Knitting Is My Bag

It has been a long time since I blogged about my knitting, which seems odd for a blog that is called All Kinds of Knitting, but that doesn’t mean that no knitting has been happening. It just means that no blogging has been happening.

My most recent FO is a cowl knitted from my own handspun yarn.

This lovely Loop Bump…

This color way is called faded roses. It has bright pink, dark reds, browns, and brownish grays in it.

became *this singles…

I spun this singles on my Ashford Traveller in double drive using the sliding hook flyer. The singles on the bobbin gives a fair representation of the colors in the bump. Only the brownish grays are MIA in this picture.

which became this yarn…

I chain-plied the singles to create a lovely self-striping yarn with long repeats. Loop bumps are perfect for spinning end to end and chain-plying to get lovely self-striping yarns with long repeats of color.

which became this, my Faded Roses Graham-finity Cowl.

The color in the picture is skewed to purple. I tried to correct it but failed. There is really no purple or purplish in this yarn

The pattern I used is the Graham-finity Cowl which is a free download on Ravelry. Although the stitch pattern works up differently on each side of the fabric, the resulting cowl is reversible because both sides look like they could be the right side (aka, the public side).

 

This is the side the designer intends as the “right” side, but when you are knitting the cowl, this side is the “wrong” side, that is, it is not the side that is facing the knitter.

This is the “wrong” side of the cowl, although it is the side facing the knitter when the cowl is being worked.

I haven’t washed and blocked the cowl yet. I expect it to grow a little bit once I have washed it. I have knitted this pattern before using handspun yarn, and I love the resulting cowl and wore it all winter.

This is my Fancy Pants Graham-finity Cowl that I knitted from a lovely 50/50 Merino/silk blend from Woolgatherings that I spun up into a somewhat nubby and a little bit thick-and-thin yarn.

The Graham-finity pattern is great for handspun because there is a lot of texture to the pattern, so minor or even major inconsistencies in the yarn don’t stand out. Also, it is a simple pattern that is easy to memorize, but it doesn’t get totally boring. Yet it makes for pretty mindless knitting, so it is a great pattern for watching hockey, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, or binge-watching television shows. I can’t praise this pattern enough. I love it.

After casting off Faded Roses, I immediately picked up a UFO in handspun that got set aside months ago for baby blanket knitting and pussy hats. I want to finish it before I start yet another baby blanket or get to work on knitting fingerless mitts. I really need to do more knitting and use up some of the handspun I have made.

 

*I waver on whether singles when referring to an unplied yarn should be singular or plural. These singles? This singles? Singles is? Singles are? I think it probably should be singular, as in a singles can be plied with another singles to make a two-ply yarn, but it makes for some awkward-sounding English to treat it as a singular substantive adjective (an adjective that stands in the place of a noun). If one calls it a singles yarn, one would definitely use singular demonstrative adjectives, indefinite adjectives and verbs: This singles yarn is an example of a singles yarn. So, logically, when singles is used in place of singles yarn, it should be singular: This singles is an example of a singles. I can avoid the problem altogether by simply using singles yarn in place of singles, or by rewording the sentence so that singles isn’t the subject of the verb. Comments are welcome.

 

Tour De Fleece 2017––The Finish Line

Yesterday was Sunday is the final day of the TdF, and I spent the day Friday winding my final skein, taking pictures, and washing the skeins. I am very pleased with all my TdF yarns and look forward to knitting with them.

ITW Elevenses in the Shire before it was washed. I love how the browns and greens ended up blending when I plied this yarn.

All seven of the skeins I completed during the TdF. All the fiber is Into The Whirled. This picture was taken before the skeins were washed.

My TdF skeins are getting a nice soak in Eucalan in my kitchen sink.

The skeins are drying. After soaking them in Eucalan, which is a no-rinse wool wash, I squeezed out as much water as I could by hand, then put the skeins in my washing machine and ran the spin cycle. This removed a lot more water than I can remove by pressing the skeins in a towel, and as a result, the skeins are just about completely dry 24 hours later.

The skein at the upper front on the right, the one with the bright blue, was singled out for special treatment. It’s the fiber that I spun long draw to make a woolen-spun yarn. I finished it separately from the other skeins. I first soaked and agitated it in very hot water, then shocked it with very cold water, then put it back in the very hot water, then in the very cold water, repeat a couple more times. After abusing my yarn in this manner, I pressed the excess water out of it, then I took it out to the front steps and thwacked the bejeebers out of it on the concrete steps. The purpose of this abuse is to slightly full the fibers and even out some of the inconsistency in the yarn. The finished yarn has a lovely halo and is light and airy. Light and airy is the whole reason for woolen spun, or the main reason anyway.

The Tour de Fleece 2017 has been a roaring success, and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ravelry and the Ravelry groups Schacht Spinners, Tour de Fleece, and Into The Whirled who organized the teams I was on. The teams provide encouragement, support, help, and praise, and give us a forum for showing off our achievements. The Ravelry community is the best community on the Internet.

Tour De Fleece 2017 Day 20 Stage 18

Tomorrow is the final day of the Tour de Fleece and all I have left to do is wind my final project off the bobbin. Of course, all the yarn I made during the Tour still needs to be washed and measured.

Into The Whirled Elevenses in the Shire Cheviot singles are awaiting plying.

And this is Elevenses in the Shire after I plied it on my Schacht Matchless.

ITW North of the Wall 2-ply. This is the fiber that I spun supported long draw to make a nice woolen-spun yarn.

ITW Zephyr fractal 2-ply is all skeined up and ready to be washed.

Tour De Fleece 2017 Day 17 Rest Day 2

I spent the second rest day winding yarn off the bobbins onto the niddy noddy. I still have two bobbins of plied yarn yet to wind off, but they will have to wait for another day.

Four skeins so far

Into The Whirled Yipes! Stripes! Targhee 2-ply thick and thin

Into The Whirled Talisman Targhee fractal 2-ply

Into The Whirled Gilmore’s Glorious Goods BFL/Silk chain plied

Into The Whirled Herding Cats superwash Targhee chain plied

The yarn has not been washed yet, so I don’t know the yardage or grist yet, but I’m very happy with all of them.

 

Tour De Fleece Day 16 (Stage 15)

Today was a challenge day, and since I didn’t do any spinning yesterday because I sometimes do have a life, I challenged myself to spin a full 4 ounces of fiber today.

Here is a picture of success!

ITW Zephyr on Polwarth. This is a fractal spin done on my Flatiron in double drive. The singles are very thin and when plied together will make a fingering weight yarn, or maybe sport weight if the Polwarth poofs a lot when I wash the skein.