WIPWed #102: Still Settling Back In

The rest of the conference I was attending last week was great, I even got to briefly visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore (highly recommend!). However, I did arrive home slightly worse for the wear. I’ve had some low-level cold symptoms since deplaning (love that word) and I also injured my foot pretty badly with all the walking around I did at the conference. The top of the arch of my foot has been painful and swollen for well over a week, but the swelling has been going down thanks to lots of icing and resting. I’ve had a  slower settling-back-into-things than I would have liked, but sometimes, you just have to take a break! Taking it easy has lead to a bit more knitting, so that’s good.

Black Tea:

WIPWed #102: Settling In | Woolen Diversions

Plucky Knitter Bello fingering held double. Click for project page.

My Black Tea hat looks nearly the same as last week because I had missed a cable crossing several rows back and spent too much time attempting to fix it by laddering down until I just gave in and frogged back a repeat. One does not always have the patience for tricky fixes!

Berrylicious Socks:

WIPWed #102: Settling Back In | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Berrylicious. Click for project page.

These socks also tried my patience this week. I attempted Smokestack Socks and Hermione’s Everyday Socks to no avail – the yarn was just too variegated to look good in either pattern. I finally settled on a simple repeat of alternating knit rounds with rounds of *k3, p1*. Slightly more fun than plain ribbing, but not distracted at all by the colorway pooling and striping. They make for good meeting socks, at any rate.

Grimm Green Stout:

WIPWed #102: Still Settling In | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, colorway Grimm Green. No project page just yet.

Now that I’m back home, I’ve finally had a chance to swatch for what I’m hoping will be my Rhinebeck sweater (but I wouldn’t put money on it or anything, time is flying by). This is a swatch for Chocolate Stout by Thea Coleman. It’s going to be a really fabulous, texture grandpa cardi if I can get the sizing just right. The pattern is simple but fun and I’m completely in love with the colorway!

Sweet Sheep Soaps:

I managed to make a couple of new soaps to add to the shop: Coconut Lime whipped goat milk & aloe layered soap, as well as Chipotle Caramel sheep-shaped goat milk soap. Options in the shop are running kind of low as I’m waiting on some supplies to arrive, but once they do I’ll be busy re-stocking lots of different lotion bar scents and soaps, so hang tight!

And as for reading…

I finished the John Irving book I was reading last week and have since downloaded two more to my kindle: Son of an Elephant and Cider House Rules. First, though, I took a quick detour into the young adult version of Discworld with A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. I love this little sub-series about Tiffany Aching, a pint-sized witch with lots of little blue friends in the form of the Nac Mac Feegle. I’m currently reading Wintersmith, the third book in the series, and will probably finish off the series with I Shall Wear Midnight before returning to the John Irving books.

How have you all been? I’m looking forward to catching up on all the blogging I missed! Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

Advertisements

FOFri #41 : Socks & Swatches

After a couple of busy weeks, I’ve finally had time to sit down and wrap up the toes of not one but TWO pairs of socks!

FOFri #41: Socks & Swatches | Woolen Diversions

We sort of match, and it’s adorable.

I think it’s safe to say that my sock mojo is officially back. I’ve finished 6 pairs of socks thus far this year! That’s almost a pair a month, which is way faster than my sock finishing rate of the last few years. Plus, I knit the exact same pattern, twice, simultaneously. If that’s not fortitude, I don’t know what is. It probably helps that I adore both of the colorways and the slipped stitch patterning feels like it flies by.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

These are, indeed, my favorite socks ever. The pattern is Dalekanium by Dena Stelly. In truth, I didn’t actually follow the pattern (which is toe-up). I just borrowed the stitch pattern and stuck it on my typical 64-stitch cuff-down sock and tapered away the slipped stitch patterning just before I began the toe decreases. The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight (my faaaaaaaavorite) in the club colorway Gran’s Kitchen.

Stealth Socks:

And while I got brand new socks, the Fiasco did, too (so he can’t complain of neglect). His birthday socks were just about a week late, which isn’t too bad by my standards. The nice thing about his is that they went just as quickly as mine, despite his larger feet. That’s because I used BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight on size 2.75 mm needles to size up the socks instead of casting on more stitches. (Good thing he likes his socks cushy!) This is the Grimm colorway, and it’s fabulous.

