Spinning Hemp

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It’s my first time giving hemp a try. I broke into the 2 ounce package I picked up at Madrona last year.
I kind of like it…
I did a little reading on hemp spinning. Spinning it worsted seems to be the best way to go and spinning it damp or wetting your fingers as you spin makes for a stronger yarn, though spinning it dry makes for a fluffier yarn.

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I’m spinning it fairly thin and will keep it as a single.
I sort of like it…
I may prefer wearing hemp or knitting hemp yarn to spinning hemp fiber. I’ll continue through my 2 ounces and see how I feel about it. I just may prefer the the feel of a protein fiber. Maybe I’ll try a hemp blend next time.

Have you spun hemp? Any suggestions?

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On the hand knitting front, I’ve added an inch or so to it since last time.

Nothing new to report on the machine knitting front.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

The Dark Side?

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So by some wacky twist of fate there is a knitting machine in my home.
A knitting machine.
In my home.
On the dining table.
Yes.
Hmmm.
I decided it is cool.
It is missing a few tools, which I have found are not difficult to replace. I also managed to find its users manual online.
Once I got it figured out I knit a successful swatch very quickly:

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Then I thought maybe I should try a simple garment? A skirt perhaps. I did a little measuring and a little math and started feeding it my sock yarns. Two balls of a kettle dyed brown and two balls of a tweedy burgundy. I ended up with four square-ish pieces. One of which looks like this:

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I am seaming them together by handknitting using the three needle bind off method. I am seaming about halfway down the length, leaving the rest unseamed for gussets. It’s going to be a color block type of thing, possibly reversible, using as much of my different colored sock yarns as I can. I am attaching the pieces sideways.

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I really do like the decorative braid the bind off creates on the “right” side.

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This is the reverse side of the bind off. I think it is neat enough for a reversible garment.

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The loose plan is to pick up stitches and handknit a ribbed waistband; handknit (maybe lace) triangular panels for the gussets and pick up stitches for a hemline.

On the hand knitting front, here is my tank top:

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From here on I will use the light-colored yarn to finish it to the end, which means as least another forty-three rows for the lace repeat.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

Another UFO down!

It was formerly known as:

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but it got sacrificed for another, more promising project that is about 80% done. It’s this thing:

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Remember? I started it last year. I was running out of yarn, so it had to be done. It is a sleeveless tunic type thing made with silk hankies. I have hopes that it will be done in a month or so.

I looked back at my UFO posting and I can not believe it, but 4 out of 5 are gone one way or another. This one stills lurks in the background:

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I need to pick it up again soon as it is good summer knitting since it is fairly lightweight.

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I do have one new UFO I have to put out there. These socks are in that category now. It’s been too long since I worked on them, but I still think I’ll go back to them.

No fear though! I’m sure there will be more UFOS. I guess that’s the thing with UFOS, you never really know when you are in the midst of creating one. :)

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

Spindle spinning

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I’ve been on a spindle spinning kick over the last month or two. So much so that I may get another drop spindle to round out my collection. I currently have two. The larger one weighs about 1.25 ounces and has a maple whorl. I got it at a Madrona Winter Retreat (no surprise there) about five years ago. The smaller one weighs .7 ounces and the whorl is made of Chakte-kok wood. I got that one at a wonderful local shop in Seattle, The Weaving Works, about three years ago. I think a 3-4 gram one would be a good addition. I’ll be on the look out for one.

Remember the colorful pile of fiber worms I showed you last time?

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I got to take this one home.

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And here it is in mid-spin.

spindle cups

If you’ve read my blog before you may realize I have a tendency to make do with what I have. Once I filled my spindle, I had to get the single off so I could ply it. Yes! I even plied on my spindle; a first for me.
I put two cups next to each other. One of which was shorter than the other to counterbalance the weight of the cop. Then I hooked the strand up to my ball winder and wound it off my spindle. I plied from both ends of the ball.

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Here is the worm plied up.

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Here is another yarn that has been sitting on my spindle for a long time.

