Handspun galore!

I’ve been spinning A LOT! And by this, I mean A LOT. Last year, my wheel barely saw any action as I juggled soaping, the kids and other aspects of my life.

This time around, I try to squeeze in as much spin-time as I possible can in between soaping. Making bigger batches of soap at a time has helped a lot! Anyway, thanks to this, I have churned out – since January this year – at least 12 bundles of fiber and finished off a really old spin WIP. That totals up to over 1.5kg of fiber and around 7204.96 meters! And it’s only April! WHOA!…

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Knit: Bluey Hat II

Noah @ Week 3

Bluey Hat II
Pattern | Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm DPNs

Here is the model with the preemie version of Bluey Hat. This was taken nearly two weeks ago and now, he is beginning to show signs of outgrowing the hat – a good thing, if you ask me. I still have the full size version lying around but chances are, it is still too big for him. So I will most probably keep that at home for another two weeks.

Looking back, it would appear that I’m making good progress with my WIPs and I hope to finish up some really old ones that I cast one eons ago. Apart from this, I managed to finish up a baby version of the Log Blanket and am in the middle of handstitching a fleece back to it. Tough work, if you ask me, especially since I have to deal with other things like pumping milk, cooking and catching up with my TV series…not to mention other projects as well. With any luck, we should have a couple more FOs by the time the year is out.

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Knit: Bluey Hat

FO: Bluey Hat

Bluey Hat
Pattern | Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm DPNs

This was sort of a last minute project I did prior to the move to the new apartment and consequently, my delivery to a preterm Noah. I wanted a quick knit that could use up my handspun yarn since it was a waste to chuck aside those lovely blue-grey-emerald-royal blue colours that were more evident towards the tail end of the yarn. And quick it was – I finished it in under two days – on and off knitting, that is!

And was still left with some yarn…enough for another one hat or two premie hats.

As it turns out, after I delivered Noah, this hat was too big so I started on another one which was slightly smaller. Looking at both, I reckon they would serve him well for winter or when he eventually leaves the hospital.

If you’re looking for a simple, quick knit to do in front of the TV, this would be it! They make great gifts too! Okay, I’m off to finish a blanket for Noah while working on my review for prom dresses!

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Knit: Blue Skies & Sunshine

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

Blue Skies & Sunshine
Pattern | Peace Socks by Wendy Johnson
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm and 2.25mm DPNs

This is my first handspun socks and I must say that it is also one heavily modified sock to boot. Because the pattern originally called for sport-weight yarn, I had to improvise and that resulted in a couple of changes throughout the sock itself:

  • Cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast on (12 each on two DPNs, then split to 6 stitches per needle)
  • k1, m1 both ends until stitch per needle is 10.
  • Then, knit for entire round 1 followed by k1, m1 both ends for round 2
  • Total stitches: 62
  • 3 k, lace panel, 3 k
  • Switch from k3togtbl to SSSk after first repeat + 1st two lines from 2nd repeat (if making socks from start, sub with SSSK)
  • Gusset stitch count (56 sts); heel stitch to start and end with 31 sts.
  • Used Russian bind-off after 5 repeats on the leg and 1×1 ribbing (2 cm).

Because the two balls used were of slightly different weights and tension, the resulting pair of socks don’t really match up. The right sock is thicker and slightly longer than the left…not to mention the feel was a little on the coarse side as the tension used when plying the yarn for that particular half was tighter than the other ball. Still, it’s not too bad for a first try, especially considering that I was rushing to complete Le Tour de Fleece and pack my wheel.

Also, I made an error when working the gusset and heel for the right sock, resulting in a heel that wasn’t exactly symmetrical. It isn’t exactly noticeable especially with the colour change happening just around that area – thankgoodness for that – but still, not very perfect socks. I must admit though, I like this gusset heel construction. Definitely no issues with holes unlike the short row wrap style.

Having said that, I wonder if I need to make the leg portion larger as I had some issues trying to get it over my heel – I never really had this problem with other socks I made. Perhaps it’s the fiber – the others were merino-nylon which had lots of stretch to it while this was just superwash merino. Or could it be the pattern itself (lack of cables means lack of stretch, etc)? Hm, must ask my sock guru friends and see what they have to say about it. Nil thinks it’s alright as over time and with use, it should stretch plus he feels that socks should be fitting.

Anyway, I have about a good amount of yarn left – mostly shades of blue – so am thinking of working on a quick newborn hat for Noah. I don’t have any needles or yarn on me at the moment apart from what is attached to my project so need to make do with them until we move proper to our new place (which has yet to be confirmed). Can’t wait to settle in even though I don’t look forward to the unpacking (it’s enough to act as appetite suppressants!)!

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

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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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Knit: Gemstone Annis

Knit FO: Annis

Gemstone Annis
Pattern | Annis by Susanna IC
Yarn | Simple Scarves Handspun in Gemstone
Needles | 4.5mm & 7mm circular needles

I actually finished this a few months ago but never found the time to block and later, photograph it. Other knitting projects and what-nots are to blame! Heh.

The last time I worked on this colourway and fiber was nearly a year ago when trying to spin up some single ply laceweight yarn for the shop. The resulting yarn was lovely, squishy and springy; the colours were to die for as well – combination that would serve well for a shawl. But because I had too much yarn in stash, it went for sale in the store until early this year when I decided to pull it off the shelf and use it for myself.

The self-striping effect was really unintentional as over the months, I have forgotten how the colours blend from one to the another. I suppose the fact that the shawl was knitted from bottom up helped to maintain the colour repeats. It makes for a very pretty shawl.

In terms of construction, the cast-on is pretty daunting and with so many stitches on the needle, I made a couple mistakes and had to rip and knit again. Stitch markers are handy for projects like this and for a good reason as well. All in all, the moment you start on the stockinette section, things move fast. The only portion that took me a while was the edging with the nupps – not a problem though as long as you don’t pull on the nupps too hard. I quite like nupps, actually – most knitters hate them!

Can’t wait to find the right moment and weather to wear it, especially with my new shawl pin!

Knit FO: Annis

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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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