Morrocco

morrocco_fin-a_medium

Ply | Two
Yardage | 871.7 m
WPI | Laceweight
Fibre | Pigeonroof Studios Merino/Soysilk Roving in Morrocco
Tool | Serenity Wheel [14:1]

Part of this year’s crafty resolution is to break into my fibre stash and churn out some two-ply laceweight yarn. I usually spin up fingering weight yarn that is navajo-plied (three-ply) so this is considered something semi-new for me.

For those who are spin-challenged, yarn is commonly can be made up of a few strands called ply/plies. Singles – one strand – are lovely to knit with but if you ply a few strengths together, you give yarn an added strength and structure. Navajo plying is a kind of technique whereby you retain the colour blocks in the fiber but because the resulting yarn is made up of a single strand, any breakage along either one strand can lead to the entire yarn unravelling. Still, people like to work with this technique because of how you can hold on to a colour sequence. Regular plying – putting two to three different strands together – often results in colour sequences in the original fiber being broken up. It’s nice for achieving an overall heathered look in a knitted project but unless you plan things properly, this technique doesn’t really give you a nice colour block you would want when, say, knitting self-striping socks.

I choose this particular colourway to churn out two-ply laceweight because of the nearly semi-solid shades. The resulting yarn looks pretty and quite uniformed in terms of colours. Plying this took quite a while as I was working with about 4.2 oz of yarn and very thin singles. I had to ply nearly 1700 meters of yarn and therefore broke the plying sessions into two – took me two nights (about six to eight hours in total) to finish this!

The singles were a little challenging at first as I am used to spinning yarn at a 10:1 ratio. Spinning at 14:1 with no tension required some focus, especially when drafting the fiber! There were a few instances where the fiber just flew out of my hands!!!! I guess it is good that I actually set this as one of my resolutions for this year – practice makes perfect! Now to head back to surfing the Net for my assignments – I need to find vehicle lifts (don’t ask).

morrocco_fin_medium

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Golden Red

SS Handspun in Golden Red

Skein 1
Ply | Three
Yardage | 77.7 m
WPI | Fingering
Fibre | Simple Scarves Superwash Merino-Nylon in Golden Red
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

Skein 2
Ply | Three
Yardage | 74.7 m
WPI | Fingering
Fibre | Simple Scarves Superwash Merino-Nylon in Golden Red
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I remember dyeing this very delicious fiber blend a while back and for some reason, I thought of Chinese New Year colours (very festive and reminiscent of people selling gold coins during this season as gifts!) and because it was the end of the roving bulk bundle I got for the store, I didn’t have the full 4 oz to work with. Instead, I had about slightly under 3 ozs – not even enough to put it on the shelves for sale. So I decided to keep it in case I needed to spin something quickly or to blend it with another fiber.

I forgot all about it until last week when I dug around my fiber stash and found it sitting pretty with some of my other handdyed stuff. This was a wonderfully quick spin due to its small quantity – I finished spinning and plying the first skein in under three days! To keep the colour changes the same – I plan to knit slippers/ankle socks with these – I split the roving down in the middle, weighed them to ensure that I would get similar yardage for them both and wound them up loosely in the same way. The result is two very lovely skeins of yarn with a 3-meter difference in yardage.

After hunting around, I decided on a gorgeous pattern (see below) for these two mini-skeins. I think it’ll go great with the gloomy autumn and winter weather that is to come. What do you think?

 Babouches by Lori Law; picture by oceanwindknits

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Cherry Peach

SS Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach

Ply | Three
Yardage | 275.8 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)
Fibre | My own handdyed superwash merino fiber in Cherry Peach
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I like the finished yarn – it’s almost self-striping yet heathered in some areas – and I do wonder how it will knit up. I plan to use this for a pair of simply ribbed socks for myself this winter and am looking forward to seeing how the colours will look when I do get around to working on the socks.

In the meantime, I’m contemplating on if I should start another braid of fiber or focus on my other craft (move over, Superfeet from bestinsoles reviews!). Tehehehehe. If I do spin up some yummies, it would be another superwash braid of either merino or BFL – I have a few that are calling to me. Grin!

SS Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach

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Faints

SS Handspun: Faints

Ply | Three
Yardage | At least 250 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)
Fibre | Funky Carolina BFL/Silk Combed Top
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

My first spinning FO for 2012! Shocker, I know. I actually finished this when my parents were here last month but never got around to updating this blog. That would account for the approximate/guest-imate figures used for the yardage. Somehow, the paper which I scribbled the yardage count on went missing. By the time I realized what had happened, the skein of handspun yarn was already dried and I wasn’t about to go unwinding it only to wind it on my Niddy Noddy and do a recount. I reckon I’ll survive with an approximate figure. Tehehee.

