Kind of a Rainbow Post

Spinning has been on the quiet side lately. The cat has far too much interest in freshly drafted fiber.

I did finish the first bobbin for the 3-ply SW BFL.


I have a Rose spindle from Gripping Yarn that I hadn’t tried out yet, so I grabbed one of the experiment batts off my wall.


I drafted it down the length and starting spinning singles.


Supported spinning is a wonderful tactile experience and I am not yet very good at it. It does make for some neat thick & thin yarn while I get used to it though!

I recently sent a survey to family members asking what they’d like for sock colors for the holidays this year. I had a few that put no restrictions at all on me, or very few (“anything but pink!”) However, to my great disappointment, the majority of responses requested gray, black, tan, or blue. I don’t think these people understand how hand knit socks work…

First up, I’ve been trying to make brown interesting. Here’s a pair of Peeta socks in “Brew Pub” on Verve from The Unique Sheep. (I can also appreciate the Hunger Games reference).


I love the wheat motif in these!

I one survey responder wanted jewel tones, so I combined a bunch of leftovers to make a jewel tone mash-up. I am utterly in love with the leg on these socks. Less so with the heel.


The socks are mostly just made up as I go using helical stripes, though I tried out Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato heel. I keep having to fight with myself because it looks so odd. You can see I used a different scrap color for each wedge of the heel and I’m trying to decide if I’d like it better if they were all the same yarn, or a 5th contrasting color entirely. I’m also not convinced that I like how it fits. The socks are kind of in time out for the moment while I debate.

In the knitting realm where I have a bunch of pregnant friends, look! A Baby Surprise Jacket!


I knit the whole thing ~5 years ago in grad school and all I had to do this week was sew one arm seam and attach buttons. Win.

In the topic of knitting with other people’s handspun, this mitten has been in hibernation for awhile because I screwed up the kitchener and it needed a thumb. I finished it up this week. No word on when the second mitten will be started.


Pattern is Gloaming mittens and the yarn is a gorgeous set of 4 coordinated 2-ply handspun mini skeins from WhimsyKnits.


I am brewing a handspun sweater plan. I’ve actually been dreaming it up since last year. My stash of Moonrover batts looks like this:


The blue-brown cluster in the top right has been classified as “sweater” and the rest as “not sweater”.

I know that I need to spin it no thicker than fingering weight (the weather here at its coldest is really only “chilly”.) I have not been able to move past the first decision of 2 ply with mixing up the colors vs n-ply for more bold stripes.

For the moment, I just get to sit in the yarn room and smile at the colors all over the floor.


Historical Yarn: Candy Maker

I love making gradients this way. I spun this one during Tour de Fleece 2011.

It’s a traditional 3-ply, the trick is all just how I spun the singles.

It started as 3 separate bundles of BFL from Sosae Caetano, each about 2 oz.


I tore each color into 3 pieces:
Butterscotch into 3 equal pieces (1/3, 1/3, 1/3)
Chocolate and Cream each in half, then the remaining half into 2/3 and 1/3 of that half (final bits are 1/2, 1/3, 1/6 of the original length)

Then I lined them all up as Cream, Butterscotch, Chocolate, matching the long pieces of chocolate with the short pieces of cream and vice versa.

Line 1 = 1/2 Cream, 1/3 Butterscotch, 1/6 Chocolate
Line 2 = 1/3 Cream, 1/3 Butterscotch, 1/3 Chocolate
Line 3 = 1/6 Cream, 1/3 Butterscotch, 1/2 Chocolate


Then I started at Cream on each one of those lines and spun each into a single. Plied back together, they lined up with 3 plies of chocolate at one end that gradually changed to 3 plies of cream at the other:


I actually fudged it a little to get plenty of 3 plies of butterscotch in the middle – you can see from the roving lines picture that the 1/2 bits of cream and chocolate meet at the center, which means I would have had hardly any of 3-plies-butterscotch.

I didn’t find a pattern I liked for it until this year.


The pattern is Synchrony, and was originally designed for gradient yarns from Twisted Fiber Arts.

All knit up, you can see that the gradient isn’t perfect. The nature of the semisolid roving means the colors fade in and out of intensity and it starts to break up the pure flow of the gradient.


It’s an interesting effect that makes me think of antiques fading around the edges, so I love it anyway.

In other WIPs, here’s a picture of the Oasis Toffee shawl all blocked and dry:


How’s your May treating you? Phoenix is expected to hit 100 F this week…


A Story to Tell

My swap recipient happily received her package last week, so I can share the spinning now!

The theme was “Tell Me A Story”, and I told a story by way of a choose-your-own adventure. If you want to read it, most of the story is on a Ravlery page here. The recipient posted pictures of the corresponding items starting in the forum here, and the ending is in that forum on the next page too.

One of the things she got to choose was “flower colors”, and she opted for hot pink, coral and yellow. My mystery picture from a few weeks ago is those colors. I thought these colors as a set would be completely out of my zone of likes, but I utterly fell in love with the combo and took a bunch of pictures of the strands reclining.


The actual “flowers” are all MADE OF MINIS!!


I was proud of me because I felt this was clever. I spun her a series of mini skeins + a few leftovers of interesting handspun and dyed bits from other projects I had. The whole spread was this:


Most of them are minis I spun deliberately for the swap out of fiber from Sosae Caetano and Three Little Crows, but if you look closely, you may recognize the mini leftover skein from the Vicariously yarn, a sample from DebbieB’s Prism, the teal end of the Sleeping Beauty socks, and a yellow bit from the Arabian Night socks. Spinning minis is silly amounts of fun. It’s a whole bunch of tiny instant gratifications.

Bolstered by my success last month with sewing, I made another reversible project bag, this one in a forest theme with a rectangular bottom. So much was my enthusiasm that I got tools and even learned to make stitch markers. I thought it would be handy to have a stitch marker clasp directly on the bag, so I sewed one on. Plus it was, you know… charming.


For WIPs this week, I had a sudden urge to do fairisle. I scoured the Ravelry pattern database and found a bunch of things I wanted to cast on, but then had an abrupt attack of knitterly responsibility and made the other Namaste Mitt. Stranded knitting always looks so much better after blocking.


And yes, the pattern intends for me to reverse colors on the second mitt, but I felt the need to at least try to make things match. It did come out close.

I cast off the Loop Oasis Toffee shawl too!


I did run out of yarn before finishing the whole edge, which I expected to do anyway. I haven’t blocked it yet because the mats were occupied with the Candy shawl.


Wait, what? Candy shawl? What is this?

It needs a whole post.