Now that those socks are off the needles and I have a few trips in the near future, I’m itching to cast on some small, quick-but-interesting, portable projects. Which to me, means HATS.

FOFri #41: Socks & Swatches | Woolen Diversions

Swatches, all wet and wonky.

I’ve had two skeins of yarn begging to become hats that I want in my wardrobe like right now since mid-winter, but I just didn’t get a chance to knit them last season. Knitting them in August should give me a solid jump-start on accessories for fall, though!

Black Tea:

Photo copyright BabyCocktails. Click for pattern page.

I’ve been completely in love with this slouchy Black Tea hat pattern since I handled the sample during a class with the designer, Thea Colman, at a knitting event in January. I loved the sample so much that I even hunted down the exact yarn used in the pattern through a destash because I want to replicate the look and feel of the luxurious fabric. The yarn is Bello fingering by the Plucky Knitter (55% Merino wool, 45% cashmere), held double while knitting. Once dry, the swatch will help me determine if I want to use 6’s or 7’s for the main body of the hat. While I could’ve just followed the pattern, my head is a little smaller than most and I’ve never worked with this yarn before so I wanted to get a feel for it and my gauge before I jumped right in.

Paravel Hat:

Photo copyright Megan Goodacre. Click for pattern page.

The other hat will be made with a skein of BMFA BFL Superwash in their fun Sadie Sue Tipsy colorway. The blue in that colorway is the exact same shade of blue as my jacket (and my glasses, and my lampshade, and my wristwarmers…) which makes the color-coordination-lover in me very happy. I knew it wanted to become a hat, but I was debating between the Norby and Sockhead patterns until last night, when I found Paravel (designed by Megan Goodacre) and thought that the simple texture with the interesting lace panel would work well with the specks of color and keep my interest while knitting. Plus, I love the tidy decreases at the top of the hat and appreciate that kind of attention to detail in the patterns I buy.

Photo copyright Megan Goodacre.

So that’s my trip knitting all sorted out! Two hats (and let’s be honest, probably a new pair of socks) should hold me over for a 3-day Cape Cod trip and a week-long conference, right?

(And in case you missed it, check out my Indie Business Interview on the Knitted Bliss blog! There you’ll find a coupon code for free shipping on all domestic AND international Sweet Sheep orders over $10 through August 7th.)

WIPWed #100: That’s a Nice Round Number

I’ve reached 100 WIP Wednesday posts, woohoo! Now, that’s not 100 weeks in a row or even 100 weeks of knitting, as there has been plenty more knitting than that, but 100 weeks of cataloging my knits in a systematic way, at least! (You can see all WIPWed posts here, if you’d like.) This week, I have spinning and socks.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

My favorite socks are currently in the toe stage of development, which means they’re almost done! I’m going to wear the bejeezus out of these things come fall. Also, I thought I should illustrate how difficult it is for me to get good blog photos sometimes; I have to fight off kitties for space and light (especially the yarn-hungry Darwin) through the entire photo-taking process.

Stealth Socks:

WIPWed #100

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Grimm. Click for project page.

The secret stealth socks are progressing, but not nearly fast enough. I’m on the heel flap of both but need to put some serious time into them this week.

TdF Merino Mind Bullets:

WIPWed #100

BeeMiceElf Merino top, colorway Mind Bullets. Click for handspun page.

Even though they are a pain in the butt to wind neatly, my favorite part of Turkish spinning is the fat little turtles of yarn you get when you take the cop off the spindle. That’s only about 0.5 oz of fiber, so I have a bit more to go *eye roll*.

TdF Dusky Greens:

WIPWed #100

Three Waters Farm Falkland, colorway Greens at Dusk. Click for handspun page.

As I am on the Three Waters Farm Tour de Fleece team, I figured it was about time I started in on some Three Waters Farm fiber. In one evening (!) I spun up 1/3 of a braid of Falkland wool in lovely green shades. I’m planning to make a 3-ply yarn to coordinate with the pound of Falkland I spun up when I first got my wheel. Now if I just had more time to spin… Work is going to be insane through the end of the month and the first couple of weeks of August will be busy with a vacation and a conference, so chances are my posts will be a bit spotty until later in August. I will do my best but if I disappear for a while, that’s why!

As for reading, I started a new book:

IMG_3271

Definitely worth the read.

