I have ahead of me. Rainbow leaves for a week of overnight camp next Wednesday, so I thought I would take off a couple of days to spend some extra time with her, especially because this is the first time she'll be away from us for more than an overnight trip to her grandparents'. I'm looking forward to getting a little more sleep, a little more cuddle time, and of course a bit more crafting time.

Tour de Fleece officially ends on Sunday, so I've spent much of my crafting time this past week trying to finish up my second skein of chocolate Bond from Southern Cross Fibre. I finished up the second bobbin last night and got just a bit of a start on the third and final bobbin.


These bobbins were much easier to spin that the first three, and I think my singles have gotten a bit more consistent as I've gotten used to the fiber, so perhaps my yardage will be a bit better on the second skein. I will say that I'll be glad to be finished with it, though, because as lovely as the fiber is, spinning dark fiber at night is not the best experience.

While I do enjoy all the spinning I do this time of year, it's served another function in getting me excited about knitting again. I was a bit bored with knitting after finishing up my handspun Boxy, understandably, and didn't feel much like starting anything new (I'm sure the hot, humid weather didn't help). But suddenly I feel like casting on All The Things, so clearly my mojo is back. I finished up the first of the fingerless mitts during my lunchtime knitting today.


This knit up so quickly that I'm fairly confident that I can have the second one done by the time I go back to work next week if I just focus on it. Good thing, too, because I have a list of new design ideas I want to tackle!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It's FDW Week, Apparently

Without intending it, I've apparently been working with nothing but Fibernymph Dye Works yarn over the past week or so. First, I finished a pair of socks for me:


Pattern: Non-Euclidian
Yarn: FDW Bounce (80% superwash Merino/20% nylon) in Winter Critters
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) Addi Sock Rockets, magic loop
Started/Finished: July 1/July 21
Mods: adapted the pattern to 68 stitches

As you can see, I didn't even bother to try to match up the stripes on these. The repeat was so long that it wasn't worth it to me for all the joins and extra ends I'd have to deal with to try to get them to match. The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to use a stitch count between two sizes because I realized I wanted a bit more negative ease than I was getting from my original pair.

As soon as these were off the needles, I almost immediately cast on another pair -- this time for Rainbow, who's been patiently waiting for her next pair.

Is it just me, or does this picture remind you of Hei Hei from Moana?

The yarn is Bounce again, this time the final shipment of the Happy Hour Yarn Club in a colorway called Martini Bar. I divided the yarn in half when I wound it up and am knitting these socks toe up so that I can knit until I run out; the hope is that I'll have enough to make the socks knee-highs. I'm not feeling too rushed on these, as Rainbow isn't likely to wear them anytime soon, but ideally I'll have them finished in the next month so that I can count them for Stash Dash*.

Meanwhile, I have a new lunchtime knitting project in -- you guessed it! -- FDW yarn. Lisa had asked me earlier this summer if I could come up with a pattern for her Inversibles yarn that wasn't socks to give people some other ideas of what to do with it. I'd been meaning to make a pair of fingerless mitts using the stitch pattern from my Corbusier Socks, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I'm maybe halfway through the first mitt and I really like how the striping pattern is playing with the stitch pattern.


I'm knitting these on size 1/2.25 mm needles, and it's so strange to me how big they feel! I am so used to knitting on size 0's that the needles themselves feel huge and the gauge I'm getting feels incredibly loose, even though I know it's not. It's hard to be believe that I used to knit socks on needles even larger than these! I guess I'm getting more relaxed as I get older -- not entirely a bad thing!


*I'm already a smidge over 12,000 meters in my Stash Dash total, so I guess I'm going for 15K! The spinning is definitely helping, so if I can spin up a few more skeins before the end of the summer, I should be golden.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What Can Brown Do for You?

