Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh what aTangled Web

Ok, spinning, not weaving, but I liked the literary allusion.

So I finally tried out my drop spindle and I LOVE IT!!! I'm not very good yet, but I had low expectations and it actually turned out much better than I feared. I've done more reading and think I know some things to fix for next timem but so far, FUN FUN FUN!!!

These are my first two singles, spun from the practice roving that came with my spindle. I did them in one evening and then let them sit for 24 hours before I plied them together. I put each ball in a coffee mug, threading the single through the handle and used the drop spindle to spin them counterclockwise (opposite of what you do to spin the single). Then I soaked the yarn and it is hanging to dry now - that sets the twist. Once it's dry I will take more pics. Some areas are overspun and some are underspun, but overall I was happy that it does look like yarn!

This is a picture of the singles before they were plied. I should have taken a picture of the roving before spinning...I will have to do that the next time!

I am also working on a blanket that has been in progress for a long had been set aside months ago still needing an edging so I'm working on finishing that right now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby It's Cold! Sweaterdress

This is the dress I knit for Lucy over Christmas

“Baby It’s Cold!” Sweaterdress

Yarn: Any fingering weight or sock yarn, about 175 grams.

Gauge: 32 sts and 36 rows to 4” in stockingette stitch

Needles: Size 4 circulars and Size 4 double pointed needles

Cast on 70 sts on size 4 circular needle loosely. Join the circle, being careful not to twist the sts. Mark the beginning of the round. Work even in stockinette stitch for 8 rows.

Round Yoke:

Round 1-5: Work even on 70 sts

Round 6: K3, M1, *K2 M1, repeat from *15 times (104)

Round 7-12: Work even on 104 sts

Round 13: K4, M1, *K3 M1, repeat from * 15 times (138)

Round 14-18: Work even on 138 sts

Round 19: K5, M1, *K4, M1, repeat from * 15 times (172)

Round 20-25: Work even on 172 sts

Round 26: K6, M1, *K5, M1, repeat from * 15 times (206 sts)

Round 27-33 Work even on 206 sts

Split the yoke into front, back, and sleeve sections: Starting at the beginning of round, slip sts for each section onto separate holders: 38 sts for right sleeve, 65 sts for front, 38 sts for left sleeve, and keep the remaining 65 sts on needle to work the back.

Body (Armhole to hem):

1. With right side of back facing and st st, start where back joins left sleeve. Cast on 6 sts for underarm, work sts frolm front holder, cast on 6 sts for second underarm, and work across back section. Total 142 for body. Mark the side seams at the underarm midpoints (after sts 3 and 74)

2. Shaping: Work even for 12 rounds. Inc 1 st at both sides of both seam markers on next round (increasing 4 sts per round), and then every following 21st round twice to 154 sts.

3. Hips to Hem. Inc 1 st at both sides of seam markers on every 10th row 4 times. Total 170 sts. Work even to 15 inches from underarms.

4. Hem: Work 8 rounds in garter stitch. Cast off remaining sts loosely.


1. With right side facing and double pointed needles, rejoin yarn and work sts from right sleeve holder. Cast on 6 sts for underarm. Total 44 sts for sleeve. Join the circle, taking care not to twist sts. Mark the sleeve midway on the underarm.

2. Dec 1 st at both sides of the marker on every 10th round once, then every 11th round twice to 38 sts.

3. Work even until sleeve measures 6 ins. Dec 4 sts evenly across last row (34 sts remaining)

4. Hem: Work 8 rows in k1p1 ribbing. Cast off remaining sts loosely.


1. Graft or sew the sleeve and body sts together at the underarm.

2. Weave in loose ends.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Spinstress Wannabe

I am researching right now. And scared.

One of my Christmas presents this year was a drop spindle. A very pretty drop spindle. And a nice little 2 ounce ball of roving. So I have everything I need to try my hand at spinning. I want to. I'm DYING to. But I'm so scared because I know that first attempt is NOT going to be pretty!

I've been reading almost nonstop about spinning and fibers and plying (which scares me almost more than spinning the single does) and I've found that YouTube has an almost endless supply of videos on spinning. I'm ALMOST ready to try it...but I can't. I know I will, I just have to work up the courage.

For those who don't know, a drop spindle is a straight piece of wood with a round piece of wood on one end:

Using combed wool or cotton or fiber of choice, you spin the spindle to twist the fiber, then wind it around the lower portion of the spindle until it is full and you can ball it. That makes a single. You can knit with a single, or you can take two or three singles and ply them together to make a stronger yarn. Plying is actually very similar to spinning the single, you just take 2 strands (for example) and twist them together in the opposite direction of your single's twist. There are so many techniques for plying though!

Once the yarn is plyed, you set the twist by soaking and hanging the yarn...but I haven't read much about this yet, as I really need to at least try step one and two before I worry about that.

In other fun news, through my research I found the NC Fiber Festival, held each October near Asheville, NC. Road trip? I've already hinted around to dear hubby that I sure would like to pet all those rovings and yarn. I'm sure I have the self control to not buy too much. Pretty sure, anyway. I've never been to a yarn festival of any sort and the thought of all that fiber in one place is pretty heady. Hubby has already been assured that he does not have to attend and I will owe him one if he takes me out to Asheville for the weekend :) Hubby is receptive to the idea...I think that's 10 brownie points for him.

Anyway. On the needles now is...nothing, actually! I am crocheting a baby blanket...and remembering why I definitely prefer knitting. It's over half done and very pretty, but I really love my faster projects. I'll post pics when I'm done.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The after Christmas Update

First up, the golf club covers for mom...not the best pic, but you get the idea

Felted mittens for my dad. They are made of brown Paton's Merino and look SO WARM! They also have extra long cuffs to cover the wrist well.
And this was my Christmas break project - a sweaterdress for Lucy! I love it! It was supposed to be long sleeve but the sleeves are a tad short so now it's 3/4 length sleeve :)

It's made of sock yarn (darn, misplaced the label!) and I used a program to generate the pattern. Definitely going to use that program more!

Right now I'm working on a crocheted baby blanket and I'm going to cast on a pair of booties soon!