vrijdag 26 februari 2010

We are blocking!!!

A whopping 19.200 stitches further then the last update the triangular shawl is done. The drops pattern turned out using more wool 1.05 skeins more and is very much larger then described. The larger is no problem, the more wool is no problem. Other then the 0.5 for just the binding off row is really annoying.

The result was awesome, having these kind of shawls on your circulars they become a crumpled heap on your lap where you cannot see what it turns into other then a few inches at a time. So taking this of your needles and looking at the whole thing in full is such a revelation. It is gorgeous!! The next step is my first time... blocking. My wife washed it and we have it currently pinned to the carpet in the attic. It will be dry in a little bit and then the loose ends need to be worked off and it is ready.... i am already in love with and seeing it on my wife makes the shawl look even better.

maandag 22 februari 2010

LAK and the Birthday haul

I have been slowly but surely working on the Liquid Cream stole for the Lace-Knit-Along, and it is coming easier and easier as I am learning to work with selfspun singles better and better and I really like the look of the result so far. Because there is too much twist in it and these singles weren't fulled it is not as soft as it should be yet but that will come wiht washing after the stole is done being knitted.

Last friday was my 36th birthday and with finances not being great I didn't want anything big for my birthday but since the fleece I bought last year was almost all spun up and I really like spinning I wanted some more alpaca fibre.

After mailing around I found this place where we went on my birthday to look at some fleeces from last years shavings. I came home with 2 showfleeces and 1 "normal" fleece.

This is a lightbrown oh so soft fleece. It is very small only 400 grams and has already been washed and is drying now. The staples are fairly short but this is due to this being a cria fleece. The curls are still in the fleece.

After the cria fleece this dark chocolate brown fleece was also a showfleece last year. It is gorgeous with long staples and very little VM in it as well. It has since been washed and is currently drying. No final destination yet but the spin will be a 2 ply laceweight 20-25wpi aprox as I like spinning that kind of yarn. This fleece weighed 600 grams

Last but certainly not least this 2200 gram cinnamon brown fleece which is the big one, lots of part that will be tossed due to bad quality and some shorter staples but the parts that are good are so good it will be worth it. The washing of this one has to commence but will be done over the next few days / weeks as drying has to happen inside the shower room and we don't have a lot of space.
So while the heater is on as it is cold outside this is perfect but the weather is warming.

The person from the farm shown me their current year alpaca show fleeces and *Drool* they had a gorgeous black one I said I wanted to buy of them right away when the shows are over. The stallion they had it from they still have so might get also this years fleece from him and get two gorgeous deep black fleeces.

Well so far with the fleece p0rn, next time I will try to show my latest spun wool as I have 325 meters of 2ply natural alpaca drying atm which needs to be wound, 25 wpi, strong and very very soft.

PS apologies for the color of the pictures they all had to be taken with the flash as the weather here is horrible and doenst allow outside pictures at all but I did want a picture of the fleeces before washing and processing.

woensdag 17 februari 2010

32 Tours to go

The last couple of days I have been doing my daily knitting. Working steadily forward on my drops triangular shawl. I have charted the shawl out in excel and I can now see the end of the pattern in my excel sheet from the row where I am at!!!

I am so happy until I counted how much to go... 32 tours... 16 right side...16 wrong side... that doenst sound much until i calculated how many stitches there are left. The shortest tour is 600 stitches which comes down to 19.5 thousand stitches left to do. I do 2 tours a day ... maybe 1 more on the weekned which means in 2 weeks I can start blocking this beast and see its real beauty.

At the moment it is all bunched up on my needles since the 180cm width somehow doesnt fit on my 80 cm needles...weird huh...so i cannot get a good view on how it looks. It hasn't bored me a single bit to knit it but i am also sooooo very anxious to get to the end result and block it so I can see it.

woensdag 10 februari 2010

A start and almost a finish

The past few days several things have happened. While watching the superbowl I wound up my zebrayarn into two centerpull balls. The first went fine but then the hank tangled up something terrible. And since you yourself know how much time and effort went into making it you better untangle it. Took me about 4 hours to wind up the second 200 meters of it but i got it done with minimal loss. Well it is two balls instead of 1 but that doesn't matter much.

I have not knitted a whole lot on my Liquid cream stole for the Lace KAL. I have finished the first repeat out of 14 but this project I only work on when I am working from home and since i had a bad case of RSI last year i have special software. This software measures how much i type and how fasts etc and introduces microbreak where you have to stop and once an hour aprox it gives you a mandatory break of 6-8 minutes. When I am in the office I got talk to someone or get a coffee but when I work from home and have all the necesities around me I pick up this project. As i can do 1 tour or sometimes 2 in this time period.

The main project I am currently working on is the Drops Triangular shawl. This beast is big ... I am on my 7th skein out of supposedly 8 but i have seen people who used as much as 10 (I have 2 extra ones just in case). I do this as much as I can but it is no in between thing as the tours are 550+ stitches each atm. I am at a third of the penultimate pattern and cannot wait till it is done. In another way it will be sad when it is done because I do like working on it.

