Tag Archives: fiber arts

Tour de Fleece 2014

Word Lily spins

I got a late start on Tour de Fleece this year because I was working nonstop on a demanding knitting project with a severe deadline. So my Tour was actually six days shorter than it should have been. But I still got in on some of the fun.

I started with this gorgeous bit of Spunky Eclectic BFL, in the Friends Forever colorway.

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Want a closer look? OK.

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My first time chain plying since 2010, and it might be that long again before the next time. I dont find it enjoyable. But I’m happy with this yarn, all 320 sport weight yards of it.


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This yarn is made from domestic wool mill ends that I dyed and carded on my drum carder. Aran weight, 108 yards, pre-wash; 51 grams.

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Here’s the project page for the above yarn.


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This yarn was also spun from domestic wool mill ends that I dyed and then carded. I added just a touch of sparkle on the drum carder on this one, too.

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DK weight, 51 grams yielded 139 yards of 2-ply. The color is more accurate in the in-progress, pre-plying, photograph.


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I’m really happy with this yarn. It’s Falkland, dyed by Cosy.

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Fingering weight 2-ply, 560 yards from 112 grams.


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This one is also Falkland from Cosy.

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Aran weight, 112 grams and 232 yards.

I got the singles of another 4 ounces of this same fiber done during the Tour, but I couldn’t fit the plying in before it ended.

So, totals: Five finished skeins (all 2-ply except the one chain-ply), totaling 1,359 yards and about 1 pound. Plus the 4 ounces of singles spun but not plied. I’ve certainly made more in previous Tours, but given my late start (and my intentional tapering toward the end), I’m content with my production.

Do you make any of your own crafting supplies? How far back to the “source” do you go? To see what other people are up to in the fiber arts world this week, check out Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Handspun socks

Word Lily knitsI thought about posting my spinning from Tour de Fleece, but since there are just a couple days left and I haven’t posted any of it yet, it felt a bit odd. That’ll wait until next week.

Instead, today, for your fiber arts enjoyment, I present a pair of socks.

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These socks I knit from my own handspun yarn, a true 3-ply, spun from Spunky Eclectic club fiber, Wensleydale, Kentucky Derby colorway. I spun the yarn in … 2010, I believe.

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The Socks on a Plane pattern is simple and sweet, and it was a good fit for this yarn.

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More notes: I modified it thus: CO 20, increased to 60 around. (This yarn is a tad thicker than normal fingering.) If I was making them again I’d probably move the cable panel a stitch or two (maybe just 1, in this yarn), farther in from the side of the sock.

I had 11 grams of yarn left over when I finished (so, not much). More details on my Ravelry project page.

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I like how the cable panel runs all the way to the top of the sock, through but not disrupting the ribbing.

My only complaint isn’t really about the yarn or the pattern: I’ve got to figure out the best way to accommodate my high arches in toe-up socks. :-/

So, what have you been making lately? See what others are up to in the fiber arts world at Fiber Arts Friday.

A long-awaited headboard

Word Lily knitsMixing home decor and our knitting and/or crocheting. This frequently takes the form of pillows and blankets, right? Maybe every once in a while a curtain, towel, or lamp.

I had this idea last year, while I was thinking of what I wanted to do to our bedroom, for a crocheted headboard.

Bamboo is something I’ve made for years and years now. This was really just a variation on a theme for me.

The headboard itself.

The headboard itself.

The bamboo headboard was more than a year from start to finish, but now it’s done! Done, done, DONE! I finished the crocheting in January, and then it was squarely in the hands of my handy husband. We’d discussed it along the way, and I sized each crocheted tube to fit around a PVC pipe. It’s not like I was working without thought to the installation framework. At some points I wondered if it would ever get finished.

With a bit of context.

With a bit of context.

I used a wide variety of yarn, all from my stash. Thirteen of the 28 bamboo stalks are from reclaimed sweater yarn, mostly cotton ones but not entirely. There are also stalks of silk/bamboo yarn (I thought that was appropriate), wool, wool/mohair, some wool/acrylic blends, and even a bit of novelty yarn. More details on the yarn used are available on my Ravelry project page.

The structure is PVC and a couple 2x4s, essentially. One of the 2x4s has pipe-sized holes drilled all the way through it, and another, maybe 6 inches lower, just has cups the same size for the bamboo pieces to rest in. The two 2x4s are affixed to sidebars, which we put some thin oak? veneer — something prettier than 2×4 — on the outside of. And then the whole thing is bolted to the bedframe.

A peek behind the scenes, as it were. The framework.

A peek behind the scenes, as it were. The framework.

I do not intend the stripey blanket to be used as a bedspread, this is a bit too over the top for me, but you can see it with the new wall color here, too, I guess. And it's too hot for a bedspread in the summer.

I do not intend the stripey blanket to be used as a bedspread, this is a bit too over the top for me, but you can see it with the new wall color here, too, I guess. And it’s too hot for a bedspread in the summer.

Below, you can see it in the greater context of bedroom. The citron nightstand is new, and can you see the spinning wheel lamp on said nightstand? That’s new to me, too. Now if I could only get the surfaces cleaned off …

The wide view.

The wide view.

Are you knitting or crocheting? Sewing? Remaking part of your home? I’d love to hear about it. You can see what others are up to in the fibery world today at Fiber Arts Friday.

Queen-sized stripey goodness

Word Lily knitsAfter two months of knitting, it’s finished!

What is?

That gigantic blanket of stripey randomness. The bed cover of brightness. The knitting project that would never end. Miles upon miles of stockinette. That one, yes.

The new blanket, on the bed.

The new blanket, on the bed.

Technically, it’s still not finished: The ends aren’t woven in. But it’s been in use, so I’m counting it, at least for the sake of the blog. I couldn’t stand to deal with it, to have its massive weight on my lap any longer, even in the basement. The ends will get woven in sometime, but not this month.

It’s 90-plus inches wide and 102-plus inches long. I finished the border (1 round single crochet, then 2 rounds half-double crochet) on 9 May. It’s pictured on our queen-sized bed. This blanket is 100 percent cotton, knit from recycled sweaters.

Here’s the project page on Ravelry, with a few more details. And here’s my previous post on the project.

I’m thrilled with it, seeing it makes me happy, and I like how it feels, too. The knitting got to be a bit of a slog toward the end, though. (Which always seems to happen to me. Solutions?)

Happy Friday!

Head over to Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

FO Friday: February spinning

Word Lily spinsI started spinning every day in February, and I kept it up until my spinning wheel broke. Wah wah wah.

It’s fixed now, but here’s what I spun in that spurt.

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One ply is Spunky Eclectic‘s Moose Moss on Portuguese Merino. The other is Spunky Eclectic’s Fjord on South African Fine.

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I got 333 yards from this 209 grams (7.3 ounces) (pre-wash), for a bulky yarn.

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This last photo is without flash. The color is more accurate in the ones with flash, but this isn’t really inaccurate, either. Just a different face of the colors. More details on my project page (Rav).


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When I was plying, the Fjord ran out before the Moose Moss, by a significant amount. I took the leftover Moose Moss on Portuguese Merino and plied it with itself.

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This little skein is 80 yards and 43 grams (1.5 ounces), for an aran or bulky yarn. I’m thinking this can be used as trim (Or a stripe?) in the project I use the combo yarn for, whatever that ends up being. I’m not even sure the difference would be immediately noticeable. This skein lacks the bits of blue, but there isn’t enough blue in the bigger skein that there’s blue in every yard of the yarn, so we’ll see.

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Again without the flash, above. More details on my project page.


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This little skein consists of mill ends (wool and mohair) that I spindle spun over the course of several years. I clearly don’t use my spindle much, eh? I wound it off the spindle, into a plying ball, last year — so I could use the spindle for something else — and I finally actually plied this yarn on my wheel in February 2014.

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It’s a bit overspun (or overplied, or both), but not too badly. It’s sport weight, 58 yards and 22 grams (three-quarters of an ounce).

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My project page.


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This skein I spun from a batt I carded from commercial mill ends. I started with dark green mill ends, a few undyed mill ends, and some other mill ends that I’d dyed (yellow and purple). I spun the yarn and then plied the two ends of the single together.

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This skein has 112 yards and weighs 56 grams (nearly 2 ounces), making this skein worsted weight.

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Again without flash, above. The colors still feel accurately depicted, just maybe a less … revealing? … portrayal. The project page.


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This is the last one. Also spun from a batt I carded, from mill ends I dyed. I believe I was spinning for speed on this one. I opened up the batt (I had so much fun playing with color on the carder here!), split it across in sections, and then broke those cross-sections into chunks, so the yarn has smaller striping sections while the separate colors are still mostly preserved (not blended).

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It’s 136 yards and 43 grams (1.5 ounces). Those are pre-wash measurements, and I fulled it a bit in the finishing, so it probably lost some yardage. It’s roughly sport weight.

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I just love the bright colors of this one, how cheery it is. Here’s the project page.


So, that’s what I spun in February! I haven’t been back to the wheel since it was fixed, which is a travesty that I need to remedy.

What have you been making lately?

Head over to Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

WIP Wednesday: Random Stripes

Word Lily knitsI mentioned last week that I’m in the middle of another, even bigger, stripey blanket.

As hinted, here it is!

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I’m knitting this in reclaimed cotton yarn, picking the colors as I go. It’s about 90 inches wide and will, when it’s finished, be 100+ inches long. It will work nicely on our queen-size bed. I’m just over 57 inches into it, as of today, one month into the knitting.

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Here’s my Ravelry project page. As you can see below, I worked one garter ridge, just to change things up. The reference to Southwest’s colors there was unintentional.

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No idea when I’ll finish this; it’s quite weather dependent. If it warms up too much to have a large blanket on my lap, I’ll be forced to put it aside until the weather starts cooling off again in the fall. (It’s supposed to be 81° today, but then cool off again for the weekend.)

See what others are working on at Tami’s Amis linkup today.

Friday blankets

Word Lily knitsOne of the first things I cast on for in 2013 was a big striped blanket.

That blanket makes me happy, and it’s seen plenty of use already. So maybe that’s why it’s blankets galore so far in 2014.

The first one [Forgive me as I play catch-up, please!] I technically cast on for on 31 December, but I’m still counting it here.

Undercover blanket

Pattern: Undercover by Beata Jezek
Yarn: I alternated between crazy-old skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun (single ply, but without the mohair content, 169 yards per skein) and Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb (seems to be same as the current Lamb’s Pride, 190 yards per skein, except 100 percent wool, without mohair, again). 10 skeins, natural/undyed
Size: Blocked to 65 inches square.
More details on my Ravelry project page.

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This one is a throw for the house. To be available on the couch, like so. I kinda wish it was bigger, but working in the round has a ton of stitches on the needles to reach this size, and I didn’t have any more yarn anyway, so there it is. I’m pretty much a sucker for leaf motifs.

I also knit two baby blankets, as gifts, in January and February.

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Pattern: Groovy Little Baby Blanket by Meera Kothari Cho
Yarn: Cotton yarn of various colors, all reclaimed from old sweaters.
Size(s): The blue one is approximately 36″ by 38″ (although I didn’t exactly remember to measure after washing and before gifting, oops). The pink one ended up 32″ wide by 36″ tall.
More details on my project pages.

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This pattern is a riff on a baby sweater pattern, Tulips, by Lindsay Pekny, made famous by the Yarn Harlot.

I played with the size in all of these, but the biggest modification I made was to the baby blankets. No matter how I figured it, I couldn’t make sense of the number of stitches the pattern said to pick up for the edges. It didn’t translate to any standard stitch-picking-up ratios that I’m aware of, and the number was small enough I was pretty sure it would make the blanket cup instead of being able to lie flat. So I picked up a more normal number of stitches, on both of the baby blankets. The distinctive seed stitch color-change row is quite nice.

I’m also in the middle of a gigantic queen-sized stripey blanket, since finishing all of these. It’s taking quite a bit longer, logically. Maybe I’ll show that one to you next week?

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today!

Tour de Fleece 2013, week 3

Word Lily spinsThe 2013 Tour de Fleece is almost over! Sunday is the last day. I think my production declined this week, in part because I actually took this week’s rest day (Monday), unlike last week.

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I’ve had this alpaca roving (not combed top) for years, since I went to Yarn School. This was my first time spinning from actual roving, as well as my first time spinning 100 percent alpaca (I’ve only spun it in blends before). It spun pretty nicely — 30 grams yielded 84 grams of two-ply yarn.

[This wool] began its life (in my possession, anyway) as mill ends, which I dyed. This was yet another attempt at spinning lightweight (hoping for lace weight, again). Note: I intentionally took pictures of this yarn first thing this morning, so I could post them. But now the WordPress uploader is giving me errors, over and over. I don’t want to wait here for this to resolve itself! So, sorry, no photos of this yarn in the blog post. The photos are on Ravelry, though. I didn’t get to lace weight, but it is definitely the thinnest I’ve spun this Tour, and it’s nice and consistent. I’m happy with this yarn. :)

Yesterday was challenge day. To challenge myself, I tried something new: I picked a new braid of fiber (Spunky Eclectic’s Tundra on BFL) and attempted to spin long draw from the fold. I was scared before I started, but it was incredibly fun! I shouldn’t be surprised that new fiber arts techniques aren’t as scary as they’re sometimes made out to be, but perhaps my recent frustration with my apparent ability to actually spin lace weight yarn has clouded my judgment. Anyway. This was fun. I’ll definitely use the technique more in the future. No picture of this because it’s still in progress and I haven’t had a chance to take one yet.

There are just a couple days left of the Tour! It should come as no surprise that I won’t be getting everything done that I dreamed of, but there’s still a little time to squeeze a couple things in. I just have to decide what they’ll be. Happy Friday!

Do you ever go full bore at a craft or project, to the detriment of all others? (I haven’t touched a knitting needle all month so far.)

Head over to FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Fridays to see what other people are up to in the fibery world today.