A Finished Object!

I know I’m a little late with my post as we’re already more than a week into April but my schedule hasn’t changed and I wanted to have a finished object to show.

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The Corriedale sweater!

It’s wonderful, soft, warm and comfortable.  The picture doesn’t show the luscious shade of purple that it is in reality.  It’s truly gorgeous.

So this sweater began as this fleece:

 

Much of it was dyed purple as locks.  More was spun into yarn and then dyed.  Then I dyed the finished sweater to even out all the dye jobs.

So now that this sweater is done, I’ve cast on the sweater I’ve been anxiously waiting for.

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It’s colorwork, with reclaimed yarn (plain wool, I think).  I dyed the pink purple.  I adapted a colorwork pattern from a magazine to create a round yoke seamless sweater.  I wrote all about it here.

So I’m sticking to the schedule of Mon and Fri for sweater knitting, Wed for Dracula’s Bride and Tues and Thurs for fiber.

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My new super slanty spinning wheel

I just bought a super slanty over the weekend.

A few weeks ago, at a thrift store, the fact that I spin came up in conversation with a lady working there.  She asked for our email address as she had a wheel she didn’t use.  She finally contacted us and we made arrangements to go see the wheel this past Saturday.  I think she wanted to see the wheel go a place where it would be used because she let us have it for $50.

She had it as decor and she got it from her mother in law who also had it as decor. The flyer/bobbin had been lost and a friend made her a new set. Turns out it’s mostly non functional as the bobbin whorl and the whorl are very nearly the same size. There’s no take up. But that is fixable by my husband. The rest of the wheel is in good shape if in need of a spa day (which will happen when it warms up outside.)

No maker’s marks at all. It’s got the ram’s head wingnuts and a bit of a curve to the public side but not the fancy cutouts. The wheel is also on the smaller side at 18 inches. My theory is that it’s an imitation of the Norwegian or Black Earth super slantys, made by one of those makers who only made wheels for a year or two as a sideline to their normal business. There were a lot of those in Wisconsin in the late 1800’s, particularly in south east and east central Wisconsin, where I live.

A new month, a new schedule

So it’s March and I’ve filled in my calendar.  This time I’ve skipped the French Quilt Shawl’s border.  I really want to finish the Corriedale sweater while I can still wear it (although with how this winter has been, I may still be able to wear it in June) so aside from Dracula’s Bride on Wednesdays, it’s all sweater knitting.

I’ve also been thinking about TdF in July.  While you might think it’s awfully early to start planning for July, actually, when I looked at what I can accomplish on my 2 fiber days a week, I do need to start planning now.  If I don’t spin between now and July, I should be able to prep enough fiber to spin all day, every day during TdF, plus some extra so I have options when something (namely laceweight Icelandic) gets boring.

I’m not entirely sure I’ll spin all day, every day.  It really depends on how my body is feeling by then.  But I will at least spin a little every day.

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On the left is combed Tog from Dodge the Icelandic.  On the right is Thel.  I’ve been spinning the Thel so the amounts are not from the same number of locks.  I’ve started the 2nd layer of Thel since I took this pic.  I’m going to have to move the Tog to a bigger box.

My handspun yarns

I was doing some organizing today and had to add to my handspun yarn bin.  And then I realized that I needed to start another bin.  As I was looking though the yarns (and remembering ones I’d forgotten) I decided to take a few pics to show you what I’ve got.

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I’ll start with the white/grey bin.  These are yarns that probably will be dyed before use, mostly because I don’t like knitting with white (I may or may not dye the greys.)  Some worsted weight rustic Shetland in the upper left.  Laceweight Icelandic and fingering weight Cormo and Polworth in the middle top and fingering weight Merino from Hawaii on the right top.  Bottom is all CVM, in various weights, mostly fingering and all from Patrick (1/2 fleece one year and the whole huge fleece the next.)

I love Patrick.  I should see if he’s still alive.  His fleeces were glorious, clean and neat and an absolute joy to prep and spin.

The Merino from Hawaii was an interesting story.  In one of my fleece groups on Ravelry, a spinner was helping a local shepherd.  The market for wool had gone away and the fleeces were literally taking over his house.  They were selling fleece for $50 for a flat rate box, including shipping (about 3 lbs).  It was dirty, long (some locks up to 12 inches) and not in the best shape.  I had to pull off tarry tips before scouring.  But it cleaned up well and made nice yarn.  That spinner has dropped out of sight and I don’t know any more to the story.

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Next up is the naturally colored and dyed skeins.  All of the brown is CVM.  The small cakes with the large blue cake are all Patrick the CVM.  The purple is also Patrick, combing waste spun thick and rough.  The others are mystery fibers.

That brown CVM was my 2nd fleece and my first soft one.  It was filthy and vm filled and I really had no idea what I was doing.  Most of it is spun from flicked locks on a spindle.  It’s the fleece that really got me committed to spinning and fleeces.

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These are skeins that need finishing.  The two cormo on the left and two Icelandic on the right just need washing and thwacking.  The center two (both Icelandic) need plying and then washing and thwacking.  I’m waiting for spring because I prefer to thwack on the front porch.

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Handspun for weaving.  Mostly Hampshire with some Romney/Teeswater spun smooth (sorta) and as art yarn.

The Hampshire was my very first fleece.  It was free.  It’s coarse.  I’ve dyed it all up in many colors and I’m spindle spinning them.  Originally it was spun from flicked locks but these days I comb it.

