Tag Archives: fiber arts friday

Tour de Fleece week 1

Word Lily spinsToday is day 7 of the Tour de Fleece. I’ve kept up with my commitment to spin every day, although output has been a bit paltry since last weekend. But that with good reason! My parents were visiting, and I seized the opportunity for a helping, encouraging hand while I cut into the fabric I bought and sewed four skirts (from this tutorial)! This feels like a huge accomplishment to me, since I’m scared of the sewing machine. Hopefully I’ll get around to posting about the sewing project, but today is about the spinning.

On Saturday I picked a batt I carded from fiber (wool, mill ends) I dyed. I spun it and left it as singles.

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It’s a pretty small skein, 52 grams and 128 yards (prewash).

On Sunday I picked up this 4-ounce braid of polwarth, a new-to-me fiber, and gave it a whirl. Plied from a handwound center-pull ball. (This fiber was dyed by Sheepish Creations.)

Polwarth, in neons.

Polwarth, in neons.


This one came out pretty chunky, 4 ounces yielded a mere 96 yards (prewash).

Monday I wrapped up (started spinning on Sunday) the singles for this future 2-ply.

Merino silk singles

Merino silk singles


The above is Fall Creek Fibers merino/silk (that’s another spinning first for me, merino/silk), in colorway Mauvin. I’m hoping to knit this into a lace shawl or delicate socks — but first I have to ply it. (I spun this on DIY-ed fat-core bobbins, to theoretically help me spin skinny (lace weight?) yarn on my skotch-tension wheel.)

And since Monday, I’ve been working on this wool:

On the wheel

On the wheel


This is mill ends, domestic wool, that I dyed with acid dyes. Hopefully I’ll finish this bobbin today, and then I’ll start spinning the wool I plan to ply it with:

I know spinning is a bit far fetched for many of you, but this will be most of what I’m sharing, fiber-arts wise, at least, through the rest of the Tour. I hope you’re not too disappointed. And I hope you all have a great weekend!

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

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Training and prep for Tour de Fleece 2013

Word Lily spinsI’m so excited about the Tour de Fleece this year — and that I actually get to participate again after a couple years off — that I’ve been training and preparing. As the Tour starts tomorrow, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share what I’ve been up to as we lead up to the Tour. (For those not in the know, the Tour de Fleece is a longstanding tradition now of spinning our [spinning] wheels while the cyclists of the Tour de France spin theirs. Kind of dorky? Perhaps. But super fun, nonetheless.) The home for Tour de Fleece is on Ravelry.

So, here’s what I’ve been spinning lately.

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Closeup of the 3-ply.

Closeup of the 3-ply.


And another.

And another.

This batch I spun from mill ends (waste from the commercial manufacture of yarn), domestic wool and mohair. The mohair gives it the sheen (that’s not just from the camera flash.) The two more marled skeins are identical yarns, I just ran out of room on my bobbin and had to break the yarn as I was plying. This yarn is a traditional 3-ply; between those two skeins I’ve got a total of 284 grams (10 ounces) and 251 yards (prewash). It looks like roughly a worsted weight, but it might knit up a bit heavier than that (and washing may change it, too). This yarn was kind of boring to spin, but I’ve got enough of it to actually do something with, so yay!
Closeup of the 2-ply.

Closeup of the 2-ply.


The other skein in that top photo is 2-ply made from the remainder, after the first, more varied, single ran out. It weighs in at 46 grams (1.6 oz) and 66 yards, prewash.

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Closeup of my handspun made from the fiber I dyed.

Closeup of my handspun made from the fiber I dyed.

This skein I initially spun at my fiber arts party. I 2-plied it the next week, I think. This fiber is also mill ends wool, though this is very scant on mohair, if it has any at all. I hand-dyed this wool (I want to get back in the dye lab, it’s been too long!) I love how it’s all a uniform color, but it still has plenty of variation and interest. Stats: 45 grams (1.6 oz) and 56 yards (yes, prewash).

For these last two, the singles were spun ages and ages ago. I plied them to free up my bobbins so I have more room to play during the Tour.

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Closeup of my first attempt at true long-draw.

Closeup of my first attempt at true long-draw.

Closeup of the natural 2-ply corriedale.

Closeup of the natural 2-ply corriedale.

