Monthly Archives: June 2008

I spun for two hours…

…and all I got was this tiny skein!

Wrap and Roll Yarn in knot

Jill P:

I’ve been itching to try my hand at some novelty yarn.  This is my first real crack at it.  I used the “wrap and roll” technique created by Sarah Anderson, shown in the Spring issue of Spin-Off.  (I have some of her Great Balls of Fiber roving, but haven’t gotten to it yet.)  It’s a different way of making a core-spun yarn.  I spun up a bobbin of soft singles that was varying in thickness.  I used some Beast that I dyed green at last year’s Dyefest and then carded with some Angelika (Angelina?).  I then loaded a top-whorl drop spindle (your Golding’s spindle) with crochet cotton.  I tied them to the leader and then wrapped the single around the cotton thread.  What makes her way different is that the drop spindle spins in the opposite direction of the wheel, relieving the core of a lot of twist.  This way the yarn is much more flexible and bouncy than other core-spun yarns.  I can’t really speak to that, because I’ve never made a regular core-spun yarn.

Wrap and Roll single

It was very time consuming.  Even with the spindle going, I would stop every foot or so and let all the twist run out.  I started with a somewhat full bobbin, and ended up with only about 10 yards!  I’m not sure how much fiber I used, but maybe a little less than 2oz.

Wrap and Roll close-up

I don’t know what I’ll do with such a small amount.  Maybe I could make jewelry out of it or something.  I had some other handcarded fiber set aside for more, but now I don’t think it’ll make enough yardage to be worth it.  I have plenty more of the green, so if I had the inclination I could spin more of this.

I definitely feel like I’m on a real novelty kick though.  I want to do some beaded yarn, and I just dyed up some mohair locks to do a boucle with.  I want the Pluckyfluff book, but am being cheap.  (But not too cheap to not order sale books from Knitpicks).

We had the guild’s Dyefest on Saturday.  Deb let me throw my mohair locks into her dyepot.  I love how they turned out, but someone else took them home by mistake.  The space-dying roving workshop didn’t end up happening, so I didn’t get to my superwash roving I brought.  I did dye some silk hankies and a skein of KnitPicks Bare Fingering.  Both turned out a little questionable.  I was getting kind of impatient and I didn’t want to mix up any more dyes.  I tried to just use what was already on the table.  I picked a really bad combination for the yarn and it looks like hell.  A weird mix of tan, bright blue and inky purple.  I also didn’t make sure to saturate all the yarn with color, so some white spots are left.  The silk hankies could be promising, but the color didn’t make it completely through all the individual hankies.  Maybe when I spin I can alternate one from the middle with one from the outside of the stack.  Jason took some good pictures at the meeting.  He’s got them on his blog.

No other serious progress.  I’m moving quickly through the Cobweb Lace Stole but no updated pictures.  There’s an error that is not in the errata.  Row 73 if you’re interested.  The chart calls for a yo 3 times, but it should be something like a k1 wrapping yarn 3 times.  That did slow me down for a whole afternoon and evening.  This weekend besides spinning and dyeing, it’s been my turn to work on our latest Culver City joint project.  It’s a shawl designed by Melissa for the latest Afghans for Afghans campaign.  I’ve enjoyed knitting on it, but the plain knit rows can get a little boring.

Last weekend I went to the Devil’s Punchbowl with Sean and Jere.  It’s up the Angeles Crest Highway somewhere.  We went for a mini-hike, stopping to put our feet in the stream.

Jere and Sean at Devil\'s Punchbowl

It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun.  It was superhot out though.  And part way through the hike the sole of my shoe came off.  I had kind of run these running shoes into the ground, but it was still unexpected.  We had to tie it on with my shoelace.

Sean at stream

Besides the stream, the highlight of the day was going to some fun shops in the nearby towns, Little Rock and Pear Blossom.  We went to a junk store, a fruit stand, and Charlie Brown’s.  Charlie Brown’s had yummy barbeque and all kinds of novelty junk.  The type of place that sells vintage candies and dried fruit.  It also had practically a whole room of Betty Boop stuff.  Hours of entertainment.

Someone left a drunk wrong number message on our work phone system over the weekend.  I was hoping to post it on the blog, but don’t have a microphone for this computer.  It’s hilarious.  She keeps losing track of what she’s saying and at some point says, “Vincent D’Onofrio is the sexiest man on the PLANET!”  And she says “planet” the loudest, like Oprah or Mary Murphy on So You Think You Can Dance.

More knitting progress to show next time!

Jill B.


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On a roll

Hey Jill P.

I’m very excited that you’re back in town. I hope you get excited about fiber again so we can totally geek out on it together. I don’t feel like talking about my recent activities. Not because they weren’t great, I just feel lazy. And all I want to do is show you all my recent finished stuff!

This feels like old news, but I finished my Laminaria. I did exactly the amount of pattern repeats that the larger shawl calls for. But instead of using 1200 yds, mine only used 800yds. That seems like a big discrepancy. I think I’m happy with the size of it, but if I had known I’d only use that much yarn, I would have added more repeats into it. Here are some blocking pictures.

The bottom point:

Overall view. Foot and cat included for scale. ha!

Star and blossom sections:

Edging section:

Side tip:

The cats are such a hassle when I’m trying to block. They love to pull the pins out with their teeth. My options are flashy pictures or blown-out natural light pictures.

