Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Socktober: Better Late than Never

For many years in the online knitting world, there have been official and unofficial celebrations of "Socktober," or a month dedicated to knitting socks. I've never needed an excuse to knit socks and pretty much always have a pair on the go, but as the month finishes up, I've realized that my sock mojo has ramped up a bit. First, in all the excitement surrounding my trip to Rhinebeck (and all the craziness involved in preparing for it), I completely neglected to mention that I have a new sock pattern out! My Intrecciate Socks are in Knit Now issue 80, which I believe is now on UK newsstands. For those of you who aren't in the UK, fear not -- the pattern will be published in my Ravelry shop just as soon as I get the rights back (which should be sometime in the February/March 2018 time frame).

These socks are constructed in a fairly traditional way (cuff down, with heel flap and gusset), with a stitch pattern that consists of simple cables and some twisted stitches. I designed them to be gender neutral and suggested a semisolid or tonal yarn, but this colorful gradient is what I was sent. That's one of the things about publishing with a third party -- you have to knit up the sample in the yarn they send you! I rather like the bright colors, though I'm definitely going to be knitting up another sample in a more sedate yarn, because I think it entirely changes the look.

Of course, these sample socks were knit up months ago -- but there has been sock knitting happening more recently. Over the weekend, I finished up Rainbow's latest pair, and she was so thrilled with them that she wore them all last night (a big deal for someone who runs warm and almost never covers her feet at night) and declared that had today been a weekend, she would have continued wearing them all day!

They actually fit quite well, despite what they may look like in this photo. I worked these in basic ribbed cuff/stockinette leg and foot over 64 stitches on a size 0/2.0 mm needle and used a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. The yarn is ONline Supersocke 4-fach Season Color (just your typical superwash wool/nylon that will wear like iron), and while I was careful to start the second sock at the same point in the pattern and the sock match up nearly perfectly, if you look closely, you'll see that the very end of the toes don't quite match. I'm choosing to blame the yarn for that. Rainbow doesn't care, so I'm not sweating it.

I'm sure she would love me to knit her another pair, but up next is a pair for me. I've had this skein of Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce patiently waiting and now is the time. I'm obviously not going to finish these by the end of the month, but I've at least made a start.

This colorway is called Elvis Has Left the Building, and if you're not a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, then you won't know the reference (it's an expression one of the Pens' longtime broadcasters says when it's clear that they've one the game). All the Pittsburgh sports teams very conveniently share the same colors, so these can be my default socks for any "sportsball" event.

Finally, today is not only Halloween, it's also a special day for the blog -- on this day, 12 years ago, I published my very first blog post. Happy "blogoversary" to me!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Singles Frenzy

After focusing on my Rhinebeck sweater prior to the trip and being away last weekend, I was anxious to get back to my wheel this week. You might say that my fiber stash spilleth over, not to mention the fact that I'm vending at Indie Knit and Spin in less than two weeks, so I was anxious to both reduce the stash and add to my shop inventory. Since Wednesday evening, I've spun up 8 oz. of singles:

The pink on the left is dyed Corriedale from the Ross Farm (a limited edition, as they don't normally have dyed fiber and they've since sold the Corriedale sheep) and the blue/purple on the right is Polwarth from Gale's Art that I won as a KAL prize last month. They'll both be two-ply yarns, likely heavy fingering to sport weight unless they bloom significantly, but the Polwarth was spun as a fractal and obviously should be more interesting as it has more colors in it. As you can see, I've also made good use of my new-to-me WooLee Winder bobbins, with two more still waiting to be filled. It's always fun to see how quickly I can spin a skein of yarn when I'm not spinning frog hair singles!

I'm planning to ply both of these skeins this week, and I also have a braid of Targhee ready to spun up as well. I'm not planning to spend the next two weeks spinning with quite the same intensity as Spinzilla or Tour de Fleece, but it would be good to get a few more skeins into inventory while working solely from stash.

Otherwise in the spinning world, I got some sad news this week. Ginny of FatCatKnits announced that she has decided to close her business and move to be closer to her family. I can't help but feel that I was part of the problem, as I wasn't buying as regularly as I once was, but I can understand her reasons and will surely miss her artistry. I am glad to know that I still have a few braids of her fiber left in the stash. I know there is plenty of fiber out there, but it's hard at the same time. Ginny has become a friend over the years, and as sad as I am that I will no longer be able to buy her beautiful fiber, I want her to be happy and successful. I certainly wish her well!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Prime Knitting Time

Although the drive to Rhinebeck was long and (at times) uncomfortable, the one good thing about it is that I did not have to do any of the driving or navigating, which meant that I had many hours to fill with knitting. I managed to get quite a good bit of it done, too.