There has been a lot of spinning happening this weekend, and to be honest, it's a bit boring. But first, here's my most recent finished skein, the HipStrings Tour de Fleece colorway:


I am absolutely in love with this skein. It's the kind of spinning I used to do all the time -- three-ply fingering weight for socks -- but have been out of practice on for a while. I was a bit disappointed with the yardage (382 yards when I was hoping for 400+) but I can't be unhappy with it when it came out so nice looking!

Once that skein was done, I set my sights on the Southern Cross Fibre chocolate Bond I wanted to spin to go with the Charollais I finished up earlier in the Tour. I was hoping to be able to spin it the same way (long draw from top) if I could so that I could use the two colors together. I mostly succeeded, though this fiber didn't cooperate as nicely as the Charollais did, so there was a lot of starting and stopping and pulling out slubs of fiber. But at least it was fast: I spun up these three bobbins in the span from Friday night to Saturday night:


And earlier this afternoon, I plied most of the singles into another giant skein:


I've since wound it on my niddy noddy and put it in to soak. I hope that it'll be dry by tomorrow so I can measure the final yardage. The good news is that the plied yarn looks about right, so I'll be spinning up the remaining fiber to match. I've got a week left to finish it, and if I can spin at the same pace, that should be no problem. By next week's Sunday post, I should have a nice pile of finished Tour de Fleece spinning to show off!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Simplicity

It's been a busy week, perhaps no busier than usual, but it has felt more tiring and chaotic than normal. Part of that is probably that I've been much more active due to a slight change in Rainbow's schedule. She was pretty miserable going to the after camp program we'd signed her up for, so I talked to people at work and people at camp, and she's now coming to my office for a little bit at the end of the day. That means more walking for me, because I now have to walk to the bus stop to meet her at the bus and then walk back to the office with her. On the plus side, I have been hitting and exceeding my daily step goal every day this week, but that's also meant some very sweaty ends to my days. So it's been good to have some simple pleasures to indulge in this week.

Now that my handspun Boxy is officially done, the only project I have on my needles is a simple pair of socks for me that are just about complete. I turned the heel yesterday, so now I'm just cruising down the foot. I'm only about two inches away from starting the toe, so I expect they'll be done by the weekend.


I'm also working on plying up my skein of the HipStrings Tour de Fleece colorway into a three-ply fingering weight yarn for socks. I started plying last night and actually did quite a bit of work on it, but it's not done yet. I'll aim to finish it this evening; with any luck, I'll finish the actual plying with enough time to skein and wash the yarn before bed.


Reading has been good for me as well this week. I finished up an amazing book on Tuesday, The Song of Achilles. I had bought it several weeks ago when it was a Kindle deal, mainly because I'd heard of another of the author's books getting a lot of buzz and wanted to check this one out first. I was not disappointed. The writing is beautiful and the story gives an entirely new perspective to an ancient tale. If you're interested in ancient Greek history (perhaps, like me, you studied some classics in college), it's a must read.

I'm also in the middle of a book I got as a hand-me-down from my mother: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. It's written by Fredrik Backman, who also wrote the very popular A Man Called Ove, which I read in just a few days last year while we were on vacation. This one is just as good. I found it a little hard to get into at the beginning, mainly because it's told from the point of view of a 7-year-old girl and there are a lot of questions that aren't answered until later in the book. I have less than 100 pages to go and hope to be able to finish it up this weekend.

I'm looking forward to another low-key weekend here. The weather is supposed to be hot, humid, and rainy, so it will be yet another good weekend to lay low and enjoy the extra crafting time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Eight Months, Three Days

In case you're wondering, that's how much time it takes to spin for and knit a fingering-weight oversized sweater.

Yes, that's right, it's done!


Pattern: Boxy by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: handspun from four colors of HipStrings Buoy fiber (BFL/Shetland/Manx Loaghtan)
Yarn Started/Completed: November 11, 2017/March 31, 2018
Sweater Started/Completed: May 1/July 14
Mods: added length to the body and sleeves

This FO is a long time coming. It was a monumental project, really. I have spun for sweaters before, but I'm fairly certain this was the most spinning (and knitting, for that matter) that I've done for a sweater before. And I have to say that I am very happy with how it all worked out.