Here’s me wearing it:

It seemed to take me forever, but I’m pretty much done with the Featherlight Lingerie Dress. I got some pink elastic from Melissa and was able to sew the bodice to the skirt. When I first tried it on, I thought it looked terrible! But everyone at knitting is always so supportive and they all said it looked good. It just seemed really tent-like to me. I went through and sewed in more elastic around the waist part. I think this helped a lot. It cinched it in a lot and made it look like less of a maternity top. I still need to block it, which I think will help a lot. If the skirt portion looks a little longer it will be more flattering.

Here’s the top at least. After I block it, I’ll take a picture of the skirt part too.

Last Monday I started the Provincial Waistcoast by Mari Lynn Patrick from Interweave Spring 2006(?) And this Wednesday, I finished it!

I used Laine du Nord Dolly Maxi in brown. I used just under 6 balls of yarn. Size 8US needles. I made the 35″ size. There seemed to be a problem with the pattern just in this size. After you do the waist ribbing, the patterning on the top of the back doesn’t line up with the patterning below the ribbing. I had to kind of make something up that worked better. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with it.

It’s hard to see stitch definition is so dark a yarn. It’s easier in real life. I also think it’s a little more flattering in real life. The front has some cableing and there’s a crossed stitch pattern on the back.

I found some buttons in a vintage button grab bag that I got from Michael’s.

I’ve been working on a Felted Baby Yoda hat, but still need to felt it. I was supposed to be working on my yarn stash, but my next two projects aren’t going to use much stash. I’m planning on starting some socks soon. And yesterday, I couldn’t help myself and started a new lace project. I am so freaking excited about this stole. It’s the Cobweb Lace Stole by Michelle Rose Orne. It was in Interweave Knits a few issues ago. I’m using Malabrigo Lace Yarn in Orchid. Here’s what I did yesterday:

I love, love, love it. I’m going to have to drop some of those stitches which makes me kind of sad. I kind of want to make a skirt with that edging. This will be my first lace project with patterning on both sides. I’m excited but a little nervous. What is that, knitted lace vs. lace knitting? Or the other way around?

I was checking out our blog stats, and someone found the site by typing “fotos of testicals of cutting” (or something really close to that). I think that is hilarious. I would also like to apologize for making us all porn-searchy. On a side note, I think I lost my penis chapstick holder. I took it to the Hash with Monique and now I can’t find it. Sad.

ETA: It was actually “fotos of cutted of testicals”.  Maybe the second of was supposed to be off.  Yuck!

See you soon!

Jill B.


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Banjoes and haircuts

Jill P.

I’m awfully behind on filling you in on events (Not as behind as you, ahem. =) ).  I thought I’d finally blog about the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Festival.  Right before you went out of town I demoed at the festival.  I kept trying to talk myself out of it.  I called my Mom looking for her to tell me not to go.  Of course she just tried to talk me into it.  I had been on the verge of getting the flu, it was really hot out, Topanga was far away and I just was plain lazy.  But I went anyway.  As it turns out the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Festival is not in Topanga but even further away in Agoura Hills at the Paramount Ranch.  So I shlepped my wheel and a folding chair to the festival.  And it turned out to be a lot of fun.  But I wasn’t kidding about it being really hot.  According to the thermometer there, it was 106 degrees F in the shade.  And I was trying to spin fiber.  We had a nice place under an overhang so we weren’t in the sun.  When I would stand up I’d realize that the back of my shirt and the back of my pants were totally damp.  I walked around a little bit, but it was damn hot in the sun.  Even at the grandstand, hardly anyone would be in front of the stage.  They would be all the way at the back of the grass area in the tree shaded area. 

The whole thing is pretty cool, because it’s in the Paramount ranch where they used to shot Westerns.  So it’s like a little western town.

I was really good and didn’t buy anything.  Unless you count some fruit and a giant bag of kettle corn.  I bought some raffle tickets and really thought I was going to win a banjo or mandolin.  They never called me, so I guess I should give up hope. 

While spinning I hung out with Kathy, Carol and Janel.  There were a few ladies from the Ventura Spinning Guild there too, but I don’t know any of their names. 

As for spinning, I continued to work on the never-ending bag of Alpaca.  I feel like I’m getting really close though.  I got one more skein done.  I’m making a point of doing the whole process all in a day.  No more of this waiting around business.  I’m so tired of carding!

I probably didn’t listen to as much music as I should have.  But there were musicians walking the streets and some groups playing around where we were sitting.  It felt too hot to venture out too much. 

All in all a lot of fun.  I wish you could have been there!

In knitting news, I’m still working on my two unending projects.  I’m almost done with the Featherlight Lingerie Dress.  I should have pictures the next time I blog (unless something goes terribly wrong!).  As for the Laminaria, I finished the blossom charts, and am about to start on the first edging chart.  I haven’t worked on it the last week though.  It’s hard to take a good picture of progress.

And in non-knitting news… I got a haircut!  I went to the Vidal Sassoon Training Academy.  This time I went to the Creative Cutting class.  I was a little scared, but I think I’m pleased with the results.  I’m still getting used to it though.

Here’s a before shot:

(Somehow there’s a lot of views on this pictures in Flickr.  That’s weird, who’s finding them?  And who besides the few people I know would care?  Maybe people just love before-and-afters)

And this is the best picture I could get of the after.  The picture that wasn’t as blurry made me look kind of gross. 

I think it looks better in real life, but I guess it’s hard to say.  I also like to think I look better in real life than in pictures.  The worst is when you show someone a picture of yourself that you think is horrible.  And then they say, “No, it looks just like you.”  Blurg.

In those pictures you can kind of spot my stash in the background.  It would be in those tubs and spilling out of all the bags. 

I can’t wait until you come back to town!  Next up, pictures of my trip to Seattle. 

Jill B.


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