Year of Project – week 30/52

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Well we have finally had some snow fall, all symptoms of my flu have finally passed and I am feeling good.  I have re-signed up for Audible 3 month free trial and on dog walks I’m listening to Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming”, which means we have been doing longer walks to keep listening.  

Fibre work

This week I had fun playing around with my blending board and hackle (that I got for Christmas).

I have done some test sheets of the Icelandic wool with sari silk, this is the fibre I bought to make a waistcoat, but if I don’t like the finish/feel then I will use the rest to make some slippers and use the tests as place mats.

Here’s a pic before it is felted.  (I’ve made 3 and they are in a box with tissue between.)  They don’t look much yet! Finished pics next week.

Below, is a close up of the subtle blues, greens and sparkles I combined using the hackle and then wet felted into a neck warmer.  The sparkles aren’t showing on the photo (Note to self: I really must find a location for photographs that gets the colours and textures right at the same time!).

Anyhoo, those YouTube peeps make everything look so easy.  So I struggled a little pulling the fibre off the hackle in one continuous length, perhaps I over loaded it, but finally found a rhythm.  Like everything it will take practice.

I decided to trim the corners of my neck warmer template and then lay the fibres out in a fan shape at the ends to get the ripples (although again these aren’t clear in the photo).  This was inspired by the BEAUTIFUL felted scarves and wraps that @Woolysquirrel produces and shares on Instagram and sells on Etsy.

 

On Friday I had another go with the hackle and seem to do much better at getting decent sized strips off, but towards the end it was harder and too thin to braid, so I just rolled those into nests instead.  But definitely an improvement.  It is quite magical how you can make a long strip out of short tufts.

Spinning

I finished spinning my rolags and did a chain ply as it was all on one bobbin.  I like the final yarn,  is green taking over from my pink and purple addiction?  I am amazed how much thinner my yarn is than spinning using short forward draw, I thought it would end up chunky but my 3 ply is DK weight.  I need to find an easier way to measure the length of yarn, I tape a measure to the kitchen worktop and measure 100cm and then wind into a ball and repeat.  This ended up 80+ metres and took ages to measure and wind!  The good news is that this is the first yarn I have spun that has the same ‘weight’ in all methods of measurement.  For non-spinners this won’t mean much, but against my yarn thickness measure it showed as DK, the wraps per inch were DK and the Grist puts it in DK…so if all that makes no sense then trust me, it is an achievement I am proud of.  Normally the measurements are all over the place due to lack of consistency in my drafting and spinning.

 

My next spinning challenge is to spin some sock yarn. I bought the online copies of last year’s Ply Magazines.  I couldn’t resist as the winter edition has a lot about spinning sock yarn, so I have been trying to read (and understand) the articles.  There’s mention of totally new plying methods, so I will do some practice trials.  

Knitting

I haven’t done much knitting, mostly I have worked on is my Lintilla, as its soooo easy plus I’ve memorised the pattern…not sure I will ever memorise the rows on Void!

But if you spot the green sea glass marker (where there’s a large pool of purple) you will see in 2 weeks it hasn’t progressed much…perhaps I will switch back to Void as the thicker yarn feels like more progress is made lol!  Do you tell yourself these things?

I had a change of pattern plan on my January socks as I was going to try my first toe up sock, but then decided to do my first knit 2 at a time of a pattern I have already done, but then remembered how quick my sockwunder needle is in comparison to magic loop and so….I have not yet cast on a pair of socks!

Organising

I have, however, been playing with my fibre (and yarn) stash, updating Ravelry stash details (unused 140 fibres and 56 yarns!) and thinking of future designs and uses of my fibre.  I also realised you have to manually move your used stash to the Used Up folder, so I have done that.  My storage boxes have been re-organised and I now have:

  1. ‘To be dyed’ box (fibre, yarn and silk scarves)
  2.  ‘New commercial yarn’ box (excluding scraps)
  3. ‘Rainbow colours fibre’ box
  4. ‘Earth tones fibre’ box
  5. ‘Mixed fibres’ box (locks, silk scraps, nepps, cotton fibre, flax)
  6. ‘Special blends’ box (wooly blended roving and batts)
  7. ‘Bag of silk’ (dyed silk fibre and sari silk scraps)
  8. ‘Bag of alpaca fibre’
  9. ‘Bag of scrap yarns’ 
  10. ‘Bag of handspun yarns’
  11. ‘Bag of the yarn from frogged jumper last week’
  12. Oh and some overflow small cardboard boxes of the World of Wool Fibre Club custom blends and other 100g blends I have purchased elsewhere.
  13. Oh and I just remembered I have some shoe boxes with dog hair and alpaca that I drum carded!
Maybe it doesn’t sound very organised but everything is easily accessible as the bags hang from the wardrobe (closet) rail and boxes sit on the wardrobe floor.  So rather than buy another big storage box, I need to get more blending and then felting or spinning done to stop the need for these overflow boxes!  I have at least 200g of fibre that comes each month and I need to be exceeding that in usage each month, or cancel my subscription….but I LOVE when a new box arrives!  I get more excited than a kid opening Christmas presents.