Now that I’m beginning to spend less time on the Internet (can you or can you not tell?), I’ve started knitting and spinning again. I plan to do some weaving now that I have a stand for my loom but that will involve some massive juggling act which I don’t intend to do for now. The kids still take up a lot of my time even though Eva is at school four mornings in a week. Knitting is something I can do when both are asleep and spinning is something that intrigues both of them – Eva will try to get her hands on my fibers on the pretext of helping me (I should give her some “unwanted” bits from my first stash which is somewhere (I wish I could easily store my yarn like how people handle san storage systems) for her to play with) and Noah is fascinated with the wheel and whole spinning action going on.

Anyway, having said that, I have a braid of my own handdyed superwash merino that I’m spinning up at the moment. I’m hoping to get a mixed of solids and heathered look once I ply the singles but so far, the candy cane-like stripes are very intriguing.

SS Handspun: Faints

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Blue Skies & Sunshine

Blue Skies & Sunshine in SW Merino

SKEIN I
Ply | Three
Yardage | 236.22 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)

SKEIN II
Ply | Three
Yardage | 167.64 m
WPI | NA (Fingering – slightly thicker than Skein I)

Fibre | Superwash merino in Two Tone Down Under from JulieSpins
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

My entry for the Tour de Fleece – I had plans to spin another two braids but considering that I had to pack for the move, finish up my knitting…maybe three braids was overdoing things. Still, I’m glad to have finished working on this fiber – a day AFTER the end of the TdF. The colours were a joy to spin up, transitioning from golden to deep yellow and royal to deep and very dark blue as well as a mix of both (a resulting emerald to deep green). But what I love about it was the feel of the resulting handspun; very springy and soft.

Am currently knitting up a pair of toe-up socks using this yarn and I’m loving the feel of it! With any luck, I should have pics of the sock in progress; it’s currently on DPNs – I know, Second Sock Syndrome but I have a plan for it which is to cast on the second pair on another set of DPNs! Kekekeke.

So yes…w00t to handspun yarn goodness! In the meantime, it’s back to packing up Eva’s cloth diapers and finishing up my assignment on adult diapers (and no, you’d be surprised at how many people use them and why – absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!).

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Shades of Amber

SS Handspun - Shades of Amber

Ply | Three
Yardage | 219.5 m
WPI | NA
Fibre | Superwash BFL
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I bought this fiber on a whim together with a braid of a yummy dark wine berry roving and proceeded to spin this up immediately after working on that awful two-ply. Needless to say, I’m glad to go back to some three ply handspun. While I love the outcome and how the colours turned out, trouble is that my spinning has become rather inconsistent because of the lack of practice. Some parts are beautiful spun and plied up whereas some are, well, need more work – they aren’t bad, they just aren’t perfect.

I definitely need to spend more time in front of the wheel. *sigh* Do I sense a burn-out of hobbies of some sort coming up or is it just the flu bug talking?

SS Handspun - Shades of Amber

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Jelly Berry

SS Handspun - Jelly Berry

Ply | Two
Yardage | 501.4 m
WPI | NA
Fibre | Merino-bamboo
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

All I’ll say is I hate two-plying! It’s fiddly, it’s annoying and well, I just hate it. Gimme Navajo any day, any time, PLEASE!

When I was spinning this up in singles, they were gorgeous and the colours were perfect; it was from my own handdyed stash. Unfortunately, as I plied it, my admiration and love turned into slow boiling rage and hate. By the time I wanted to stop and change my mind, it was already too late. So here it is, two plied yarn that looks like swirls of berry jelly. O’well…

SS Handspun - Jelly Berry

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Purple Waters

Simple Scarves Merino-Silk (3 ply) in Purple Waters

Ply | Three
Yardage | 280.4 m
WPI | Fingering
Fibre | Merino-Silk
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

Spin spin spin…that’s all I can say. LOL!

Sometimes I really run out of things to say about my handspun yarns. I guess it’s due to the fact that I go through one fiber after another and then a longggg pause during the spinning process that I forget whatever it is that I’ve been facing with that particular project.

But one thing is for sure – spinning regularly helps to keep things even! So now that that is out of the way, it’s back to the wheel for me!

Simple Scarves Merino-Silk (3 ply) in Purple Waters

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