Ravellenic Games 2014

Yes, it’s the Winter Olympics, and that means the Ravellenic Games are in full swing. For those of you who are not knitters, and I sure do feel sorry for you, the Ravellenic Games coincide with every Olympic Games and are held on Ravelry, an on-line knitting/crocheting/spinning community. There are teams to join, events to enter, medals to be won, and sometimes there are prizes.

I am participating this year on Team Let’s Go Pens, and I have entered Event Lace, Event Scarf, and Event Single Skein. My project, The Age of Steam And Brass scarf, was knitted from this fiber–

Spinneretta's Studio Polwarth dyed in a gradient colorway called Monochrome

Spinneretta’s Studio Polwarth dyed in a gradient colorway called Monochrome

which I spun up last year into this yarn–

A handspun chain-plied yarn

which I knitted into this scarf.

My Ravellenic Games 2014 project, Age of Steam and Brass

My competition knitting may be done, but I still have lots more knitting to do and lots of Olympic competition to watch. So far the Games have been amazing. I really enjoyed the Slopestyle Snowboarding event, and I’m looking forward to watching the same even done on skis. The USA women’s hockey team has been dominant in their bracket so far, but they face a big test when they meet Team Canada tomorrow. And soon the men’s competition will begin. Olympic hockey is awesome. If you haven’t watched the women play, you should. The women play at the highest skill level. They skate fast, pass well, and shoot hard.

NBCs coverage of the Olympic Games leaves a lot to be desired, as usual, but there are some bright spots. CNBC shows curling, lots and lots of curling, and not just the Americans. I love watching curling. It’s a sport that requires a lot of strategy and finesse as well as athleticism and teamwork.

I hope you are enjoying the Winter Games as much as I am.


TdF Day #8

I’m still spinning away. I skeined up my cable yarn


My first-ever cable yarn on the niddy noddy

My first-ever cable yarn on the niddy noddy


and it is now hanging in the shower to dry. It turned out much better than I had expected. I read a lot about how to spin for a cable yarn before starting the project, and I think the information I gleaned from what I read really helped me end up with a nice, balanced yarn.

I spun the singles as I normally would, but when I plied the singles, I over-plied them. That’s not difficult for me because I have a tendency to over-ply everything and have had to make a concerted effort to put a little less twist into my plying. When I did the second plying, i.e. when I plied the two strands of 2-ply yarn together to make the cable yarn, I used a larger pulley than I normally use for plying and treadled slowly because the second plying is supposed to be done with less twist than one usually uses.

I checked the yarn frequently by pulling it back off the bobbin and letting it hang slack. If the yarn jumped to twist back on itself, I knew I was putting in too much twist. I got a really good feel very early on for how many treadles produced the effect I wanted. When I took the skein off the niddy noddy, and let it hang, it made a half-twist to the right (looking at the skein) so I was pretty confident that after I set the twist I would have a balanced yarn. I wasn’t disappointed. When I hung the yarn on the shower head to dry, it hung straight. I’ve never knitted with a cable yarn, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will knit up.

Of course, winding yarn from a bobbin to a niddy noddy isn’t spinning. I did do some spinning today. I added more to the purplish-gray alpaca/Merino, but I didn’t bother with a picture because, really, the bobbin doesn’t look any different except that it’s a little closer to being full.

But I did finish up the first bobbin of the Berry Crumble Polwarth.

Sunset Fibers Polwarth on the bobbin

Sunset Fibers Polwarth on the bobbin

I think I am going to make a 2-ply, but I’m still thinking about chain-plying the singles. I don’t have to make up my mind right this minute. 🙂

The Perfect Balance

Since I have spun up at least 12 ounces of fiber from my fiber stash in the past month, I needed to balance the stash by replacing the spun fiber. So I added some Polwarth in a brilliant red-orange-yellow colorway called Fire Truck,

and my first-ever spinning batt, Roses in Her Eyes,

which contains Merino, alpaca, silk, bamboo, and angelina. One must actually feel this batt to understand how soft it is. I wish there was a way you, dear reader, could touch this batt virtually, but, alas, that technology is beyond my ability. Both of these fiber purchases came from BohoKnitterChic on Etsy. I love Etsy. 😀

And then there’s a big bag of wool top I bought from The Woolery.

It’s 8 ounces of Louet Northern Lights in the Cotton Candy colorway. I bought it for the November spinning challenge on the Ravelry group Spindlers. The winner of the monthly challenge gets to pick the theme for a future monthly challenge, and when I won the challenge a couple of months ago (the winner is drawn randomly), I chose “Life Is A Carnival” as the theme for November. What is more reminiscent of a carnival than cotton candy, right? I don’t know whether I will spin the entire 8 ounces or just a portion of it, but some nice Cotton Candy clown barf handspun will fit the theme perfectly.