My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

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!

What’s New, Pussycat?

lucy120104 Whats New, Pussycat?

What’s new? A widdle girlie hat!

hat120104 Whats New, Pussycat?

This hat will be donated to Safe Shores, the charity that Kristine blogged about on the Knit Happens blog here.

I used a bulky, very soft, handpainted wool I acquired from eBay a year or so ago. Knitted on size 10 needles in a 3×3 rib, it went really quickly!

I cast on this morning, before leaving for work and knitted an inch. I knitted on the train going in, and I finished it during lunch. And since I went to Knit Happens after work, I was able to drop it off.

So . . . what to start next as a commuter project?

I brought this to work with me today.

yarn120104 Whats New, Pussycat?

It’s my bag o’ handspun, waiting to be turned into a shawl. And although I haven’t finished spinning all the yarn yet, I started the shawl on the train coming home. I couldn’t wait any longer — I was chomping at the bit to knit from my own handspun. All I’ve knitted so far are a couple of tiny things.

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

A Big Shout Out . . .

To the commenters who suggested I google for the term “weaver’s knot” — that did the trick! Here is a good explanation of a weaver’s knot.

You Gotta Da Question? I Gotta Da Answer!

Kim asked:
What made you decide on the Kromski Minstrel? I began spinning with a spindle the same time you did and hubby is looking for a wheel to get me for Christmas. We’ve been leaning towards the Kromski Symphony, so I’m curious how you decided.

Good question!

First off, I wanted a double treadle, double drive wheel. And I wanted one that looked traditional, and I love the look of the Kromski wheels. I wanted a castle wheel because I like its compact nature — doesn’t take up too much space in my living room.

I did a little research and found that the Kromski wheels are well thought of, so that settled it!

But I . . . um . . . am considering buying a Lendrum folding wheel for my second wheel.

Pat commented:
When you mentioned that you had only used your new wheel on double drive, I just had a thought about the poly drive band you ordered. I seem to remember
reading that the poly bands do not work well for double drive. If you are planning to use it with the scotch tension, that would be fine. I have
three wheels, all have scotch tension; one with double drive. Though I have not tried the poly drive band with the double drive, I just thought I’d mention this in case it might save you some frustration.

Thanks Pat! Here’s the description I found when I ordered my Kromski poly band:

Note about stretch drive bands – with double drive wheels the drive band does two important things: it drives the flyer and it must slip properly on the bobbin pulley to permit take-up of yarn on the bobbin. We have found that the stretch drive band material we offer allows these two things to happen (with some types of stretch bands this does not happen). You may also use this drive band as a single loop only for spinning with scotch tension.

Sounds like it ought to work. And if not, well, my piece of string is working just fine!

Thank-you

Thank-you for all the kind comments about Ingrid. And in answer to several questions, I’m not sure when the pattern will be available. I’ve got a lotta stuff on my plate and some things are taking a higher priority by necessity.

Another Thank-you
For all your contributions to the Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project. We’re over our halfway point now!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go spin.