Saturday, August 3, 2013

Project Unlayer

I am so sorry for the long silence. After coming back to Shanghai, I went to Istanbul, Turkey on a business trip. When I got back, I had to go to Beijing for a few days. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hanging with a Raveler. It was extremely hot so we hung out in my apt and knit and spin. So I just didn't have the brain power to blog. But I have accumulated a lot of photos from Istanbul to post. When I have time, you will be inundated!

But I want to talk about our adventure last Sunday. We went out early in the am to avoid the heat. It was above 100F and humid so we planned to hit the yarn store at 10 am when they opened. We met at a Metro station and went to a road where I had seen 2 yarn stores. I think I showed you pictures of these in my Former French Connection post.

At the first one, we walked around and asked a few questions but the people didn't seem to be interested in us. So we left and went to the other one. Here the staff/owners were much more approachable. I had a list of the Chinese names of fibers that a Ravelry group had put together. I pulled it up on my phone and started to ask about wool and silk and cotton. It was wonderful when the lady we were talking to understood what we wanted and started showing us a cotton/silk blend. But neither that nor the bamboo was anything special.

I asked about silk and cashmere but again, we didn't see anything we liked. Then I asked about mink which is a yarn that is sourced from China. The colors of the yarn glowed and both of us were interested. The price was also right. 6 50 gm balls for about $30. I bought a box of 6 balls.

It was packaged in a box.

One thing we noticed was that the wool had a sheep on it. Cotton did not have the famous cottonimal but the mink had a photo of the mink When you open the box, the yarn is inside a clear plastic lid.

The label of the yarn also has a mink, as you can see. The yarn is inside this plastic lid.
I think the spools of thread are for sewing up.

I have been knitting and spinning a bit. I started unlayering the bobbin that I filled with singles when I didn't have my household shipment. The first yarn was the Fiber Optic Autumn Harvest gradient that I already showed you.

The second yarn was the Blackberry to Raspberry gradient which I finished last week.
I have about 550 yds and it is a nice laceweight.

I continued to spin on the Tour de Fleece project but I have decided not to do the ply on the fly any more. It really slows me down and I think it is more efficient to just ply on the wheel later. I also don't like the joins between the cops. If I am joining singles, the joins get hidden in the plying. Here, they show more and I don't like that. But I started plying on this cop, which is the third cop, so I am going to finish this with plying and then start just spinning singles from the next cop onwards.
I am using this project to practice cop building. I have to wind on the single and then wind on the plied yarn. So I can play with a temporary cop and then proper winding.

On to more unlayering: today I spun the second single of the next fiber on that bobbin. This was a Targhee from Sweet Grass that I had spun from the fold. It is not my favorite color and I am not enthralled by the finished product. It is hanging to dry right now but here is the plied yarn on the bobbin. Yes, I spun a single, plied it all and have finished it all today!
There is some brown in there too so maybe it will be OK once it is knitted up. I wanted a fluffy, squishy, thicker yarn and I did succeed in creating that. It is a soft, squeezable yarn.

There is one more fiber on that bobbin which I spun worsted but thick with a loose twist to create a chunky, lofty yarn. I want to make some mittens with it for the winter. It is a Romney from Into the Whirled and I love this color.
The second single of that fiber is the next spinning project. Maybe even as early as this week.

On the knitting front, I started a shawl with the Fiber Optic Autumn Harvest gradient. I played with the color trying to get it right. I don't think I have it with this photo.
I am adding beads I got from one of my Beijing Raveler friends. You can see it here.
I didn't play with the color temperature on this photo and you can see that it is pretty washed out. The gradient is a very saturated colorway and this doesn't do it justice.

It is a small shawl, called Bryce Canyon, meant to be made with one skein of sock yarn. I have 422 yards so it should be enough. I hope to finish it soon and start a shawl with the mink yarn. I need something fairly simple to knit on my next business trip. Knitting something like Bryce Canyon where you need the chart out all the time isn't practical when traveling because you have to keep taking out and putting things back and one can forget something somewhere quite easy.

In between, I did pull out a sock that I had started years ago and finished the first sock. I have not started the second one as I am finding it rather boring. But I should start it so it will be there for emergencies.

I hope to do another travelogue this week finishing up the Beijing trip so I can go on to Istanbul.

No comments: