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.

 

Handspun FO Friday

I don’t have any knitted finished objects to share, but I do have some handspun.

I finished the second bump of Into The Whirled Great Minds, which is a superwash Targhee wool. The fiber went from this

Aren’t these colors gorgeous together?

to this.

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I spun the fiber end to end, then chain plied it to get a worsted-weight yarn.

I had divided the first bump in half vertically (lengthwise) and spun it up into two 2-oz skeins that are destined to become fingerless mitts, so I spun the second bump end-to-end to make a skein for a matching hat.

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The skein on the left is for a hat. The two on the right are for the fingerless mitts. I think it will make a nice set, don’t you?

I also finished a Loop Bullseye Bump that I spun end to end and then chain plied. It hasn’t told me yet what it wants to be when it grows up. 🙂

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This colorway is called Pur-plexed, and it is a purple-lover’s dream.

Here are my two newest creations side by side.

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The skeins are resting on the treadles of my Ashford Traveller. My Travvy is currently being stored in my bedroom while the house renovations are ongoing. I haven’t spun on her for over two months now, and I miss her. I think I might bring her back downstairs. She’s light, so it’s easy to carry her back upstairs if I need to.

It is amazing how differently different fibers behave, even when spun and plied the same way on the same spinning wheel. The superwash Targhee became a very squishy yarn that poofed up a lot after it was washed. It has a lot of bounce to it. The Loop bump is mostly Merino wool, and it didn’t poof up as much as the Targhee. It, too, is pretty squishy, but it doesn’t have as much bounce as the Targhee.

Both skeins were wound on the same niddy noddy, but when they came off, you can see that the Loop skein was considerably longer than the ITW skein. That’s because the Targhee yarn is stretchier than Merino yarn.

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That’s all for this FO Friday. I hope you have a great friday.

Feed The Stash!

Lookie what appeared on my front porch yesterday.

A package from Loop Fiber Studios. Squee!

A package from Loop Fiber Studios. Squee!

Yep. Three Loop Bullseye Bumps. Because they are my very favorite thing to spin.

All three bumps are Merino, Nylon, and Angelina. I love the sparkle Angelina adds.

Poison-Dart

 

 

Red-Headed Woodpecker

 

Vernal Equinox

I see lots of fun spinning in my future.

You Are My Sunshine

Have I mentioned lately that I love Loop Bullseye Bumps? They are tons of fun to spin into yarn, and even more fun to knit into garments, although I have to admit that so far, I’ve done more spinning of Bullseye Bumps than knitting of the resulting yarn. But here is one of the lovely Bullseye Bumps I’ve spun up so far this year.

Before the spinning began, there was a Loop Bullseye Bump.

Before the spinning began, there was a Loop Bullseye Bump. The color way is You Are My Sunshine.

The skein straight off the niddy noddy

The skein straight off the niddy noddy. I spun it end to end, then chain plied the singles to make this nonrepeating, self-striping yarn.

The finished skein awaiting knitting

The finished skein awaiting knitting. My chain plying has improved with practice.

I spun the singles on my Ashford Traveller in double drive and chain plied the yarn on my Lendrum. I ended up with approximately 290 yards of very colorful worsted-weight yarn. It reminds me of all the gorgeous spring flowers I see on my almost daily walk.

New City, New Life

Things are starting to calm down a bit after the big move from Carlisle to Pittsburgh. Sort of. A lot of the unpacking has been done, but a lot of stuff is still in boxes and will remain so for the foreseeable future because we will be starting some big projects soon to get the house spruced up, and if we unpack everything, we’ll just have to pack it back up when the work begins. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But I did finally buy a new desk for my computer

My new computer desk. The old desk didn't make the move.

My new computer desk. The old desk didn’t make the move.

which means I finally got my iMac back up and running, which means I’m finally getting around to updating my blog with pictures. Yes, pictures.

I haven’t been doing a lot of knitting, but I have been spinning like a fiend ever since I got my Travvy and my Lendrum unpacked and set up.

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A River Runs… Loop Bullseye Bump for December, 2014

 

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The yarn off the niddy noddy before setting the twist

 

 

Field of Dreams from Loop Fiber Studio

Field of Dreams from Loop Fiber Studio

 

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Chain plied. The twist has not been set yet.

