Finish Line to Starting Line

I finished my spinning for the Tour de Fleece with a little time to spare.  I didn’t want to go too crazy with the spinning since I’m participating in what one of my online knitting groups (Friends of Abby’s Yarns) is calling the Masochism Tango where whatever you spun during the Tour de Fleece gets knit into something during the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games.  Since one of the things I spun was a skein of laceweight singles with a total of 864 yards, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me in the knitting department.

So, the final totals at my Tour de Fleece finish line are
1. (Top) Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – August 2011 – Falkland – Change, 3-ply, sport weight, 234 yards
2. (Bottom) Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – December 2012 – Superwash Corriedale – David’s Gift, singles, laceweight, 864 yards

Plans are still the same for the knitting up as I posted at the beginning of the Tour de Fleece: the 3-ply Falkland will become the Autumn Vines Beret, and the laceweight SW Corriedale will become a Citron shawl.

I cast on the beret Friday evening.  If I had been thinking ahead I would have had the yarn balled up and ready to go to cast on while riding the bus home from work that afternoon.  But I was totally unprepared for the start of the Ravellenic Games.  The yarn was balled up, the pattern pulled out, and a quickie gauge swatch knit up after dinner while watching the woefully time-delayed opening ceremony (probably the only thing except for the closing ceremony that I’ll actually watch during the whole thing, I think).  I am ready and willing to except that my gauge swatch might have been lying to me as I only knit about an inch or so before measuring and deeming the chosen needles good to go.  But the fabric I’m getting looks good, and the hat itself does not look overly small or large.

I’m hoping to have the beret done and the shawl cast on by Monday of next week, the sooner the better obviously.  I’m expecting that the shawl will go quickly since it doesn’t have the same amount of patterning as the hat; the hope is that I will be able to mostly memorize the shawl pattern and go at it like a speed demon rather than having to check the pattern every few minutes like I do with all the cables on the hat.

Selfish Spinning

New niddy-noddy was obtained on Friday, and there was much rejoicing.  I decided to go with the fancier, albeit more expensive, Schacht niddy-noddy because I loved the idea of being able to create either a 1.5 yard skein or a 2 yard skein with the same tool.  I was also a bit put off of the Ashford niddy-noddy because my old one (the one that was eaten by the pup) was an odd length — 1.66 yards (otherwise known as 5 feet, don’t know who thought that was a good idea).  It was a bit of a pain to remember that when figuring out yardage.

I actually managed to begin spinning the Selfish Shetland over the week, but only just got half a layer on the bobbin before things like errands, laundry, and cleaning crab (tasty, tasty crab) got my attention.  This is my first time spinning Shetland, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

One of the things I’m going to focus on while spinning this 2-ply laceweight will be the plying.  I think I’m doing okay with the amount of twist I get into my laceweight singles, but the finished yarn still comes out a bit… um, what’s the word… not fluffy at all, sort of rope-like.  The singles when I test them with ply-back are as I want them.  So, it must be that I’m over-plying; I tend to add plying twist to my singles so that they look they way I want them as I feed them onto the bobbin.   But, I think I read somewhere that twist continues to be added until the yarn actually winds around the bobbin shaft.  Several of my early yarns are nicely balanced and fluffy, and they are from the time period when I just let the wheel pull the plied yarn in as it went.  I wasn’t overthinking things or trying to control how the plying twist entered the yarn and put the singles together.  I may need to try that again.


Purlescence Yarns held a yarn swap on Sunday in keeping with the Knitter’s Review slow stashing idea.

I rummaged through the fiber bins on Saturday and picked out the things that no longer made me happy or that I just really couldn’t see myself ever actually knitting.  This included a whole plastic bin of the stuff that I bought back when I first started knitting over 6 years ago (e.g., Homespun and Wool Ease).  I figured that if someone wanted it they could take it, otherwise, everything left on the swap table at the end of the day was to be donated to charity.  Either way, it’s out of my apartment.  Surprisingly, someone actually took the sweater’s worth of Wool Ease I had brought.

I came back with 2 bags of mostly sock and laceweight yarns.  Now, they will be going through quarantine.  I think I’m going to do it the quick and dirty way and stick everything in a garbage bag with a few moth balls.  There’s too much to stick in the freezer.  Besides, I don’t think The Husband would appreciate opening the freezer door looking for vodka only to find sock yarn.