My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Gifties!

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a number of unexpected gifites lately.

diary120204 Gifties!

This is a lovely 2005 diary that Kristine brought back from Ireland for me. The cover is a pretty fabric and it’s made by Neisha Crosland. Kristine suggested I could use it to document and record my spinning in 2005. What a great idea! I’m going to do that.

And the other day I got this:

sbmug120204 Gifties!

A Spongebob mug, filled with candy, from Labradorable Susan! Cute! It makes me smile every time I look at it.

And yesterday, these:

sbcharms120204 Gifties!

Spongebob shoe charms, from StitchinGirl! Oh my gosh . . . I didn’t know they existed but as soon as I saw them I knew they were something I needed!

Thanks, you guys!!

More Q&A

Michelle asked:
I notice your lovely handspun shawl yarn is balled. Do you do it by hand?

The one ounce skeins are balled by hand, the larger ones on the ballwinder. Usually I hate winding yarn into balls by hand and will do anything to avoid it, but I’m so fascinated by my new yarn creation skills that I’m enjoying fondling the yarn as much as possible. Mebbe I need to join Yarn Fondlers Anonymous.

And from Julie:
I have this idea but since I don’t know how to spin I will give it to you. You know the long color changes in Noro yarns? I was thinking that maybe the yarn is spun that way, rather than dyed in the skein. Do you know what I mean? Could you try it? Is it hard to spin a lightly spun single? And how do you get the straw in? Just kidding.

Julie, great minds obviously think alike, because I was thinking about the color changes in Noro yarn the other day while spinning. I do think the color changes are spun into Noro yarns — that’s what it looks like to me. I’m thinking one could duplicate that, and it might be kinda fun.

Jacinta asked:
Just wondered what shawl pattern you are using for your self spun yarn, or will it be another amazing Wendy original?

Hi Jacinta! I’m using the same pattern as my last one — my friend L-B’s simple shawl formula. She’s given me permission to write it up and post it, but I haven’t gotten around to it. But I promise I will. Eventually.

Speaking of My Shawl . . .

I did start it yesterday afternoon on the train. Here is my progress so far.

shawl120204 Gifties!

I thought it looked a little alarming in its color changes at first, but the more stripes I put in, the better I like it. I’m striping randomly. It definitely has a homespun look, but I quite like it. I love knitting with the yarn that I’ve spun. This is going to be a very warm snuggly shawl when it is completed.

And I’m still spinning up the yarns for it. Here’s what’s on the wheel right now, a yummy caramel colored shetland:

yarn120204 Gifties!

And I broke down and bought fiber for a long term project:

roving120204 Gifties!

Chocolate brown Border Leicester, Enough for a sweater. Be still, my heart. It’ll take me quite a while to spin this up, but spin it up I will. Eventually. I think it’ll be great fun knitting a whole sweater from my own yarn!

(And speaking of spinning, I applied to join the Spinning Wheel webring today. Hi Amie! waving wildly)

AbFab Afghan

abfab120204 Gifties!

My poor AbFab has been given short shrift this week, but it’s nearing completion. 40 more rows and it’s done. Hopefully I can get it finished in the next few days. AbFab, I promise to work on you tonight!

Alrighty Then

I’ll be back Sunday evening so have a good weekend all! And to all of you who have contributed to the Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project — big thank-yous!

lucy120204 Gifties!

Comments

  1. Kathy Hinckley says:

    Hi, Wendy. I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile but never commented before. I wondered for some time how long before you started spinning…

    I have a question: How long does an Ab Fab Throw take, if you were to work on it exclusively? I had a project in mind for a hand-spun, hand-dyed afghan for my brother and sister-in-law, but in hopes of getting it to them in their lifetimes I broke down and ordered an Ab Fab kit, I forget the colorway at the moment but it’s kinda bright (they like that). I should have it sometime next week. Would it be doable by Christmas? I’ll be hand-delivering, with a six-hour flight to finish it off in if necessary, so I don’t have to factor in shipping time!

    So glad you’re still blogging; in fact, you amaze me with your posting consistency, and even more with your fiber productivity!

    –Kathy in L.A.

  2. Leslie - knitting therapist says:

    My, Lucy’s winter coat is coming in nicely, isn’t it?

    That Brown Leicester looks suspiciously like it may have come from Copper Moose. I only ask because I’ve been desperately trying to stop myself from buying some of the white for weeks.

    Having the title of the AbFab as “sallops” in the sidebar just kills me. I believe that a similar word is considered very rude slang in french…. but knowing your sense of humour (which I can’t, completely anyway, just from reading your writing) you probably do. ;-)

  3. You’ve just inspired me to go ball up some yarn for an Ab Fab. I don’t know how or why, but I’m now inspired. =p Have a lovely weekend!

  4. Nice to see that you are still blogging.

    So, what do you think about the Spongenapping of the 9 ft high SpongeBob inflatables from Burger Kings across the US? Supposedly you can find one of these baloons on ebay.

    And the spinning looks lovely, as does Lucy.

  5. OH my goodness- I LOVE kitty bellies! Lucy sure has a cute one!

    And on my monitor, the shetland on your bobbin looks like Lucy’s color. :D

  6. Why Yarn Fondlers *Anyonymous*?
    Why not Yarn Fondler’s PRIDE? I keep going over my yak (about six ounces which I’m hand-spinning for my aunt; you know how it’s called a drop spindle? Yak has such short staple that I spend my evening going between yak droppings).

    And there’s a Border-Leicester/Romney mix who is keeping my other spindle warm… …also creating eminently fondlable stuff.

    Let’s declar a Yarn Fondling PRIDE day and come out of our closets (stash rooms?) sometime this year!