Queued up is the Ishbel shawl made out of the zebra yarn with a white edge most likely. I love all these shawls so much I hope my wife can find an excuse to wear them. Otherwise I have to scale some down and make some for my daughters, I am very sure the youngest one would wear them every day if she can. She is already begging me to make her a zebra t-shirt out of hte zebra yarn... garments... mmmm.... not yet... not yet.....

donderdag 4 februari 2010

Ply, ply & ply

Tonight was not dedicated to knitting though some of that also happened but not much to speak of. I finally finished spinning the black alpaca roving I bought (and didnt really like to spin) and had already 100 grams of cream/natural alpaca singles waiting from the fleece i bought end of 2009.

So 2 bobbins, one black, one white.... plying them into a yarn of a nice thickness somewhere between fingering and lace, exactly where i wanted it to be.... and the color has been named by Delphine and has become : Zebra.
A 2 ply 100% alpaca in two colors. I love it and am far from done plying it. I think i am a quarted to a third done.

Irritating with my old spinning wheel is that it is working right and all but parts are missing two bobbins are ok and a third is missing the "lining" on the inside of the bobbin making it clatter around on the axle... making more noise then usual which kind of annoys me and trying to take on of hte other ones and sawing it in half didnt work out ... they are too old and now i am missing two.. have o find something to make it work to replace this.

For now i am going to do one tour on my drops triangular shawl.

Leaves me one thing to close wiht, a picture of the Zebra yarn

woensdag 3 februari 2010

Joy and Pain?

Yesterday a big envelope in the mail, a RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) from ravelry Axioma. This month since it is the month of my birthday I had decided to post a modest small wishlist. Combining this with my 101 list I wanted to spin 10 different (new) fibres this year. Axioma was so kind to send me 4 completely new fibres. Coburger Fuchs wool, a beautiful gray gotland wool, egyptian cotton (sooooo soft) and linen. I will spin them all and put my findings on here... I already touched it all over off course, who could keep their hands of these little clouds in bags.

Then today another envelope from savy2705 and she was so very kind to send me 2 circular needles that i really wanted since i am a (re)starting knitter i dont have so many accesoiries. Now I can cast on 2 more shawls at the same time next to the 2 project i have going already. Don't know if that is smart or if I should just finish what I have first.

Then disaster...or I feel one coming. For the Lace KAL I chose this pattern called liquid silver and decided it to knit from handspun singles in a creamy colour so made it my own and call it liquid cream.
My yarn and esp my singles are not topnotch quality and some parts are overtwisted (no problem jsut have to be careful) but some parts as the picture shows are undertwisted which is way worse. I fear this might unravel and become two loose ends and before i know it probably all the work is gone and i have done it all for nothing... so contemplating now on how to fix this or reinforce this or frog it and start over.... i just fear frogging will screw up the yarn so much it is isnt useable anymore... so options are reinforce or repair once is breaks...for now .. i'll sleep on it.

dinsdag 2 februari 2010

Here goes....

I have been stuck at this point for a few days now. How do you start a blog. Well you goto the site and create an account, adjust some settings, choose a color etc etc.... and then.... well you have to start your first blog. That is the point where I have been stuck for the last few days. What do I write? How do you start? Most likely no one will read this first post anyways because no one knows yet that I am out here writing this to the whole wide world. So I just will start about the why and stuff like that.

The name, well I recently bought a new spinning wheel and been happily using it but in fact it would require a new leather between the treadle and the footman. In other words it squeaks. It makes a whole lot less noise then my previous wheel that rattled and squeaked and made all kinds of noises making anyting besides putting on your ipod possible. Right now I can spin and watch tv or have a conversation with my wife without having to yell.

What will be in this ? Well part of this blog I will use to keep track of my 101 list. A friend of my wife got me into this. You make a public list of a 101 things you would like to accomplish in the next 1001 days. A nice little incentive to do things out of your comfort zone or give you that little extra push to get going on things you been putting off for too long.
Besides this I will keep anyone interested up to date on my spinning and knitting adventures as they happen. Esp as a male knitter and spinner you sometimes end up in situations and conversations you would never think possible.

This is one of the two wips I am working on atm. The pattern is called liquid silver and is a lace pattern that originally requires beads. I am not so good with beads yet so my beads are too small for my yarn, or my yarn is too fat for the beads whichever way you wanna look at it. So I decided to go without the beads to see what it will end up looking like.
The pattern is chosen to match the yarn I spun, it is a white alpaca fleece spun into a single unplied strand of yarn. I have about 700 meters total of this and will try to use most of this in this shawl. Singles will make it tricky to work with and I am deadly scared of breaking the yarn.

Well this is it for now, I will update often and hopefully I can become more active in taking pictures of my work and uploading them. And perhaps some people eventually will even read this.