FO: handspun toast mitts.

five plum pie mitts FO1

five plum pie mitts FO3

These practically flew off the needles this weekend! I started with the toast/toasty pattern as a guide, and then decided on a thumb-hole, rather than the no-thumb or tip-less thumb options in the pattern. I love the look of a full thumb on fingerless mitts, but it always seems to impact their functionality for me: the thumb never fits quite right, and it seems to require that I take the mitts on and off a lot more to keep from spilling things on the thumb section. (Does that make sense?)

five plum pie mitts FO2

I used the 34 st cast on called for in the pattern, with size 6 needles, and made a 4 st thumb-hole. I’m wearing these as I type this morning, and I adore them.

thylacine fiber

Also, the last bit of my fiber splurge arrived yesterday: 2 braids of grey merino dyed with gorgeous shades of reddish orange from the thylacine on etsy. It is an overcast morning, and this picture does not even come close to doing this fiber justice. It is absolutely stunning, and I can’t wait to see how it spins up.

Enjoy the last weekend of summer!

yarn in the sink.

Last night I stayed up late to finish plying my never-ending bobbins of targhee together. I wound it onto the niddy noddy, counted the strands, took a few pictures, and then placed it in a hot water bath with some soak wash. About 30 seconds later, I realized I was incredibly tired, and went about getting ready for bed: I straightened up the kitchen, took Boh out, put on my pajamas, etc. And then I went to brush my teeth, only to look down and realize that there was yarn in the sink. (I may have used a colorful word or two.) I stayed awake for another ten or fifteen minutes in order to give the yarn the bath it deserved, and then rolled it in a towel, snapped/thwacked a few times, and finally hung it to dry.

plied hibiscus

Here it is, pre-bath, nestled on one of my favorite (store bought) sweaters. This stuff is soooo soft, and it is almost dry. (I keep petting it whenever I am in the kitchen.)

leftovers hibiscus

Here’s what was leftover on one of the bobbins. This is one of my most consistent spins to date, so this massive imbalance on the bobbins indicates to me that it might be time to acquire a kitchen scale so that I can split my fiber more evenly, particularly as I start thinking about bigger spinning projects.

fluff fibers

Lastly, this came in the mail yesterday: 2 bumps of superwash merino from FLUFF fibers in the Beach Day and Jungle Flowers colorways. Yay!

equilibrium.

cmf grey corriedale

cmf brown bfl

Believe it or not, I’ve been spinning faster than I’ve been stashing fiber. (The rate I’m knitting my handspun? That’s another story, but I’m working on it.)

Anyway, Chris over at Doodles In String has been encouraging me to spin for a sweater, and her kind enabling, in addition to last week’s realization that I had spun more than I had left to spin, required immediate action. On Saturday, I ordered a pound and a half each of grey corriedale and brown bfl from Crown Mountain Farms, and it was here on Monday afternoon. A few bumps of fiber are on their way here from places further afield, but I do feel that I am much closer to stash equilibrium now. Phew!

targheebob2

targheebob2dog

I spun up the second bobbin of AVFKW targhee in the Hibiscus colorway last night, (note the lazy dog in the background) and I’m hoping to start plying before I head to class this morning. Apparently this particular blend of reds and oranges routinely speaks to me: the throw on the couch above Boh is the same mixture of colors, and this morning, I put on my sassymmetrical cardigan, only to realize that I knit it in a very similar shade of malabrigo.

sassymmetrical in action

closeupsassymmetrical

I love this sweater, but I rarely wear it out of the house. I think this is because of a mixture of several factors: (a) it is bright (b) I don’t have a lot that seems to look “right” under it (c) cap sleeves in practice aren’t the most flattering on me (though I love them in theory) and (d) the texture and variegation of the malabrigo in this particular incarnation make it look hand-knit in a way that makes me a little self-conscious. Does that make sense?

Despite all this, I’m wearing it today, and it is making me happy.

simpleyeteffectiveblob

Lastly, my simple yet effective shawl is growing. It’s the wrong color family for today’s post, but I can’t get over how much I like the way this is knitting up. I’m thinking I may keep going once I run out of handspun and continue with some commercial yarn leftovers to give it a more finished edge.

This post’s title is also apt because I think I’m getting closer to a routine: I’ve made lists of my personal and academic priorities for this semester, mapped out a tentative breakdown for working at home with Boh vs. working in my office, and I’m feeling okay about it all. I guess it is about time to stop planning my work and get to it!

romney.

