FOs: A Round-Up, February-May 2013

To be honest with the move and everything, there hasn’t been a vast amount of knitting. Not really a surprise. The fact that I kept packing things also complicated matters. It does tend to put a spanner in the works when you think to yourself, ‘oh I’ll do that now’ only to find that everything you need to do said thing is not only packed but distributed across twenty seemingly identical boxes. At that point it is easier just to give up and go pack something else. You’d be amazed how many times this happened, and not just with knitting stuff.

 

So the FOs.

 

Two more ‘Flightless’ – this pattern is now available for sale! Details here, and available on Ravelry and Craftsy.

 

I also have another pattern up for sale, the Laitis Cowl. Again available via Ravelry and Craftsy, more details here.

 

I also managed a couple of slightly different FOs. A couple of woven scarves. I won’t go into too many details now, but needless to say, I seem to have acquired a loom.

Spinning: A Round-Up, February-May 2013

Since I last (ahem) blogged about my spinning, I have – unsurprisingly – spun a fair bit more. The last spinning post, detailing the first month of the handblended club from HilltopCloud, was some time ago.

In the meantime, I’ve had the pleasure of spinning up the following…

From Hilltop Cloud

200g Baby Camel and Tussah Silk blend in ‘Teal’.

100g Teeswater in ‘Winter Sunrise’, from the Best of British (BOB) Club, plied with silver thread.

From SpinPretty

100g Merino and Angora Blend in ‘Shades of Gray’.

From Once A Sheep

200g Merino and Silk Blend in ‘Purple’ and ‘White’. Blended during spinning to create a gradient yarn.

From The Yarn Cake

50g Shetland in ‘Shetland Black’ and ‘Moorit’

From Sue’s Crafts 

150g Shetland in ‘Purple Smoke’

Not all Fibres are Created Equal

This was something that struck me the other night. I got a handblended fibre club subscription for Christmas (200g of handblended loveliness for 3 months – bliss!) and had decided that 200g of fibre (a primarily Merino blend) would be plenty to knit up a project which required 800-1000m. What was my thinking for this? Well, I’d spun up some other fibre I had in my stash and got 500m out of 100g so surely that seemed reasonable?

Apparently it isn’t. I got a third spun up and plied, wound it all up into a skein and got 146m. Hmm. Not quite what I was expecting. And this got me thinking – do different fibre types impact on the yardage you spin? Google didn’t help. Despite phrasing the question in different ways I couldn’t locate anything specific to this query. So I asked Ravelry – where else?

Is it just me or do you get less yardage from Merino when spinning? I’m spinning up a batch of a primarily Merino blend (over 2/3rds) in my normal fashion – aiming for a fingering/sport weight. I have a third done and plyed – it is coming out at the desired weight but my yardage compared to say, BFL, is dramatically lower. Does anyone know if this the norm? And secondly, are there any resources out there which discuss different fibres and their yield rates?

The response I got indicated that this was normal (phew – not just me!) but that they weren’t aware of resources on this either. However, the discussion focused in fibre length and thickness. The thicker the fibre, the less you need to get the desired weight; the longer the fibre, the less you need to get the desired length.

So how do Merino and BFL compare? For sake of ease I’m focusing in on the finest ~ coarsest / shortest ~ longest figures for the ranges normally found for these fibres.

 

Merino

Bluefaced Leicester (BFL)

Microns (Finest)

11.5

24

Microns (Coarsest)

26

28

Staple Length (Shortest)

2” / 5cm

3” / 7.5cm

Staple Length (Longest)

5” / 12.5cm

6” / 15cm

So if we apply these figures to real life; a batch of very fine, short stapled Merino would require significantly more to provide the same weight and yardage as the BFL. If the Merino was of similar micron / staple length to the BFL – say 24 microns and 5″ – yardage could theoretically be similar.

This is an aspect which intrigues me, so I’ve added a new section to Fibres & Spinning concerning yield rates on the fibres I’ve spun (as well as archiving a copy of this post there).

FO: Wanderlust

See I’m being pro-active and actually blogging properly again. And finishing up my summary of the 2012 finished objects is probably a good start. I finished the Wanderlust mittens back before Christmas and just haven’t got around to getting a picture of them until now.

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They’re very cosy!

I included a few modifications to suit my needs:

  • Cast on 66 stitches rather than 86 (only 3 cable repeats).
  • Used knitted cast on for thumb hole (turned work to RS to do this).
  • Inserted last cable on row 13 of the repeat rather than 15 as was unsure of yardage left (there was enough in the end).
  • Moved thumb hole to opposite end so that seam was placed over the palm rather than the back of the hand.
  • Did not cast off but instead just grafted stitches to the cast on edge. (Could have used a provisional cast on but figured this was easier – it was).

Resolutions 2013

I’m not one for making resolutions, or to be more honest I like the idea of them, just not the actual practice of carrying them out. Last January I posted on one of the stash down forums on Ravelry which was discussing the idea of 12 12’s in 2012.

These were the aims:

  1. 12 Sweaters, Cardigans, Tops
  2. 12 Socks (6 pairs)
  3. 12 Mittens, Gloves (6 Pairs)
  4. 12 WIPs or Queue Items
  5. 12 Favourites
  6. 12 Scarves, Cowls, Shawls
  7. 12 Hexipuffs per month (12 x 12)
  8. 12 Techniques (New and Previously Used)
  9. 12 Seasonal Decorations
  10. 12 Wildcards
  11. 12,000 Yards Knitted
  12. 12 Months Keeping my Knitting Stuff Organised

I think I can safely say that all of these probably didn’t happen. I need to actually review what I knitted last year and match it up to the list – I’ll post on that later. But really – it won’t have happened. Some categories will be complete, others will be half done, some will not be done at all and others will probably have been forgotten. Although with my memory for these things, I may surprise myself.

So this year I’m considering things a little differently. Less limitations, more flexibility and no categories.

So for 2013:

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Knit from stash where possible – Although I’m allowing additional purchases if necessary to the project, or if something else specific shows up, i.e. where I see something I *have* to knit and just buy the yarn for that.
  3. Get the stash (yarn and fibre) down to a comfortable level – I have no idea what that level is, just that I’m not there at the moment.
  4. Try and knit from patterns already purchased (or free!) – My Ravelry library is extensive, and I’ve been lucky with the free pattern codes this holiday, I have no excuse.
  5. Spin more – Far easier now I have the wheel. 
  6. Knit with the handspun from resolution #5 – Should be made easier if I have an idea of what I’m knitting and what is needed – see #4.
  7. Try and design more patterns – I have many ideas, I just need to get on with it. 
  8. Try and actually publish my own patterns – see notes accompanying #7.
  9. Stay organised – in terms of stash, equipments, notes etc – Should be straightforward, my office is better organsing and I like sorting things. 
  10. Try and take better photographs – More on this later.
  11. Keep blogging – Speaks for itself really…

I think this should work; I’m already working on #1…

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