The brown is natural corriedale (that’s a breed of sheep and thus a type of wool), spun so long ago I don’t even remember when I did it. I 2-plied it from a center pull ball (my standard method of plying). Stats: 19 grams and 50 yards, prewash. This is pretty fine yarn.

The pink and green is spun from wool I hand-carded and spun long-draw, both first attempts. Stats: 8 grams and 17 yards.

I don’t have very specific goals for the Tour de Fleece this year; spinning every day of the Tour will be challenge enough, I expect! I do want to practice at least a little on my long draw / spinning from the fold, though.

Are you watching the Tour de France? Do you have big crafty plans now that summer is officially here?

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

Stripey stripey blanket

Word Lily knitsHappy Friday! I’m posting about a blanket, and it’s ridiculously hot outside, but maybe this can remind us of cooler weather? At long last, I finished the striped blanket I was working on (blogged earlier).

blanket on bed without flash

It’s pictured here on our queen-sized bed, but it’s intended eventual use will be for A’s [twin] bed, once he’s out of the crib. It will be more bedspread sized. I think I was working a bit ahead of the need. :p This blanket has already seen use, both on the guest bed and for curling up on the couch. (I finished the knitting *and* the crocheted border in February — so less than two months of actual stitching — but it took me until June 5 to get around to weaving in all the ends. So it was mostly finished while there was still need for blankets, at least occasionally.)

Since it’s all in stockinette, it curls some, but putting it on a bed, combined with its own weight (cotton is soft, but it isn’t the lightest fiber around), counteracts that to a large degree. I knew the curling would happen, but I really wanted this blanket to be stockinette. The curling will be not that much of a problem — it will still function just fine for my purposes.

I’m really, really happy with it.

Here’s my Ravelry project page.

Yarn: I used all cotton yarn for this blanket, all reclaimed (unraveled) from old sweaters.

with flash

with flash

As an aside, these photos also give you one view of our bedroom, the one I’m working on decorating (starting with crocheting a headboard). Clearly it’s nothing special now; I’m excited for what it will become, though. Please pay no attention to all the messy surfaces; I clearly didn’t stage the space for this photo!

Photobombed by A.

Photobombed by A.

I just had to include this photo, too. Hm, maybe the tot helps provide scale?

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

More socks

Word Lily knitsIt seems my default knitting, at least these days, is socks. And while the knitting itself might not be completely thrilling in the moment, I end up with hand-knit socks, which is a definite yay!

I think I finally realized that the reason I probably sound so ho-hum about so many projects lately is just that I haven’t really had any challenging (other than perhaps challenging my endurance) projects in over a year now, since before A was born. I’ve had a couple that weren’t the simplest, but they were hats. Small projects that, even with setbacks, didn’t really count as challenging because they were so short-lived. Maybe if there were more of them, they’d add up to … challenging (apparently I need a thesaurus today), but since there were really just one or two, they didn’t count.

I’m ready to get back to some projects that tease the mind, that engage my brain! And I think I know at least one thing I’m going to do to accomplish that. But first, here are those socks.

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These Blue Latte socks (as I call them) were begun in desperation. We were on a road trip, and in my restraint I’d only packed yarn and needles to cast on for a pair of simple socks. But the yarn and needles, in combination, were disastrous. This yarn, which I’ve now attempted half a dozen pattern and stitch count combinations with, pools in a way that drives me completely bonkers. I can’t stand it. No idea what I’m going to do with it. But that’s a story for a different day. So anyway, after being stuck most of the way to our destination without knitting, after attempting everything I could with what I had for that aggravating yarn, I went straightaway to buy more cooperative sock yarn once we’d reached our destination. But this yarn seemed like it needed a pattern, not just plain, so I cast on for the pattern I’d most recently completed, since I’d retained it in my head well enough to get going.

So that’s how I ended up making these socks — using a pattern I’d already made, which is quite rare for me. They’re good socks. But let me tell you, fourth sock syndrome makes second sock syndrome look like a weenie.

Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks A good, simple, pattern, but I’m not likely to make again, at least not any time soon.
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX in cadet colors
Notes: 64 stitches, star toe; photos are pre-blocking


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These are just basic socks, but they’re still fun, I think. I didn’t think attempting a pattern with this bold a yarn would be smart, or worth my time. Mostly stripes, but with a few waves/scallops thrown in. Vibrant and fun!