Some of you may have already heard of the Whole30 program, and even if you have, this book is worth reading to better understand the reasons behind it. The idea of the program is to stop eating certain unhealthy foods for 30 days and see how your body feels. Then you reintroduce them and observe any changes, so that you can make well-informed decisions about your diet in the future. I love this idea. The book does a good job of summing up the very complicated and unclear science of how food interacts with your body. Admittedly, the authors overuse analogies waaaaaaaaaaay too much, but the science they describe is pretty sound and clearly explained. They define unhealthy foods as those that do one (or more) of four things: 1- have an addictive or unhealthy psychological effect, 2- unbalance your hormones, 3- disrupt your gut health, and 4- induce an immune system response. For the most part, these foods include all grains, dairy, legumes, and seed oils. It essentially encourages a Paleo-style diet of protein, veggies, and fruit. For people struggling with their health or their weight while eating what seem like healthy foods, giving this program a try might be worth it. I haven’t done it quite yet, but the diet I did last year was very much like it and since I’ve been slowly-but-surely regaining some of the weight I had lost (despite calorie-counting, yoga, weight-lifting, and walking regularly) it’s worth a try to see if it can get my metabolism-related hormones back in balance.

Also, if you’ll allow me a moment on my soapbox, I think people should read this book so that they realize that obesity is a real biological problem. It’s not just mental (put down the fork!) or about willpower (get up off the couch!), it involves overcoming real biochemical challenges (genetics, metabolism, stress, hormones, brain chemicals) as well as societal pressures (restaurants, ads, easy junk food, peers) at every turn. And for some people, it’s a lifelong freaking struggle, despite doing everything right. It’s a legitimate disease and as far as I can tell, it’s one of the few left that people feel justified in openly mocking and belittling. Next time you have unkind thoughts about a fat person, take a beat and remember that there’s a pretty good chance they’re working on it and it’s not all their fault.

Soapbox done, back to your regularly scheduled knitting! Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesdays.

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap

There are three things I’ve confirmed recently:

  1. I really love slipped stitch sock patterns,
  2. Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts is the queen of teal colorways, and
  3. sheep-shaped soap is just about the cutest thing ever.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap

BMFA Socks that Rock LW, colorway Gran’s Kitchen. Click for project page.

Still rockin’ this pair of socks, and still absolutely loving them. Loving them so much, in fact, that I’ve cast on ANOTHER PAIR.

Stealth Socks:

WIPWed #98: Stealth Socks and Sheep-Shaped Soap | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock HW, colorway Grimm. Click for project page.

The pic is blurry but the colorway, Grimm, is absolutely glorious. Tina really knows her way around teals, man, and the pooling is pretty fun on this pair. These are stealth socks because I’m trying to knit them quickly (by the end of the month) and on the sneak, for a certain someone-whom-I-live-with’s birthday. (Here’s hoping his eyes just glaze over when I go on and on about socks and won’t realize these are for him.)

Sheep-Shaped Soap:

In exciting news, I’ve added some new soap to the shop that I’m absolutely in love with. Blackberry Crumble is a goat milk soap scented with blackberry, sage, and a touch of gingersnap fragrance oils that is juicy and bright. I got a little more creative with the Peaches & Cream soap, which consists of white and peach-colored layers of goat milk soap and is scented with southern peach and cream cheese frosting fragrance oils. It smells just like a sweet, decadent, summertime dessert and is finished off with a sprinkling of red and white jojoba beads on the bottom. These soaps are so cute, I honestly can’t stand it.

That’s all from me this week! As for reading, I sped through the Outlander novella “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” which gives a little insight into Roger’s parents’ past and am looking for my next read. Any suggestions? Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

FOFri #39: Socks, and a Plan!

Praise be to the wooly higher-ups, I’ve finished a pair of socks… FOR ME!

The last time this happened was over a year ago, in March 2014. I hesitate to say that my sock mojo is back, but it is certainly once again on the rise. Knitting these suckers ‘simultaneously’ (by alternating between socks after each section) made the process go much more smoothly for me, and eliminated most of my sock-stagnating hangups.

The yarn is the January shipment of the Rockin’ Sock Club, BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the colorway Feelin’ Groovy. The pattern is from the club a few years ago, Intrepid Traveler by Gail Marracci. I borrowed the stitch pattern but used a square heel from Sock Architecture and a toe that I winged. The stitch pattern was lots of fun and makes for a nifty effect with highly variegated yarns. And yes, these are the brightest socks I own!