Both of these Loop Bullseye Bumps were spun end to end on my Ashford Traveller in double drive using the sliding hook flyer, then chain plied on my Lendrum using the regular head. I started the Field of Dreams back before we moved. I was almost half way finished with the spinning when we started packing up just before Thanksgiving, so it was untouched for almost two months. When I started it up again, it felt wonderful to be back at my wheel.

It may seem odd that I have been doing so much chain plying lately. I used to be quite vocal about my dislike of chain plying, but with practice, I’ve gotten more proficient at it, so much so that I have started to enjoy doing it. And having knitted with my chain-plied handspun, I have discovered that the “bumps” don’t show. I was skeptical when spinners/knitters said that the “bumps” don’t show, but now I know they are correct. 🙂

I have lots more spinning to share with you, but it will have to wait for another day. I’m just happy to be back to blogging. With pictures! 🙂

 

 

 

In The Loop

I really love spinning. I don’t know why it took me so long to give it a try, but I’m glad I did. I’ve been spinning for over two years now, and I love it more than ever.

One of my favorite things to spin is Loop Bullseye Bumps from Loop Fiber Studio. I love the Bullseye Bumps so much that I joined the Surprise Me! Bullseye Bump Club. You can choose sparkle or no sparkle; I currently am subscribed to “no sparkle,” but I love the fiber with sparkle, too, and will probably switch back to sparkle at some point.

Most of the Bullseye Bumps are gradients, that is, there are long sections of color that gradually change into another color. But recently Steph, the genius behind Loop, has started doing some Bullseye Bumps that repeat the colors so that you get a self-striping yarn. The Bullseye Bumps really lend themselves to chain plying, but I sometimes spin the first half of the fiber onto one bobbin, and the second half onto another bobbin, and ply the two together to get a barber pole or heathered effect.

Anyway, here is my most recent completed Loop Project. The color way is Girl Power, and, yes, SPARKLE! I spun the bump end to end, then chain plied it. The spinning and plying were both done on my Schacht Ladybug, the spinning in double drive and the plying in Scotch tension.

Loop Girl Power Loop Bullseye Bump Club (9/13) Girl Power 5.2 oz, merino, bamboo, tussah silk, angelina (It sparkles!)

Loop Girl Power chain-plied on the bobbin

On the niddy noddy

Off the niddy noddy. You can see the sparkle. 🙂

The colors are quite intense.

The finished skein, about 680 yards/5.2 ounces of fingering-weight 3-ply (chain ply)

A different view of the finished skein

More Finished Objects

Yes, it’s FO Friday once again, and today I actually have some finished objects to share.

Knitting first.

I finished my first ever Swiffer cover.

The business end of the Swiffer cover

The pockets hold the cover on.

I used this pattern, which is free, and Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn, which is cheap. I was kind of holding my breath when I sewed up the ends, hoping against hope that it would actually fit. It does. YAY!

It fits!

There is a lot of texture in the knitting to help with the cleaning.

 

I think I will knit a few more of these so that the intended recipient will have enough that she won’t have to worry that when she wants to clean up the cat hair that has collected in the corner of the dining room, her Swiffer cover will be down the laundry chute. (Wow! That’s a really awful sentence. I should rewrite it, but I’m not gonna.)

Swiffer covers are quick and easy and surprisingly pleasant to knit. There are several different patterns for knitted Swiffer covers on Ravelry, so I might try another pattern just because.

Next is my spinning. I spun up this beautiful Loop Bullseye Sparkle Bump in a self-striping color way called Sunbeam,

Pretty sparkly fiber waiting to be spun

then chain-plied it to make a sock yarn.

The singles were spun, then chain-plied on my Lendrum wheel.

The finished yarn is quite sparkly and will make lovely socks.

The picture of the skeins was taken before I set the twist. The yarn is soaking in the sink as I write.

I spun and plied this yarn on my Lendrum wheel, which is a single-drive wheel (Scotch tension). I like using Scotch tension for plying, but ever since I started spinning in double drive on my Ladybug and Traveller, I find that I prefer double drive to single-drive ST for spinning. I enjoyed spinning this yarn on the Lendrum, but I found myself wishing I was spinning it in double drive on the Travvy or ‘Bug.

I think the Lendrum is going to be relegated to the role of plying wheel for the time being. I find myself more and more thinking about selling the Lendrum, but I’m not quite there yet.