Tag: spinning

FO Friday – Hidden Thicket

FO Friday – Hidden Thicket

Weight: DK

Yardage: 319 yds

Construction: 2-ply worsted

Colorway: Hidden Thicket

Dyer: Hello Yarn

Ravelry link!

This was a palate cleanser. My last spin before this was a 2+ year project that I only completed out of stubbornness. I needed something quick and easy and thoughtless after that and this was exactly that. I grabbed the closest bag of fiber in my closet, split it in half length-wise and spun.

I don’t consider myself a technical or even very advanced spinner, so I was tickled when I plied and found that not only did the colors line up almost perfectly, but the two plies differed in length by less than a yard.

I enjoyed a mindless spin, but I’ve found that it still hasn’t brought me to my wheel as much as I’d like. So I’m excited that my spinning group has decided to start a casual study together. Every month we’ll pick a topic to explore and at the following spin-in we’ll have show and tell and discuss the topic. If you’re not inspired you can decline the study part and just come spin. I’m hoping it will push me to be a bit more intentional in my spinning and stretch my skills.

The topics I’m most excited about exploring are blending – of colors and fiber – and drafting methods. What are you working on in your spinning lately?

Arm Knitting Experiment

Arm Knitting Experiment

When an octogenarian asks you if you know anything about arm knitting, the correct answer is, “No, but I’m sure we could figure it out!” That is how I ended up experimenting with the technique and fodder for today’s post.

Carol is the founder of a medical support group I attend and it quickly came out that we both love knitting. When chatting after a meeting one day she said she would love to learn arm knitting, and I eagerly invited her over to figure it out together. I am always up for a crafting challenge and I was excited to make a friend. Carol brought the chicken salad and her sister, Penny, and I brought my fearless spirit and an instructional Youtube video.

For those unfamiliar with the technique, arm knitting is just like using knitting needles except your arms are the needle. You pull the loops through by hand and end up with an airy fabric, great for oversized cowls and quick throws.

When diving through my stash to prepare for their arrival, I found myself drawn to a bag of roving I’ve had forever. I’m pretty sure it’s Ashland Bay Merino and while very nice, wasn’t close to the top of my spinning queue. I quickly split it into quarters lengthwise and decided to use it as is for my first piece.

I loved the fabric I got. But that cowl was plenty big for me and only used up 1/3 of the roving. I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I spun the remaining portion into a huge, bulky yarn and made a matching cowl. So, I did.

I’m sure this is obvious to you, but even the mostly gently spun two-ply is going to be significantly thinner than the unspun fiber it came from. I like the fabric of the spun version much less – it’s so loose it makes me think of netting. It has a lovely drape, but I like my garter stitch squishy.

What did I take away from my experiment? Arm knitting is a fun, quick way to knock out a FO. I’d definitely use it to make a quick blanket or scarf for someone who likes chunky accessories. I have pretty tiny arms and found a bulky handspun too thin to make fabric I enjoy – I’d have to figure out how to arm knit tightly to use that yarn weight successfully.

I also found how fun it was to experiment with a new technique with a new acquaintance. Carol and I proudly wore our cowl at the next meeting and it was great to see her glowing with pride. We’re looking forward to more knit nights together in the future!

FO Friday – Reflections on Snow

This project deserves a drum roll!

Weight: fingering

Yardage: 538 yds

Construction: 3-ply worsted

Colorway: Reflections on Snow

Dyer: Hello Yarn

Ravelry link!

I started this project in July 2013 and finished it in August 2015. That’s right, I spent more than 2 years on this spinning project. And as a monogamous spinner, it was pretty painful. It turns out that I do not like carding, and I definitely don’t like spinning 3-ply fingering weight yarns.

I am glad I persevered, I love how they turned out. And I am also going to take a very long time before I am ready to knit with them!