Woolen Diversions

Ambition is my middle name!

And now, for my plans. We’re nearly through April already and I have yet to set any Second Quarter goals. In truth, there are just so many things I want to make, it’s ridiculously difficult to narrow things down. Here, I’ll attempt to list one project per somewhat arbitrary ‘type’:

I have finished 6 projects so far this year, so listing 7 above is likely ambitious, but I like having specific goals to work towards. I think the projects above represent enough variety that I shouldn’t get bored and should have a knit for every situation (some simple, some interesting). If I can finish them all, awesome. If I can’t, well, then I’ll just have some more WIPs and I’ll see what’s still inspiring me when the third quarter rolls around.

How do you plan what to knit next? How do you choose? I find it extremely difficult, especially when I keep acquiring pretty yarn in stash. I WANT TO KNIT THEM ALL!

Linking up with Freshly Finished Friday.

WIPWed #87: I MADE A THING!

Guys, I’m super excited right now, because I’m writing this while wearing my first ever (completed) handknit sweater!

Even though it spanned almost 6 months, my Overdyed Cypress vest was a pretty simple knit. It’s composed of only two pieces (front and back), with no waist shaping and itty bitty sleeves made by some increases. I was in between sizes so I made a smaller size for the back and a larger size for front, with no trouble joining them together. I was really worried about fit, especially in January when I had finished all but the armhole and neckline edgings and I tried it on and it looked terrible– but it turns out, actually finishing a thing really improves its fit! Now we just need to work on better sweater modelling and photography, those photos make it look a little misshapen and baggy, but I swear it looks nicer in person.

While it wasn’t difficult knitting, the pattern was a little bit fiddly. Jared Flood calls for no fewer than three needle sizes for the edging ribbing (yeah, right) and the tubular bind-off was a bitch. But the pattern was clearly written and is gorgeous and stylish, like most Brooklyn Tweed designs, so I definitely recommend it. There were a few things I’d do differently if I were to knit it again, namely I’d use 6’s and 5’s for the ribbing sections (instead of 6’s and 4’s) as the edges are all just a tad tighter than I’d like. I’d practice seaming on some swatches (my first side seam was so messy!) and I’d be sure to keep the slipped stitch rows of the tubular bind off and cast on extra loose, because my edges are hard and stiff instead of nice and stretchy. All in all, I’m just so happy I made something that’s actually wearable, and from yarn that I overdyed, to boot! That is one satisfying finish.

Somewhat less satisfying was finishing the knitted jewelry holder I’ve had on the needles since last July. After the project bag went missing for nearly 8 months, I was excited to finish the knitting, block it, and get the darn thing assembled this morning… but I couldn’t find the buttons anywhere. WHERE ARE THE BUTTONS?!?!?! So it sits forlorn on its blocking board until I can locate the little buggers.

At least my Tropical Traveler socks are going well. I’m really loving this simultaneous-but-not-two-at-a-time method I’m trying out here. Instead of getting hung up on a part that requires thought (heel or toe) and letting the whole pair languish for weeks until I have time to think about it, I can just switch to the second sock and speed through the easy parts and have twice the amount of sock done before the languishing happens. Then I get the tricky bits done one both socks in the same knitting session and everything just feels more efficient. Plus, there’s less chance of forgetting what I did or losing notes between socks. All in all, I think it’s a win.

My Discworld-themed #MegaSAL spinning is progressing at a slow-but-steady pace, and I was able to find a few minutes to spin up some of my fluffy MalMarch Nube rolags, too. This is the third bobbin, so I’m halfway through the singles.

As for this week’s reading, I’m still working my way through the #KonMarie’s Ode to Tidying and have now progressed to the 7th Outlander book, An Echo in the Bone. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a mildly abusive relationship with these Outlander books. They keep me up at night, they suck up all my time, and they take me on an emotional roller coaster, yet I’m dreading the day when our time together will end. What will I do?!

Perhaps even more importantly, though, what sweater should I knit next?! Ambitions, I have them.

Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

She Lives!

It was touch-and-go for a while there (not really, mind you, I’m exaggerating for effect) but I think I might just live. Basically, as soon as my back stopped feeling like there was a hot poker between my ribs, I was plagued by the worst sore throat I’ve had in years. This was followed by a sinus infection of epic proportions, which conveniently (SARCASM!) coincided with a road trip to help my mom recover from a surgery over the long weekend.

