Monday, September 20, 2010

A little of this, a bit of that...

I started this the week after I got home from the state fair. It is a scarf, knitting for intermediate/beginning knitters, knits and purls make the pattern. I've had a lot of fun with it, so much so, that when I had to frog it because I had miss judged the amount of matching yarn I had on hand, I gladly started over with lots of 'like' handspun. ...I think the smudge in the middle of the picture is a Joy finger print....

Trying Something New!

When at BSG this past June, I heard Heidi, a fellow CSSW'er from Reno, talk about this class she took where you ball up two strands of single onto a ball winder, then ply them from there. It sounds great doesn't it? It is, I've seen her do it. Although I'm inclined to believe that she has had either a very good teacher or lots of practice.
For me, it was a study in patience, as so many things I do are, because I tend to start something without all of the steps for doing it, and so usually end up starting in the middle, whereupon I have to turn around and complete the first steps before I can complete the project. (another story in this post will prove this)
So I have this gorgeous purple and white top, merino and tencel, bought at BSG, just spinning it for something to do. I finished spinning it, thinking all the while I would ply it from a center pull, but then realize it would be a great time to try this method that Heidi told me about. So here I am with all 4 ounces on one bobbin. duh.
So I sit down in front of my wheel with this 4 ounce center pull ball with the aim of putting half of it back on a bobbin. I thought it would be really handy to have my scale there so that I would know when I had put half of it back. Then I realize it would be great to have both halves on bobbins, so I could use my built in kate to ball from. After several starts and stops, a few birds nests and knots, I managed to get it all onto the ball winder. I have typed all this out so you would know, I always do things the hard way. It was a challenge to keep tension right while winding onto the ball winder, but after a fairly long time, I managed. Despite my efforts with the scale, I still wasted about 2 tenths of an ounce of single.

Here is where I learned something - about this method, not about my need to make everything complicated - I really like to control how two singles twist around one another.
Do you see how it looks like one single is wrapped around the other, rather than two singles wrapped around each other? I don't know if it makes any sense to anyone else, but as in the picture above, sometimes one single has a thick spot while the other single is thin. In these cases, I will hold the single with the thick spot straight and let the thinner one wrap around the thick one. I know this sounds like I am intentionally causing the issue above, but honestly, it actually fixes this problem when you relax tension on the thick part. With this method I can't control which wraps around which if I need to. So lets just face it. I'm a control freak. :)
Regardless of my 'lack of control' this is beautiful yarn and I have learned something and had a new experience! Thanks Heidi!

Joy's Hat!
While in Oregon, again during BSG, I spotted this top in Laura's stash. This is some of the top that Mim got from Ashland Bay for Laura and I, merino, bamboo and silk (ohhhhh soooo soft! and shiny too!).
Laura had dyed this herself, and I fell in love with it, knowing as soon as I saw it that I had to make something for Joy out of it.
I found a pattern that is just so cute! It has green on the bottom, blue on the top and little white sheep marching around the middle! But, since I don't have any green yarn, and well, no blue yarn and I really didn't want to make it just like that... I decided to change it. I kinda followed the pattern! It was also written for a newborn so I had to change the size. That was all well and good until I go to the reduction around the crown, because it was based on the number of stitches around. Well I got round that too (see? I gotta do it the hard way!) and finally finished it. It was so cute! But you see in the above picture, the curling rim? Although Jari thought it was cute, I didn't like it. And besides, I want to make a scarf to go with it, and matching the curl was problematic for me. So, I frogged it. I'm really glad I did!This is the finished hat, again modeled by the ever joyful Joy! I put in a few rows of seed stitch, then went on with knit stitch to the crown, then, (for some reason, I actually did the numbers before I started) started reducing to the top, and made the pompom :)
Next will be the scarf, stay tuned!


Sharon said...

I tried Heidi's method for a Navajo-plied triple ply and was very pleased with the results. I didn't think about it for both ends of the ball, but it would work just as well. Obviously, since you had such great results. Thanks! And yeah - cute hat. Cute baby!!!

Jody said...

Joy is the happiest lookiing baby I have ever seen LOL.
I am so glad you are still knitting is a very versatile craft.

Laura said...

Awesome! We'll make a "thinking knitter" out of you yet!

Lovely spinning, as usual! I really like how your execution of my dye job turned out. It's always fun to see what other people do with your stuff!! I'm planning a vest with some natural very light gray, pink (for me a real stretch), purple and using the MBT yarn from that dye lot as an accent - should be fun.

I'm glad Joy likes her hat!

Fiber Floozie said...

Just keep at it. As with all good things it just takes pratice. I find that creating a multi ply ball from a center pull ball is harder than creating a chain ply one.
Thanks for the very nice comments to my post from yesterday.
Love ya.

Kathy said...

Cute hat on a cute kiddo! :)

I can't believe how we were both at BSG and never met! Incredible.

junepot said...

As always, I love, love, love your spinning and being a control freak really isn't all that bad . . . in this case, that is! Love the color and that gorgeous hat on Joy!