My main knitting objective was to finish up a couple of pattern samples for a new collaboration with Lisa of Fibernymph Dye Works. We're planning to debut this new pattern at Indie Knit and Spin and a couple weeks, and I really needed to knit the samples to both finish up the pattern and have them ready for Lisa to display in her booth. The first sample was already in progress when we left (though I changed my mind about color order and ripped back about half of what I'd knit in the car), and I finished it up after tearing down the booth on Sunday evening. I cast on the second sample in the car on Monday morning and finished it last night. I can't show you much, but here's a peek (you'll have to come to IKS to see the full reveal!):

I also cast on a new pair of socks for Rainbow, at her request, on the way to Rhinebeck. I figured a simple sock would be good to work on while we were out to dinner or standing around the booth. I finished the first one on Monday morning and am already nearly halfway done with the second. Because she picked out the self-patterning yarn, I went with plain stockinette with a Fish Lips Kiss heel.

These socks are a bit faster than socks for me, but not by much -- they're only an inch smaller in circumference and about two inches shorter in length. I'd say it's only a matter of time before Rainbow's feet are more or less the same size as mine, so she's going to have to learn to knit her own socks before too long.

The only other project I still have on the needles is my Wonder Woman Wrap, which sadly has not seen any attention since before I started my Rhinebeck sweater. I did take it on the trip with me, hoping I'd give it some love, but I never even pulled it out of the bag. I don't think it will get worked on much in the next two weeks, either, as I'm planning to spend more of my crafting time spinning to increase my inventory for my Indie Knit and Spin booth. I'm not feeling any particular pressure to finish it, but I would like to see it done soon -- though I suppose I could always take it on our annual Florida trip, which really isn't that far away!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rhinebeck Reentry

I'm not sure I can even begin to capture everything from this past weekend and the excitement that was my first Rhinebeck, but I'm going to try -- and please forgive the long post! It was a long, busy weekend, and while it was technically a working weekend for me (meaning that I spent most of the time at the festival in the booth), it was absolutely wonderful.

We left early on Thursday morning and pulled into the fairgrounds at about 4:30 in the afternoon to unload all the stuff. Then we headed to the campsite to set up the camper and then to dinner at Terrapin, which was absolutely delicious. On Friday morning, we went back to the fairgrounds to set up the booth. We were done by about noon, which gave us time to wander a bit around "downtown" Rhinebeck and have some lunch before heading to the Needles Up event. I made just two purchases there, a new sock-sized bag (I'm calling that a necessity, as I'd forgotten a bag for the socks I cast on for Rainbow on the trip up) and an Elizabeth Zimmermann pin from the Fat Squirrel and a braid of Cheviot in Starry Night from Classy Squid Fiber Co.

We decided to try to get into Indie Untangled before dinner on Friday and after spending a very long time in a very long line had about 25 minutes to fight the crowds. I purchased just one skein of yarn, the Rhinebeck 2017 colorway from Skeinny Dipping on her fingering singles base, and also got to meet Christine, the dyer, who I've "known" online for a number of years.

I also met Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade in the crowd and met fellow designer Mary Annarella. I didn't get a chance to get a picture with Helen, but I chatted with Mary for a bit when I escaped the claustrophobic room, and she's every bit as nice in person as she is online.

Once we escaped that madness, we went to dinner in Saugerties with Danielle, the owner of Fibre Space, and her husband and adorable daughter (a.ka. Fibre Space Tiny Human). That was a very fun dinner, and as both Danielle and her husband are originally from the Southwestern Pennsylvania area, we discovered a lot of connections.

On Saturday we were up early to get to the fairgrounds and finish setting up the booth. I thought it looked pretty great when we were done:

If you look closely, you can see one of my patterns on display!

Though the temperatures did get rather warm later in the day, it was chilly enough in the morning to wear and show off my Rhinebeck sweater!

I'm so glad I wore it, because, a bit later in the morning -- completely by chance -- the designer of the sweater, Elizabeth Doherty, was in the booth and I got to show her my sweater in person! She was so nice, and meeting her was probably the highlight of my day.

The booth was busy for most of the day, but it calmed down enough by late afternoon that I was able to wander for a bit. My first stop was the fiber arts competition display, where I was stunned and delighted to find that all three of the handspun skeins I had entered had won ribbons (one fourth place and two fifths)!

I ran into Melanie of the Savvy Girls Podcast (who I had met at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year), and the two of us wandered around together a bit.

Saturday night we headed to Kingston for a delicious Mexican dinner and made it to Jill Draper's open studio event for about the last fifteen minutes. That proved to be a good thing, as the studio was fairly empty by then and we were actually able to talk to Jill and Rachel of Daughter of a Shepherd, whose yarns were being featured at the event. I may have bought a little yarn there, too.

Sunday at the festival was much more relaxed. I got a chance to try the famous apple cider donuts and do just a little bit of shopping. At the end of the day, we packed everything up, loaded it onto the truck, and headed back to downtown Rhinebeck for one last delicious dinner. We had a long day coming home yesterday -- I didn't get back to my house until about 8:45 last night -- but it was worth it.

I'd say the best part of the whole experience was all the people I got to see and meet. I ran into a number of friends from SSK and elsewhere, and thanks to Amy and Scooter Pie, met a bunch of designers, podcasters, and other fiber industry people, including Laura Nelkin, Thea Colman, Amy Christoffers, Anne Vally, Boston Jen, and EmilyStraw. I also ran into Miriam Felton just outside the booth and introduced myself, as I'd "met" her online probably a decade ago when she helped me get through my very first lace shawl from one of her patterns (and I later loaned her the finished shawl when she got the rights back to the pattern and needed new photos). I got to meet a number of friends from Ravelry who I'd not yet met in person and ran into some friends who I've known for years.

I'm sure you're wondering what else followed me home, aren't you? Here's the full haul:

In addition to the things you've already seen, I bought a woven basket from Ghana (perfect for carrying all my purchases), a festival T-shirt, a sock blank from Gale's Art, and some Ross Farm Romney and CVM fiber and a skein of Shetland sport weight that I kept fondling throughout the show and Amy wouldn't let me leave without. I also came come with three new-to-me Lendrum WooLee Winder bobbins (not shown) that I bought from another Raveler who was nice enough to meet me at the booth for the exchange.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading it all. I'm going to wait until my next post to share the knitting I did on the trip (because it's a long drive to and from Rhinebeck, and that's the perfect time to knit). I'm thoroughly exhausted from the weekend, but I wouldn't change a thing -- and I really hope I can go back next year!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I Did It, and It Was Spectacular

When you read this, I'll be on my way to Rhinebeck, N.Y., with Amy and Scooter Pie of the Ross Farm with my new (and very much finished) sweater, which I finished in the nick of time on Tuesday evening.

This is the best photo I can take at 5 a.m.

Pattern: Copperplate by Elizabeth Doherty
Yarn: Yarn Hollow Tango (85% Polwarth, 15% silk) in Garnet, approximately 3.5 skeins
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) and US 2.5 (3.0 mm)
Started/Completed: September 4/October 17

I started this sweater right after I found out I was making the pilgrimage to the New York Sheep and Wool festival, and I think I knit it rather quickly considering I took an entire week off in the middle to focus on Spinzilla. I'd been meaning to make the pattern for quite some time and had actually swatched for it way back when I bought the yarn, which my Ravelry stash page tells me was last May. My past self was very smart and made a note of my pre- and post-blocked gauge (as well as the needle size I used) on the pattern, so all I had to do to cast on was wind up a few more skeins.

The pattern itself was great. There are a lot of things to pay attention to, such as separate charts for the faux-cabled front bands and shaping, but I was able to knit on this while watching all sorts of TV and movies without making any serious errors, so I'd rate it somewhere in the middle of the difficulty scale. The construction is really genius, though, and it looks like it will fit really well.

Because I was using a hand-dyed yarn, I did alternate skeins for most of the sweater (the exceptions are the beginnings of the faux-cabled bands and the sleeve caps). That meant quite a few ends to weave it, but I decided at the outset to weave them in as I went along knowing that I'd probably be rushed to finish this in time for the trip and I didn't want to have a couple dozen ends to deal with at the last minute. I did use significant less yarn than the pattern estimates, and while I did make the sleeves a bit shorter than called for, I don't think that alone accounts for it. I have an entire skein untouched as well as remains of the last two skeins I was using, but that's not a bad thing, as I loved working with the yarn and will be happy to have some leftovers to play with.