To recap, I bought fiber for this last fall during a HipStrings open studio even for Spinzilla. I originally bought two braids each of three colorways: Mussels (the dark purple), Bay (the medium blue), and Sky (the lightest blue). I later bought three more braids of fiber, thinking what I had wouldn't be enough. I inadvertently bought a fourth color, Depths instead of Bay, at this point, but because my plan was to do a fade, I made it work.

The fade was done in the spinning. I spun one skein of each of the three main colors alone using about 6 oz. of each color. Then I did two 8 oz. skeins in which I gradually faded from one color to the adjacent color. I did this by changing the makeup of each of the three plies of the yarn. There were four sections of each fade skein. It started with three strands of color A. Then it moved to two plies of color A and one of color B, then one of color A and two of color B, and finally three of color B. The only place I had to manually fade the colors is the area just below the bust, and that was in the transition from Depths to Bay. You can see it if you look really closely, but I don't think it's terribly obvious.

When I got to the yoke, I divided each section of the remaining skeins in half so that the front and back would match. I finished up the sleeves with the Sky-only skein (also divided in half).


I ended up using much less yarn than I spun. I eliminated the entirety of the Bay-only skein, and I also omitted the Mussels section of the Mussels-to-Depths skein. The sleeves used only about half of the Sky-only skein. In total, I used approximately 1,615 yards, leaving me 700-ish yards of the total I spun.

My only modifications to this pattern were adding about four inches of length to the body (I wanted this to be big and cozy and didn't see the point of making the body cropped) and continuing to work the sleeves until they came down to my wrists, incorporating four additional decreases.

So it's done. Do I love it? Hard to say. I think because it's so hot outside, I'm having a hard time thinking about wearing it. But I think it's going to get a ton of wear this fall and winter, and I'm pretty sure I'll fall in love with it then. For now, I'm very happy with it. I love how the yarn turned out and how it knit up as I planned. And I'm certainly happy to finally be done with such a huge project!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

One Really Big Skein

It's been quite a weekend for finishing things! Most notably, yesterday morning I finished plying my giant skein of Southern Cross Fibre Charollais, and it was so big and poofy that I actually had to manually wind the last couple of yards onto the bobbin because the flyer would no longer turn. I almost immediately skeined it and tossed it in to soak, and it was finally dry this afternoon.


This skein is so enormous that it took quite a feat of strength to twist it into this quasi-hank. It is super squishy and elastic, too. While it looks to be perhaps a bit thicker than the first skein, yardage-wise it's right there: The first skein was 355 yards and the second is 358. Pretty darn close! Here they are together:


The brown fiber around the skeins is chocolate Bond from Southern Cross that I'm hoping to spin into two skeins to match the purple ones. Ideally, I'd like to knit a big, cozy colorwork sweater using the two (maybe a Lopapeysa?).

Before I start spinning the Bond, though, I want to finish up my other Tour de Fleece spin in progress, and I've literally just completed the second bobbin of those singles:


This is the TdF colorway from HipStrings on superwash domestic wool (meaning no particular breed -- likely just wool from the wool pool). I'm doing a three-ply fingering with this, and the third bobbin is just barely started. I imagine that if I focus on it, I'll have it done in the next couple of evenings.

Lest you think I'm spinning up all my fiber, I have some new acquisitions courtesy of the Southern Cross fiber club. These arrived in one package yesterday; I got an e-mail from Australia Post that they'd been delivered just as I finished up my Charollais skein!

June's shipment is called Allegory and is on oatmeal BFL, so it has that wonderful depth of shade from the natural color of the fiber.


The colors of this really make me think of fall leaves when some are just beginning to turn but there's still a fair amount of green. I think I will likely spin a fingering-weight two ply out of this.