I think I’ll get some more fiber going on my spindles.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat 2014

I really did keep it together this time. I only made two purchases (!) and one wasn’t fiber or yarn. Every time I was considering a yarn or fiber, I just thought about the too much untouched stuff I have at home (most of it purchased at previous Madrona retreats), smiled, and moved on.

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I got these lovely buttons from One of a Kind.

The two buttons will end up in a garment, yet to be created.

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I liked the square button so much, I put it in a little frame once I got home. I may or may not use it as a button at all. :)

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I purchased this lovely 2 ounce package of Tibetan yak fiber from MacKenzie Textiles. This is Judith MacKenzie, Fiber Goddess. I was not able to find a website dedicated to the fiber, but she is easy enough to find. It is so soft. You can’t even be sure you are touching something, it is sooo soft and light. Really delicious.

I’ll leave you with some random pictures of general fibery goodness:

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I got to take home my own colorful fiber worm as a sample rolag from the good folks at Clemes & Clemes Inc.  They were demonstrating their blending board. A very cool thing. They have links to YouTube videos on their website if you’d like to see how to use one.

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Luscious batts created by the Artful Ewe.
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LOOK AT ALL THOSE SPINDLES! So pretty. Thanks to Spindle Wood Co.

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Juicy braids of fiber from Chameleon Colorworks.
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More beautiful buttons from One of a Kind.

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And finally some brilliant hand painted skeins from Abstract Fiber.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

I won! I won!

Mrs. Fox

So,I got an email in mid January from Yarnarchy informing me that I was entered into a drawing because I subscribed to her blog and won a $25 gift certificate to her shop.

How cool is that!?!? I rarely win stuff when I try to win. This was a total accident. :)
I got myself over to her etsy shop and started perusing all the goodies. I couldn’t decide between two colorways so I had to get one of each.

The colorway above is Mrs. Fox, the one below is Poison Apple. Yummy, no? Of course the pictures on her website are way better than mine.

Poison Apple

I don’t any have plans for them yet, but am quite happy looking and musing about them for now. It turns out I consider them a lovely blogiversary present. Today marks the third year of my fibery ramblings and as usual it also coincides with the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. It starts today! I’ll tell you about it next time. I didn’t sign up for classes this year, but plan to visit the marketplace.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

The show so far…

If any of my readers are Monty Python’s Flying Circus fans, you may recognize the phrase as the title of one of their skits. One unwitting announcer, played by Terry Jones, begins reading from a sheet of paper describing the previous skits until he gets to a part he doesn’t recognize. It’s the part when the announcer describing the previous skits gets hit on the head with a giant hammer. So we know how that skit ends.

What I mean by this long explanation is that as I look back on the last several posts and throw in the two month absence I mentioned in my previous post here, I realize I haven’t updated you on what I’ve been actively knitting since August or so.

yarn swap sweater

I started this top-down yoke sweater from yarn swap yarn, this is the sweater I showed you already. Do you think I am going to run out of yarn? Of course I am. It’s obvious, isn’t it? This blatant deficiency does not deter me in the least. I’ll just forge ahead and figure it out later. Actually, I do have a plan. The dark olive yarn is Lanaloft Worsted and pretty easy to find. I don’t think I’ll have a problem matching the color or at least get it close enough. I currently don’t plan on spinning up some fleece and dying it to match one of the other colors- lets call that plan B. So I’m thinking the yoke, cuffs and hem will be made up of these three yarns and the Lanaloft will fill in the space in between.

blue bolero

I finished the bolero. Which, as I look at it, isn’t really a bolero, but that was what the pattern called it. I modified it so it’s really kind of a cardigan. I am going to sew a hook closure to the top edge.

blue tank

This blue lace tank top was a UFO I mentioned here. I am pleased with it and looking forward to trying it out in public this summer.

legwarmers

The hiatus knitting included these leg warmers, not quite completed.

new thing

and this thing, which I will call a shrug-sweater hybrid. I can also potentially run out of yarn here. We’ll see. :)

capelet

I also made this capelet mostly from yarn I got as a gift :) and the last bits of the bolero yarn I had left over. The gray yarn is also handspun and came from here.

Thanks for reading this far.
dk

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