The weather forecast for Rhinebeck is not entirely suitable for sweater wearing (it's supposed to get to the mid-70s on Saturday and Sunday), but knowing how I tend to run cold and that mornings and evenings are likely to get chilly, I'm sure I'll get some time to wear my new cardi.

I won't be doing a spinning post this weekend, as I haven't been at the wheel since the end of Spinzilla, but I do promise a full recap post (or maybe two!) of my Rhinebeck experience when I'm back. If you'll be at the festival this weekend, do come and say hi if you see me! Be forewarned, however, that if I'm wearing my new sweater, I may make you pet it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Can I Do It?

I'm in the home stretch on my Rhinebeck sweater, with just a portion of the second sleeve to go. I tried to work on it as much as possible over the weekend, but of course we were busy with errands and things like housecleaning and laundry, so it wasn't quite the knitting marathon I was hoping for. Still, I finished the first sleeve and got through the sleeve cap and upper portion of the second. My goal is to finish this sleeve by tonight so I can quickly block it in time for it to be dry for my early morning departure on Thursday. I have about 45 rounds (some involving decreases) and an I-cord bind off left to knit -- wish me luck!

In other news, thanks to some knitting time at lunch on Saturday and in the car going to and from dinner on Saturday and Sunday evening, I finished my socks!

These were such a quick knit, in large part because I worked them on size 1/2.25 mm needles instead of my usual size 0/2.0 mm. The pattern is already with my tech editor, so I likely won't think about it again until after Rhinebeck.

On Saturday morning, Rainbow and I took last trip out to Knitsburgh Yarn Shop, which is sadly now closed. There wasn't much stock left in the shop, but we picked out a few things. I grabbed a couple of circular needles and a set of crochet hooks as well as a skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering in an acid green, and Rainbow picked out a skein of BMFA Plushy for a hat and mittens and some ONline sock yarn so we can have matching socks (the colorway might look familiar because I used it for a pair for me earlier this year).

I am really sad that the store is closing, but to be honest I haven't been there much because I have so much in my stash already and a lot of the knitting I've been doing for my patterns has involved yarn support. There are still other LYSes relatively close to me if I need yarn, but I'm going to try to stick with what I already have for the time being (plus whatever follows me home from Rhinebeck, of course).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

An Official Quickie

I have a very quick post today, mainly because I've done no spinning since the end of Spinzilla and I have one sleeve to finish on my Rhinebeck sweater, but I did want to share a final picture of the yarn I spun and my officially yardage. Here's the entirety of my week of crazy spinning:

The six unicorn skeins (all fingering weight and chain plied) totaled up to a little more than 500 yards, while the larger skein on the right (a two-ply fingering spun from 4 oz. of Frabjous Fibers BFL) is about 346 yards. All told, my final Spinzilla yardage was 3,071.8 yards -- not too shabby!

I'm obviously taking a break from spinning at the moment, but I'll be ramping it up once again as soon as I get back from Rhinebeck in order to add some more skeins to my Indie Knit and Spin booth. I got some new fiber in this past week, thanks to a KAL prize from the 90% Knitting podcast group.

This is Polwarth from Gale's Art that Lisa got in her SSK goodie bag in a previous year she attended. Polwarth is my favorite to spin, so I'm looking forward to having fun with this braid!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pattern Debut: Calamosca Cowl

And now for something a little different!

Usually when I post about a new pattern, it's one I've published in my Ravelry store or that's been printed in a magazine. Today, however, I'm very excited to share a new pattern with you that is part of the beautiful Color Shift collection from Knit Picks! This is a design that's been hiding behind the scenes for the better part of this year, and I've been dying to share it with you -- so I'm so excited that the day has finally arrived when I can!

The Color Shift collection is all about the slow fade from one color to the next. For my design, I worked with Knit Picks' Chroma yarn, one of my favorites for stranded colorwork because the color changes happen in the yarn, without the need to actually change the color. I took full advantage of this in my design, the Calamosca Cowl.

This pattern has two stranded colorwork parts. First, the chevron-y pattern of the outside of the cowl is worked. Then, after working a purl turning row and switching to smaller needles, a simple dot pattern is worked to form the inner lining of the cowl. Finally, the smaller section is folded to the inside and the two parts are joined with a three-needle bind off. This construction not only conveniently places all the floats on the interior of the cowl, thus keeping all the pretty part of the colorwork where it can be seen, but it results in an extra warm fabric.