She Lives! | Woolen Diversions

Nest Superwash Merino, colorway Magrat.

I returned home snot-nosed, hoarse-voiced, congested, and emotionally drained… and proceeded to not sleep at all, for an entire night. I laid there staring up at the ceiling straight through to the dawn. I managed to sleep for a few hours this morning, however, and have begun to feel somewhat more human. My mom is recovering well, and despite all that it was a nice visit home, so things are looking up. It didn’t hurt that I had a couple of nice fiber-y packages waiting in the mail when I returned, either. (If you don’t wish to be spoiled for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club colorway, look away now!)

Pictured above is the one precious bump of Nest Superwash Merino fiber in the Magrat colorway that I managed to grab for the Discworld Mega-SAL being held on Ravelry. I intend to begin spinning it just as soon as I can finish my Malabrigo Nube spin. And pictured below might just be my favorite skein of sock yarn… possibly ever.

She Lives! | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Gran’s Kitchen.

The colorway for the March shipment of the RSC is soooooooooooooo up my alley, I adore it. I love the minty aqua, the gentle gray, the streaks of white. Those soft, soothing, breath-of-fresh-air hues are just what I’m craving at the moment. I don’t love either of the patterns that came with this shipment, however, so I’m on the hunt for the perfect pattern for this skein. It has a rather short, stripey color sequence that is prone to pooling, so the pattern will need some bold lines and/or good overall texture to show up well. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 ideas:

  1. Quartzonite by Rose Hiver – An all-over textured lace that angles the fabric in different ways, which would make thin stripes look all cool and wavy.
  2. Louche by Hunter Hammersen – Twisted stitched interspersed with wide swaths of stockinette that should hold up nicely to variegation.
  3. Smokestack Socks by Tanis Lavallee – A nice texture/cable combo with strong vertical lines that should show up well through striping or pooling.
  4. Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh – Slipped stitches create a fun effect in variegated yarns and since someone is already making a pair, I know it’ll look pretty good.

Which would you make?

P.S. I wanted to say a general THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the product survey for Sweet Sheep! I received 91 responses and some really great feedback, I’m looking forward to many happy hours of analyzing and scheming. The winners of the giveaway have all been notified by e-mail (check your inboxes) but I’ll also say congrats here to Valerie, Victoria, Lisa, Sweta, Stephanie, Annie, Shelley, Erica, Christina, and Kathy! Your input is much appreciated. And to everyone who participated, please remember that your coupon codes are valid through the end of May!

Halted

After the previous post featuring my latest FO* and summarizing my First Quarter Plan progress, I was committed to finishing up my Cypress vest before the end of March, and was all set to do so… until I lifted my arms overhead to fold a blanket and my rib popped out of place.

Halted | Woolen Diversions

Close but no cigar… yet.

That sounds far more gruesome than it actually is, but the pain is highly inconvenient. It’s a pretty common occurrence since the lower ribs are flexible (in order to expand and contract with breath) and sometimes the ligaments holding the ribs in place get loose or what have you and POP — one gets out of place. A couple of years ago I had a back spasm for about a week, which is the first time this particular spot gave me trouble, and it popped out again back in November, as well.  Sharp pain, discomfort sitting and standing, no lifting possible, and difficulty breathing are the oh-so-fun things I got to experience all day yesterday instead of quality knitting time.

Halted | Woolen Diversions

Wee sleeves!

Before that point, however, I had managed to knit both wee sleeves and finish them  with a tubular bind off. This was my first time doing a tubular bind off and boy was it fiddly but I kind of enjoyed it as I have a strange affection for kitchener stitch. It also looks nice and neat. I have just about an inch of knitting left on the neckline before the bindoff and then this vest will be done, done, done. Since my rib/back is currently in the ‘dull ache’ vs the ‘sharp pain’ stage of things, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get to it sooner than later.

One thing I did manage to do this weekend is update some out of stock Sweet Sheep lotion bar scents, including Crisp Pear, Lemon Cake, Turkish Mocha, Sweet Almond, Champagne Fizz, and Honey Beeswax (a spring-time favorite!).

*The socks, btw, do actually fit the Fiasco. His words: “They fit like a glove made for Tyrion Lannister” which means either they’re made of gold, or they’re a tad too snug. But no matter, he’s still wearing them!