The Romney/Teeswater was bought at the same time/farm as the brown CVM.  I had no idea what I liked back then so I got a fine wool and a long wool.  Turns out I prefer fine wool so this fleece is slowly getting spun very rustic and plied with thread to make art yarn.

So there you go.  That’s all of the handspun I have on hand.  Much more of it has already been knitted into items (probably another bin’s worth).  Not bad, considering I’ve only been spinning since 2014.

Finished Object!

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Sing a Song of Sixpence is done.  It’s been slightly altered to be all stockinette stitch.  It’s big but because of the shape it doesn’t fit well as a shawl or as a blanket.  Perhaps it’s a lap rug.  It’s all handspun and hand dyed CVM.  The center is a bit puffy as I just could not get it to lay flat.

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That’s the only official finished object.  The center of the French Quilt shawl is also finished but it still needs both a border and an edging.

I went thrifting over the weekend and picked up this sweater.  It’s polyester/acrylic which is something I normally wouldn’t buy but it’s so pretty that I couldn’t resist.  Nearly 1800 yards of fingering weight.

In other news, last week was a very messed up week, which is why this post is late.  My husband was home Monday due to the 15 inches of snow we got.  He worked Tuesday but was home Wednesday and Thursday for the polar vortex.  We had lows of -20 with windchills of -50.  We spent a lot of time in the living room – the warmest room – as our individual workspaces were just too cold to be in for long.  It probably was in the low 50’s in those rooms (his is in the basement and mine is on the 2nd floor). He went back to work on Friday and this week is back to normal.

When he’s home it totally messes with my schedule so I didn’t get much done, including the post I meant to do.

I’m back on schedule now and with Sixpence done that means Corridale sweater on Mondays, Dracula’s Bride on Wednesdays and French Quilt on Fridays.  I’m working on a sleeve on the sweater and this pattern has issues with sleeve measurements.  I’ve had to adjust the decrease rate several times.  I think I’ve got it now.  We’ll see on Monday.  Now that the center of the French Quilt is sewn together I’ve got no more excuses and I have to work on the border.  I’ve got a few repeats done and a whole lot left to go.

The schedule is working.

I have to say that this scheduling idea for my knitting WIPs is working.  No dithering around in the mornings,  trying to decide what to work on.  I just check the schedule and off I go.  And it makes sure everything gets worked on.

Dracula’s Bride is growing slowly but surely.  Yes it’s just 2 rows every Wednesday but it’s growth, nonetheless.  At this rate, allowing for the occasional skip day, I should finish this shawl in November.  And that’s ok, just as long as I finish it, eventually.

The Corriedale sweater is moving along as well.  I made the decision to knit the sleeves, both so there is visible progress (I know the body was growing but it just didn’t look like it) and so I know exactly how much yarn I have available to finish the body.  Depending on how much that is, I may knit until I run out of yarn.

The French Quilt Shawl is nearly all seamed together.  Just 4 little triangle seams to go.  Then it gets washed and blocked.  I’ve not worked on the border at all,  The seaming has taken most of the scheduled days.  But once that’s done, it’s back to knitting the border.

Sing a Song of Sixpence is nearly complete.  Last time I worked on it, I decided it was big enough, despite not using up all the yarn I had dyed for it.  I am 2 rows short of the number of rows specified in the pattern but stopping now means I can cast off in the current color.   I’d have to knit 7 more rows to cast off properly in the next color.  It comes up on the schedule this coming Friday.  I’ll spend the day binding off, then wash and block over the weekend and sometime next week I’ll have a finished object.

All of my books have arrived and the Niebling was a bit of a surprise.  All in German, as expected but it’s not exactly a book.  There is a booklet, with pics and info such as how many to cast on and how many repeats.  The actual patterns are charts on big fold out sheets.  2 sheets, with charts on both sides.

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Intimidating, to say the least, and that’s without taking into account the translating to English.  The good news is that I found a translation of the chart symbols in English so that’s half the problem solved.  I can mostly translate the booklet text to figure out the info I need and the Niebling Ravelry group is good with helping with  translations.

Inspiration has struck!

I’m working on a new design.  I was inspired by a tunic in a catalog.  I want to make a shawl that starts in a solid deep color, mostly stockinette stitch, that ends in deep points.  And then add a lace border at the bottom, in white, that ends up somewhat ruffly because of the points.

First thing I need to do is figure out how to make the points.  I did a proof of concept – it’s not a swatch because it’s not the yarn I will use and the needle size is wrong.  I just wanted to see if my idea would work.

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I think it will work.  At the length I’d want before starting the lace, there would be a lot more stitches between the increases/decrease, creating a deeper point.  But I’m currently unsure if it will make points on it’s own or only with blocking.  And I’m wondering if I only have to do the increase/decrease part at the end (the last section, as this is pi shawl based)

I need to do more research as well as more proof of concept attempts.

In the meantime, I’m sticking to my schedule for the most part.  I’ve worked on the WIPs on their designated days (according to my calendar), although it turns out that I only have time to do two rows on the Dracula’s Bride shawl before my husband gets home from work and I absolutely cannot work on it if he’s home.  I can’t risk the possibility of interruptions.  I was all alone and undisturbed yesterday and still managed to mess up twice on one row (not too bad and easily fixed). 74+ stitch lace repeats take a lot of concentration.

On the plus side, that left me the evening open to work on this design.

Time to spin (as it’s a spinning day) and ponder my next design step.