Using a solid with a gradient really helps the colorwork to pop, and short floats make this an excellent project for someone new to stranded work. The sample in the book uses Black and Weather Vane, but there are many possible combinations. I happen to love Chroma because it's so snuggly in addition to having such beautiful colors, and it's not the first time I've used it for a cowl. The worsted weight version knits up so quickly and makes such a squishy fabric.

While you can't get the pattern in my Ravelry store, you can buy it individually from Knit Picks or as part of the whole collection (and you can get it as a printed book or an e-book). There are 15 beautiful patterns in the full collection, so it's a great deal!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On a Mission

Now that Spinzilla is over, I have one primary mission for the next week and a half or so: finish my Rhinebeck sweater. I think it may be a nail-biter, but I'm going to do my best to make it happen. Last night I picked up the stitches for the first sleeve and worked a good bit of the short-row sleeve cap shaping. I'm hoping to get through the rest of that tonight so I can start working the whole sleeve in the round -- I have a feeling that part is going to fly.

Short-row shaping means that there's really no good place to stop, hence the disheveled look of this sleeve. Once it gets going, it's fairly fast, but of course getting to this point is always a challenge. Any time I have to pick up a very specific number of stitches I invariably end up ripping and redoing at least once (I think it took me three or four tries with this sleeve). I actually have an extra stitch somewhere in there that I'll need to hide because I had a slight gap when I finished picking up the last section and had to pick up one more stitch to fix it.

The sweater is a bit too big to bring to work for my lunch break knitting, so I've been working on my new sock design again -- and I finished the first one today! I'm very pleased with how this knit up.

I've already got a draft of the pattern mostly written, which means that I can likely take a couple of photos of the completed sock and get the pattern off to my tech editor this weekend (given that sock yarn usage is so variable, I don't need to finish the pair to determine yarn requirements). I'll still knit the second sock, of course, but I have some yarn support on its way to me for a new pattern that I'm hoping to debut early next month, so it may have to wait.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a sleeve to knit!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Thank Goodness It's Only a Week

Spinzilla is coming to a close tonight, and I'm very happy to see it end. Not that I haven't enjoyed spending so much time spinning, mind you, but my body is not very happy with me right now. Somehow the limited time period makes it easy to push myself to keep spinning even when things are hurting, and that could do some serious damage in the long term.

That said, I did get everything done (or will, as soon as I post this) that I wanted to. Yesterday, we did a spin-in at the HipStrings studio. I managed to finish spinning up all the rest of my unicorn sampler singles, and as of this morning, they were all plied.

Top to bottom: Unicorn Fluff, Baby Unicorn, Soulmate, Unicorn Seeks Soulmate, Space Unicorn, and Dark Magic

While these have been skeined up, they have not yet been washed; I'll do that tonight just as soon as I finish plying the last skein (which I'll get to in a minute). As long as I was there, however, I decided to make a pretty sizable fiber purchase. I've been wanting to knit a Boxy sweater, and rather than buying more yarn, I thought it would be fun to spin for one. I spent most of the afternoon pondering colors but had a lot of trouble deciding because there were three that I really liked. Then my friend Anna came up with the brilliant idea to do a fade, so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

These are all the HipStrings Buoy blend, which is 37.5% BFL, 37.5% Shetland, and 25% Manx Loughtan. The three colors I picked are (left to right) Sky, Bay, and Mussels. The colors will fade from light to dark from the top of the sweater to the bottom, assuming I do it right. I'm excited to get spinning, but I'll likely need to put it off for a bit to get some other things done.

My last skein for Spinzilla will be finished up as soon as I post this. It's the BFL that I was spinning on my Turkish spindle for the week; I got a little more than half of one ply done on the spindle, but in the interest of actually finishing it, I spun the rest on the wheel.

I finished the last of the singles spinning and plied most of the skein over at the Steel City Fiber Collective this afternoon. Luckily one bobbin ran out just when I needed to leave and go home, so I'll wind off the rest of the remaining singles and Andean ply them. I'll skein this yarn up and then all the skeins will go take a bath. As soon as they're dry, I'll be able to determine my final Spinzilla yardage!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

At the Halfway Point

We're more than halfway through Spinzilla now, and I'm feeling it. As much as I envy those who get more spinning time because they don't work full time like I do, I'm not sure my body could handle it. I definitely overdid it on Tuesday, so I spent the evening working on my Rhinebeck sweater instead of spinning more. It turned out to be a doubly good thing, as it gave some of my joints a bit of a rest and enabled me to finish the body of the sweater!

Sorry the photo's so dark -- it's a gloomy day here.

