Saturday, June 30, 2012

End of the month report :)

Thanks for this, Kelly. LOL.

Finished this one today. Had to take it off her, though, because it's her birthday jumper for next month.

She requested the colors, the stars and flowers, and I made it up as I went for Flying class: "Fly by the seat of your pants (ie. improvise)". Fun.

Cracked this month, and dyed some yarn for two classes and quidditch... It feels like cheating, but this actually did take a while. Making a skein that is 9m around requires winding the ball, walking 400m between chairs, dip-dyeing in three parts, walking 400m again to reskein and then winding up the tangled thing into a usable ball. Also dyed three matching miniskeins at the same time.

Then I used the yarn (a fingering weight merino/silk) to make a scarf. Love those twisted ends.

I used the miniskeins for the warp, and the self-striping for the weft, and worked it out so that the solid colors would be roughly squares, and in between they would mix.  Like the effect, though I don't much like the pastels. But Mum's friend requested pastels, apparently, so that's what she gets. Well, a bright version of pastels, anyway :)

The dyed yarn from the last post turned into this cowl, which was mostly knit during night shift.

And now I've started spinning! The Tour de France (and thus, the Tour de Fleece) don't start for about 8 hours, but I began spinning some red fibre so I could put as much as possible into a class (the month ends in about 40 hours). This yellow, though, was dyed up especially by Kathy in honor of the yellow winner's top. Byron patted it all the way home from the post office :)

Well, must get to bed. It's 2am, and I have night shift the next two nights. Tomorrow is a spinning day. And probably the next 23 after that, too!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So far in June

Being sick of lace, I took a few hours off to dye yarn for Quidditch. It had to be something in House colors, so I picked Slytherin :) and made a long skein of self-striping sock yarn.

Also dyed some blue yarn for Herbology ("something blue" was a nice easy option!), which I'm now knitting into a cowl for Potions ("use yarn dyed with food dye"). Most of my classes this month are going to be simple ones, to give me more time for the Advanced Studies.

Advanced Studies = OWLs and Order Missions. Here is half of my "Order of the Phoenix" mission, all done. These are the Tour de Sock stage one socks. They're on cardboard blockers, because I made the foot too short...

...see? I thought they'd stretch a bit, but they didn't stretch enough, and I can't have that lacey heel flap under my heel; it won't last, even in Wollmeise Twin. So I'm going to redo the toe some time and make it longer. Or give them away to someone with an 8" foot length...

This is the OWL as of right now. I've finished Welt 12 (62 rows), and after the next welt I'll have half the stitches I started with. I got to about welt 8 before I realized I was decreasing on the knit welts but not that purl welts... and I had 60 more stitches than I should have! I've decreased them out, now. Hopefully the edge won't be too... ruffled! lol. It was only an extra thousand-or-so stitches of work. :)

The next socks in the Tour de Sock were colorwork flowers. Didn't think they were my cup of tea at all, so I'll do other things and wait and see what pattern comes up next. I'll be out of the official competition, but that's ok. Never planned to finish it. I got my 1 point for Hagrid's Army (I think we got 3 or 4... lol) and now I'll just cheer on. Hehe.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Carding and spinning sock yarn

Ever since I found this blog tutorial on how to spin your own sock yarn, I’ve been keen to give it a try. She recommended blending BFL and mohair, because mohair gives the yarn some strength, like nylon does. She also said you can add other things, as long as you keep your ratios reasonable. So I got some BFL, some kid mohair, and some (50/50) angora/merino.

I dyed the mohair a pale brown, and the angora mix a pale yellow, so I could see if they were mixing well.

Measured out about 100g of BFL, 20g of mohair and 13g of angora/merino for a percentage mix of B/M/A 75/15/10, and carded together half at a time. Then I split those two batts in half, and mixed a half from each into two new batts (for an extra mixing).

That angora sure is fluffy. The fibres are short, and they like to clump together like a little rabbitfur Union. The batts came off the carder well, at least. Last time I tried the carder, I had trouble cleaning it all off.

Then I sat down to figure out how on earth to spin a batt…  You're supposed to be able to split it lengthwise (which was fine) and then stretch out the split bits, like stretching elastic. But when my stretched out batt bits got slightly long, they'd break under their own weight. So I just split the batts into fairly thin sections and spun from those.

Those bits of bunny still tried to stick together, and the end result was kind of lumpy. At least "sock yarn" doesn't have to be that thin 4ply/ fingering weight stuff, because this is 3 or 4 times thicker than that! hehe. But I have 130g of it, so one day I'll make it into some slippers and test it out.

Next on the agenda: Stage one of the Tour de Sock. Saint Michel socks. So far I've done 4 inches (two at a time) and I have 5 days, 10 hours left. I'm not sure I can make it, but I'll finish the socks anyway. These are my first socks made of Wollmeise!

Looks like the sheep on my sock blockers are grazing around on some fancy-shmancy grass, there :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Also this May

Fargyle socks. Two strands of sock yarn held together, makes them extra warm.

Byron's 5th birthday jumper, which is the Zigvest (only with sleeves and a u-neck)

A nice way to use a very multicolored rainbow yarn... use the rainbow yarn for the warp (lengthwise strands) and try to line up the color changes. As you can see, it went out of sync here and there. The weft (and also the edges of the warp) is a black sparkly yarn called Dream in Color Starry.

This is New Zealand merino that was a prize from the HP game on Ravelry. The colorway was called "Jonathan", so I spun the whole thing thinking of apples :)

This newborn size jumper is called Baby Sophisticate. I made it in a reasonably neutral red for my brother and sis-in-law's new bub. Strangely low buttons... but it's thick so it will be warm. 

Also used the same ball of wool to make super-thick twisted rib tube socks for same baby's little feet. Or hands... they'd work just as well for mittens.

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