This week I wanted to tidy the sunroom and dining area, which meant dealing with the fibre hanging around, waiting to be drum carded. I have borrowed the carder from my felting group, so need to return it at the end of the month.
The first half of the Samoyed dog hair has now been washed numerous times and drum carded and comes to 118g (4.16 oz). The other half has been washed and has been drying most of the week, so I will card it next week. There is still a whiff of dog about it, but once spun it will need washing again and hopefully that will work. I started pulling guard hairs out, but lost the will, perhaps as I spin I will try to pull out any very thick ones.
I also drum carded some brown alpaca, this is just a small amount from a much larger bag of alpaca fibre I picked up at a de-stash sale. I am not enjoying processing raw alpaca fibre…it is just soooooo dusty and full of vegetable matter (vm) that I dread processing the rest. I thought I would see what its like spun and then decide about the rest. I got in a mess with trying to create a rolag (see pic), so folded the other as a batt, and have separated them in a boot box with acid free paper ready for spinning.
I also drum carded this black fibre, I picked up in a stash with my spinning wheel. I am not 100% sure what it is, given the lack of grease, the amount of dust/vm and the softness, I think it is alpaca. The staple length varies but is mostly pretty long with odd short fat curls, which could be from its head? I am not an expert in fibres, but alpaca is my best guess. This photo is only a small part, there’s actually 119g of it now carded….similar amount to the white Samoyed…so I could try a humbug inspired ply (does the US have humbug sweets/candy!?!?!) Or I could knit something with black and white stripes?!
Onto more fun things I have done…
I finished my 3rd Hitchhiker scarf (albeit with some pattern variations shown on my Ravelry Project page). I love this pattern because I have memorised it (not hard, its just 8 rows repeated); you easily can tell where you are, so you can squeeze in a row when you have a few minutes; and you can make the scarf any size you want, so ideal for homespun yarn you aren’t sure how much there is. There is something pretty very cool about making something with yarn you have spun yourself. This is the first garment I have made with my homespun yarn and now the evenings are getting colder I will have a chance to wear it!
I have purchased some more of Martina Behm’s patterns, so will post details of those when I have done them. They call for fingering weight so its something to aspire to achieving in my spinning.
I finished spinning and made 3 ply yarn from my early dyeing attempts of British 56s wool. I had spun 2 bobbins of singles a while ago, so did 3rd today and then plied. What was left over on one bobbin I chain plied and feel I am getting better each time.
On Thursday I wet felted something for my sister’s 50th, but I won’t post the picture(s) yet, as its not her birthday until next week!
Other than that I have been knitting my cardigan….suspect I will be saying that for many weeks! If only I had chosen a stockinette and not American moss stitch and cable pattern!! Ah well!
Having signed up to join in on the Year of Projects 2018 on Ravelry, I had forgotten all the rules and was creating things but not doing the weekly Sunday blog posts and sharing the link on the Ravelry group page. So on Thursday I remembered to share the link…but now realise some of those things were done this week and not the week before! Also I’ve commented about other people’s blogs on the group page, which I don’t think I am supposed to do. So basically a total muddle. Hopefully the group members will forgive my blunderings. 🤞
It is interesting to see all the different projects people are working on, and how I am not alone in having lots of different types of projects on the go at the same time.
If you are interested to see what the Year of Projects on Ravelry is about click here.
So this week I also made the project bag and notions pouch and spun some Samoyed dog hair (as shown on my previous post)! Both should have been on my projects list as I was expecting the dog hair and had the material to make the project bag!! Hopeless!
I also finished spinning the ethereal ether fibre from Gilliangladrag…I was going to post a poll on my HighlandHeffalump Facebook page, but see (below) what Facebook said about it! The poll was going to ask if people thought I should over dye it with a brighter colour!!! Seeing as Facebook thinks its a nude body I decided to definitely dye it with some deeper colours!
Suspect the position of my finger didn’t help matters! 🤣
I did dye a previous batch of this when it was spun, as I thought the colour definitions had been lost and I love the wee drink cosy I made from that batch, so tried to replicate that again. Its a shame to dye what started off as such pretty colours, but this fibre is better suited to wet or needle felting I think…or a method of spinning that maintains the colours better.
I have kept aside a small amount unspun in case I ever make a unicorn, as the colours would be great for a pastel rainbow mane and tail…but what I have spun I used as more dyeing practice using hot pink, Ice and Opal mixed in different quantities, and carefully applied with a pipette to get lots of variation, only to discover it was all pooling together underneath the yarn, so has ended up with less tonal changes than planned…it is also spookily similar to our bedding colour! I am such a purple addict!!!
