Posts in Category: things I spin

life things and yarny things

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Hello. It’s been a little while since I’ve had the time to write here, which is a shame. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that life has been pretty busy, lately, and it’s only recently that I’ve felt settled enough to get back to the blog.

The last time I posted was in the middle of May, and here’s what I’ve been up to since then:

1) Went on a trip: C and I visited Belgium, England and Scotland for two weeks, which was lovely. Everything edible was delicious, I picked up some choice knitting and sewing souvenirs, and we tasted a lot of really lovely Belgian beers, and fell in love with Scottish gin.

2) Packed everything: I’ve mentioned this before, but C is starting a new work/school program that required a huuuuuge cross-country move. Once we got back from our trip, we had two weeks to pack everything up and hand it over to the movers. This was really tough, partly because packing is the worst, but also because it involved a lot of saying goodbye to really special places and people.

3) Drove across the country: The next step in the moving process was bringing ourselves and our car and our cats to Calgary. We packed the cats up in the backseat (ask me about that, sometime. One of them (the one not in this post) was super not a fan of driving) and did the four-day car trip to our new apartment. Google tells me we travelled 4002km, which is 2487 miles.

4) Waited: the moving company gives a date range of when things will arrive, and it’s not always exactly the amount of time it takes to get from Location A to Location B. We spent a good week and a half living out of suitcases in our new apartment, waiting for the call from the moving company. There was a lot of IKEA furniture assembly in this period.

Our truck arrived last week, and now we are 90% unpacked and sleeping on a real bed again, which is a huge relief. My new job starts in a little while, and we’ve mostly figured out stuff like where to get coffee and groceries and comic books.

I made a lot of things through the past couple of months, as well. Knitting has always been what I do with my hands in times of stress, and I definitely needed it through parts of the last few months (oh god, that car trip). I started and finished a sweater, which I’m excited to talk about, and finished a pair of socks. I’ll get to the backlog in time, but for now, here are some photos of what I’ve been working on lately.

pullover

pullover

Bertie Botts socks

Nest

march handspun

When I said I’d still been making a lot of things, I totally meant it. I’ve been keeping up with my 7.5 pounds in 2015 spinning challenge. Because I’ve been travelling a lot less, it’s been easier to spin daily, which makes stuff fly off the wheel! I try to fit in at least 10 minutes a day, but most days it ends up being about a half hour.

In March I finished some more of my Indigodragonfly club fluff, which spun up into this gorgeous, insanely soft DK weight skein. It’s Merino/Yak/Silk, and C stole it almost immediately after I showed it to her.

Indigodragonfly Fibre Club

I also spun some Into The Whirled braids – the first one is called “Eleventh Hour,” and it’s a BFL/Nylon blend. I spun it specifically as the finest 3-ply I could, with an eye to making sock yarn.

I definitely succeeded at making a nice, firm, fingering-weight yarn. The yardage is not stellar, but I think I can work with it – I got about 225m, which should be enough for some shortish socks, or longer ones if I use commercial yarn for the heels & toes.

ITW BFL/nylon

I also spun cheviot for the first time! This is ITW “Second Spring,” which reminds me a lot of carrots. I spun this for a fingering weight sock yarn as well, but tried for a traditional 3-ply that barberpoled instead of a chain-plied yarn. I love how the colours play with each other in this skein, and I love the hand of this cheviot – it’s sheepy without being hairy, and the crimp and bounce is so fun.

ITW

just keep spinning

Still waiting on news for C’s work. Decision day is next week. In the meantime, I’ve been chipping away at old projects, and trying to keep up with my wheel. One of the ways I’ve been focusing my spinning is to try spinning down all of the indigodragonfly club fiber I’ve accumulated over the past year.

(Also, the club for one of my favourite fiber-dyeing companies opened up in 2015, and I wanted to make a little fiber stash space before new stuff started arriving.)

This first skein is from the August shipment, I think – it’s BFL, and the colourway is “Clowntown Abbey.” I spun it end-to-end and chain plied for long colour repeats, thinking that I’d get a really cool self-striping sock yarn.

Indigodragonfly Club BFL

Indigodragonfly Club BFL

Instead, I ended up with about 140m of DK weight, which still self-stripes beautifully but is absolutely not enough yardage for socks. I think it’d make a really great hat or set of mittens, though.

This second skein is BFL/Silk, from a while ago (Rav tells me this is the November shipment) – I believe the colourway is called “The White Rug of Shame.” I chose it for the February challenge at 15 in 2015, which was to spin something red or pink for Valentine’s day.

Indigodragonfly BFL/Silk Handspun

Indigodragonfly BFL/Silk Handspun

This turned out as a gorgeous, gorgeous sport-weight with an amazing shine. Again, my put-up was not stellar (about 150m), and I’m still not totally sure what I’m doing to get such low numbers, but the yarn itself is really satisfying to look at. The colour was pretty dark, almost red-looking in the braid, but spun up it really started to shine and look like a nice pink-purple blend.