Other 

After reading a fellow YOPers blog last week I did some research into the discussions regarding white supremacy and diversity in our knitting and crafting community and I am working my way through the ‘Me and White Supremacy’ workbook that is available for free download.  I almost thought I didn’t need to do the workbook because I have a diverse group of friends, but now I realise I did need to do it.

It is challenging my thoughts and opening my eyes and I will keep working through the remaining days of the workbook.  I still remember an episode of Oprah from nearly 30 years ago about racism and them talking about things like ‘nude’ coloured pantyhose or tights as we’d call them in the UK and ‘flesh’ coloured things all being for white skin tones.  Even the other day I noticed in my Ravelry stash some ‘flesh’ coloured wool fibre…that’s what it was called when I bought it last year.  But that’s white person flesh colour!  Subtleties like this are covered in the workbook and it really makes you realise that racism isn’t always blatant.  I am thankful to this community for discussing the issues and raising awareness and notice Ravelry now have a discussion thread and I noticed on Instagram I am now seeing recommendations of blogs from people of colour.  I am not following anyone out of tokenism, but on the same basis as I have already operated…if they post beautiful images that inspire me then I follow them.

15 thoughts on “Year of Project – week 30/52

  1. I also switch from fingering weight projects to dk or worsted projects to “make more progress.”

    Thanks for sharing the Me and White Supremacy website! I signed up for the workbook too. We all have work to do on that front, and the problems won’t be solved by being passive about it.

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      1. Autocorrect seems to love changing pattern names especially. Even when I write Void it tries to change it to Voided! I’m so distracted by fluff at the moment still no knitting, but did more playing with my hackle today ready for wet felting something tomorrow! I should switch back to Void for sure to get my knitting mojo back.

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  2. Reading about your spinning made absolutely no sense to me, so I was grateful for the comment that it may not. 🙂 Seeing the handspun yarn at the end, though, I’d say you have every reason to feel proud. And your Lintilla is lovely! 🙂

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  3. Loved reading about your felting, which I can’t wait to see next week and as always your spinning is lovely to read about. I can’t wait to see how you get on spinning sock weight yarn, only because this is my favourite weight of yarn and what I’d love to be able to spin. I guess it’s not the easiest to start off spinning though. Well done on the consistency in your spinning, I do know enough to know how wonderful getting that is.
    I agree with you on the book, in that even having diverse circles of friends still means we can all benefit from the book and I’m so glad the discussion is happening. Not being aware of racism happening doesn’t mean we are no less guilty, at least that’s how I feel. I’m glad to be finding, new to me makers, designers, podcasts, people of all sorts and I too follow them with the same parameters as before, if they speak to me and what I like I support in the same way. I feel it’s my job now that I am aware and that is has been brought to my attention, to seek out new makers and I hope to continue to be aware and learn.

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  4. My goodness you are doing some lovely things with your fiber arts! You do such a broad array of crafts – it’s really impressive! You are doing some lovely felting as well as your beautiful spinning and knitting!

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  5. Lovely projects but like Becki…I did not understand it much! LOL! I think I am open minded but I’m sure we can all improve. I was raised in Chicago, IL (U.S.A.) and was surrounded by immigrant families who did not speak English (the parents)…..my Grandmother didn’t speak English and I raised my children purposely in diverse neighborhoods. I know I have been excluded because of what people think are my ‘liberal’ attitudes but in my mind…..it’s not ‘liberal’ but the way God wants us to be with each other. Whether I like someone or not has nothing to do with their color or anything else but their values…are they kind and good hearted? I guess I feel blessed that I was raised that way and not with hatred for anyone.

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    1. I tried explaining the spinning to my husband and I think he lost the plot. There’s a lady from the Highland Guild of weavers spinners and dyers who reads my blog so hopefully it made sense to her 🙂. I am learning a lot from the workbook and can imagine many others from different backgrounds would.

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  6. Oh, I’m so intrigued by your blending board and hackle, and blended fibre looks beautiful! I’m also really looking forward to how the sari silk / wool mix will look.

    And lovely spinning!!

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