Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'm Not Really Buying Yarn, I'm Conducting an Experiment

In a recent post to the Yahoo Spin List, Leigh MacNolan-Dudenhoeffer wrote about her experience in respinning Caron's Felt It yarn and plying it with brown Coopworth roving (check out her blog for the details). Pretty cool experiment. I immediately thought "SWS!"

SWS is, like Felt It, a softly spun singles yarn. Lot of gorgeous things are being made with SWS and it really shines in entrelac (see here and here, for example). I've been eyeing it for a few months now, but was concerned about the pilling that's pretty much guaranteed with such a softly spun yarn. And anyway, I'm resolved to knit from the stash this year, right?

But this is for science! Uh, yeah. That's right. Science. Why, it's An Experiment! (channeling John Lovitz) And so earlier this week I hit TSWLTH.

I brought home a skein and removed the bobbin with the loden singles I've been working on from the wheel. Unspinning the yarn required nothing more than running it onto a bobbin in the S (counter-clockwise) direction, enough to take out the Z twist. This gave a nice pencil roving:

...which was then spun into a much finer singles:

... which was plied into a fingering weight yarn:

Oh, and did I mention that, flush with extra 40% coupons, I bought a few more skeins yesterday?

Because, you know, this is for science.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sn*w Day

Home with the family, sn*wed in, more or less.

The sn*w's not so bad, but ice is causing major problems.

The last few days have been so cold I figured I needed a hat. And this is the girl who does not wear hats. Ever. But yeah, it's that cold. So on a brighter note, I have my first finished project of 2007:

Simple hat with a hemmed edged.

(I tried the picture in the bathroom mirror trick to show how it looks on me, but they all turned out way too dark.)


The yarn is from merino roving, possibly a blend with some mohair since there's a nice halo, that I spun up years ago and just recently plied. I got a gauge of 6 stitches to the inch and then winged it. Cast on 108 stitches with a provisional crochet cast on, knit for about an inch, then did a turning purl ridge row. Knit another inch, then knit the next row together with the picked up cast on row. I used one of Sean's hats as a guide to how deep to make it, then worked four decreases (ssk, k 1, k2tog) every other round until there were 8 stitches left that I Kitchenered together. Very easy, very quick. The hat is lightweight, warm and very soft. Needles were Addi turbo and Fiddlesticks DPNs, both US 4.

And believe it or not, this is the very first thing that I've ever made from my own handspun yarn. Woot!

P.S. Wow, I actually have comments! When I figure out how that works I'll get back to you.

P.P.S. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has a new book out!

P.P.P.S. Daytime soaps and talk shows...zzzzzzz...