WIPWed #84: Pretty Things

I really have no words to adequately describe how much I’ve been loving my knits lately, so I’ll just show them to you.

Yaksi Cancan:

WIPWed #84: Pretty Things

BMFA Yaksi DK, colorway Shoqua. Click for project page.

That right there is just about the prettiest cable I’ve ever knit. It’s a simple French braid-style, 9 stitch cable but damn is it pretty. Combined with the lacy bits and the sort-of-picot sideways edging, I’m basically in love and am feeling the urge to cable all the things.

MalMarch Sundry:

WIPWed #84: Pretty Things

Malabrigo Yarns Dos, colorways Turquesa and Indigo. Click for project page.

My main Malabrgo March project is moving along rather nicely, only 10 days in I’m about a third of the way done, so I expect that finishing it this month will be no problem (way to jinx myself). But honestly? I can’t stop knitting it. The combo of easy garter stitch, fun slipped stitches, and incredibly omg soft fabric is addicting. Even the Fiasco, who has actually uttered the words “I’ve always thought Merino was a little scratchy” and for whom nothing but baby alpaca is ever soft enough, thinks this stuff is the bomb. Oh, Malabrigo, why did you discontinue Dos?!?!

Alchemy:

WIPWed #84: Pretty Things | Woolen Diversions

BMFA STR HW, colorway Tea & Alchemy. Click for project page.

My favorite thing about this project is that it’s almost done. And if it lets me win the game of yarn chicken within which we’re currently embroiled, I’ll love it forever.

Earth & Sky Stacks:

WIPWed #84: Pretty Things

TwoSistersStringworks Gotland, colorway Rhime. Click for handspun page.

After my previous art yarn exploration, I wanted to try another style. I have two braids of this Gotland fiber from when I first began spinning back in 2012, one blue and one green. I’m spinning each as its own single, and the green single is going to be interspersed with bits of white or grey. Then I’m going to ply them together and turn the grey/white bits into stacks, which are kind of like a lazy person’s beehive. Tough to explain but hopefully not tough to do.

And as far as reading goes, I’ve pickde up the Outlander series again, I’m on “The Fiery Cross”. Since I watched the first half of the TV series on DVD in about 3 days flat, I couldn’t help myself. That’s all I’ve got going on, what have you been up to this week? Linking up with Small Things and Gracey’s Goodies.

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy

The first project I spun on my Lendrum wheel was a full pound of undyed Falkland, spun up into a respectably squishy 3-ply with oodles of yardage. This second finished yarn? Totally different.

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy | Woolen Diversions

Thick-and-Thin Masham. Click for handspun page.

The fiber for this skein was the April 2014 shipment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Whorl Club: 8 oz of Masham wool in the Indigo Dreams colorway. I first started spinning this on a spindle but wasn’t loving it, so I decided to give the bulky flyer of my wheel a try. I was spinning up thick singles for a while, but then I was inspired to give thick-and-thin art yarn spinning a shot.

I’m really glad I did, and I’m thrilled that I have a wheel that allows me to spin such vastly different yarns with ease. I spun until I got tired of the process and called it done. The skein is about 3.3 oz and 214 yards of bulky-to-sport weight yarn. I was pleasantly surprised by how evenly distributed the bulky bits seemed while I was winding this skein up. I finished it by plunging the singles into hot and cold water 3 times, and thwacking thoroughly. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well balanced the skein was after finishing. Singles yarns can easily contain too much twist without the plying stage to balance things out but this skein is just fine. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it yet, but the finished yarn is much fluffier than I expected it to be, and I think a little loosely-knit cowl or kerchief will do quite nicely. And bonus, I still have lots of fiber and some bulky singles left to use in future art yarn explorations.

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy | Woolen Diversions

Garnet Tonic cowl. Click for project page.

I might just be done with my Garnet Tonic cowl, as well. The pattern said to knit to 48″ before adding the contrast color stripe and binding off/seaming. My cowl measured 44″ unblocked after I had just broken into the third skein and finished the 7th repeat. Since I have a tendency to overestimate cowl length, and since it is already feeling pretty heavy (2 skeins of dense yarn gobbled up), I decided to put my stitches on a lifeline and block it out now to see how big it really is before finishing. On the blocking boards it measures 14″ across and 48″ in length. Once dry I’ll try it on and see if I want to add an 8th repeat or not. Have you ever blocked a project before it’s finished to figure out proper size/length?