In all of the start-of-the-semester hubbub, my wheel has been empty for most of the week. I returned home from campus (where my office is growing ever cozier with each bag of belongings I move from here to there) today and decided to at least start something so that I can try to spin a little each day.

air1

air2

Sigh. So beautiful. These colors just make me yearn for handspun legwarmers. This is Hello Yarn fiber — Romney wool top in the Alpine colorway — and I love it.

forlorn1

forlorn2

Boh is looking particularly forlorn this afternoon, perhaps because he knows that the new semester means a bit more reading (me) and resting (Boh), and a little less frolicking (both of us).

tussah.

I’m trying to come up with something that rhymes with tussah, and the best I’ve got right now is “sucka” — so let’s just forget that I was going to try to go that way and move on.

tussah macro1

Oh_my_goodness.

Let me back up:

tussah on bob

I finished spinning the reddish-orangey-pink section of my 2 oz. braid of tussah silk (from yarn chef). Inspired by Mick’s beautiful singles, I thought I might try singles of my own. Late (too late) last night, I sat pondering this bobbin, hoping that my singles were strong enough to be wound onto my niddy-noddy. Despite it being significantly past my bedtime, I decided to go for it.

tussah macro2

No breakage! And my, what sheen! I don’t remember spinning this evenly, but I could not get over how lovely this looked on the niddy noddy.

Here’s where I need some third party verification of my math, because I’m having a hard time believing the yardage: I stopped counting strands on my niddy noddy when I reached 250. My loop measures 32 inches in length, 64 inches in diameter, so 250 x 64 (or, for ease of math 250 x 2 x 32) = 16000 inches. 16000 inches/36 inches per yard = 443 yards. (But I stopped counting at 250 strands, so I’m thinking this number is closer to 500. Whoa.)

By the way, why do I not have a 36 inch niddy noddy? That would make my longhand math much faster. And more interesting to read.

hangingtussah

In conclusion, get thee some tussah silk. You will not be disappointed!

skeined.

myrtleskein

Spunky Club Dark BFL in colorway myrtle, 4 oz.

183 yards of 3-ply, dk to light worsted (says my eye).

wpi: soon.

I caved and acquired a tool to measure this on etsy. I hope it will be here when I return from my parents’ house on Wednesday.

darkbflmyrtleFOcloseup

Yay! I’m thrilled with this. Now, what to do with it?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

targheeinprog

I couldn’t help but put something on my empty, forlorn-looking wheel. This is targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at AVFKW. It is so smooth and shiney that even now, this photo is distracting me from my attempts at description. This is 3 oz of deep melon-y beauitfulness in the It’s a lovely day colorway. Although the Lendrum does fold and travel, I’m going to leave it here to await my return, mostly because I might ignore my family in order to keep spinning, and that would be poor form.

One more WIP today:

thujaturnedheel2

I turned the heel of the second thuja sock for my uncle last night, and am planning to work on it a bit more before Boh and I hop into the car. I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them…

rooster = in love.

I actually have a bunch of pictures to show you — boh being silly, the last piece of quiche, the couch covered in books, etc. but I know what you really want to see…

treadle

I know I said I wasn’t going to take this out of the box until I met my last deadline. But I wrote 4 pages before lunchtime! And I have no will power. None.

yarnonwheel

I heart my new wheel. I opened up some of the softest BFL I have ever touched (from Paradise Fibers), and set to it. Here’s an up close shot of the bobbin after about an hour:

wheelyarnmacro

The yarn at the bottom (what you can’t see) isn’t quite this pretty, but man! I love this! I got out my Maggie Casey book to look through the spinning wheel section, and have been playing with the tension on the brake band. This wheel is so intuitive. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to tear myself away this afternoon to keep writing. Boh was (of course) terrified of the cardboard box the wheel came in, but has been surprisingly calm, if a bit wary, of the wheel itself.

lenbohinback

Hooray! I have a spinning wheel! Can’t wait to be on the other side of this chunk of writing so that I can spin, spin, spin.

Along these lines, do you, oh wise readers, have any recommendations in the realm of books on spinning technique? Maggie Casey’s book is fantastic, and covers a few different kinds of drafting and some troubleshooting, but is there something else I should be reading/working through to build a good foundation?