I'm getting a bit nervous that there won't be quite enough time to finish the sweater, especially given how much knitting time I'm giving up to spinning this weekend, but I'm going to do my best. The nice thing about this pattern is that after the sleeves are done, I'm done -- there is no finishing to be done other than weaving in ends (which I've been doing along the way so I don't have to do them all at the end) and blocking. If I have to, I'll have a bit of a knitting marathon next weekend, when all we have planned is a family dinner on Saturday night.

But let's get back to the Spinzilla recap. As of last night, I have finished up the third fiber blend in my unicorn sampler and moved on to the fourth. This one, Unicorn Seeks Soulmate, is probably the easiest to spin because it's just merino with a bit of sparkle.

I'm also continuing to work on the BFL I've been spindling, but I think a wheel intervention might be in order to get the entire 4 oz. spun and plied before the end of Spinzilla. I split the braid up into 16 little bundles of predrafted fiber, and I'm managing to get two into a cop. Considering the first cop took me two days to spin (well, two lunch breaks), it's unlikely I can manage it all on a spindle alone.

I think I will have to play things by ear and see how far I get by the weekend. I'll be heading up to the HipStrings studio on Saturday afternoon for a spin-in with the team, and if I've gotten all the stuff done on the wheel by then, I'll just take my spindle. If the worst that happens is I don't find the stuff on the spindle this week, I can live with that.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Spin All the Shiny, Sparkly Things

It's day two of Spinzilla, and I have certainly done my share today. I took a day off from work to go to the eye doctor for my annual exam (it's not much use going to work with my eyes dilated seeing as my job involves reading all day), so that meant lots of extra spinning time. I estimate I spent somewhere between four and five hours at the wheel today. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best idea, as I'm feeling it now. In any case, I have a lot to show.

Last night I started in on my HipStrings unicorn sampler. I'm working my way through the bag pretty much from top to bottom, which more or less equates to lightest to darkest. I got through most of the first bump, Unicorn Fluff, last night and finished it up this morning. Unfortunately the photo I took does not want to upload to the blog, but you can see it here.

I immediately started in on the next color, Baby Unicorn, and finished that as well.

Superfine merino, baby llama, merino, and Stellina

I am spinning at least four of the bumps onto the same bobbin, as they're all in the range of 25-30 grams each. I plan to chain ply all of these, so in between each blend, I'm putting in a length of plain fiber (some leftover Romney from my first fleece) that's a natural color and that I'm spinning a bit thicker so it's very obvious:

The last color I worked on today is Soulmate, and I think I'm about halfway done with it.

Superfine merino, merino, bamboo, rose, and Stellina

This blend is proving to be a bit more difficult to spin than the previous ones. I think that's because this blend contains a fair amount of viscose (from bamboo and rose fiber), so it's a bit slick. I've actually had the single break on me about three times, not so much because it was snapping but because I lost my grip.

I'm going to see if my hands feel better tonight before I decide if I'm going to spin some more; if not, I'll take a break and work on my Rhinebeck sweater. That might not be a bad idea -- if I do, I should be able to finish the body tonight!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Spinzilla Pregaming

Spinzilla officially kicks off at midnight tonight (or, rather, tomorrow morning), but as I have to be up early to go to work in the morning, I won't be staying up late to start. But I am prepared. I spent most of my free time this weekend spinning up the remainder of the batts I received in the class I took with Jillian Moreno at SSK. Amazingly I managed to get all the singles onto one bobbin:

I plied everything in two plying sessions today, and the skein is now hanging to dry in the upstairs bathroom. Here's what it looked like before washing:

The colors aren't quite accurate here (that's what happens when you wait until almost 5 p.m. to take a photo), but at least you can get a sense of the variation. The blue was spun from the smoothest batt, and it's probably the thinnest yarn in the skein, but overall it looks to be in the neighborhood of sport to DK. I estimate that I should get about 300 yards once it's dry.

My wheel is now all ready for Spinzilla spinning, which I'll start tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I've got a spindle project lined up to take to work.

This will be the inaugural spin on my Turkish from Subterranean Woodworks that I bought at SSK. The fiber is some deep stash that someone gave me a number of years ago, some BFL from Frabjous Fibers. I have no idea how long it was in that person's stash, but regardless, the fiber was pretty compacted, so I took some time this afternoon to split up the fiber and predraft it a bit. Predrafting is not something I've really done since I first started spinning, but this fiber really needed it. Now I've got a bunch of fluffy little nests to spin. I can't wait to get this spin started!