Pattern: Um, just a basic sock. I calculated for the stitch counts, but this is in my head.
Yarn: Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in exotic ember
Notes: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of stripes.

What have you been working on lately?

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

Fiber Arts Friday: Catching up

Word Lily knitsSince I’ve spent the last feels-like-a-very-long while not blogging, I have some catching up to do. Although not all that much, because I wasn’t knitting hardly at all for most of that time.

But! Socks!

I made these quite awhile ago now, but I’m still smitten.

Silk Garden Socks

• Started and finished in December.
• Pattern: So Simple Silk Garden by Glenna C.
• Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock — apparently I didn’t jot down the colorway number.
• I worked the cables without a cable needle!
• (More details here.)
• I love Noro yarns. The long color changes, the single, everything. It reminds me of handspun, at least in some ways.

And these were made even longer ago, but I think I might love them more.

Hermione's Everyday Socks

• Started and finished in November.
• Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
• Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX in Camelot Colors
• (More details here.)
• Yay, purple!
• I loved how not-just-a-plain-stockinette-sock this was, while still being very simple and straightforward. I will (and have) sought out more patterns like it.

Do you wear colorful socks?

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

Swap hat

Word Lily knitsOne of my groups on Ravelry is having a hat swap for our babies, and my swap partner received the hat I made, so I can finally unveil this secret!

I made Leethal’s Wobble Bass hat.

Seen here modeled on my little guy.

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My project page on Ravelry.

I used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in color Blue Flannel for the main color, and a little bit of my handspun (n-plied merino, hand-dyed by Hello Yarn, in a Yarn School colorway, I forget which one). (Man, I should really look that up.)

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This was a tough project for me, but I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out, although it’s not without its flaws. I might have been pushing the envelope a bit, using super bulky yarn to make a baby/toddler-sized hat, but it still worked. The pattern is awesome, a very engaging (heh) knit and the finished object is pretty fun, if you ask me.

You can see my kitchener in garter stitch here, it didn't completely disappear. My tension must have been off.

You can see my kitchener in garter stitch here, it didn’t completely disappear. My tension must have been off.

Here are a couple more photos, just for grins.

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I’ve wanted to try my hand at Leethal’s patterns for quite a while, and this won’t be my only foray. But I might have to make this hat again first, so I don’t have to rely on (digital) photographs as proof of this summit conquered.

The recipient, elpalchica, posted about the hat today, too. I’m so glad she likes it!

Have you participated in swaps before?

Wanna see more? Check out FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday.

Gift knits

Word Lily knitsSince I’m starting to get back in the swing of blogging, I guess I’ll finally tell you about the gifts I knit for Christmas. This was a pretty slow Christmas in terms of handcrafted gifts.

I made Mom a pair of socks. With yummy BFL yarn.
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Kind of boring to knit, but very work appropriate to wear. And the nice hand-dyed yarn helped.

I crocheted a pair of legwarmers (and a matching earwarmer [Calorimetry], not pictured) for a sister-in-law, based on her pinning the pattern (and others like it) on Pinterest.
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I whipped up a crown and a mask for a young niece.
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(Wow, I just realized that of those pictured here, half are crocheted and half are knit. If you count the Calorimetry, the list skews knit, though.)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday / Finished Object Friday / Friday! I’m looking forward to catching up on sharing all I’ve been making and reading soon.

Baby in Red (sweater)

Word Lily knitsYay, I finally tried the sweater on the babe and even got photos, all in the same day! Let’s pretend it isn’t nearly a month after the last end was woven in …

The pattern is Gavyn.

While I didn’t love everything about the pattern, or the knitting, I do think I quite like the finished sweater.

Baby in red

This was my first bottom-up sweater, my first non-raglan sweater. I made the 12-month size and added an inch to the length of the body of the sweater and about 3/4-inch to the sleeve length, because my boy is tall and long-torso-ed.

It doesn’t look as big on him (at 7 months) as I thought it was, as I was aiming for, but it will still hopefully fit him all this winter.

I used recycled sweater yarn, in 100 percent cotton; tripling the yarn gave me gauge on the recommended needle size.

I’m linking up with FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday; visit these places if you want to see more projects! 🙂