July's shipment is on Polwarth, my absolute favorite fiber, and is in a colorway called Plot Twist.


When David posted the spoiler of this color on Ravelry, I literally gasped out loud. And then, because he'd posted that he had limited extras in his shop, I hopped on over and bought more. So I have four more bags of this on their way to me so that I can spin for another sweater. I'm thinking a traditional three-ply fingering weight so that the colors can be fairly mixed up and I won't have to worry about alternating skeins or doing any complex measuring.

There was some more major finishing this weekend -- but you'll have to wait until my next post to find out about that!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Three on Thursday, Spinning Edition

I'm borrowing today's title from my friend Kat, who does a "Three on Thursday" post every week. It seemed a fitting title for today's post given that I now have three completed bobbins of Charollais singles!


I finished up the last one last night and added onto it the leftover singles from the first skein (which I had very thoughtfully wound off from the bobbins and tucked into the bag with the completed skein and remaining fiber) so that I can use up as much as possible. As tempting as it is to get right into plying these, I think I will let them sit on the bobbins one more day to take a break from this project and work on my other Tour de Fleece project for a bit.

Meanwhile, I did step away from the wheel briefly last night to work on my handspun Boxy, which is so close to completion I can taste it.


I believe I have something like 65 rounds left to knit on the second sleeve, and the only finishing I'll need to do once that sleeve is complete is weave in the sleeve's two ends and block (and boy does this need a serious blocking!). If I ignored my spinning for a couple of evenings, I have no doubt I'd get it done, but I know that's not likely to happen. I'm pretty sure that I can knock out the rest of the sleeve by the end of the weekend, though, so with any luck, next Tuesday's post will be a big FO post!

The weekend ahead is supposed to be hot, humid, and rainy, so I won't feel guilty for hiding in the air conditioning inside and crafting for most of it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Last Legs

This week it feels like a lot of things are coming together and creating the right conditions to finish up some big (or big-ish) projects. First of all, I've got two bobbins of singles spun up for the second skein of Southern Cross Fibre Charollais and will, with any luck, have the third and final bobbin done tonight.


In the grand scheme of things, this isn't such a huge project -- I've certainly spun much larger quantities before -- but considering that the first skein was finished a year ago, it feels very good to put this spin-in-progress to bed.

The bigger project, and once that really has been ongoing for quite a long time, is my handspun Boxy. I finished the first sleeve and picked up for the second over the weekend, so if I can just pull myself away from the spinning for a bit, this sweater might actually get done this week.


Although it still looks a little awkward because it hasn't yet been blocked, I've tried on the sweater and it fits. It is much longer than the original, intentionally, but if it ends up being too long after blocking, a bit of sweater surgery might be required. I'm a little amazed at this possibility considering that I have a significant amount of yarn leftover or unused despite adding additional length and making the sleeves full length, though I suppose that having too much yarn is a much better position to be in than not having enough. This project was started last November (the spinning, anyway) and cast on May 1 of this year, so I will be very, very excited to see it done.

In other non-long-term project news, I'm just about finished with the first sock of a pair I cast on last weekend, using some stash yarn from a kit I bought sometime last year.


The yarn is Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in the colorway Winter Critters, and I've gone back to my Non-Euclidian heel for these. Like with the last pair of toe-ups, I've made a slight adjustment to the numbers (so I'm essentially knitting a size in between two other sizes) to get a bit more negative ease, and so far they fit perfectly.

Once my Boxy is officially done, I might take a break from sweaters for me to knit one for Rainbow. Though it is the middle of summer and she won't need it for a quite a while, and there are some designs I've been meaning to get to. Hmmm.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Spinniest Time of the Year

It's one of my most favorite times of the year -- Tour de Fleece time! If you've never heard of it before, here's a brief description: In conjunction with the annual Tour de France, spinners all over the world get their wheels and spindles going and challenge themselves to spin whenever the riders are spinning their wheels. For some people, the challenge is to spin huge quantities or master a particular skill or type of yarn; for others, the challenge is just finding time to spin every day. For me, I simply try to spin as much as I can, and usually that means spinning more (in terms of total time) than I do normally.

