Thursday, June 25, 2009

Current spinning project

I have some scrumptious tussah silk top that I started spinning shortly before I decided to sign up for the Tour de Fleece, so it is my current work in progress (as opposed to something that's been languishing in a dark corner).

Sanguine Gryphon tussah silk for spinning

Sanguine Gryphon tussah silk for spinning - shiny in the sun

The shaded picture of the braid shows the colors more truly (on my screen, anyway), and the sunlit one shows just why I called this "ooooh shiny" on my stash entry for it on Ravelry.

I'm almost a third of the way through spinning it on my beloved Bosworth spindle:

Stereotypically me

(the photo was taken before I did quite a bit more spinning yesterday afternoon.)

It's being a dream to spin up - I'm having an easy time drafting it (I'm doing something more on the worsted end of the things) and don't have a lot of waste. I bought the braid from the Sanguine Gryphon during a charity fundraiser she had going more than a year ago, and while I was scared of the silk at first, I'm having a lovely time of it.

I'm either going to not ply it, or I will ply it with a silk thread. It's laceweight, and I'm considering making either the Aeolian or Laminaria shawl from it, if I have enough. On the other hand, it's coming out a little paler than I had hoped, so it might end up being a color I'd be unlikely to wear.

I guess I'll have to wait and see the finished yarn!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Challenging myself to finish some old spinning projects

I've joined the Tour de Fleece (the Ravelry one, that is).

The challenge involves spinning every day that the Tour de France is riding. (We spin while they do. This is not my bad pun.)

I've been a little lacklustre about spinning lately, but am already feeling more excited. I'm spinning a lot more on my current project already.

For the challenge, I've decided that I'll pull out three works in progress that I haven't touched in months and do my best to finish all three. Then I will have more yarn and more space for more fiber!

We're putting together a "team" from String Thing, which I think will be fun: we can egg each other on.

Here's some pictures of the fiber that I'll be finishing spinning for the Tour:

Some silk hankies I dyed last summer and started spinning last November. My hands were too dry to work with silk over the winter and then I never went back to them.

Some silk given to me by my Ravelry friend debolsillo blended with some Ashland Bay merino I bought from the Woolery. This one will be the challenge: I'm spinning it thick and even, and I'm better at thin and even.

Some handpainted Blue Faced Leicester top from Three Waters Farm, which is local to me. I don't think I'll be spinning the rest up the way I started, so this will kind of be a new project.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It figures. I get my sock pattern all written up and partially edited, when I discover that there might be a better way to do the most difficult part. I think it would not only improve the appearance but be easier to knit.

I'm working up a quarter-scale version of the sock, and it's looking promising!

Fortunately, I can use the experience from writing up the first version to improve the write-up on the new one.

I still have hopes of getting this done by Sock Summit!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Translation from sock to pattern

This last month has taught me that translating my designs into written patterns is hard work.

Fortunately, I have friends who are or will be acting as beta testers. One of them has gotten a good start on the whole thing, and has been doing a good job of knitting what I wrote, not what I meant to write. She's also told me when my instructions are flat-out confusing. Very helpful!

I'm also glad that I will be taking a class on designing and writing sock patterns at Sock Summit--I hope it will help me learn the language.

Part of my problem is that I learned sock basics eight years ago, and haven't used written patterns since. Furthermore, this particular sock has a very unusual construction, and so converting the abbreviated summary in my head (which partly uses a three-dimensional understanding of the structure, only not a visualization*, instead of verbal description) into something that someone else can follow is extra tricky.

I think I have a decent draft of the trickiest bit, but we'll see what she makes of it!

*This is very hard to describe. When I "visualize" things, I often don't "see" them in my mind. I have a kind of kinetic feel for spatial relationships instead.