Thursday, May 11, 2017

No current WIPs!

I just finished the zippered hoodie. It is soaking prior to being blocked. And I finished the sock yarn spin yesterday. Nothing on the loom. It is sort of weird to be starting so many new projects. I am a monogamous crafter in general. I have a travel knitting project that I only work on when traveling. It is a lightweight yarn and a lace pattern that is not too complex. But otherwise, it is one project at a time.

I do have a spindle spinning project that is a WIP. I may pick it up again. I've been very focused on the minispinner for a while now. Anyway, I am in no hurry to start spinning something new. I have things I want to accomplish on the loom and in knitting and the garden work is in full swing.

Allergies have been keeping me indoors which is why I am being so productive. I hope the trees will be done with their flowering soon and then I can go out and work. The weeds have been given a boost by the rain and cool weather.

 The first two bobbins of the sock yarn were rather boring. There were a few spots here and there that were not blue or white. The objective here was to spin 3 low-twist single and then ply them higher-twist. It was a bit boring to do low-twist as one has to be careful to add enough twist to keep the singles together.  It requires attention and concentration. I watched some Patsy Z spinning videos to entertain me along with a couple of Tom Knisely's weaving videos.

The third singles had all the color. The braid had the bright color in one section so I divided it lengthwise into 3 instead of stripping the width into thirds. It was more fun spinning the third singles.
 There are the three of them lined up. They look like they have the same amount of singles on them, right? Wrong! The colored one on the right ran out first. I must have either added more twist to it or spun it slightly thicker.

My normal solution to running out of yarn on one bobbin in a 3-ply is to make a plying bracelet from the bobbin with the most yarn left and continue spinning a 3-ply. But when I tried to do that with the bobbin on the left which had the most yarn, I had major problems. The singles kept drifting apart. I tried a few times to restart but it was futile. I didn't realize the problem then or I could have fixed it a different way. Anyway, I chose to just make a 2-ply with the 2 bobbins.

Then I ran out of singles on the middle bobbin. Now I had to do something with the left bobbin as it still had a good bit of singles on it. I went back to the plying bracelet and had the same problem. The light bulb finally went on! Winding the plying bracelet was removing twist from the singles.  Since these were low-twist singles, enough was being removed that I no longer had sufficient twist to keep the yarn together. Twist is glue. I had no glue!

Once I realized that, I decided to just run that bobbin through the wheel again and add twist. It fell apart a few times, which made me realize that I had added a little too little twist to this bobbin, unlike the other two. But I managed to finish it, make a plying bracelet, and plied it back on itself. It fell apart towards the end and I gave up.

 Here's the pathetic little bundle of lost fibers with a pen on the side for context. I am a bit bummed. I have some nice 3-ply and two smaller bits of 2-ply. I don't know yet if I have enough yardage in the 3-ply for socks. If not, I'll make a shawl.

I think I went a little too thin and too low-twist on this. Looking at the final yarn, I could have easily drafted thicker. It is a light fingering weight, not a true sock yarn. Photos are forthcoming after it has dried. I might do a quick update tomorrow with just photos if everything dries.

On to the zippered Calmer hoodie. I extended the pockets and the body by 2" and then joined the bottoms of the pockets to the body and did an i-cord BO. It was rolling and I'm hoping blocking will stop that. Otherwise, I will have to do another attached i-cord to make a speed bump - as Meg Swansen says. Attached i-cord is not my favorite thing. So here's hoping it will stay flat.

I decided to finish the pockets before I did the sleeves in case there were problems and I had to rip stuff out. In a way it was good. Finishing as you go along means less finishing at the end. The pockets came out well except where they separate from the body. I was very concerned about that stress being put on 2 sts - one that remained with the body and one that became the pocket - right next to each other. I strengthened that section from the back by duplicate stitching across two rows and about 5-6 sts on each row at that point. I feel better about it now. This is my first time doing an angled pocket like this. I have to think about how I can reinforce that part while knitting.

That is the body with the pickets finished. I did a sort of duplicate st to join that straight end where I lengthened the pockets. It was putting an edge on top of a flat stockinette surface so I duplicate stitched over the edge and the corresponding column of sts on the body. I think it came out quite well.

After that I did the sleeves. I decided to do them on dpns because knitting on dpns is faster for me. However, I picked up the US size 7 dpns (4.5 mm) vs. the US size 8 I had used for the body! I didn't realize this till I finished the second sleeve. I tried on the sleeves as I knit to make sure they fit well so the fit is not an issue. It is that I have a bit more dense sleeves and used up more yarn and knit more sts than I needed to.

I had a lot of sts at the top of the sleeve so I made a little gusset there. I like this and will do it again in the future.

First sleeve done.

I didn't take a photo after the second sleeve. Here is the completed sweater, pre-zipper and blocking. I had to buy the zipper online because the local fabric store didn't have a separating zipper in the 20" size that was even remotely the same color. I am pretty happy with the match. The exact match was a custom order and I had to buy 25 in order to get it. This was the closest in-stock color they had. Not bad at all. is the source. I paid more in shipping than the zipper cost but it wasn't much and it was easier to get it that way than go driving around looking for matches.

I am very pleased with the hood. I don't like the pointy hoods that most patterns have. I liked the shaping on Rogue, but it is in Aran weight. Also some of the completed garments had a bit of a gather at the top of the hood. So I took that shaping, modified it for the DK weight, and then changed it up a bit to make this hood. I think it will block out smooth. It fits well. Again, I am hoping the i-cord will stop rolling once it is blocked.

I found a whole bunch of bulky Lopi in the stash. I think there is enough to make a 3-panel blanket on the rigid heddle loom.

These are the colors. There are 9 skeins of the magenta in the middle, 3 of the violet on the top left and 1 skein of the red. The rest are what you see. I think I will warp with the magenta, using stripes of the others as follows:

  1. One panel will have the olive stripe outlined in yellow
  2. Second panel will have the olive stripe outlined in blue
  3. Third panel will have the red stripe outlined in pale gray

I am not sure if I will do one wide stripe or a couple of narrower ones. It depends on how much of the outline color I have. It will be asymmetric so I will just use what I have and decide as I warp. This is why these colors are going to be in the warp so I can figure out a way to use up as many of them as I can.

The weft will be mostly magenta with violet stripes. I have some dark gray and quite a bit of the red so I may outline the violet with either the red or the gray or both. Again, I'll wing it and I am not going to match the stripes on the panels.

I was concerned that all the colors have the same value. So I took a black and white photo to check. Guess what? I was right. There is a little variation but most of the colors are in the same value. Oh well. I want to use up the yarn and make something useful. This was more to train my eye than to make decisions. But at least the outline of each stripe and the stripe are different values.

This is what I am going to start next. I hope to warp the loom for the first panel this weekend.

On the knitting front, I am going to start a Niebling. One of my spinning guild members and I discussed started a KAL to knit Flieder. She is making a tablecloth and I want to make a shawl. She started in Feb but I was busy with the sweater so I haven't started yet. I am going to make 5 sections of the pattern rather than the full 8. This way it will stay on my shoulders. I have wound a teal colored Cheryl Oberle Dancing Fibers cobweight alpaca. I have made copies of the charts. So I am ready and that will also be starting up in the next week or so.

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