Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I have some merino socks that I just darned. I wore them for one day, and there are two more holes! Luckily, I am enjoying the darning at the moment, but soft merino just isn't good sock wool for me. 

But the last time I was "at" Petlins, looking for a dye set, I decided to get some plain white wool to spin. As I said, I'm using it for my Transfiguration OWL next term of the HPKCHC. I had an option to buy "Crossbred" for $5.75 per 100g or "Merino" for $7.80. I decided to get the soft stuff! And it arrived yesterday

along with a lovely little boxful of Ashford Dyes. Last night I spun up the extra 30g that they'd thrown in, and realized that my "spinning without thinking" thickness has decreased! My 2ply turned out to be thinner than the yarn needed for the vest. So I spun a tiny bit more, and 3-plied it. There you go. 9 wraps per inch is Worsted Weight. Perfect.

Only that means that I now need to spin three 1000m plies instead of two. I know I still have time to do that, but it just added a fair bit of time to the project.

So my $39 of beautiful, clean, carded merino will give me many hours of lovely spinning, and then a vest. I'm sure to have a few leftovers, too. I also found this website which has given me lots of good advice about yarn balance and twist. Once I choose a color to dye it, I'm ready to go. On January 1.


The kids are waiting for Christmas. And I'm waiting for the New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stash Up 2012

Today I did an approximate weigh in:

3.8 kg - Worsted weight+ box
4.4 kg - Fibre and Handspun box (2.1 fibre and 2.3 handspun)
1.8 kg - DK weight (warm colors) box
4.3 kg - DK weight (cool colors) box
5.2 kg - Zero to Sport weight box
3.9 kg - Madelinetosh Underbed box


23.4 kilos.

The reason it's approximate is that I know there is yarn lying about, in WIP's and such. It's hard to be too accurate! I might attempt to collect it all at the end of the year, and get a more accurate number.

Next year I'm having a Stash Up.

I had a stash down in 2010, which didn't work very well. As soon as I finished the yarn diet, I overindulged :) This year my plan is to Knit All The Things (as the Slytherins say) and still gain 5kg of stash weight, from Jan 1 to Dec 31. It's the only New Year's Resolution I'm going to make. He he he he.

I also have an OWL worked out for the Winter Term (though it's Summer here, of course.) For the subject of Transfiguration there is an Option that says "Dye and Spin enough fibre to produce sufficient yarn to craft a small adult garment." I bought 500g of nice merino (which hasn't arrived yet... must add it to the stash when it does) to make this vest. I'll dye the fibre, spin it into a 2ply worsted weight (about 2km of singles), and then make the vest.  Technically you don't have to knit the garment, just make enough fibre for it, but I think I can spin 100g a week pretty easily (I did in the Tour de Fleece) and an OWL is supposed to be a 8-12 week project.

The OWL advisors look at the projects you've done, and the time it takes you to do things, and I'm not sure they would have approved just the spinning. Anyway, you've got to challenge yourself!

I would like to make a new jumper, but I think I might leave that project for an Order of the Phoenix Mission (which is supposed to take 6-8 weeks) and make Ginevra. I have some pinkish matching worsted and lace weight...

...It's nice not to worry about Christmas at this time of year! All the 11 scarves are finished (I had to twist the longer fringes), washed, ironed and wrapped, and the 7 I had to post are long gone. I asked for World Vision donations for myself, though I did get myself an Ashford Dye set. (I may also be waiting for some more yarn from overseas... hope it will arrive soon!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The big shiny cup

This game has taken over my head a bit these last 6 months, and since I've planned my knitting for the next three months already, it's not likely to change. Especially when we win the house cup!

There are about 640 players in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. We all earned  122,031 points in the Sept, Oct, Nov "school year", which is about 200 points each. (I got over 700... woo hoo!) Slytherin beat Gryffindor by a mere 500 points or so, which is small. The gap between 3rd and 4th was ridiculously small!

Hufflepuff 46431
Ravenclaw 46615
Gryffindor 52158
Slytherin 52721

Hufflepuff took home the Quidditch Cup again, though.

Ravenclaw 5971
Gryffindor 6136
Slytherin 6825
Hufflepuff 8899

In the whole school this term there were
13 NEWTs (worth 350 each, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 3-4 months.)
156 OWLs (worth 150 each, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 8-12 weeks)
134 Order of the Phoenix Missions (worth 100 points, because they're supposed to be a project that will take 6-8 weeks)

 The thread for getting Sorted (which I have to do each time) will come up in a few days, and then I'll be a third year. I'm planning my next OWL...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A few little things

 This one is a quick hat made for my little friend, Saphy, whose 2nd birthday party is today. Her big sister swore her favorite color was orange :) (AKA Charms homework)

 This one started out as a sock... then became a small sock... then became a little bag. I really just wanted to try some colorwork. (AKA Care of Magical Creatures homework)

This is a little dye and ply. I wanted blue and white, so I got some alpaca singles that someone gave me, dyed one blue, and plied them together. (AKA Muggle studies homework)

And this was a 200g ball of alpaca (BWM) in a boring beige, that got recycled into some Jasmine Pink. I wanted to make self-striping yarn, so I made this skein that is 40m around. The skein goes around the gateposts, but with the clothesline to "bend it in the middle". The clothesline, being 10m away, makes it a 40m skein. I dipped one end into pink, and one end into purple, slowly, so the colors would meld in the middle.

(AKA Divination homework)

So far, for the game, I'm on almost 700 points, but the class bonus points for November haven't been handed out yet. You don't get much for dyeing, but the DADA spinning should earn a few. Hopefully.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No, please, not more scarves! ;)

Happy Summer! (to those in the south... hehe. All you cold ones will have to wait.)

First, I suppose I could show a bit more of the last scarves, since I showed the first seven. This one is 8, for my 8-year-old nephew, Ben. For him I chose a solid grey warp (Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply in Ghost) with thin strips of a variegated grey Koigu. The weft was the same alpaca as Tim's, except in the colorway Denim, a pale blue. I loved this one... it looks like silver, only fluffy :)

I made a darker one then, out of two EGMTK yarns I had obtained. They were both dark green, but one had bits of brown in it, so I used that one for the warp. It was very Deep Dark Woods kind of color, and hard to photograph. (Robert Frost kept going around in my head...) It also had teeny undyed specks of white, like teeny bits of sunlight getting in. This one is for my brother, Simon, I decided. (I was going to give him number 1, but this one is longer, and he is taller than Dad).

Number 10 was for the youngest member of "my side" of the family (except for my unborn niece, who has enough handknits to start her off). So for Ezra I mixed up some party colors with some "I match my brothers" alpaca in the Light Fawn. The colorful one is a Bendigo Woollen Mills sock yarn that they don't make any more, and it changes colors every few centimeters. Weaving it made me think of fireworks in the clouds, which seemed appropriate for the Last One!

I made it! I finished my 10 scarves by Nov 26, and I have spent the last few days of the month whipping up a few little things for extra points in the HP game. I dyed, plied, and pulled out the chunky yarn for an extra few points. But I'll save that for next time.

This month, I'm working on Vivian, if you can believe that, (I've done three-quarters of a row tonight) and reading books, so yarnworks might be scarce.

Perhaps I can just fill the space with... um... acquisitions :)

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