Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Finished sweater!

Woo! Even though I was babysitting my 7 year old niece all weekend I still managed to finish knitting the pink/brown sweater for my other niece. Now I'm looking at it's collar and kind of hating the way it went but I think I will leave it alone. So now I get to add it to the finished objects section.

Ever since I started spinning I've been experiencing pain in my wrists and elbows - I think I'm going to have to break down and buy a book to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I don't exactly want to add carpal tunnel to my list of new and interesting hobbies.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I spent the weekend spinning wool and I think I've gotten even better with it. I'm starting to be able to get some lace weight stuff out of it. The part I'm having the most trouble with right now is keeping the spindle spinning. I think that has a lot to do with the handcrafted nature. Once you get a little bit of fibre on under the whorl it loses any balance it had. So I'm contemplating ponying up and buying a better spindle (I'll have to convince the Hub that is a good idea and thus far he still thinks the whole make your own wool thing is crazy. He's already told me in no uncertain terms that our backyard will not ever be made into a sheep enclosure or be alpaca friendly. I've told him he just has to view it creatively and since we live in a city then we can charge admission and make it a petting zoo). Spindles in the area I'm at cost upwards of $45 dollars and they also seem handcrafted although they feel better balanced.

Is it normal to have an attachment to the wool you've spun? I was asked what I was going to make with the wool that I plied/plyed and I looked at the person (apparently with a murderous expression) and said "That wool is not for knitting". Which is kind of funny since I had planned all along to make a nice hat out of it. Now I want to put it tenderly away in a ziploc bag and keep it forever. I hope this reaction is just because it's my first effort but the worry is that I started spinning up some BFL that I bought and I'm already envisioning a skein put away lovingly when I'm done when it was really supposed to make some pretty mittens. Maybe this whole spinning thing was suggested to me by the evergrowing blob that I like to call The Stash. It wants more fibre.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pictures of projects

I'm back with pictures. I was going to wait for a sunny day to take the pictures so I'd have better colour but I decided to go ahead.

This first picture is the roving that I bought from ebay. It's Romney wool and I don't know if it's a symptom of the breed or if there was something I needed to do differently but this is definitely not soft wool and as a matter of fact I'd call it unpleasant to touch. It reminds me of the wool that I experienced as a kid.. not something I want to feel again.

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Here is my first spun up stuff (I'm hesitant to call it wool)
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Here is my first effort at plying and the first time that I'm actually intrigued by this wool. I really like the way it mixed

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And here's a picture of the first effort and my new spindle. I went with handcrafted just because it's so expensive to buy one.
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I also took some pictures of the sweater I started knitting for my niece. She loves the colour pink so I kind of just went with that.
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Since the colours are being a little weird in that photo here is a close up with truer colours.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Man I have been busy! I went on that trek and found the store other than being a little overpriced they were pretty cool. I bought some superwash merino to spin and some BFL. I'll have to take pictures when the light gets better so that you can see them.

I also made my own spindle following instructions I found and it was pretty cool! I spun my first wool and it was actually recognizably sock weight yarn. I didnt get any of that funky stuff that I read everyone gets and was kind of disappointed. I'm still disappointed but can't bring myself to purposely try to make it.

I also cast on for a little v-neck sweater for my 6 year old niece (again I'll take pictures when I can). It's going incredibly quickly, I already have a sleeve, the back, and half the front done and I only started it on Saturday.

Anyway, I'll be back with pictures soon!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Sigh. I'm still waiting for my spindle and it's killing me! I keep going and fondling the roving that I bought (even though it's not soft) and trying to visualize how I will actually spin. It got so bad last night that I contemplated building a spindle out of a straw and a piece from my checker board (with a hole drilled in it).

This weekend I'm planning to go on a yarn expedition. I recently found out that there is an actual shop dedicated to spinning about 45 minutes away from my house. So I'm going to drive down there and see what there is to see. That's if I last until this weekend. I may just skip the rest of work and drive down there tonight.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fibre arrived

So the fibre I ordered from ebay arrived yesterday. I'm anxiously waiting for the spindle now.

It's kind of weird though the fibre I bought doesn't look like it's picture much (the colours are verrry different) and it's not at all soft. The ebay ad specifically said that it was soft! I kind of feel like I'm a little cheated there since the colours it turned out to be are not nearly as pretty and of course I'm obsessed with my wool being supersoft and nice to handle.

Man we had quite the weekend here. I went down to the basement on Sunday to put a load of laundry in and noticed that the carpeting was all wet... and there was an awful smell. The sewer had backed up. It was so gross. We had to call the plumbers in and then spend the entire day cleaning and pulling up carpet. Theres still more carpet in the rec room that has to go. I'm really sad about it, that was brand new carpeting in there with a nice thick underpad (unlike the carpeting in the main room which was really just odds and ends on the concrete floor). The only good thing is we're talking about ways to put some hardwood in with special risers so that it won't be wrecked if water gets in again. This is the second time in the 3 years we've lived here that we've had to remove carpeting from the rec room. It's just too damn expensive to keep on doing it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


I have placed an order for my first spindle and roving and am so excited! I've always wanted to know how to spin and now I'm going to give it a whorl. (Get it? WHORL! it's a good thing I amuse myself)

I did some research into the topic since there isnt a handy spinning guild in my area. There's a "guild" that charges you like $60 to join and then doesn't actually have meetings or do anything other than send you newsletters full of ads from sponsors. So in my research I found that new spinners do well with a medium spindle weight making a medium or bulky weight wool. So what did I do? I bought a lace making spindle. Yeah it makes no sense and I don't expect to actually get lace the first time I try it out but I thought it was worth a shot (plus spindles are expensive and if this is the only one I can buy for a while at least it's at the weight that I ultimately want to be able to make). I'm hoping it's not too hard to do but know that there's sure to be a learning curve.

I've found a bunch of great resources on the net for learning how to spin complete with videos. If you want the links just let me know in the comments and I'll post them.

My boyfriend thinks that I'm crazy for wanting to spin wool. He already thinks I'm crazy because the stash is threatening to fill the large rec room downstairs and I think he has visions of little bird nests of roving throughout the house. The really great thing about him though is that he accepts that I'm crazy about wool and crafts and when he talks to other people he always sounds proud of my accomplishments. Of course that may change when he finds out just how all-consuming spinning may be.

There's just something about the idea of making yarn and then knitting it into something that just seems like it would be so satisfying. Not only would I be able to say to someone "Hey I knit this just for you" but I'd be able to say "I found this wonderful wool, made it into yarn, and knit this... it's totally a one of a kind". My boyfriend doesn't understand why this feels like a good idea, methinks he needs a one-of-a kind scarf of his own.