Talking of purple, I had a go at felting a lightweight scarf using merino, silk and some locks…of course its purple! The next one I make I will only have the locks on one side, as they are a bit scratchy on my neck.
No new knitting or crocheting is allowed until my Chimney Fire cardigan is finished! It must be finished by the time it gets to winter. Although saying that we are off to the Orkney Isles for a week camping in a tent and I won’t want to take that, so maybe I can let myself do another shawl with some homespun that week.
To help keep track of my YOP list I have created a separate page with the list, so I can tick things off when completed and add links to the separate posts.
So fellow YOPers please forgive my faulty start 🙄
So I decided to knit a cardigan…never knitted one before so did I pick a nice easy pattern? Hmm well easy is a matter of opinion. My pattern is Chimney Fire by Melissa Goodale.
Having got stuck I reached out to a couple of people who’d made it before and reached out to the designer, but with no replies and me getting frustrated by me not knitting it I had to resort to unravelling it.
Thank goodness for whoever’s blog I read that talked about safety line, I had put a thread through both ends of the collar so only had to unravel the upper body.
Okay so it was only 10 rows unravelled in the end, but I am still pretty disappointed and feel a failure. Plus this is the 2nd time I have had to unravel a section on this pattern.
If it goes wrong again the pattern may well be used to light a fire!
Wish me luck!
Some free acrylic yarn, a free pattern from Ravelry and watching some YouTube clips and I was ready to start my first Fair Isle knit!
I made some mistakes along the way…
A weird hole, not sure what happened here
I didn’t carry my pink yarn when I was doing the all purple rows, I just carried it up to the next mixed row.
You can see on the bottom rows of pink that the chevrons are much tighter, that is before I switched to holding it in my left hand. Once I switched to continental for my pink I was flying and it knitted up pretty quickly.
I am usually a tight knitter but I was consciously trying to knit loose…but when I got to the end of my purple 50g ball I started to knit ‘normally’ and so there’s a tighter row half way up the hat. This hat is too small for me anyway, perhaps I’ll give it away to someone with a small headed child!
What I learned…
- Using continental knitting for my accent yarn and English for my main colour works well for me
- I need to concentrate on keeping plain rows the same tension
- Its easier than I had thought!
I had a brainwave…good spinning practice would be making up a bunch of rolags, splitting them evenly by colours and this would then make a 2 ply with the same colours plying at the same time…sounds great doesn’t it?
What I failed to realise was how much my spinning would improve when doing the 2nd batch and just how much longer that meant my 2nd spool was over my 1st. So the result is it started off plying well and then suddenly the colours went out of sync and my 1st spool ran out too quickly which then meant I needed to transfer some of my 2nd spool to another so I could continue plying.
The improvements in my 2nd spool I put down to the non-slip disks I put on the 3 legs of my spinning wheel, resting my right arm on a cushion on my leg and timing my drafting with my pressing the treadle (pulling and pressing at exactly the same time/pace)…oh and not having my arms too far away from the spinning wheel, a handspread away works best for me…well so far anyway.
I found this pattern when searching Ravelry for something to make with a ball of light fingering weight Reliable Sock Yarn I had in my stash. My yarn was from Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarn, Helen is an independent local(ish) dyer and can be found along the North Coast 500 route so at some point I will pop in. Helen also sells online with worldwide shipping and attends various yarn festivals in the UK and Ireland. I have made quite a few hats and fingerless gloves with Helen’s sock yarns and they are warm, fit in your pocket and are lasting really well…although I did lose one in Italy 😢
I started the scarf in April and finished it at 1am last night…I was determined to finish it in May…it was still May somewhere!
The hitchhiker pattern can be bought online through Ravelry and cost €4.30 when I bought it. This pattern is linked to nearly 30,000 projects on Ravelry!!! I’m sure some people make a few different versions, but still…this must have made its designer a good income…oh to come up with a popular and unique pattern!
I used an alteration to the pattern for the final edge (that has teeth rather than the pattern’s straight edge). For those with a Ravelry account this was found on Amanda2127’s Reflective Hitchhiker. The only problem was I started to panic over how much yarn that would use and so I’ve ended up with a fair bit of yarn left, not enough to make anything useful I imagine, I should perhaps have weighed it rather than guessing.
If I make another I will do the Hitchhiker with eyelets adaptation that lots of others on Ravelry have done, with eyelets on each 8th row. I may also go up a needle size as this seemed to take forever to make.
My sister is buying me some blocking boards for my birthday next week, so it will be blocked then…but for now here’s how it looks unblocked.