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Archive for April, 2013

More spinning…

This was definitely the fastest I’ve spun fiber on a drop spindle so far. I’m not sure if it’s because of the fiber (100% alpaca), or because I was spinning slightly heavier this time (about a fingering-weight single). Or maybe I’m just getting faster with my spinning? Took me a total of 6 days, spinning between 1 to 3 hours per day (I think). I just finished the second spindleful last night, so I’ll let it rest another day or two before plying it.

Here’s how it looked at the start:

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(It’s the fiber all the way in the front there — violet and black alpaca.)

Each hank weighed two ounces. I rolled each into a ball, and without predrafting any of it, began spinning:

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Hard to see the color in this quickie cell phone pic — sometimes it looks more charcoal but in natural light you really see the violet.

Here are the finished singles:

DSC_0102_edited-1_72

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I love this yarn!

I’m knitting the Niche sweater from Norah Gaughan Vol. 12 using Berroco’s Maya yarn, and I absolutely love it! (Both the yarn and the pattern.) We’re having a Maya KAL at Patternworks right now (or at least I hope I’m not just knitting along with myself – ha!) I posted an update on the Patternworks Blog yesterday. Hop on over there and check it out! Here’s a progress photo from Saturday (as of today, I’m about 6 rows further along):

WIP_Niche041513

The yarn is heavenly. It’s 85% Pima cotton and 15% baby alpaca, so it’s unbelievably soft. And it’s just the perfect weight for springtime. It has just a little bit of crinkly texture, but still has excellent stitch definition. The cables really pop! I’m pretty sure as soon as I finish this one, I’ll be living in it all spring.

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Ooooh, sparkly!

Last May, at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool festival, one of the things I purchased was some gorgeous green merino/silk/nylon roving with bits of silver fiber in it. I also bought a KCL Woods drop spindle with three interchangeable shafts. I just had to start spinning it as soon as I got home. That was May 12, 2012. It’s now April 2013, and I finally have it all finished and even started knitting with some of it.

Here’s how it looked at the start:

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Divided the roving into thirds to spin the singles.

The spinning took a while, since drop spindling puts one heck of a kink in my neck. And then there are all the intervening knitting projects. I finally got around to spinning the last third starting on March 24th, and finished that up within a few days. Here are the finished singles after spinning:

greensparkly72_spun

I think I got them pretty fine!
(That one in the bottom right corner is the final third, which I wound into a ball the day after I finished spinning it. It had waaaay more energy than the other two that had been chilling in my project bag for a very long time, which is why the center of the ball looks more filled in. It sprung back as soon as I took it off the ball winder, and there were lots of pigtails sticking out. Not so with the other two.)

Here’s a close-up:

greensparkly72_cu

One third of the fiber came out just a wee, wee hair thicker than the other two, not noticeable until I started plying.

Plying took another several days, and I ended up with about 350 yards of a three-ply sport-weight yarn. I attempted to Navajo-ply the leftovers, but it wasn’t cooperating with me. So I two-plied those instead and got about 11 yards of fingering-weight.

greensparkly72

Green, sparkly goodness!

Fiber: 63% superwash merino/20% silk/15% nylon/2% silver from Holiday Yarns
(purchased at NH Sheep & Wool 2012)

Started: 5/12/12      Finished: 4/4/13

Spindle: KCL Woods, maple shaft (3 shafts) and finial, sycamore whorl with mosaic shell inlay, 1.71 oz.

Finished yarn: 350 yards 3-ply sport weight and 11 yards 2-ply fingering weight

I had immediate plans for that teeny-tiny skein. It wasn’t enough for a sock-yarn blankie square on its own, so I alternated two rows of green sparkly with two rows of KPPPM and I absolutely love the result:

kitty_blankie

The 350 yards of sport-weight will become a long cowl. Already have a pattern picked out.

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