This year, I'm on two teams, Southern Cross Fibre and HipStrings, so I'll primarily be spinning fibers from those companies. I actually started my spinning yesterday at the HipStrings studio, where they always have an open studio day the first Saturday of the month. So I got a start on my first project and got to hang out with Jill a bit. And naturally I didn't come home empty-handed, as it's virtually impossible to sit in that studio and not come home with some pretties. I was good, though, and only came home with two braids of fiber:


This is superwash domestic wool in a colorway called Underwater Basketweaving, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to strip it lengthwise and chain ply for a pseudo-self-striping sock yarn.


And this is superwash Targhee, which I'll likely also spin for socks, in a colorway called Daydreams.

I feel like I didn't spin for as long as I could have this weekend, but yet I have managed to finish up a bobbin of each of the two projects that are up first. The HipStrings fiber was their Tour de Fleece colorway on superwash domestic wool, which I'm spinning into a three-ply fingering for socks (you can see the rest of the fiber to the right in the photo below). The other project is the second skein of Southern Cross Charollais that I am spinning woolen for a three-ply heavy worsted to Aran; I spun up the first skein almost exactly a year ago.


It's amazing how much faster the woolen spinning is -- I've already started in on the second bobbin!

Here's a closeup of the singles so you can see the difference:


I expect you'll be seeing more of these two projects in the next week or two. Before I go, though, I do have to share the yarn you saw in progress last week that was finished up this past Wednesday (I wanted to get it wrapped up and off the bobbin before Tour spinning started):


This was Divergence on Corriedale, the most recent shipment from the Southern Cross Fibre club -- it never even made it into my stash! I split the fiber vertically and spun all the strips, then chain plied. It's fingering weight, but only 333-ish yards. I'm honestly not sure why the yardage was so low. But I have some dark brown undyed Corriedale in the stash, and I might spin up a mini skein that could be used for heels, toes, and cuffs. I'm certainly happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Discombobulated

As nice as it is to have a day off for a holiday in the middle of the week, I must admit that having the 4th of July fall on a Wednesday is really throwing off my internal calendar. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Sunday -- and my sense of confusion wasn't helped at all by getting caught in a huge storm as we got home from dinner at my parents' (we all got soaked running into the house) and discovered that our air conditioning upstairs was broken. Thankfully we have two units, and the one that cools the first floor is still functional, but it made for a warm night.

But enough about that -- you came here for the knitting!

I finished up the charity hat on Tuesday evening, and as predicted, Rainbow really wants to steal it. I did manage to use all of the colors in the gradient set, though I still have most of the lightest mini skein left.


I didn't use a pattern for this; I just cast on 120 stitches, worked 2x2 rib for the brim using a US 3 (3.25 mm) needle, and worked the rest of the hat using a US 4 (3.5 mm). When one color ran out, I joined in the next one using the clasped weft join.

Now that the hat is done, I've switched over my lunchtime knitting to a pair of socks that I started this past Sunday when we went to the movies. This is Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in the colorway Winter Critters. I got this last year, I believe, as part of a kit with a matching project bag from Bags by Awesome Granny.


I'm doing my Non-Euclidian heel on these, slightly modified for a different stitch count.

The main project on the needles is, of course, my handspun Boxy. I am really getting close to being done. The body is finished and the first sleeve is in progress. I even wove in all my ends before I picked up for the sleeve!