  7. The Abfab is looking well…. Abfab! The shawl is looking great. I know what you mean about the further you go the better it looks. I did a fair isle once that sat in my knitting basket for about a year after I put in a contrasting color band I didn’t like. Finally pulled it out and finished it and it’s my husband’s favorite to date. Once it had a second repeat of that band it pulled it all together.

  8. Neisha Crossland – whimper, whimper, drool. What a wonderful present. I love her designs and this one is very spinny, knitty – perfect for you!

  9. I’ve been thinking about the Noro-Colours for a long time too. How could one achieve these stripes?

    And after thinking and searching for a long time I found “space dyeing”, maybe this link might enlighten or give new ideas?

    http://lizzi.freeservers.com/stripes.html

    A Google-Search on “Space Dyeing” will bring more information.

    Silke from Germany

  10. Thanks for the info on the shawl, itching to make one. Yours looks beautiful!!

  11. Hi Wendy
    Nice spinning there for just a beginner! But I’m wondering if you’re setting the twist on all those little balls before you knit them into your shawl? If not, aren’t you a little worried about how the shawl will react when it’s washed? I always wash or steam my yarn after spinning, before I use it so I was just wondering what you do.

    mia

  12. I am still waiting for an answer to my question … what have you been doing with all those blowup SpongeBobs you have been stealing off the roofs of Burger King?? and are you planning on using the ransom money to buy more roving??

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26484-2004Dec1.html

  13. There was an article in either Interweave Knits or VK in the past year that profiled the brains behind Noro and included pix of the set-up of the roving for spinning. It is indeed sections of different colors of roving.

  14. Hi, Wendy! Wow – your spinning has come a long way since that spindle at the retreat! Nice work!

    Welcome to the Spinning Wheel!

  15. Ah Wendy, it will only be a matter of time before you’ll have a room dedicated to fleece. ;) I swore I’d just start with a little. I now have a basement room full of it. Some of the stash is even full fleeces from the sheep!! And I’ve just been spinning a year and a half. ;)

    Great looking handspun!

  16. Wow! Spinning yarn for your very own sweater. I’m fascinated. I might need to check into spinning. Your shawl looks fabulous!
    Have a great weekend!
    Phyl

  17. Great stuff, Wendy. Here’s something funny — I don’t spin. However, my husband brushed our cats the other night, pulled off a huge hunk of cat fiber and asked if he should get me a drop spindle for Xmas! I said I don’t know, but if you want to I have a website to show you. ;-)

    P.S. I am an attorney, and I advise you to exercise your Constitutional right not to answer any questions concerning inflatable SpongeBobs.

  18. Heh – I saw that mug/candy a week or so ago and thought of ya – glad you got one…and of COURSE you must realize t hat those shoe charms could double as STITCH MARKERS!

    I, too, have been thinking of trying to replicate the Noro Kureyon stripeyness…I bought a bunch of different coordinating colors from an eBay seller to try it out (http://home.earthlink.net/~remycat/images/2004-09-16.jpg). Of course, first I have to finish all the holiday stuff before I can get to figgerin’ out my wheel! I think it’s just a matter of spinning a certain color for a given length before switching – it worked on my spindle attempt a few months ago…http://home.earthlink.net/~remycat/images/2004-09-08-2.jpg

  19. Check out the Yarn Harlot’s socks:
    http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2004/07/06/how_to_knit_a_hat.html
    (OK so it says how to knit a hat…).
    Having space-dyed roving certainly helps but you can just join different coloured roving/tops/rolags. Once you have single ply, then you Navajo ply it (google that). It is really nifty :-D I should put my spinning results on my blog at yarnivorous.blogspot.com – only mine is all hand spindled.

  20. I played some with spinning long colour changes like Noro’s yarns. I separated several colours that seemed as if they’d go well together into smaller piles, carded gently to “merge” the colours a bit before beginning to spin, and then just began spinning. The colour changes looked just like Noro’s (where its clear when you look at the places where colours change that it’s a matter of spinning at least in part). I loved the look but didn’t use enough of each colour to achieve the long colour lengths I’d hoped for.

    I wish I had pictures to link to but while I’m in Florida caring for my father I don’t have proper access to my photo archives in NC.

    You’ll have fun with it Wendy, I think, if you decide to give it a go!

  21. Regarding spinning yarn like Noro Kureyon yarns, I have done it. I am currently spinning some yarn for a friend the same way, but in better colors than I used previously (store bought versus hand-dyed). You can take a look at mt method as well as the previously spun color scheme at:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~anrfiber/2004_05_01_archive.html.
    I knitted a Boogaj bag using the yarn I spun. You spin approximately 4 plus yard lengths or slightly shorter lengths for short strips. Spin yarn woolen, with very little twist. For a transition color period, you can either 1) card the two colors together and spin the rolags, or 2) just overlap the two colored rovings about 12 inches or so and draft these overlapped sections out.

  22. Oh my gosh. I literally drooled over that chocolate fiber. I bet it’s gonna be heaven to spin it up. Lucky you!

  23. I think that those shoe charms could do double duty as stitch markers!

  24. Ann Marie says:

    Guess what I’ve been oiling, buffing, and fondling? No, not Jude Law (sigh)- my new and first spinning wheel! Woooooohooooo! I’m too excited to sleep – had to let you know, though, because seeing your spinning gave me the guts to try a spindle, and I was instantly hooked. It just seemed to flow, isn’t that strange? The rhythm, the feel of the fibers, everything felt so natural. So now it’s wheel time, baby! (wheel revving noise)

    Oh, and of course, the Catellites have already managed to remove the drive band once. They are a miracle of feline devilment, but oh how I love them.