FO: Kingfisher Blues

A spinning FO for you this time, which people on the Irish Spinners group have already seen.

It’s my February skein in the Skein-a-month Spin-a-long that I only finished the other day. It’s impossible to capture the colours properly, though I did make several attempts. It’s looking very blue in these shots whereas there’s  a lot of green in reality. I’m calling it Kingfisher Blues because it has those blues and greens. Plus it gave me the blues!

I started spinning this (on my Ashfird Student spindle) last Summer as part if the Tour de France; and made a haimes of it by not drafting the fibres out at all. 

I undid that, before I went too far and started againg on the spindle. I got on much better the second time around but then got distracted by other projects… and probably my wheel too. I took it up again in early February and spun the other ball of Louet Top on the wheel.
Hope Springs Eternal
I continued spindling the first ball of top but was finding it very slow. In an attempt to be finished by the end of February, I spooled it onto a bobbin and spun the rest of it – that was a fun excercise!
I learned a lot while making this skein. I had a lot of breaks, both while spinning and while plying. My spinning ability improved, especially my spindling. I “made a break for it” and tried spindling without park & draft. But I don’t like the feel of the finished yarn and I’m blaming the fibre I started with. I don’t think I’ll get Louet top again.

However, I *am* going to knit with this – and possibly very soon. I think I’ll make another golf-club cover for my mum. The colours are perfect and it should last a bit better than the Malabrigo one I just gave her.


Illuminations Sock Club Stash – Dawnsinger

Timing is everything.

Last month I got the first instalment of the Illuminations Sock Club from Janel Laidman. I knew it was coming and was beside myself with excitement as I opened the parcel. I was in for a surprise… an anti-climax.Dawnsinger

This is a hard thing to say, but my first reaction was disappointment. I think, mainly, this was due to my over-heightened expectation. I’ve blogged before about how much I idolised this designers work. I was expecting complexity, ingenuity and “delight” in the Vetruvian / Architects meaning of the word.

I was also expecting two sock patterns. What I got was a basic-looking, cuff-down, sock pattern with two charts for alternative designs around the leg. I felt this was not a good opener for a year-long sock club of six instalments. I immediately regretted signing up for the colourwork sock club. My kids can colour in squares on a grid to make a picture of a bird or a leaf – where’s the ingenuity in that.

More than this, the colours didn’t “Wow!” me. I had planned a whole blog-post about their arrival at the end of February and… well… you can see the photo I took for it. Dull, drab, lifeless. For me, this says it all about my lack of enthusiasm. The blog-post never happened and I put the kit away wondering if I would just gift it to someone.

Then – as I say – timing is everything. The other day, Spring arrived in my garden. The sky was blue. The leaves were a shocking green. These were the exact colours of the skeins in my kit… as you can see:

Stacatto Sock

Suddenly, I love them! They are the perfect encapsulation of Spring. *Now*, they sing to me. I realise that my timing had been all wrong. I needed to see them in the context of blue skies and fresh leaves; and not the dull skies and lifeless trees of last month.

This new look at the skeins made me look closer at the sock pattern(s). I realise they’re not so basic after all – there’s something interesting going on with the ribbing of the foot. I’m willing to give the Sock Club an open-mind again. I’m willing to hope that the next installment will knock my socks off!

February Round-up

I have very little to report for this month. In fact, checking back on my post for my January Round-up, the situation has hardly changed at all!

  • FOs = 0
  • WIPs = 2

GlenvArgh! is languishing while I focus on pattern-writing and knitting my design.
While I don’t have an FO to show for it, pattern-writing has been a fascinating & thoroughly rewarding process. Having read a few timely tweets from other designers, I was prompted to work out the Maths first. I did this as far as I could visualise but then *had* to pick up the needles to test it out. It was just as well I did because I had made some classic, newbie mistakes.

It took at least 3 attempts at the sleeve & shoulder shaping before I got it “right”. I also suffered two needle fatalities: one Denise cable and on of my Knit-pro cables.

  • Frogged = 1… several times!

Meanwhile, I did get a pair of socks into circulation, by darning a hole on one toe. These are my favourite socks, ever! They’re Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks by InterWeave Press.

There was stash enhancement but it was of the controlled, long-awaited variety; and therefore completely acceptable. It was the first instalment of Janel Laidman’s “Illuminations” sock-club: two skeins of Staccato Sock by ShibuiKnits.

I also didn’t complete my February skein for the SkAM-SpAL. I was reviving a spindle of Louet Northern Top that I had started last Summer. Though I enjoyed the spindling – and became quite good at it after practicing so frequently – it really is much slower.

  • Yarn in = 175(103-Green)+175(105-Blue) = 350m
  • Yarn out = still indeterminate, but probably more than yarn in!… //for once!//
  • Meet ups = one, #twillting aka the Quilting workshop given by @MaryLD at the beginning of February.
  • I had to bow-out of the February Spin-in because I was enjoying a weekend away in Inchydoney Hotel and Spa. It was a treat for my fortieth birthday.

    – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Spinning WIP: Hope Springs Eternal

    A new month, a new theme for our Skein-a-month Spin-a-long: Hope Springs Eternal.

    I like this theme  – it could relate to the start of spring on 1st February (Irish / Celtic Calendar) and the Hope that Spring brings.

    Or… it could be a spring of water, bursting forth with promises of eternal hope.

    Or – as in my case – it could be the eternal optimism that springs from an ability to Hope! Hope that one day… I may be able to produce a skein of consistent yarn.

    I bought these two “balls” of Louet Corriedale Top in TIK last summer; and started the first on my spindle. I had *hopes* that because it was pencil roving that I wouldn’t have to do as much drafting; thereby letting me focus on the other aspects of spinning I was struggling with… like the spinning bit… and the “adding twist”… and the “making yarn”!

    That didn’t work out so super-fantastic and the whole thing got shelved. So with the Hope that Springs from this month’s theme this poor little project is being shown the light of day again. I *hope* to continue the first “ball” on the spindle but to spin the second on the wheel. Then ply the two (this should be interesting, to say the least!)

    This was the project I brought with me to the January Spin-in last Sunday. I started off the wheel-spun single and did a fine impersonation of someone who hadn’t a clue what they were doing with a wheel in front of them. Yes, this was the morning after the night before and my over-indulgence played havoc with my abiltity to draft and treadle at the same time.

    I switched to the spindle and was quite pleased with myself for trying to draft without parking. I had been watching BionicLaura and DubSpinner as they were doing this and had a little epiphany. Then my spindle decided to fall out with me too (possibly something to do with me over-spinning the yarn – what-evahz!) so I gave up and switched to knitting!

    The Spin-in was periodically visited by the enthusiastic students of Aoibhe’s wheel-spinning workshop: SusyMcQ, KneeHigh and two others that I didn’t get the name of. Susan now reports that she can spin from the fold and Navajo ply. I haz the mad jealous! But also… HOPE!

    If someone can spin from the fold and Nav-ply after an afternoon spinning workshop why can’t I? Step one is that I tell myself “there’s no reason why not!”; Step two is that I grasp the hope that this realisation brings and just get on with it. So thank you, Aoibhe and Susan – even though I wasn’t taught how by the former or shown by the later – just the fact that I know this is possible instils *HOPE* that I can!