I actually started knitting on the sleeve last night and got everything you see here done in about an hour and a half, so I'm hopeful that a couple more nights of dedicated knitting will be enough to finish both sleeves up. Ideally I wanted to have this done before the start of the Tour de Fleece, but I'm not sure that will happen. It might not be such a bad idea to have a knitting project to work on, though, to give my hands a break from spinning this weekend.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Pattern Release: CPCTC

Since shortly after I became a sock knitter, I've been a cuff-down sock knitter almost exclusively. It's not that I had anything against the toe-up sock; I just could never get toe-up socks to fit me as well as cuff-down socks. The heel never seemed to be in the right place, for one, and then there was always the problem of the too-tight bind off. As the years went on, and I became able to knit my standard sock recipe from memory, I pretty much stopped trying toe-up socks, though by then I likely could have cracked the code (so to speak) on getting them to fit my foot. In short, cuff-down socks were easy and didn't require much thinking for me, and as sock knitting has long been my mindless, stress-reducing knitting, that seemed the way to go.

When I released my Non-Euclidian pattern, it got a great response -- including many requests for a toe-up version. At that point, I had a bit of a reckoning with myself. I realized that in many respects the math was already done and that flipping the construction of the sock wouldn't require much effort at all. What did I have to lose by giving it a try? And so I did, starting with a pair of socks for myself to see if it would work before I admitted to myself that I was actually writing a toe-up sock pattern.


Obviously, it worked. And, if I do say so myself, it worked brilliantly. The fit is just as good on me as the cuff-down version, and now I can appreciate one of the big allures of knitting socks toe up: using up as much yarn as possible.

I mentioned in the debut of the cuff-down version that geometry was my favorite math subject in school and that it influenced the name. For the toe-up version, I've once again gone back to geometry for inspiration. My favorite part of geometry was doing proofs, and one shorthand we used in proofs was "CPCTC," or "congruent parts of congruent triangles are congruent." It seemed a fitting name for socks with matching triangles on them.


This version of the sock isn't an exact replica of the original. Rather, it's more of a "flipped" version of the sock. Rather than increasing for the heel, the increases are done on the bottom of the foot, providing space for the usual gusset area. The heel is turned to cup the very back of the heel, and the remaining decreases create a mock heel flap. You can then make your socks as tall as you like, ending with some 2x2 ribbing. To ensure that the top of the sock is comfortable, finish with a stretchy bind off of your choice. I really like one called the Miraculous Elastic Bind Off, which seems to have disappeared from the blog on the Web where I originally found it but is basically the traditional lace bind off worked in rib.

I've now made myself a second pair of toe-up socks using my own patterns, and I'm pretty sure I've been converted (does that make me an ambidextrous sock knitter?). I know it'll be great for making socks out of handspun when my yardage has been a little disappointing and I want to use up as much of the yarn as possible. And it's also pretty great for commercial or indie-dyed yarn when I'm trying to use up as much yarn as possible for Stash Dash purposes. ;-)

Sunday, July 01, 2018

T Minus Six

We are now less than a week away from that wonderful summer tradition, the Tour de Fleece. I am working on trying to finish up my current spin before then so I can start the Tour with empty bobbins (not that there's any prohibition against starting with a spin in progress, but it feels good to start off something new at the beginning). I'm on the last strip of Southern Cross Fibre Corriedale and hope to have all the singles spun in the next day or two, giving me the rest of the week to take care of plying it.


I'm also planning out what will go on the wheel first on Saturday. I'm spinning for two teams this year, Southern Cross and HipStrings, so the first two projects will be their fiber.


On the left is the HipStrings TdF colorway, dyed on superwash domestic wool. It'll become a traditional three ply for socks. On the right is what remains to be spun of the 550 g of SCF Charollais that I bought sometime last year and started spinning exactly a year ago, along with the first skein that I spun and the remaining singles. I'll be spinning the three bundles in the back to match, if all goes well, ending up with a semi-woolen three-ply heavy worsted. I'm hopeful that these will all get spun up quickly and I can dive into the rest of my stash for additional projects, but if all I get done is these two spins, I'll be quite happy.